Canadian violinist Katie Stillman’s career encompasses a wide variety of solo work, chamber music, orchestral performing and teaching.
She began her studies in London, Ontario, before joining the Young Artists’ Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Whilst still only fifteen years of age, Katie toured Mexico giving recitals in Mexico City, San Miguel, Cuernavaca and Monterrey. In 1998, aged sixteen, Katie won the prestigious Grand Prize at the Canadian Music Competition in Montreal. Already establishing herself as a highly successful young soloist with regular appearances both in Canada and the UK, she subsequently won Radio Canada’s Young Artists Performance Prize for the broadcast of her Toronto recital.
From an early age Katie began attending Pro Corda, a chamber music school situated in Leiston Abbey, Suffolk which provided chamber music training for talented young players during the school holidays. She was a founding member of the Barbirolli Quartet which was selected by the European Concert Halls Organisation as the UK Concert Halls’ nominated ‘Rising Stars’, leading to a tour of Europe’s major concert halls in thirteen cities. Other highlights included concerts at the Verbier, Aldeburgh and Aix-en-Provence festivals, Mananan International Festival, the Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival and Septembre Musical Montreux Festival. They released a CD of Britten, Bliss and Delius on the Nimbus Label in 2012.
Katie formed a duo with English pianist Simon Lane whilst studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and they celebrated their 10th Anniversary year in 2015. In their first competition together in 2005 they won the RNCM Helen Porthouse Paganini Prize with a performance of the Brahms G Major Sonata. In the spring of that year the duo were chosen for the Tillett Trust Young Artist Platform, leading to their Wigmore Hall debut where they “combined tenderness, wistful nostalgia and red-blooded passion in an interpretation of terrific distinction and compelling emotional force” according to the Daily Telegraph. This prize also provided many other concerts around the UK, both at music societies and concert halls such as St. George’s, Bristol and Croydon’s Fairfield Hall. The duo has won numerous other awards, including being selected for the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Maisie Lewis Award and the Park Lane Group Young Artists’ New Year Series at the Purcell Room.
In parallel with her chamber music work, Katie enjoys a busy orchestral career. She regularly guest leads and co-leads many of the UK orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata, as well as smaller chamber ensembles such as London Concertante and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG). She is co-leader of the Manchester Camerata and a member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, frequently touring with their musical director Joshua Bell and artists such as Murray Perahia.
Katie enjoys working with young people. She has given masterclasses and workshops for children in schools, some supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Katie is a faculty member at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, is the Upper String Tutor in Practical Pedagogy at the Royal Northern College of Music and performs regularly in concerts for children with Bach to Baby.
Highlights of this season include performances in Leeds, Manchester and Barrow-in-Furness of Bach’s Violin Concerto for two violins with Manchester Camerata, a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with London Concertante in Coventry Cathedral, directing a performance of Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings in the Roman River Festival, as well as leading Dvorak’s Quintet Op. 77 for string quintet. In the past year, they have included solo performances with Manchester Camerata and London Concertante, leading a performance of George Crumb’s quartet Black Angels with principal members of Manchester Camerata in the Royal Exchange Theatre, leading BCMG at Wigmore Hall live on BBC Radio, and being appointed External Examiner for Bristol University.