VSO Music Director to lead BBC Concert Orchestra


The BBC Concert Orchestra has announced the appointment of Bramwell Tovey as its new Principal Conductor, taking up his position in January 2018.  Audiences will be able to hear Tovey conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra publicly for the first time since the announcement tomorrow (Wednesday 22 November) in a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s drive-time show In Tune, broadcast live from the orchestra’s base in Watford. Showcasing works such as Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Copland’s Rodeo and Tovey’s own composition, Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret with trombonist Peter Moore, the show will be broadcast live from 5-7 pm and available to listen again on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.

The following evening (Thursday 23rd November) Tovey will conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra in a recording to be broadcast on Friday 1 December in their weekly showcase – BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, the world’s longest-running live orchestral music programme on radio. The concert will feature a selection of classic ‘Winter Warmers’, presented by Ken Bruce and recorded in front of a live audience at Watford Colosseum.

Tovey’s new role will see him work with the orchestra for an initial period of five years including a Radio 3 concert at Watford Colosseum on 15 February 2018, before a number of performances in the BBC Concert Orchestra’s 2018-19 season at Southbank Centre, to be announced.  As well as artistic programming, Tovey will take a leading role in the BBC Concert Orchestra’s wide-ranging learning and education activities, including mentoring emerging conductors and orchestral players from a range of backgrounds who share the BBC CO’s appetite for musical versatility.

Tovey will take the reins from Keith Lockhart, who has been Principal Conductor for seven years.  Bramwell Tovey says: “It is a great pleasure to accept the BBC’s invitation to join the BBC Concert Orchestra as Principal Conductor. My most recent appearance with the BBC Concert Orchestra was to lead them in the UK premiere of one of my own works, Urban Runway and a rare performance of John McEwen’s Solway Symphony for a live Radio 3 relay from Maida Vale – I was hugely impressed by their virtuosity and dedication in both the rehearsal process and performance. The BBC Concert Orchestra is a wonderful ensemble of exceptional musicians whose focus is devoted to sharing the art and spirit of music with its diverse audience. The orchestra’s activities in the field of music education, its commitment to contemporary music and the work of composer-in-residence Dobrinka Tabakova are all of particular interest to me. I am very excited about leading the BBC Concert Orchestra in the years ahead.”

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