Now in his sixth season as the Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) and Artistic Advisor of the VSO School of Music, Dutch conductor Otto Tausk has proven extraordinary artistic leadership in the VSO community and beyond. His innovatively re-imagined digital performance series and the initiative to introduce Canadian contemporary music, including five indigenous composers’ works, was received to great acclaim and significantly widened the orchestra’s reach. Tausk is a passionate believer in the concert as a shared experience between the performers and the audience, and his inclusive approach has had a profound impact on the community of Vancouver where the orchestra has become an essential part of the cultural identity of the city and its people.
Otto Tausk’s musical expertise ranges from historically informed performances of Mozart and Beethoven to the early 20th century scores of Prokofiev, Stravinsky and R. Strauss, and to new works by today’s composers. In the 2023/24 season he performs masterpieces by Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich as well as Verdi’s Requiem and Haydn’s Creation, and gives the world premiere performance of a new work by British Columbian composer Nicholas Ryan Kelly. He works with stellar soloists such as Vadim Gluzman, Steven Isserlis, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma and Fazıl Say. Tausk’s guest conducting appearances of the season includes guest conducts the San Diego Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Norwegian Radio Orchestra, amongst others.
Tausk has worked with the Concertgebouworkest, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Orchestre National de Belgique, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he made his BBC Proms debut in 2018.
As Chief Conductor of the Sinfonieorchester und Theater St. Gallen from 2012 to 2018, Tausk led numerous opera productions such as the world premiere of ‘Annas Maske’ by Swiss composer David Philip Hefti, the Swiss premiere of George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’, Korngold’s ‘Die Tote Stadt’, ‘Don Giovanni’, ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’, ‘Eugene Onegin’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’. He is a long-time collaborator of the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa and recently conducted the highly acclaimed world premiere production of ‘Upload’ in Amsterdam, Köln, Bregenz and New York. In the 2023/24 he conducts Thomas Ades’s ‘Powder her face’ at the Nederlandse Reisopera.
Tausk has recorded with the Concertgebouworkest, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Hans Pfitzner’s Orchesterlieder for the CPO label and Prokofiev with Rosanne Philippens on Channel Classics garnered international praise.
Born in Utrecht, Otto Tausk studied violin with Viktor Lieberman and conducting with Jonas Aleksa. From 2004 to 2006, he was an Assistant Conductor to Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2011, he received the prestigious ‘De Olifant’ prize of City of Haarlem, recognising his achievements as music director of the Holland Symfonia and his contribution to the Arts in the Netherlands.
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11.2010, CPO, CD> Amazon
„Otto Tausk made the orchestra play with tight, powerful expression, evoking tension by sometimes reducing the volume considerably and by inserting small interruptions in the musical progress. As if the breath was held for a moment. Tausk also kept the reins tight in the interaction with the singers, but left enough room for lyricism and drama in the elaboration by the soloists.“
„The second half of the concert, Brahms Third Symphony, revealed Dutch conductor Otto Tausk […] at his best, for it was a natural, emotional, and lyrical interpretation: voyages of discovery, loving traversals of a familiar, exciting work with a fresh eye and mind, in the company of the fine musicians of the LA Phil“
„Tausk emphasized precision and clarity with the orchestra without sacrificing emotion and narrative power.“
„The cellist has an ideal partner in Otto Tausk. A seasoned opera conductor, Tausk responds to the slightest inflection of the soloist, competing with him in vocal fullness.“
„Otto Tausk showed genuine fortitude in thinking out these three masterpieces on his own terms and christening his own brand of Mozart style and orchestration. It was an impressive initial foray into these works: a fine mixture of clarity, cohesion and rhythmic strength.“
„Tausk proved to be an excellent accompanist; there were so many musical moments where everything just clicked.“