Kathryn McDowell, The London Symphony Orchestra’s [LSO] Managing Director, has been awarded the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ [ISM] prestigious Distinguished Musician Award for her extraordinary services to music as a leading figure in the orchestral sector.
The award was presented to Kathryn by ISM President Sue Sturrock at LSO St Luke’s this morning, where the Society was holding Members’ Day, ISM’s annual conference for members.
Established in 1976, the ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award recognises outstanding contributions that an individual has made to musical life in the UK. Previous recipients of the Award include LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle and its late President Sir Colin Davis, as well as numerous illustrious members of the UK musical community, including Dame Janet Baker, Pierre Boulez, Sarah Connolly, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Jacqueline du Pré OBE, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Michael Tippett, Dame Fanny Waterman, and Judith Weir.
Founded in 1882, The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians, dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession, with 8,500 members across the UK. As well as supporting its members with unrivalled services and expert advice, the ISM is also a significant campaigner in support of the musical community.
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About Kathryn McDowell CBE, DL
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 as a volunteer working with political refugees in a UN camp.
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 Trustee of the Leeds International Piano Competition and a member of the St. Paul’s Cathedral Council. She was Chair of the Association of British Orchestras (2014–2017); Chair of the ABO’s Sustainable Touring Review (2007–2010); Chair of the Family Friendly Arts Campaign (2011–2015); a Trustee of the Royal Philharmonic Society (1999–2006); and a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2007–2016). 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, awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in 2017 was made a Freeman (by Special Nomination) of the City of London.
Top photo: Ranald Mackechnie