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Bramwell Tovey – A Tribute by Angela Harrison

Posted on 31 July 2022

Feeling so very sad on hearing of the death of Bramwell Tovey on 12th July, just after his 69th birthday. He was an extraordinarily fine musician with a wonderful sense of humour and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Whilst he developed his career predominantly in Canada, ‘Bram’ never lost touch with the UK and was latterly Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra.

I knew Bramwell for over 35 years, playing for him with the Hallé Orchestra, then for several summers here at the Ryedale Festival. It was in 1991 when he was conducting Beethoven 5th Symphony that I met my future husband. Bruce and I had the pleasure of visiting Bram in Vancouver many years later to acknowledge his role in bringing us together.

As conductor of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain he brought forward the careers of many of today’s finest players in our bands and orchestras. In a band rehearsal at Harrogate Ladies College, he interviewed me on the process of music therapy and the prospects for a potential career.

When Bramwell became a Patron of the NYMTC in 2007 he said,

When it comes to the therapeutic value of music I can’t even imagine the potential for this. I think we have only just begun to understand how the language of music can assuage people’s doubts and give feelings of hope, yearning, possibility and potential.”

So true. Our hearts go out to Bramwell’s family and friends.

Angela Harrison, former Therapist with NYMTC