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In Memoriam

Remembering Ann S. Bowers

January 25, 2024
Ann Bowers (center) with alumni of the CMS Two Program, now the Bowers Program

On January 24, 2024, chamber music lost one of the most consequential supporters in its history: Ann S. Bowers, who passed away after a long illness in her home in Palo Alto, CA, at the age of 86.

When we came to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as Artistic Directors in 2004, we had already realized that the CMS Two Program, founded by our predecessor David Shifrin, was integral to the health and growth of the organization. We soon began to regard the program as even more—as the very future of CMS. Through her devotion to talented young artists, Ann became involved in sponsoring an artist for the CMS Two Program in 2016. One of our dreams for the organization was to endow the Program with a gift of $5 million, to protect and sustain it permanently, and to be able to grace it with the name of a benefactor in perpetuity. After years of hope, Wu Han and Suzanne Davidson had breakfast with Ann Bowers at her condo in Aspen, on July 1, 2018, and asked if she would consider this gift. Wu Han returned from this breakfast with a look on her face I’d rarely seen. Ann had said yes. And so, the continuity of this vital program for the future of chamber was assured, and in the fall of 2018 The Bowers Program replaced the name of CMS Two, and is now known worldwide. 

To our young musicians, especially current members and alumni of CMS Two/Bowers and Music@Menlo’s CMI, we say this: your debt to her is incalculable. If you have come through these programs, there is hardly a teacher or mentor in your life who has done more for you. Additionally, you can feel immensely proud to have her name as part of your resume: Ann was not only a brilliant administrator and generous donor. She was a human being of enormous quality whom we were privileged to call a friend. She will be missed dearly, but thanks to her vision and courage, her name will now live forever on the programs she endowed.

David Finckel and Wu Han

A storied figure in Silicon Valley’s history, Ann S. Bowers served as the first Director of Personnel for Intel Corporation and the first Vice President of Human Resources for Apple Inc. She served as Chair of the Board and the founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation. In founding the Noyce Foundation in 1990, Ann and the Noyce family honored the memory and legacy of her late husband, Dr. Robert N. Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit, which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name.

As a high-level human resources executive at Intel and Apple, education activist, and philanthropist, Ann served as a consultant to Silicon Valley start-up companies and as a longtime board member at Bay Area nonprofit organizations.