Bramwell Tovey Death: BBC Concert Orchestra’s Principal Conductor Bramwell Tovey is Dead, Cause of Death

Bramwell Tovey Death: BBC Concert Orchestra’s Principal Conductor Bramwell Tovey is Dead, Cause of Death
Bramwell Tovey, Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, has passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. He died after a courageous battle with cancer.

Bram had a distinguished career as a conductor – one which, in 2018, led him to the role of Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra. His distinguished career led him to regular engagements with most of the UK’s major orchestras before he settled for many years in Canada as Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony (1989–2001) and later, the Vancouver Symphony (2000–2018).

Along the way, he conducted the first season of the revived D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1988, and he was Music Director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002 to 2006. He conducted most of the North American orchestras – being the principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Hollywood Bowl summer concerts and one of the most frequent guest conductors to the New York Philharmonic. Bram was to become Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra from the 2022–2023 season.

Bram grew up in Ilford, Essex, where he was actively involved in local music-making through the Redbridge Youth Orchestra in which he played the tuba. As for many of us of that generation, Bram would be the first to say that he owed much of his later musical life experience to the then London Borough of Redbridge’s Music Adviser, Malcolm Bidgood OBE. While still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, Bram formed a local orchestra called Concerti Allegri (Joyful Concerts), with which he conducted some wonderful performances, including Holst’s ‘The Planet’s Suite’ in 1974.

He later went on to play the tuba on a freelance basis with the London Symphony Orchestra – an orchestra which he was later to conduct on many occasions in the mid-to-late 80s. He was also one of the six members of the ‘Internationally Unknown Gnaff Ensemble’, giving some outrageous performances to unsuspecting audiences across the South East. Bram was very much the ‘front man’ – presenting the performances, frequently playing lesser-known instruments such as the electric cor anglais, and singing solo vocals – notably on our Christmas single ‘We Free Kings’, released on Ffang Records.

Friends, colleagues, officials and veterans are sending their condolences and tributes to the family in respect of his death. He will greatly be missed by everyone.

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