Much-loved maestro faces cancer treatment

Much-loved maestro faces cancer treatment


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2019

The international conductor Bramwell Tovey has been diagnosed with a rare cancer which (we are told) has a strong likelihood of responding to treatment. Tovey, 65, will have to manage his diary carefully in the near future, but doctors are scheduling his sessions to avoid major cancellations and he expects to fulfil most commitments.

A genial figure with a rich sense of humour, Tovey is presently principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, after 18 years with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He is also in charge of the LA Phil’s Hollywood Bowl concerts.

We wish him and his family a speedy recovery.

His agency issued this statement overnight:

Opus 3 Artists announced today that conductor Bramwell Tovey has been diagnosed with cancer. His doctors expect him to make a complete recovery. At the advice of his medical team, Maestro Tovey has withdrawn from select appearances while undergoing treatment. We ask for understanding and apologize in the event of any further unexpected disruptions to his conducting schedule.


  • Petros Linardos says:

    He also heads the Rhode Island Philharmonic and is on the faculty of Boston University. Excellent musician.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    Get well soon, maestro!

  • Karl says:

    He’s my favorite guest conductor at SPAC with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s the very model of a modern orchestral maestro! Get well soon maestro.

  • NYMike says:

    Always fun when he did year-end NY Phil concerts.

  • Brian says:

    A very fine conductor and a consummate spokesman for the artform. Best wishes to him for a quick recovery.

  • Jasper says:

    In addition to his classical conducting, Tovey is also a terrific jazz pianist. Have enjoyed his stints with the NY Phil as a guest conductor.

    Get well maestro!