THE conductor of the Scottish Orchestra, whose
performances form the staple feature of the musical season in Glasgow, is a son
of English parents, but was born at Kingston, Jamaica. 29th January, 1852. His
musical education was carried out in London under Sir Julius Benedict and Sir
John Goss, and at the Conservatories of Leipzig and Berlin. From 1871 to 1877 he
was accompanist at Her Majesty's Opera. In 1880 he was conductor of the Covent
Garden Promenade Concerts. From 1888 to 1892 he conducted the Philharmonic
Concerts, and was re-elected their conductor in 1900. He was conductor of the
concerts at Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in 1888-9; and he succeeded the late
Sir Charles Hallé as conductor of the Manchester, Liverpool Philharmonic,
Bradford, and other concerts, in 1896; while his appointment to the Scottish
Orchestra dates from 1900. He is also conductor of the Handel Festival at the
Crystal Palace, and the Cardiff Festival. In November of the same year Cambridge
University conferred upon him the honorary degree of MUS. DOC.
Dr. Cowen has published over 300 pianoforte pieces, songs, duets, etc., and among his many more notable works have been the "Scandinavian Symphony" in 1880, the "Sleeping Beauty" cantata in 1885, the oratorio of "Ruth" in 1887, the opera "Harold" in 1895, and the Coronation Ode of 1902. In his summer leisure he is an enthusiastic oarsman, cyclist, and mountain-climber.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)