Douglas Lowry, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus of the Eastman School of Music, passed away this morning at the age of 62. Lowry had recently stepped down as Dean of the School for health reasons, after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011.
Lowry was appointed the sixth Eastman School dean in 2007. He was renowned composer and conductor as well as an academic leader who acutely aware of the changing landscape of the music world. From the very beginning of his tenure, his vision was to lead the all aspects of the Eastman School into the future.
Lowry founded the Center for Music Innovation and Engagement as an incubator for new forms of music presentation. He led the largest architectural transformation in the Eastman School's history, with the renovation of the Eastman Theatre and the construction of Hatch Recital Hall. He also wrote the music for the opening of Kodak Hall.
Last week, the University of Rochester announced that Lowry would be stepping down as dean of the Eastman School for health reasons. Lowry was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree, and named the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus. At the ceremony, Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi said that Lowry leaves the school with a great legacy. He called Lowry “an inspirational dean, a nationally respected leader in music education, and an accomplished composer who was committed to creating beautiful music."
Before coming to the Eastman School, Lowry was dean of Music at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he founded several new initiatives to engage communities in the arts. He was also the host of a local public radio program called “Around Cincinnati.”
A memorial service is being planned.