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After Three-Year Search, Vancouver Symphony Finds Its Next Music Director

Feb 7, 2017

Otto Tausk, who will take over the music directorship of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2018, at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday. Task has been music director of Switzerland’s Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre St. Gallen since 2012.
Otto Tausk, who will take over the music directorship of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 2018, at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday. Task has been music director of Switzerland’s Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre St. Gallen since 2012.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra announced that Dutch conductor Otto Tausk will be its next music director, beginning July 1, 2018 — just in time for the orchestra’s centennial season.

Tausk will take over the helm from Bramwell Tovey, 63, who has served as VSO music director since 2000. At the time the VSO last extended his contract in 2013, it was announced that Tovey would conclude his directorship in 2018.

Fresh off a flight from Europe, Tausk spoke to Postmedia about his appointment with an enthusiasm tempered by the understanding there is an adjustment period for any new conductor.

“It takes time,” said Tausk. “We need to get to know each other very well. My main focus in the beginning will be to try to make the orchestra feel and play like a really tight, small ensemble, even in big pieces. We can only reach this by working together.

“It’s not as if I can go in and say, ‘This is the way we are going to do it, make sure you have it right by tomorrow morning!’ I learned to trust musicians from (Valery) Gergiev. His trust is much bigger than you can imagine, so everyone dares to take risks. But I’ll try to combine that with what is really important — asking what are we doing with this particular work, fostering a special kind of musical awareness, a listening way of playing.”

Fred Withers, chairman of the VSO Music Director Search Committee, outlined the exhaustive process that led to Tausk’s selection. A group of 12 was formed — four each from the symphony’s management,  board and musicians — to aid in the candidate search, which began in November 2013. 

READ MORE: http://vancouversun.com/entertainment/local-arts/vancouver-symphony-orchestra-taps-dutch-conductor-otto-tausk-as-next-music-director