Kathryn Whitney is a singer, choral director, teacher, and researcher based on Vancouver Island on the West Coast of Canada. She is founder and Artistic & Music Director of SING THE NORTH – The Canadian Virtual Choir and the One World Baroque Virtual Orchestra & Chorus, which she runs with Music Director Daniel Taylor. Kathryn is founder and Artistic Director of the Pacific Song Collective, and founder and Co-Director (with Verica Grmusa) of the SongArt Performance Research Group in London, England.
In 2010, Kathryn joined the Institute of Musical Research (IMR), an arm of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, where she was an Associate Fellow in performance for five years. In 2012, she was a Visiting Fellow in performance at the AHRC Centre for Music Performance as Creative Practice at King’s College, London. She was artist in residence at Oxford University (Wolfson Creative Arts Fellow, 2002-2005) and at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (Walton Fellow, 2009-2011). Prior to beginning work as a performer, Kathryn taught music history and aesthetics as a college lecturer at the University of Oxford for 12 years, with concurrent teaching at Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music.
Kathryn is an all-round musician with a special love of choral singing, early music, contemporary vocal music, song for voice and piano, and amateur music-making. Performances include concerts with Dame Emma Kirkby, John Eliot Gardiner, Stephen Darlington, New Chamber Opera, Christian Curnyn, the Victoria Baroque Players, the Victoria Choral Society, the Oxford Sinfonietta, Opera Anywhere, the Budapest Chamber Opera, and the Munich Bach Choir. She has given recitals for the Oxford Lieder Festival, the Rolston Recital Hall, the Regina Musical Club, the Walton series at La Mortella, Ischia, and at St John’s Smith Square, London.
Her performance, touring, and research work has received support from the BC Arts Council, BC Touring Council, Organisation of Saskatchewan Arts Councils, Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Council of England, the British Overseas Research Council, Oxford University, and the Worshipful Company of Drapers’ of London. A champion of new music, she has sung the world or national première of more than 50 songs in the UK and Canada, the majority written for her voice. Composers who have written for Kathryn include John Caldwell, Susan Wollenberg, Lorna Paterson, David L. McIntyre, and John McCabe.
A clinician for the British Columbia Choral Federation, Kathryn is a long-time associate of the Victoria Conservatory of Music,, where she has Artistic Directed the Summer Baroque Choral Academy, the Summer Baroque Soloists Program, and the annual Art Song Projects for the past decade. She is also Co-Artistic Director (with Brian Wismath) of the biennial Summer Academy Choral Program.
Trained initially at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Kathryn studied academic music at the University of Toronto (BA) and Oxford University (MPhil and DPhil in music aesthetics), and singing performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (PGDip Performance), where her teachers were Susan McCulloch and Dame Emma Kirkby.
Above all, Kathryn loves collaborating, whether it be with students, ensembles, composers, teachers, choristers, or other singers and music makers. If you would like to study or work with Kathryn, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. She hopes to see you on a future project, and wishes you well in your music-making.