Music Director Designate

Sarasota Orchestra announces the appointment of internationally-renowned conductor Bramwell Tovey as Music Director.

Tovey served as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) for 18 years and is now the VSO's Music Director Emeritus. He is in demand as a conductor with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras across Europe and Asia. Maestro Tovey is widely known for elevating the profile and advancing the orchestras he leads. His vision and institutional leadership resulted in the creation of the VSO School of Music, housed within the Tovey Centre for Music in Vancouver. The state-of-the-art music center, named in his honor, opened in 2011 with a strong emphasis on community and education.

While Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, he played an instrumental role in the opening of the Philharmonie Luxembourg, one of the finest concert halls in Europe. He also held successful artistic directorships with Calgary Opera and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO), where he created the WSO’s international New Music Festival, now in its 30th year.

My decision to accept the invitation to become Music Director of Sarasota Orchestra was made because the musicians' artistry and dedication, the organization's health, and the community's support all resonated with an inspirational unanimity of vision.

Maestro Tovey


Tovey:The Adventure Begins

Saturday, October 30 | 7:30 pm | Sarasota Opera House

Maestro Tovey's inaugural concert as Music Director Designate expresses our great joy through Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and music by Verdi, Saint-Saëns, and Sarasate. Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes, a frequent collaborator with Maestro Tovey, joins the program as featured soloist. 

Tickets available on September 7.

For me, music is a profound language that addresses humanity at a level that is beyond mere words. To have been able to spend my career sharing music through the power of the modern symphony orchestra has been an extraordinary privilege.


Bramwell Tovey is a Grammy and JUNO award-winning conductor and composer. He currently serves as as Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Artistic Advisor to the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.

Following an exceptional 18 year tenure as Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony (VSO), which concluded in summer 2018, he now returns as the orchestra’s Music Director Emeritus. His VSO innovations included the establishment of the VSO School of Music, the VSO’s annual festival of contemporary music, and the VSO Orchestral Institute at Whistler, a comprehensive summer orchestral training program for young musicians.

We are thrilled to welcome an artist of Bramwell Tovey’s stature at this important time in the development of our organization. His brilliant musicianship, passion for education, and his immediate chemistry with our musicians inspired his selection by the search committee and Board of Sarasota Orchestra.


Bramwell brings a warmth and humanity to the role, as well as a fervor for all genres of music. We believe his gifts will be an asset to the community and to Sarasota Orchestra. Not only is he an exceptionally versatile conductor, but he is also an accomplished composer and a talented pianist. We are beyond excited to begin this journey with Bramwell.



When does Bramwell Tovey start in his role as Sarasota Orchestra’s Music Director Designate, and how long is his term?
Maestro Tovey has agreed to a five-year contract with Sarasota Orchestra. He begins his first season as Music Director Designate on September 1, 2021. In the following four seasons, he will take the reins as Music Director.

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