Joe Cowie

Award: Postgraduate Award

Year: 2018

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Double bass

Location: Royal Academy of Music

As an orchestral musician, Joe has played with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In autumn 2018, Joe was invited as Guest Principal Bass with Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen on a tour of Belgium and Germany and for 2018-19 he is a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyle Future Firsts development programme. He has also played with the Britten-Pears Orchestra, the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra and the Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists.


Joe’s musical journey began as a member of the Essex Youth Orchestras. He joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2013, becoming principal bass in 2015. From 2014 to 2017, Joe studied at Clare College, Cambridge, where he gained a double first in Music. Whilst at Cambridge, he was principal double bassist and – for a time – president of the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra. From 2011 to 2017 he studied the double bass with Tony Hougham. He now studies with Graham Mitchell, Dominic Seldis, and Tom Goodman at the Royal Academy of Music, where he holds the Allan Terence Peter Scott Scholarship.


Joe’s postgraduate studies have been generously supported by Help Musicians UK, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust, the Lady Clare Fund, the Emanuel Hurwitz Chamber Music Charitable Trust, and the Tom Acton Memorial Trust. In July 2018, Joe returned to his hometown of Colchester to perform Bottesini’s Concerto No. 2 with the St. Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra for the Hervey Benham Charitable Trust. He has also given solo recitals in many of the Cambridge colleges.


Joe takes a keen interest in historical performance and has performed with the Cambridge University Collegium Musicum and for the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation’s Bach Cantata Series. He studies historical bass with Chi-chi Nwanoku and has played the six-string 8’ Violone in a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 with the Academy Baroque Orchestra and Laurence Cummings.