James Lowe – Artistic Director, West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra
James Lowe is Chief Conductor of the Prussian Chamber Orchestra, Germany, and the Vaasa Sinfonia, Finland. 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. A recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent, Lowe is additionally Principal Conductor of the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, and held the position of Associate Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Lowe continued his development as Benjamin Zander Conducting Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, 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 Competition for Conductors and special prize winner in the Jorma Panula International Competition, 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, 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.
“The WSSSO continues to go from strength to strength – no mean achievement in these uncertain times for the arts and education. The secret is simple: a hugely dedicated team of staff, and terrific support from our local authorities. The atmosphere is one of friendship, fun and a deep commitment to musical excellence, and I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful and inspiring organisation. I look forward to see what the next 20 years will bring!”