Bramwell Tovey, conductor and composer, dies at 69

By Adela Skowronski |

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Bramwell Tovey (Photo: David Cooper)

After a long bout with cancer, British composer and conductor Bramwell Tovey passed away on July 12, 2022. He was 69 years old. Maestro Tovey had recently been appointed the Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra (2021) and had extended his tenure with the Rhode Island Philharmonic into the 2022-2023 season.

Throughout his life, Tovey appeared as a guest conductor and pianist with famed orchestras all over the world. On the East Coast, he conducted The New York Philharmonic’s annual Summertime Classics Festival. On the West Coast, he could be found leading the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Tovey also often appeared as both a conductor and pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra: for example, leading the CSO in a rousing rendition of Rhapsody in Blue from the piano during the orchestra’s batch of Gershwin concerts in March 2017. Prior to his death, Tovey was scheduled to appear as the principal guest conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec for the 2022-2023 season.

Though Tovey enjoyed international acclaim, his impact could perhaps be most felt in the realm of Canadian classical music. He enjoyed a 12-year tenure with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, led the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for 18 years, founded the Winnipeg New Music Festival and helped to create the VSO School of Music. The Rhode Island Philharmonic will be dedicating their upcoming season to his memory.

Further reading:

Bramwell Tovey (

Remembering Bramwell Tovey | Chicago Symphony Orchestra (