Kathryn Stott

At age 5, Kathryn Stott made friends with the upright piano in her living room. That was the beginning of her musical journey, one that continues to this day. Her initial progress was rapid, and by age 8, she found herself at a boarding school for young musicians, the Yehudi Menuhin School. During studies there, she was heavily influenced by two visitors: Nadia Boulanger and Vlado Perlemuter. From them, her passion for French music was ignited.

Further studies at the Royal College of Music in London led her into the life of a professional musician via the Leeds International Piano Competition. After a roller-coaster three years, Stott realized she needed to reconnect with chamber music to feel more connected to other musicians.

When by chance, she met Yo-Yo Ma in 1978, it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous moments of her life. Since 1985, they have enjoyed a collaboration that has taken them around the world and led to musical adventures with musicians who shared from their own traditions. Stott and Ma have always considered themselves to be intrepid musical explorers on their own individual paths but with an incredible bond that unites them on the creative highway.

Most recently, Stott was the artistic director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Her love of curating and directing began in 1995, and since then, she has brought to life many of her ideas in events lasting anything from long weekends to two weeks. She continues to push her capacity for exploring music and bringing together unusual combinations whenever possible.

Working with young musicians is something Stott feels passionate about; she  teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She also has enjoyed a close collaboration with composer Graham Fitkin.

Stott has observed: “What an unbelievable privilege it is to be immersed in a language which has no boundaries and has allowed me to share musical stories on a global scale; that little upright piano set me on quite a path!” Talking of paths, she also can be found trekking in Nepal, Costa Rica, Bhutan or walking her spaniel Archie on the Yorkshire moors. The journey continues.

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