Kate Read

Kate’s first solo album is due for release on the Leaf Music record label in November 2022. Containing a mix of works for viola and electronics, (including 2 new commissions by Andrew Staniland and Benton Roark), collaborative improvisation with sound engineer and creator, Michelle LaCour, and solo Baroque repertoire, it brings a new facet of Kate’s creative work into the spotlight. In the past few years Kate has been working with pedals, looping and diffusion, collaborating with improvisors in the new music scene in St John’s.

Based in St John’s, Kate’s diverse talents can be heard at festivals such as Sound Symposium and Tuckamore, performing with the Atlantic String Quartet (winners of MusicNL Classical Musicians of the year, 2021) and as principal violist in the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. In demand as a session musician Kate is also the violist of Dark by Five, resident ensemble at Gros Morne Summer Music and the Harbourlight Piano Quartet. Kate is also principal viola with Opera on the Avalon and collaborates with many musicians around town including Duo ConcertanteVernon Regher, Duane AndrewsBenton Roark and Tiber Reardon. Favourite memories of Sound Symposium include playing the ice breaker on the coast guard ship for the Harbour Symphony and an improv session with John Wyre, Bill Brennan and Paul Bendzsa.

In 2005 Kate won a position with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London, England, where she was a member of the viola section for 6 years. Kate also played regularly with the world renowned Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as the Philharmonia and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 the draw of chamber music combined with the lure of astonishing natural surroundings led Kate to the north of Norway to play with chamber group MiNensemblet, with whom Kate performed throughout Norway as well as touring internationally.

Kate has been recorded by CBC radio for Two New Hours and Musicraft. She appears on numerous recordings with orchestras in the UK  for top record labels, and the BBC. In high demand as a session musician, Kate has performed for the sound track for Audience of Chairs (2018), Duane Andrews’ Heart of the Eastern Passage (2020), re:Naissance Opera’s The Apocrypha Chronicles (2020) and Alan Klaus’ upcoming trumpet CD (2022). The Atlantic String Quartet released their award winning CD in July, 2020.

Kate is a committed educator and mentor and has been Sessional Professor of Viola at Memorial University of Newfoundland since 2015. The Atlantic String Quartet, responsible for a large part of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s educational programming, also performs and conducts workshops in public schools, seniors homes and other community settings, including a sensory friendly concert series.

Whilst in Norway, Kate devised a school concert production titled Folk Collected Classically which she toured with the Elgin String Trio to numerous schools in Nordland County.

Kate currently runs a private studio in St. John’s, working with students of all ages and levels.

Kate completed her Bachelor of Music Degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in performance at the Royal College of Music in London, UK. She went on to participate in masterclasses and long term residencies at the Banff Centre, Canada, where she played for Karen TuttleDavid Takeno and Thomas Brandis to name a few.