BBC Concert Orchestra announces Bramwell Tovey as new principal conductor

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra music director steps into a new role


Bramwell Tovey has been appointed the new principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, as of January 2018.


He will be taking over from Keith Lockhart, who has been principal conductor since 2010. Lockhart will subsequently move into the role of chief guest conductor, returning in 2018 for a showcase of the music of Stephen Sondheim at the Royal Festival Hall.

‘With his innate musicianship and vast orchestral experience,’ says Alan Davey, controller of Radio 3 of Tovey, ‘it’s set to be a fantastic partnership that will delight concert and radio audiences alike.’

Tovey is not only a conductor, but also a pianist and composer. He is the current music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, having previously held this position for other international orchestras including the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has worked as principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and since 2006 has been the artistic director of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Tovey will not only be responsible for the artistic direction and programming of the orchestra, but also will lead their education activities and mentor young performers and conductors.

‘It is a great pleasure to accept the BBC’s invitation to join the BBC Concert Orchestra as principal conductor’, says Tovey. When he most recently led the orchestra, he commented that he was ‘hugely impressed by their virtuosity and dedication in both the rehearsal process and performance’.

He will be conducting the orchestra tomorrow (Wednesday) for the first time in this new role in a special edition of Radio 3’s In Tune, performing works including Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Copland’s Rodeo and Tovey’s own composition, Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret. It will be broadcast live from 5-6pm, but if you happen to miss this or want to listen again, the performance will be available on iPlayer Radio for 30 days.


Tovey and the BBC Concert Orchestra will be on our radios again on Friday for their weekly showcase on Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night, playing a selection of seasonal classics.