The Vancouver Symphony Opera has introduced the man who will lead it into its 100th Anniversary Season.
After 15 years at the helm, Maestro Bramwell Tovey will step aside as Music Director and hand the reins to Netherlands native Otto Tausk in July of next year.
Tausk joined guest host Simi Sara to talk about his new role
LISTEN: Otto Tausk on taking the reins of the VSO
Tausk says he was taken with Vancouver’s beauty the first time he visited the city a few years ago, but it wasn’t until he had his first rehearsal with the VSO that he knew he’d found his place.
“You find out in like three seconds, or maybe three minutes. You feel there’s a connection and I had the connection with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from the beginning. Immediately you feel you don’t have to talk so much, actually the music speaks for itself. And the language you have together is through music.”
Tausk says while this will be both a new chapter for both him and the VSO, he hopes to preserve some of Tovey’s legacies – like the focus on learning and music for children.
Tausk says introducing kids to classical instruments and music doesn’t just create musicians – but audiences as well.
“I think that’s the only way to keep this kind of music alive, I think it’s extremely important.”
For Tausk, whose impressive resume includes leading the LA and Rotterdam Philharmonics, conducting orchestras was almost an accident.
He says he got his start one day as a violinist, when his orchestra’s conductor was ill and the group was asked who wanted to lead the rehearsal. He volunteered, and never looked back.
“I’m pretty sure it was a disaster and nobody understood anything I was trying to do, but I really liked it. Sometimes you have an experience in your life that you feel ‘this is where I should be, this is what I should be doing.'”
He says the allure of conducting is much like a painter getting access to a bigger pallet.
With a violin, he has just a few paints, but with an orchestra he’s got an entire rainbow.
“When you conduct you have so much more to think about, so much more colours to make.”
Of course he says it’s by no means an individual effort. Tausk says that creative process is about collaborating with the musicians in the group.
“What I’m always looking for is to make that connection with the musicians, and try and find the same – would you say wavelength.”