Mezzo-soprano Kathryn Whitney premieres Canadian Music
Mezzo-soprano Kathryn Whitney was raised in Victoria and now divides her time between Canada and the United Kingdom. As a versatile musician whose work combines concert, recital and opera performance with a wide range of collaborative, research, educational and other projects, Kathryn’s clear, colourful lyric mezzo-soprano voice make her a dynamic performer.
In June and July, Kathryn is performing Stephen Chatman‘s cycle “You are Happy” and Lorna Paterson‘s “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” in Europe:
NEW BRUNSWICK PREMIERE: “You are Happy” (Chatman/Atwood)
Brunton Auditorium, Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick. 5 June 2011: pianist: David Rogosin
This was part of a concert titled “Coastal Voices” that paired the Chatman with the cycle “Shadows Blue” by New Brunswick composer Alasdair Maclean (commissioned by Debut Atlantic for Measha Brueggergosman in 2002).
BRITISH PREMIERE: “You are Happy” (Chatman/Atwood)
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, 16 June 2011: pianist Jeff Howard
ITALIAN PREMIERE: “You are Happy” (Chatman/Atwood)
Incontri musicali, La Giardini la Mortella, Island of Ischia. 25/26 June 2011. Pianist: Francesco di Gregorio
BRITISH PREMIERE: “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” (Dylan Thomas Songs, No. 3, Lorna Paterson/Dylan Thomas)
Abergavenny, Wales, 6 July 2011: Pianist: Oliver Barton.
In addition, Kathryn also gave the premieres of the song “Memory” (“You are Happy“, No. 1) (Chatman/Atwood) in May:
BRITISH/LONDON PREMIERE: “Memory” (Chatman/Atwood)
Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, London, 13 May 2011. Pianist: Sholto Kynoch
PORTUGUESE PREMIERE: “Memory” (Chatman/Atwood)
Sound Studio, University of Aveiro, Portugal, 21 May, 2011. Pianist: Helena Marinho
About Kathryn Whitney
Mezzo-soprano Kathryn Whitney was raised in Victoria and now divides her time between Canada
and the United Kingdom.
A versatile musician whose work combines concert, recital and opera performance with a wide
range of collaborative, research, educational and other projects, Kathryn’s performances have been
described as “meaty,” “atmospheric,” (Oxford Times), “powerful” (Times Colonist) and
“delightful” (High Notes). Her clear, colourful lyric mezzo-soprano voice, her “impressively wide
dynamic range” (Oxford Times), and her “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News), make
her a dynamic, crowd-pleasing performer, whose singing has been called “expert” (Melfort Journal)
“prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner).
The recipient of many scholarships and awards, Kathryn has been Artist in Residence at both the
University of Oxford (Wolfson Creative Arts Fellowship, 2002-2005) and the Royal Welsh College
of Music & Drama (Walton Fellowship, 2009-2011). Her touring, commissioning, and other
collaborative work have won support from national and international funding bodies in both the UK
and Canada, including the Arts Council of England, the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, the British
Performing Rights Society Foundation, the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council
for the Arts.
Kathryn has appeared as a soloist with many ensembles, including the Budapest Chamber Opera,
the Palm Court Light Orchestra, London Musici and the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, the
Guildhall Early Music Ensemble, the Civic Orchestra of Victoria, VoiceScapes and the Spiritus
Chamber Choir, the Linden Singers, the Nonesuch Orchestra London, the Oxford Company of
Musicians, the Oxford Sinfonietta, New Chamber Opera, and the Sooke Philharmonic. A regular
recitalist with a great passion for the song repertoire, she has appeared for many prominent series,
including the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Balliol Concerts, the Ralston Recital Hall, Banff, Christ
Church Cathedral Vancouver, ArtSpring, Salt Spring Island, the historic Regina Musical Club, and
she has sung repeat recital performances at London’s prestigious St John’s Smith Square.
A champion of new music, Kathryn regularly commissions new works, and she has performed over
40 world and national premières, the majority written for her voice. Composers who have written
for Kathryn include David L. McIntyre, Lorna Paterson, Susan Wollenberg, John Caldwell and
John McCabe, CBE.
Kathryn has held academic lectureships at Oxford, Cambridge, and the Royal Academy of Music.
She has also given masterclasses and lecture-recitals for many societies and institutions, including
Oxford, the Vancouver International Song Institute, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the
National Conservatoire of Wales, the University of London (UK) and the University of British
An active researcher, she is involved in a number of ongoing performance-led research projects.
Since 2010, she has held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute of Musical Research in the
School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she is the Director of the SongArt
Performance Research Group: www.songart.co.uk
Trained initially at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and University of Toronto (BA music and
German), Kathryn’s postgraduate studies at Oxford (MPhil and DPhil in music aesthetics) were
supported by scholarships from Lady Margaret Hall and Somerville College, Oxford, the Oxford
Faculty of Music (Halstead Scholar), and the British Overseas Research Council.
Her subsequent studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Postgraduate diploma in
singing performance) were supported by an Arts Award from the Worshipful Company of Drapers
of London and a Somerville Margaret Pollock Award.
Kathryn’s singing teachers have included Cornelius Reid (New York), Dame Emma Kirkby
(London) and Guildhall professor Susan McCulloch. She has also taken further repertoire study
under many musical luminaries, including Rudolf Jansen, Elly Ameling, Robin Bowman, Sir John
Eliot Gardiner, Tracey Dahl, Christina Mahler, and Stuart Hamilton.
Kathryn sang her London début recital at St John’s Smith Square in 2005. In 2008, she was named a
peer assessor for Canada’s highest national funding body, the Canada Council for the Arts.
Further information about Kathryn Whitney, please visit: www.kathrynwhitney.net