Violist, educator, researcher and philanthropist Louise Lansdown has in September 2023 started new roles at three UK institutions: Assistant Head of Strings (viola) at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Professor of viola and chamber music at the Yehudi Menuhin School (YMS) and Visiting Tutor in Viola at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC).
Prior to this, Louise was Head of Strings at RBC (2012-2023) after holding the position of Senior Lecturer at the RNCM (2001-2012). Louise is the founder and Artistic Director of the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival https://www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire/events-calendar/cecil-aronowitz-viola-competition , launched at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in October 2014 as well as the founder and President of the British Viola Society https://www.britishviolasociety.co.uk/
Louise is also the founder of The BIG Viola Project (2023). In September 2023 the project will be launched in five schools and hubs across the UK, with plans to expand exponentially. The project is being supported by the Royal Northern College of Music, Stringers of London and Edinburgh, Bishops Instruments Ltd and the British Viola Society.
Louise, along with her viola students is the founder of a major distance learning education project that the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire runs in collaboration with the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music in Soweto, South Africa called “ARCO”. The project was launched in July 2015 and was nominated for a guardian internationalization award in 2018 and a BASA22 Award in 2019 (Business and Arts South Africa). Louise Launched ARCO India in 2021, in collaboration with KM Music Conservatory, AR Rahman Foundation and the Sunshine Orchestra. stduents from http://www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire/about-us/arco
She is a trustee for the National Youth String Orchestra, Quartet of Peace, and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, and directs the Aronowitz Viola Course based at Blisland, Cornwall.
She plays on a French Viola c.1750 and 1890 Sartory bow, both previously belonging to the South African violist Cecil Aronowitz. She has recently also acquired a 2018 Antoine Gourdon viola. Louise plays mostly chamber music and solo concerts, collaborating with violists and other musicians across the world. She commissions new music for the viola and concocts hair brain schemes to perform music by Paul Hindemith and much unknown viola music, bringing the viola to many unsuspecting and innocent people. She is a member of the South African “Ubuntu Ensemble” and Principal Violist of the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra. Louise will soon be recording on Meridian Records unpublished, unknown music for viola by South African composers.
Louise hails from Cape Town where she studied with the late Prof Jack De Wet and Eric Rycroft at the University of Stellenbosch. She was awarded an ABRSM Overseas Scholarship for postgraduate study at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1998. Louise was awarded a PhD from the University of Manchester in 2008 on the early music of Paul Hindemith. She has published many articles in academic journals, music magazines, books and other publications over the years, and finally Louise’s dream to write a book on Hindemith and his music for the viola has come true. Schott will be publishing her book “Hindemith and the Viola”. Watch this space!