Illustration by Silvia Stetcher for Breathe Magazine
Kathryn Williams is a versatile flute soloist, orchestral player, and researcher. Her work focuses on making tangible connections between instrument and body, interrogating ideas around accessibility and physical limitation. Her project, Coming Up for Air, centres around creatively overcoming her experiences of chronic respiratory conditions through commissioning over 100 pieces limited to a single breath. Described as "ingeniously inventive" (TEMPO), Coming Up for Air has been performed around the world, featured in Breathe Magazine, Pan Journal, TEMPO, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Listening Service and PBS Melbourne. An album of 40 "strangely fascinating" (BBC Music Magazine) single-breath pieces was released in 2019 on Huddersfield Contemporary Records and distributed by NMC.
Kathryn appears on several recently-released recordings on Another Timbre (Tim Parkinson 'an album', Alison Cameron 'Somatic Refrain', and John Cage 'Hymkus') and a multi-track binaural recording of Aldo Clementi’s Ouverture for 12 flutes on All That Dust ("Remarkable crystalline clarity, accentuated by Williams’ focused and pure flute tone" in TEMPO). She has also recorded for Huddersfield Contemporary Records, NMC, Naxos, and RVNG International. She is a member of contemporary music ensemble House of Bedlam and has performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, The Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kathryn is an experienced educationalist, having worked with composers and performers within Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Dartington Summer School, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Chetham’s School of Music, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and Junior Royal Northern College of Music. She has given guest lectures at Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Universities of Cambridge, Huddersfield, Leeds, and York. As part of six years on the Live Music Now! scheme, she served as a Musician in Residence at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, bringing therapeutic musical experiences to young patients and their families.
Kathryn earned a BMus, MMus, and International Artist Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. She balances her performance career with a part-time role as a Research and Policy Officer in EDI for the Independent Society of Musicians.