James Lowe (conductor)

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James Lowe is an orchestra conductor. He will assume his role of Chief Conductor of the Prussian Chamber Orchestra from the 2015/16 season.[1] His work as Artistic Director of the Hallé Harmony Youth Orchestra was featured in a four-part documentary shown in the UK on Channel 4 in 2010.[2] A recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent, Lowe is Principal Conductor of the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble,[3] Principal Guest Conductor of Music for Everyone,[4] Orchestras Advisor and conductor of the Senior Orchestra of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland[5] and held the position of Associate Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. James is also Artistic Advisor of the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, with whom he began his orchestral career.[6]

Early life[edit]

Lowe was born in Nottingham. His first venture into the world of music was the study of the viola. He began viola lessons aged 13 and later went on to study the instrument privately with John White.[7] He then studied music at the University of Edinburgh gaining a First Class Honours degree in music.[7][8]

Lowe's first conducting experience was with the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, with whom he conducted Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D minor. Having conducted most of the main ensembles at the University of Edinburgh during his time as a student there Lowe continued his study of conducting in a series of master classes with legendary Finnish conducting teacher Jorma Panula and continued studies with Bernard Haitink, Neeme Järvi and Valery Gergiev.

Notable achievements[edit]

Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Lowe continued his development as Benjamin Zander Conducting Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic,[9] and has studied with leading conductors in master classes, including Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, Bernard Haitink and with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has worked as Assistant Conductor to Haitink in performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

One of two prizewinners in the Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting[10] and special prize winner in the Jorma Panula International Competition,[11] he has appeared in performance with the Osaka and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, the orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble as well as working with numerous other ensembles in many European countries, South Africa and the USA.

In addition to his conducting work James is active as an educator, teacher of conducting and is undertaking research exploring ways in which orchestras can meaningfully engage with a greater public.


  1. ^ "Uckermärkische Kulturagentur - Chefdirigent". www.umkulturagenturpreussen.de. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  2. ^ "Orchestra United". Channel 4. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  3. ^ "ecme | ' All music was once new music '". www.ecme.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  4. ^ "Who's Who". Music for Everyone. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  5. ^ "Senior Orchestra - The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland". The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  6. ^ "History of The Nottingham Youth Orchestra". www.nottinghamyouthorchestra.org. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  7. ^ a b West of Scotland School Orchestra Trust (WSSO)
  8. ^ James Lowe bio
  9. ^ "Boston Philharmonic Zander Fellowship". www.benjaminzander.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  10. ^ "Prize Winners of the past Competitions | Tokyo International Music Competition for Conducting". www.conductingtokyo.org. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  11. ^ "Panula - History". www.panulacompetition.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03.