Iona Brown

About Iona Brown

Brown was never the kind of violinist to fill large concert halls with dazzling virtuoso performances, yet her influence on musical life in Britain and beyond has been considerable. Brown is probably the violinist most responsible for the now huge popularity of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending (1914). As an orchestral violinist, soloist, and later music director, she preferred to work with smaller orchestras, most notably the Academy of St-Martin in the Fields, which had been brought to a peak of excellence by its founder, Neville Marriner. Born in 1941 in Salisbury, Brown joined the Academy in 1964, working her way up to directorship in 1974. In 1981 she went to Norway to become director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, where she received the Knight of First Class Order of Merit from King Olav V. Arthritis ended her solo career in 1998, but she continued to conduct. She died of cancer in 2004 in the city of her birth.

Salisbury, England
January 7, 1941
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