Kent Stowell was Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of (PNB) from 1977 until his retirement in June 2005. Mr. Stowell began his training with Willem Christensen in the University Of Utah Dance Department and joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1957. He became a member of the New York City Ballet in 1962 and was promoted to soloist in 1963. Mr. Stowell was also Associate Professor Of Dance for one year at Indiana University and returned to the art in 1970, dancing and choreographing for the Bayerische Staatsoper Ballett in Munich. As a leading dancer with San Francisco Ballet, New York City Ballet, and the Bayerische Staatsoper Ballett, he performed in major cities in North America, Europe, South America, and the Middle East.
In 1973, Mr. Stowell was appointed Ballet Master of the Frankfurt Ballett and in 1975 was named Co-Artistic Director with his wife Francia Russell. In 1977 Mr. Stowell and Ms. Russell were appointed Artistic Directors of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Over the next 28 years, PNB grew from a fledgling group of students to become one of the top ballet companies in the country, touring and acclaimed nationally and internationally.
Mr. Stowell’s many contributions to the repertory of PNB include ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Carmina Burana’, ‘Firebird’, ‘The Tragedy Of Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Hail To The Conquering Hero’, ‘Quaternary’, ‘Carmen’, and ‘Silver Lining’ — a total of approximately 30 works.
In 2001, The University Of Utah honored Mr. Stowell with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his other honors and awards have been the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award, The Dance Magazine Award, and an Honorary Doctorate In Humane Letters from Seattle University. In 2004/2005 he received the ArtsFund Lifetime Achievement In The Arts Award, The Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award For Lifetime Achievement, and The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, and was recognized by the King County Council for his achievements in the arts. In June 2010, Mr. Stowell was named Honorary Doctor Of Arts by the University Of Washington.