MALCOLM LOWE TO RETIRE FROM THE BSO AFTER AN EXTRAORDINARY 35-YEAR TENURE AS BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERTMASTER, ONE OF THE MOST COVETED POSITIONS IN THE WORLD OF CLASSICAL MUSIC
APPOINTED UNDER THE MUSIC DIRECTORSHIP OF SEIJI OZAWA IN 1984, MALCOLM LOWE IS THE SECOND LONGEST-SERVING BSO CONCERTMASTER IN THE BSO’S 138-YEAR HISTORY
Malcolm Lowe has announced that he will retire from his position as Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster after serving 35 years in the prestigious leadership role. Mr. Lowe joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster in 1984 under Seiji Ozawa’s music directorship, becoming the tenth concertmaster since the orchestra’s founding in 1881 and only its third since 1920. He retires from the position just prior to the opening concert of the 2019-20 BSO season on September 19.
As BSO concertmaster, Malcolm Lowe has been the leader of the orchestra’s string section and First Violin and Artistic Director of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (BSCP), one of the world’s most distinguished chamber music ensembles sponsored by a major orchestra and made up of principal players from that orchestra. Of special note, the BSO’s concertmaster is the liaison on behalf of the orchestra with the music director. [Malcolm Lowe, by Marco Borggreve] To consistent high acclaim over the years, Mr. Lowe has been featured with the Boston Symphony in many beloved solos of the orchestral repertoire as well as in major works for solo violin and orchestra. Along with his colleagues in the BSCP, Mr. Lowe has played a significant role in the commissioning of new works for the ensemble. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Lowe has been featured in his leadership concertmaster role on a great many BSO and BSCP recordings and tours, both national and international, over the last three-and-a-half decades.
At the time of his appointment as BSO concertmaster in 1984, Malcolm Lowe succeeded Joseph Silverstein, whose tenure in the role spanned from 1962 to 1984. Having completed 35 years in the BSO’s principal violin position, Mr. Lowe is the second longest-serving concertmaster in the orchestra’s 138-year history. The record for greatest number of years in the position is held by Richard Burgin, whose 42-year tenure started in 1920.
QUOTE FROM MALCOLM LOWE: "I have decided that it is time for me to retire as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster and to begin a new adventure and artistic journey and listen to the voices that are beckoning me to do other things with the rest of my life. From the bottom of my heart, I thank my orchestra colleagues and Andris Nelsons for their dedication and their ability to delve deeply into the music and ask the unanswerable questions—to find the voice that lifts music from the ordinary to an extraordinary living poetry. I will cherish forever the shared moments of everyday work, moments striving in our artistic search, practicing, trying to perfect, to contribute, to give meaning to our efforts, the music, our team, and our orchestra. I am also forever grateful to our generous audiences and donors for their incredible passion and support year after year, concert after concert—their enthusiasm never wanes. My recovery to health and playing this summer at Tanglewood after a year’s absence due to a concussion injury has been one of my most satisfying accomplishments—truly a mountain conquered. I feel so blessed that I was able to meet this challenge and get back to full strength and power. Being able to perform again with all of my colleagues was a gift to me and I am so very grateful to all of them for their many kind words of support and encouragement. It was my honor to serve as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for the past 35 years. It was really an exciting adventure and brought unexpected meaning to a boy from the prairies of Canada."
QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS, MUSIC DIRECTOR, BSO: "Malcolm Lowe’s 35-year career as Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster represents an extraordinary dedication and commitment to excellence at the highest level of music-making. Malcolm has inspired generations of music lovers with his exquisite musicality and beauty of sound, alongside his unerring consistency of performance time and again at the highest levels of his art form. As only the third BSO concertmaster in nearly a century, Malcolm leaves a legacy of musical excellence and leadership that will live on among the singular accomplishments that have contributed to the BSO’s storied history and its reputation as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. We are deeply indebted and grateful to Malcolm for sharing his countless musical gifts with us these many years. We wish him the very best as he moves into a beautiful new chapter of his life, while remaining one of the most treasured members of the BSO family."