Kate Whitley (b. 1989) is a 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Special Award Winner and received a 2013 Sky Academy Futures Fund Bursary for her work to widen access to classical music: “a generation tainted by nothing except enthusiasm, daring, virtuosity and idealism is blazing onto the scene. Kate Whitley is typical of this bold new breed” (The Times, 2011).
She was 2013-4 Music Fellow at Rambert Dance Company and 2015 New Music Programmer at Kettles Yard Art Gallery. Her 2014 piece Alive for children’s choir and orchestra won a 2015 British Composer Award and was described as “a remarkable feat, with a genuine emotional gravity” (The Telegraph, 2015).
Upcoming commissions include Flight with choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon for Rambert Dance Company and an opera about two children who get trapped in a zoo overnight for Blackheath Children’s Opera with playwright Sabrina Mahfouz. Her music has been performed across the UK and Europe and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Alive is a setting of a poem by Holly McNish which is about the joy of experiencing the world. The poet imagines experiences that are impossible - like soaking up the sky in your eyes, or tasting the wind on your cheeks - and celebrates the beauty of the world by wishing you could be part of it even more. Each verse ends with the words ’I’m still dreaming, still bursting with pride’: which means dreaming of experiencing the world, and bursting with the pride of being alive. The music sets three verses into three distinct songs with contrasting musical ideas, following the poet on her journey through the world through different musical pictures and colours.
Alive is for children’s choir and orchestra and was commissioned by Multi-story. It was premiered on 20th June 2014 at Peckham car park by the Multi-Story Orchestra, Southwark Youth Orchestra, Lewisham Schools Sinfonia and Peckham Chamber Orchestra
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