Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra
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 Chair of the London Lieutenancy Council for Cultural Heritage 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 Leeds International Piano Competition (2016 – 2022); 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 she was made Musician of the Year by the ISM and awarded Freeman (by Special Nomination) of the City of London.