Rowan graduated B.Mus in violin with honours from the ANU School of Music and also studied at the Eastman School of Music, New York. She studied choral conducting with Michael McCarthy at the Canberra School of Music and orchestral conducting with Donald Hunsberger at the Eastman School of Music.
She is Principal First Violin with the Canberra Symphony
Orchestra and has had extensive orchestral experience with the Eastman Virtuosi in New York, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, was Associate Concertmaster for Phantom of the Opera Sydney (1993-95) as well as many freelance recording and orchestral gigs in Sydney and Canberra. Her violin students
have successfully gained places at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne University and most recently her student Hee-Jin Park won the National Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition in Brisbane in 2015.
In 2012 Rowan also became Chief Conductor of Canberra Youth Orchestra and Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Music. Canberra Youth Orchestra performed William Walton’s Henry V Suite and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite No 2 in collaboration with Canberra Dance Development Centre to rave reviews, and in September 2012 performed Carl Vine’s Symphony No 2 and the Australian premiere of Kevin Puts’ piano concerto Night featuring Bernadette Harvey. With Sydney Youth Orchestra Rowan conducted John Antill's Corroboree for the Arts in the Valley Festival in Kangaroo Valley as well as performances in Sydney and in Canberra in 2012.
She has also performed with CYO Holst The Planets Suite, Sibelius Symphony No. 1, Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Beethoven Symphony No. 4, Stravinsky Firebird Suite, Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, Elgar Cello Concerto, Smetana Die Moldau, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2, Corigliano The Red Violin Suite, Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Vaughan-Williams Symphony No. 2, Reger Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart. In October 2014 Rowan conducted Larry Sitsky's Concerto for Orchestra and Nigel Westlake's Antarctica Suite for Guitar and orchestra for Larry Sitsky's 80th Birthday Concert presented by
Canberra Youth Orchestra in association with the ANU School of Music. This was voted in the top 5 performances for 2014 along with Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. toured to Brisbane in December with Canberra Youth Orchestra for the National Festival of Australian Youth Orchestras. In Sydney, Rowan has worked with Sonic Art Ensemble (formerly The Seymour Group) and regularly performs in the Freshwater Chamber Music Festival in Sydney at which she conducted Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for the Conservatorium High School Alumni in 2009. Rowan also regularly conducts the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney as well as Bishop Orchestra for South Australian Music Camp.
In 2007–09 Rowan took part in Symphony Australia’s Conducting Development Program with Christopher Seaman, conducting the State Orchestra of Victoria, the Queensland Orchestra, Adelaide, Tasmania and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Also in 2007 she was assistant to Nicholas Milton with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 Rowan conducted The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in their ‘Tea and Symphony’ series.
In 2009 Rowan was awarded the Stuart and Norma Leslie Churchill Fellowship to study conducting in Graz, Austria and in the United States. While in Rochester she assisted Maestro Christopher Seaman with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and studied opera and orchestral conducting with Johannes Fritsch at the Graz Opera in Austria.
Rowan is currently Musical Director of The Llewellyn Choir and The Llewellyn Sinfonia. With The Llewellyn Choir she has conducted Mozart’s Requiem in D minor; John Rutter’s Requiem; Haydn’s Nelson Mass; Bach’s St John Passion and St Matthew Passion; Handel’s Messiah; Brahms’s A German Requiem, Liebeslieder Walzer, Warum and Nänie; Berlioz’ Te Deum; Rutland Boughton’s Bethlehem;
Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610; Cherubini's Requiem in C minor; Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces; Britten’s A Company of Heaven; and Finzi’s Magnificat, Poulenc's Gloria and Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio and in 2015 performed Jenkins' The Armed Man with the Llewellyn Choir and Les Alizes Choir from Noumea.
In 2014 Rowan conducted two Australian premieres for the World Harp Congress in Sydney in June. These were Bernard Andrés Le Barde Muet with soloist Alisa Sadikova (Russia)and Sally Beamish: Seavaigers with soloists Catriona McKay, Celtic harp and Christopher Stout, fiddle (UK) and the Australian Metropolitan Musicians. In 2016 Rowan conducted Mendelssohn's Elijah with The Llewellyn Choir and Llewellyn Sinfonia with internationally renowned soloists Douglas Macnicol (South Australian Opera), Michael Martin ( guest artist Opera Australia), Christina Wilson and Rebecca Collins.
With the National Capital Orchestra Rowan has conducted Elgar's In the South Overture and the Elgar Cello Concerto with soloist David Pereira and Vaughan-Williams Symphony No. 3 'The Pastoral', de Falla' s The Three Cornered Hat Suite and Ravel's Capriccio Espagnole and the Rodrigo Concierto Andaluz for 4 guitars with the New Zealand Guitar Quartet.
Rowan is delighted to be joining ACTAM to teach advanced violin and conducting. She has also taken up a full time position as Head of Strings and Canberra Girls Grammar, a job which encompasses not only the Orchestral String Program but also conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and the senior choirs.
This year Rowan is launching her new project, The Blue Planet Orchestra which is a group devoted to presenting new works with proceeds going to specific environmental causes. Rowan is working closely with her brother, Michael Kieran Harvey on this project and it will be launched at a Climate Council Concert on September 2. The Llewellyn Sinfonia will also be launching itself as a stand alone
ensemble in the Llewellyn Choir's Christmas Concert on December 17 this year.
Lessons with Rowan
Individual violin or conducting lessons with Rowan are held at ACTAM Studios. Limited places for advanced violin and conducting students.
Contact us for availability and fee information.