Katharine May Harpsichord and continuo

Biography

Once described by a critic of the Times as `the evening`s feisty and urbane harpsichordist`, Katharine May enjoys a varied career as a performer, teacher, baroque chamber music coach, and since 1996 has written for Early Music Today, Music Teacher and the British Clavichord Society. As a soloist and experienced continuo player, she has performed widely for music clubs, universities and festivals throughout the UK, Europe and Canada including the Belfast and Sligo Early Music Festivals, the Windsor Festival and the London Handel Festival. She has also made numerous CDs, and television recordings playing authentic keyboard instruments. Since 1995, Katharine has worked in duo partnership with oboist Althea Talbot-Howard. Initially sponsored by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, their programmes of 18th and 20th century music have been warmly received by music clubs and universities throughout the UK and Ireland. A graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, she studied initially with Ruth Dyson and Robert Woolley, winning many prizes including the Raymond Ffennell Prize for best degree of the year. Greatly influenced by her studies with Jill Severs, she also received a scholarship to study with Kenneth Gilbert at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. During her final year, Katharine received the Accademia’s highest award, the Diploma of Honour. Her career has benefitted from awards given by several trust funds and she is particularly grateful to the Countess of Munster Musical Trust for enabling her to own a copy of a two-manual harpsichord, originally built by Henri Hemsch in 1756.