Christopher LowryPrincipal Viola
A two-time prizewinner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Grand Prize winner in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition, winner of the Sousa/ABA/Ostwald Composition Award, and winner of Cuarteto Jose White’s “Nuestra America” Composition Award, Dr. Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and composers of his generation. Equally active as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, Lowry has appeared as soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Philharmonic, Louisiana Sinfonietta, Nashville Sinfonietta, Orquesta de Festival Internacional de Musica Naolinco, University of Maine Symphony Orchestra, Vanderbilt University Orchestra, Louisiana State University Symphony Orchestra, and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, among others. He recently led a consortium of 20 violists to commission the first major Mexican viola concerto by Eduardo Gamboa, which he will premiere in 2023 with the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de los Artes. Starting September 2022, Dr. Lowry joins the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as their new principal violist after serving three years as principal viola with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra and nearly a decade as principal viola for both the Baton Rouge and Acadiana Symphony Orchestras. He is currently the violist of Lagniappe Trio and the Constantinides String Quartet, with whom he will perform in Carnegie Hall in October 2022; formerly, he was the founding violist of the Ars Nova String Quartet and a frequent guest violist with the Mexico City-based Carlos Chavez String Quartet. Over the summers, Dr. Lowry serves on the faculty at the Festival Internacional de Música Naolinco in Mexico.
As a composer, Dr. Lowry has won prizes in an impressive number of composition contests, including the ATSSB Composition Competition, Hillcrest Wind Ensemble Composition Contest, Dallas Winds Fanfare Contest, The American Prize in Composition, Salford International Composers Contest, NAfME Composition Competition, and the Anton Stadler International Basset Clarinet Composition Competition, as well as Calls for Scores for the West Point Band Bicentennial, Cypress Symphonic Band, Brazosport Symphony, Joliet Symphony, and Ablaze Records Orchestral Masters Series, among others. His music has been performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago Symphony Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the Ryman Auditorium by ensembles such as the Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Baton Rouge Symphony, Rapides Symphony, West Point Band, Hillcrest Wind Ensemble, and Central Band of the Royal Air Force, among many others. In his “spare time,” Dr. Lowry is an in-demand session musician in Nashville as well as a freelance recording engineer. His self-engineered and -produced debut solo CD, Milestones: New Music for Viola from the Third Millennium, released April 2021 on Centaur Records; his work as a violist, composer, and recording/mixing engineer can also be heard throughout Reflections: The Music of Dinos Constantinides, Niloufar Iravani, and Christopher Lowry, which released on Centaur in May 2022.
Lowry holds both doctorate and masters degrees from Louisiana State University, where he studied viola with Elias Goldstein and composition with the late Dinos Constantinides, and a bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he studied viola with Kathryn Plummer and John Kochanowski and composition with Michael Alec Rose, Michael Slayton, Michael Kurek, and Stan Link.