Tovey Centre for Music launches December 2
By Janet Smith
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s music director emeritus Bramwell Tovey has always had a passion for music education–so much so that he not only helped launch the organization’s School of Music during his tenure, but protest the Vancouver School Board’s controversial axing of elementary band and strings programs in 2016.
On December 2, he’ll see an education facility named formally in his honour.
On that day, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and its School of Music will unveil a dedication plaque inside the downtown facility’s lobby.
The Tovey Centre for Music covers the symphonic programs and activities of the VSO School of Music, including its three youth and one adult string ensembles; guest-artist master classes that have hosted everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to Itzhak Perlman; and the Artists’ Corner, a lunchtime series where musicians, leaders, and educators from the school give behind-the-scenes talks.
Now the principle conductor of the B.B.C. Concert Orchestra and artistic director of Calgary Opera, Tovey was the VSO’s longest-serving music director, from 2000 to 2018.
In 2011 the VSO opened the music school adjacent to the Orpheum, with Tovey as its first artistic director and with VSO musicians leading the faculty. Its programs are geared to everyone from young children to adults, and now serve more than 1,750 students annually. In June 2018, at Bramwell’s final concert as music director, the VSO announced that the VSO School of Music’s orchestral programs would be renamed the Tovey Centre for Music.