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Bramwell Tovey

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Bramwell Tovey, OM (born 11 July 1953) is an English-born Grammy Award winning conductor and composer. His musical roots are in The Salvation Army. He was educated at Ilford County High School, the Royal Academy of Music and the University of London. His formal music education was as a pianist and composer. Whilst a student at the Royal Academy of Music, he also became a tuba player, studying with John Fletcher.

After a stint conducting the Royal Ballet, Tovey conducted the first season of the revived D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1988. Between 1989 and 2001, Tovey was the music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He was instrumental in establishing the city’s annual New Music Festival, which began in 1992. He has been the music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since September 2000. In December 2004, his initial contract was renewed through 2010. In Europe, he was music director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002 to 2006. In January 2010, his Vancouver contract was further extended through 2015. In December 2009, Tovey and the VSO rejected an invitation to play at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, after the Vancouver Organizing Committee requested that the orchestra pre-record music that other musicians and a different conductor would mime to at the televised event. Tovey remarked that the plan was “dishonest” and “fraudulent.”

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