Sarasota Orchestra music director Bramwell Tovey has died

Sarasota Orchestra Music Director Bramwell Tovey has died suddenly at the age of 69.

The news was announced today by the orchestra, which only welcomed Tovey to town last year as musical director.

“It is with profound sadness that we share the news that Music Director Bramwell Tovey has passed away following the decline in his health over the past few days,” the orchestra wrote in a press release.

In 2021, Tovey accepted the position of Music Director here; he also extended his artistic leadership position with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchester Symphonique de Québec.

“The musical world has lost a real treasure,” said Tom Ryan, Chairman of the Sarasota Orchestra Board of Trustees.

Tovey has impacted generations across multiple continents through his creation, direction and teaching of music. Born in Britain, he charmed Sarasota audiences with his first concert in October 2021 and at the Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks season finale last April.

“There was an immediate chemistry between Maestro Tovey and our orchestra. We shared with him the expectation of a long partnership,” said Joseph McKenna, President and CEO of the Sarasota Orchestra. “Like so many others, all of us at the Sarasota Orchestra feel the tremendous loss of a great friend and sincere collaborator. Our deepest thoughts go out to his family during this most difficult hour. »

Diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma in May 2019, Tovey underwent surgery at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston in June 2021 which left him briefly cancer-free. In January of this year, analyzes confirmed a recurrence from which he ultimately could not recover.

Tovey’s warmth, spirit and talent shone on stage, in person and in interviews, like in this one Sarasota magazine published in December 2021, where he spoke enthusiastically about the community and the orchestra he plans to lead for several years in the future.

Details on expressing condolences will be shared separately when the information becomes available. The Sarasota Orchestra also says they will provide updates on the upcoming season in the near future.

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