Iris Lemare was born on 27 September 1902 and was the only daughter of Edwin Lemare, a distinguished organist, and Elsie Reith, a relative of John Reith, the founder of the BBC. After studying at the Royal College of Music between 1925 and 1929, in 1931 she co-founded the Macnaghten-Lemare concerts where she conducted first performances of works by emerging British composers including Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett and Alan Rawsthorne. From 1935 to 1939 she conducted an opera company at Pollards, the Essex home of the Howard family, and in 1936 and 1937 she was invited by Sir Adrian Boult to be the first woman guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. From 1970 to 1984 she conducted Opera Nova and until the age of 80 she was active as a musical adjudicator and examiner. She died in 1997.
Reference: letter from depositor and newspaper obituary in deposit file.