Lowden Guitars Honored with Prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise
NAMM Member, Lowden Guitars of Northern Ireland, has been awarded one of the United Kingdom’s top awards, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The award was bestowed on the company in honor of 45 rewarding years of service to the music industry, in celebration of founder and luthier George Lowden’s catalog of work, and to recognize the successful launch of the Sheeran by Lowden brand in 2019. Sheeran by Lowden is a collaboration with internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, and debuted at The 2019 NAMM Show.
Priding his work on superior craftmanship and quality, Lowden built his first guitar in 1974, reminiscing on his career, stating, “I learned everything the hard way, I had no one to teach me how to avoid the obvious pitfalls. I tried new shapes, bracing designs, and many other ideas and gradually emerged from the ‘hard school’ of self-taught guitar making.” Crafting hand-built guitars, Lowden’s team constructs their instruments utilizing Japanese chisels, planes, knives, and spokeshaves from an “uncompromising selection of tonewoods.” As the brand developed, it has been endorsed by greats such as Paul Brady, Jon Gomm, Pierre Bensusan, Alex De Grassi, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran, and Eric Clapton.
Using the power of The NAMM Show, Lowden and his team decided to announce the launch of the 2019 Sheeran by Lowden brand, a collaboration between Lowden Guitars and Ed Sheeran that arose naturally from a friendship between Sheeran and Lowden. In a release from the 2019 launch, Lowden said, “We have been honored over the past years that Ed has chosen to play Lowden guitars both on-stage and in the studio. We are delighted to have established a close ongoing relationship which has borne fruit recently through the birth of Sheeran by Lowden.” Lowden and Sheeran delighted NAMM attendees by staging a surprise press conference from Lowden’s booth at the 2019 NAMM Show to properly launch the line.
The Queen’s Award for Innovation is in its 54th year and is considered the most prestigious business awards in the UK, as only 7,000 companies have received the accolade that celebrates the “success of exciting and innovating businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programs, or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.” Of their recognition, Lowden commented, “It has been a milestone moment for Lowden Guitars to be included by the Prime Minister and Her Majesty the Queen on the list of businesses in this year’s Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.” After multiple rounds of judging and having the personal approval from the British Prime Minister and Her Majesty the Queen, Lowden learned of their honor in March with a formal announcement taking place in late April. The team is scheduled to celebrate the award during a royal reception this summer at Buckingham Palace with the royal family.