Head of Strings
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Louise Lansdown was appointed Head of Strings at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2012, after holding the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 2001-2012. Louise has past viola students working in orchestras, chamber music groups and in teaching positions across the world. She actively conducts recruitment for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire across the world and has recently made trips to China, Poland, Germany, South Africa, amongst several other countries. Louise is the founder and director of a major Outreach and Education Project called ARCO, which enables RBC students to teach online via video conferencing software to students at the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music, Soweto, South Africa. The project was launched in July 2015. She also collaborates with the South African National Youth Orchestra running “What it Takes” viola courses for young talented players across the country.
She has been involved with Pro Corda, the International Chamber Music Academy at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, since 1999, having Directed the Junior (2009), Intermediate (2005-2008), Senior (2008-2012) and North Courses (2008-2012). Louise was appointed Director of Chamber Music at Pro Corda in 2008 and her role has recently changed to Assistant Artistic Director of Pro Corda and Director of the Conservatoire Chamber Music and Viola Courses. She has also initiated three further Conservatoire Instrumental Courses to be held at Pro Corda in collaboration with Birmingham Conservatoire for Violin, Cello and Double Bass, all starting in 2014.
Louise is the founder and President of the English Viola Society (now British Viola Society since 2012), started in September 2007, and was appointed Secretary of the International Viola Society in 2010. Louise has attended international viola congresses across the world and performed and delivered papers at congresses in Adelaide (2007), Arizona (2008), South Africa (2009), Wurzburg (2011), Rochester (2012), Krakow (2013) and Porto (2014). Louise was also a member of the jury for the Fifth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2007 and International Beethoven Viola Competition held in Hradec, Czech Republic in 2012. Louise is currently the Secretary of the International Viola Society and was nominated for the Council of the European Strings Teachers Association in 2015. She was invited to perform and give master classes at the first International Viola Workshop at Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing in October 2015 and the Guangdong Viola Society Festival in July 2016.
Louise was awarded a PhD from the University of Manchester in 2008 with the title: ‘The Young Paul Hindemith: Life, Works, Relationships, Influences and Musical Activities until 1922.‘ Louise’s journey with Hindemith has now lasted many years, with visits to the Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt since 2003 and reveling in a lifelong Hindemith pilgrimage following the composer’s footsteps across the globe – this has involved research trips, recitals and master classes in Hanau, Mainz, Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany; Yale University and New York, USA; South Africa; Zurich and Blonay, Switzerland. Louise has been supported by many of her viola students and other Hindemith admirers in her journey throughout the years. Many fruitful collaborations, exchanges and opportunities have resulted from these projects.
Louise plays on a French instrument made around 1750, previously belonging to Eric Rycroft and Cecil Aronowitz (first Head of Strings at the RNCM). She is also the founder of the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition for 21 and under violists, a tri-annual event to be held at Birmingham Conservatoire launched in October 2014.
Louise has had several articles published on Cecil Aronowitz and Paul Hindemith in the International Viola Society, Journal of the American Viola Society (2014 and 2016), South Africa Viola Society, English Viola Society and Australia and New Zealand Viola Society Journals, as well as the STRAD magazine (2009, 2013 and 2016) and the Hindemith Year Book (2010).
Louise sits on the boards of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition, European Strings Teachers Association, Lake District Summer Music and the Quartet of Peace Trust.