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16th May, 2014

Kathryn McDowell

Image Credit: Camilla Panufnik

Kathryn McDowell joined the London Symphony Orchestra as Managing Director in 2005.  She was brought up in Northern Ireland and read Music at Edinburgh University.  After a post-graduate course in teacher training, she spent a year in Vienna working with political refugees. 

In the mid-eighties Kathryn became one of the first education and community managers with orchestras, creating an extensive programme with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and leading the ABO’s first national education project.  She also worked with Welsh National Opera and the Ulster Orchestra, before becoming Music Director of the Arts Council of England in the nineties.  Since then, she led the bid for the creation of the Wales Millennium Centre and directed the City of London Festival. 

Kathryn is a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a member of the St. Paul’s Cathedral Council, Chair of the ABO’s Sustainable Touring Review (2010), and is currently Chair of the Family Friendly Arts Campaign (2012) – a cross arts collaboration involving over 1,000 arts organisations in England.  She holds honorary awards from Trinity College, the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2009, and awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours.


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