Iona Brown

British conductor and violinist Elizabeth Iona Brown was born in Salisbury on 7 January 1941 into a family of professional musicians, and she and her brothers and sister all became professional musicians. After studies at Salisbury Cathedral School and Cranborne Chase, she played in the National Youth Orchestra and studied with Hugh Maguire, Remy Principe, Carlo van Neste and Henryk Szeryng.

Before joining Neville Marriner's Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 1964, she played in the orchestra for Ballet Rambert and in the Philharmonia Orchestra under Klemperer. She was also a member of the Cremona Quartet.

Her 1972 Decca recording of Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending with Marriner became one of the best known accounts of the work, and her many other recordings include David Blake's Violin Concerto, written for and dedicated to her.

She became Musical Director of the Academy in 1974, of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in 1981, guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and Music Director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 1987. She also conducted the Bournemouth Symphony, Danish Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St Louis Symphony, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic, and appeared with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms in London in 1991 and 1994.

In 1986, for her services to music, she was appointed an OBE by Queen Elizabeth of England, and in 1991 King Harald of Norway made her a Knight of First Class Merit.

Iona Brown died from cancer on 5 June 2004, aged sixty three.


A selection of articles about Iona Brown

Planning your collection - Bartok and Janacek -