Douglas Lowry, 1951-2013

A composer and conductor who played a major role in American musical education has died

October 31, 2013

Douglas Lowry was born in Spokane, Washington, on 31 January 1951 and studied for a BA in music theory and composition at the University of Arizona (1974). He followed this with master’s degrees at the University of Southern California, in trombone playing (1976) and in conducting (1978).

Although he always remained active as a composer and conductor, Professor Lowry forged a distinguished academic career in parallel. From 1983, he worked at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, rising to the position of associate dean. He then moved to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music. While based there, he co-hosted the Around Cincinnati radio arts show and strengthened the conservatory’s links with the Opera, Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy, where he also coached the musicians and conducted performances.

In 2007, Professor Lowry was appointed the sixth head of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, going on to become the Joan and Martin Messinger dean in 2011.

His tenure was marked by several important changes within the institution. The main performance venue was renovated as Kodak Hall, where one of Professor’s Lowry own compositions, Geo, was performed on the opening night. A new wing was built to cater for the performance, rehearsal and teaching requirements of the 21st century.

Equally indicative of Professor Lowry’s determination to remain, and to keep Rochester, at the cutting edge of musical life was his foundation of the Center for Music Innovation and Engagement and the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research, the latter dedicated to creating models for alternative ensembles. He also set out to raise Rochester’s profile through events around the country, including concerts in New York.

All this, in the words of Rochester’s president Joel Seligman, made Professor Lowry “a national presence in music education” as well as someone whose “charm, wit and intelligence inspired generations of students and colleagues”.

A number of Professor Lowry’s compositions, such as Blue Mazda – a cabaret song cycle for soprano, trumpets, piano and percussion – have been recorded.

Professor Lowry died of multiple myeloma on 2 October, shortly after resigning from the University of Rochester, and is survived by his wife, Marcia, two daughters and a son. The Eastman School’s main hall has been renamed the Lowry Hall in his honour.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate