Kathryn Williams is a "strangely fascinating" (BBC Music Magazine) flautist and composer whose work focuses upon transgressing real or imagined limits of physical and musical abilities through a series of collaborative performance projects. Currently, Kathryn’s work is centred around breathing and finding ways of overcoming asthma to more powerfully connect with her respiratory system. Her project Coming Up for Air commissions pieces limited to a single breath (one inhale and exhale) and contains over 100 works. A collection of 40 single-breath pieces is now available on Huddersfield Contemporary Records, in association with NMC.
Kathryn has been a featured soloist at Deep Minimalism 2.0 (Southbank Centre), Cafe OTO (London), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (Australia), Constellation (Chicago), nonclassical, and has performed at Aldeburgh Festival, Royaumont Abbey (France), LSO St. Luke’s, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and PBS Melbourne. A member of the contemporary music ensemble House of Bedlam, Kathryn has also performed with Distractfold Ensemble, Apartment House, Argonaut Ensemble, and Ensemble Voix Nouvelles. Kathryn has contributed to albums on Another Timbre (Ryoko Akama Dial 45-21-95 with Apartment House; Antoine Beuger Ockegham Octects; Federico Pozzer Breaths) and RVNG International (Oliver Coates Shelley’s on Zenn-La). She freelances with orchestras including Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, The Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and is currently on trial for Principal Piccolo with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kathryn served as a soloist on the Live Music Now! scheme for six years, regularly delivering vibrant and engaging workshops and performances in a variety of settings including hospital wards, care homes, schools, and prisons. A specialist in Early Years musical, theatrical, and therapeutic settings, Kathryn has worked for Peoplescape Theatre, Manchester Museum, Z-Arts, Martenscroft Nursery School, Music in Hospitals and Care, and has undertaken a two-year music residency at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. She recently worked with musicians from Drake Music Scotland to create a SEN film resource for BBC Ten Pieces Trailblazers.
Kathryn has taught composition for National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, creative practice for Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and given guest lectures for Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Universities of Cambridge, Huddersfield, and York. Kathryn holds a BMus, MMus, and International Artist Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music where teachers included Peter Lloyd, Wissam Boustany, Katherine Baker, Stephen Preston, Rowland Sutherland, and Karin de Fleyt.
Kathryn was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Huddersfield in January 2021, where her supervisors were Philip Thomas and Aaron Cassidy. Her thesis, The Visibility of Breathing: Flute Performance Practice, Collaborative Composition, Performance Art, and Resilience, can be downloaded here.