LONDON (AP) ó Violinist and conductor Iona Brown, who was a director of the prestigious Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields in London and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, has died, her family said. She was 63.
Iona Brown Brown died at home in her home town of Salisbury, southern England, on Saturday, according to a death notice published Wednesday in The Daily Telegraph. She had cancer.
The daughter of musicians, Brown was one of four musical siblings: her brother Timothy is principal horn player with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; another brother, Ian, is a pianist, and her sister Sally plays viola with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Brown joined the Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields in 1964, working her way up through the ranks to become a soloist in 1974. In 1981, she was appointed artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, and, six years later, was given a similar role at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. From 1985ñ89 she was guest director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Rheumatoid arthritis in her wrists caused her to start conducting and she led concerts with a number of orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Danish Philharmonic and Tokyo Philharmonic.
Brown performed many times at the London Promenade Concerts and made a number of recordings with the academy. She also recorded David Blake's Violin Concerto, which he wrote for and dedicated to her.
"Iona personified the essence of the Academy's style of music-making," conductor Sir Neville Marriner wrote in a tribute published in The Guardian newspaper Thursday. "As a violinist she embraced the Romantic movement with warmth and passion, and in the early Classical repertoire she displayed a fastidious elegance that observed the performing conventions of the 18th century without letting the music dry out."
Brown is survived by her second husband, Bjorn Arnils. The funeral will be held June 15 at Holy Trinity Church in Salisbury.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.