Timothy Rowe, who directed the Amadeus Concerts in Great Falls and lectured widely on the beauty of Mozart, was found dead Tuesday in the woods alongside a dirt road in Shenandoah County, the sheriff there said yesterday.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Rowe, 53, of Great Falls died from a self-inflicted stab wound, but the investigation is continuing, said Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter.

"We have no reason to believe there was any foul play," he said.

A passerby came upon Rowe's body about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday just off a remote dirt road in the western part of the county often traversed by hikers and campers, as well as locals traveling to West Virginia.

By yesterday afternoon, news of Rowe's death had begun to spread among his wide and varied circles of friends in McLean and Great Falls, where for years he conducted the Amadeus Orchestra and directed the Amadeus Concerts series.

"He was so very involved in the community," said Kate Rogers, a harpist whom Rowe hired as a soloist on occasion.

Rogers and others described Rowe as a sort of absent-minded professor, a person of broad intellect who would forget to sign checks, an exacting music scholar who would show up for performances without his tuxedo.

"He was an eclectic individual," said John Rapp of Great Falls, whose children took piano lessons from Rowe. "His philosophy on everything was: Whatever you're doing, just commit to excellence."

Rowe lectured widely, giving talks on Mozart and opera across the region. He was an adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University and a senior lecturer in music with the Smithsonian Institution. Over the years, he also gave talks in Europe.

Rowe's family could not be reached yesterday.

A manager at the Gilette Coffee House in Great Falls, where Rowe was "a 10 a.m. regular," said a memorial service was being planned.