Katharine Durran has developed highly acclaimed parallel careers as solo pianist, exponent of new music, chamber musician and song accompanist. She gave her first concerto performance in Edinburgh at the age of 11. After reading Music at Cambridge she studied at the Royal College of Music under Kendall Taylor and Geoffrey Parsons. More recent studies have been with Joyce Rathbone in London.
She was pianist of the award-winning ensemble Tapestry, with whom she toured extensively, and her other groups include the Giovanni Ensemble and Onyx. Last season included performing the Schumann Quintet on tour with Fourth Dimension and accompanying song recitals at London’s South Bank Centre and Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall.
Recent projects include performing late Beethoven alongside J.S.Bach’s Goldberg Variations, commissioning new settings of the poetry of Friedrich Rückert, New French Song involving twenty leading British composers, the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Sebastian Comberti and next year she will be presenting the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas in cycles of concerts in Scotland. She has recently completed a major tour of Scotland with violinist Madeleine Mitchell and given several trio concerts with former BBC Young Musicians violinist Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne and horn player David Pyatt.
She has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3 and television, performing live as well as discussing the role of the piano accompanist in today’s musical society. As a writer she has featured in three recent PianoMagazine symposiums, discussing J.S.Bach, British piano music and issues relating to women pianists of today.
Her discography for Metier reflects the enormous breadth of her skill and versatility; the complete Toccatas of J.S.Bach, Peripheral Visions and New French Song with soprano Alison Smart and The Nursery with soprano Sandra Lissenden.
“Her strong personality was evident…an absolute conviction in the music” (Times Educational Supplement)
“…virtuosity and unparalleled musicianship…a tour de force of a recital…”(The Herald)
” ‘The multi-talented pianist, Katharine Durran…unswerving control and finesse…lovely expressive pianism” (The Scotsman)
Smart and Durran in concert: New French Song premiere at the Purcell Room July 2004: “excellent musicians with a strong mutual rapport” (Independent)
“powerful sense of atmosphere” (Independent)
“Alison Smart … elicited a really impressive range of colours and contours, comfortably handling the stylistic changes between songs…With a remarkable sensitivity and wide pallet of colours, Katharine Durran’s playing was a musical lesson in Art history.” (Musical Opinion)