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After Year-Long Search, RI Philharmonic Names New Conductor

The English-born, Boston-area musician Bramwell Tovey will now lead the local ensemble.

Tovey currently teaches conducting at Boston University. Before that, he held conducting positions with orchestras in Canada and Europe, winning a Grammy Award for his recording of violin concertos with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

As “artistic advisor,” Tovey will have a hand in planning concerts, though a champion for sometimes-difficult contemporary classical music, he says he will move slowly before programming too much off the beaten path.

“I think what I’ll want to do is build the relationship with the audience and build their sense of trust,” Tovey said. “So that perhaps occasionally I can say ‘hey why don’t you come along with me on this journey, and perhaps give this a try.’”

Tovey begins his tenure next year, during the Philharmonic’s 75th season. Tovey noted it will also be the 250th anniversary of composer Ludwig Van Beethoven’s birth year, which will likely figure into the year’s programming.