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Shoshana Wasser

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Bramwell Tovey honoured with 2015 Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance

November 19, 2015

Bramwell Tovey, Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), is the recipient of the 2015 Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance. The award will be presented to him on Monday, November 23, at 8 p.m., as he conducts the VSO’s performance of “Fauré Requiem, A Choral Masterpiece.” Bramwell will be donating the $20,000 prize towards bursaries at the VSO School of Music to allow students to study with members of the VSO.

Bramwell Tovey
Bramwell Tovey conducting the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

About Bramwell Tovey

A renowned conductor, composer, performer, educator and mentor, Bramwell has been described by Musical America as “one of the most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world.” Among his many accomplishments are the following highlights:

  • He has conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and choirs, including a remarkable 125 concerts with the New York Philharmonic.
  • Bramwell and the VSO received a GRAMMY® and a JUNO® for their 2008 recording of Barber, Korngold and Walton concertos with violin soloist James Ehnes.
  • Under Bramwell’s leadership, the VSO has also toured internationally and established an annual contemporary music festival.
  • Bramwell co-founded the VSO School of Music, and now serves as its Artistic Advisor.
  • As a composer, Bramwell has been commissioned by the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Opera. He received the 2003 JUNO® Award for Best Classical Composition for his choral and brass work Requiem for a Charred Skull.
  • Also a pianist, Bramwell has appeared as a soloist with many major orchestras, and released two jazz albums.
  • A graduate of the University of London, he holds four honorary doctorates and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and his alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music. He is a member of the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada.
    Bramwell Tovey

    Bramwell Tovey (left) with
    Oskar Morawetz and mezzo-
    soprano Sandra Graham at
    Edmonton’s Centennial Hall
    in 1992.



“Bramwell is a champion of new music with an outstanding national and international reputation,” said the jury. “He has created so many opportunities to promote Canadian composers and musicians, sparking new enthusiasm for Canadian repertoire. He has also shown tremendous commitment to young musicians and bringing the best of new music to Canada.”

“I am deeply honoured to receive the 2015 Oskar Morawetz Award,” said Bramwell. “Oskar's work and dedication to his new country have been inspirations for me in my own work. This award belongs to the musicians of the VSO as much as to me – it has been an honour to lead them in playing for audiences nationally and internationally.”

About the Oskar Morawetz Award for Excellence in Music Performance

  • Established in 2007, the award honours the legacy of Oskar Morawetz – one of Canada's leading composers of contemporary music, whose career spanned more than 50 years. Learn more about Dr. Morawetz.
  • It is presented biennially to an outstanding Canadian performer, including conductors, in the field of classical music, recognizing talent and commitment to Canadian music.
  • Previous winners are mezzo-soprano Judith Forst (2013), cellist Shauna Rolston (2011) and flutist Robert Cram (2009).
  • The Ontario Arts Council administers the jury process for the Oskar Morawetz Award. This year’s jury consisted of Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser (Kitchener), Allan Gordon Bell (Calgary) and Judith Forst (Port Moody, B.C.).