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.
I am, I say for children’s choir and orchestra
I am, I say is about the natural world around us and how we look after it. By personifying different elements of nature and trying to imagine how they are damaged by human impact on the world, it encourages us to reconsider our relationship with nature and to take joy from its existence. The three verses, ’The Sea’, ’The Tree’ and ’The Sky’, sandwich a middle section sung by two operatic soloists which imagines a world unaffected by human intervention.
It was premiered on 1 July 2015 at Peckham car park, London by the Multi-Story Orchestra conducted by Christopher Stark joined by John Donne, Kender, Lyndhurst, St John and St Clements, and Harris Primary Academy Primary Schools, and St Thomas The Apostle College and Harris Academy at Peckham. The soloists were Ashley Riches (bass) and Sarah Jane Lewis (soprano).
To view the performance click here