Boston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster receives honorary degree

Posted: October 17, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Malcolm Lowe has served as Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1984.
Malcolm Lowe has served as Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1984. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Lowe

The University of Regina presented Malcolm Lowe, the Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a former student at the University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, with an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (honoris causa) at its annual Fall Convocation ceremony on October 17.

Lowe was born into a musical family in 1953 in Hamiota, Manitoba, and spent his early years on the family farm nearby. He began taking violin lessons from his father, Elman, before he was three. His mother Donna was a vocalist and pianist who served as the young Lowe’s accompanist for many years.

He moved with the family to Regina at age nine, when his father was hired to teach at the Conservatory of Performing Arts. Lowe took lessons at the Conservatory from Dr. Howard Leyton-Brown for nine years, when he moved to study under a series of influential teachers at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and, during the summers, at Meadowmount School in nearby New York State.

He served as Concertmaster of the Regina Symphony Orchestra in 1975-76, and of the Quebec Symphony from 1977-83. After a season as Concertmaster of the Worcester (Massachusetts) Symphony Lowe successfully auditioned for the prestigious post of Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he has served since 1984.

Lowe’s sister Heather is a teacher and cellist with the Regina Symphony, while his brother Cameron is a cellist and teacher, and another brother Darren is Concertmaster with the Quebec Symphony. Lowe and his wife Colleen have one son, Brenden, a jazz pianist based in California.

Honorary degrees are the highest honour the University can bestow. Previous recipients of University of Regina honorary degrees include Canadian songstress k.d. lang; former Saskatchewan premiers Tommy Douglas, Allan Blakeney, and Roy Romanow; former Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governors Sylvia Fedoruk and Lynda Haverstock; hockey great Gordie Howe; The Princess Royal, Princess Anne; and dozens of outstanding researchers, writers, artists, philanthropists, humanitarians and leaders.