John McDowell (b.1935)

John McDowell was born in Armagh City, Northern Ireland, in 1935 and studied music at the Queen’s University of Belfast where his tutors included Raymond Warren for composition – though as a composer he is mainly self-taught.  He was Head of Music at Stranmillis University College, Belfast, for seventeen years.  Here John founded and directed the Stranmillis Singers and Stranmillis Operatic Society.  He has broadcast regularly as pianist and conductor, and continues to teach piano. 

John’s compositions include a symphony, chamber music, many choral pieces (both religious and secular), songs and works for piano.  He has arranged works for various voices and instruments, including voice and recorders.  John has had a number of compositions published and performed, both here in Britain and America, and been awarded prizes for composition, including  a Gold Medal at the Dublin Music Festival (Feis Coel).

In addition to his musical activities, John has many other interests, including Art, Literature, Modern Languages and Antiques.  He possesses a remarkable collection of Staffordshire Portrait Figures.

John has lived in Belfast now for many years.