Kate Whitley (b. 1989) is composer and pianist who lives in South London. She runs The Multi-Story Orchestra with Christopher Stark, which is based in a car park in Peckham in partnership with Bold Tendencies. She won a 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and a 2013 Sky Academy Futures Fund Bursary: “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).
Kate’s music has been performed across the UK and Europe and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Her piece Alive for children’s choir and orchestra, to words by poet Holly McNish, won a 2015 British Composers Award and was described as “a remarkable feat, with a genuine emotional gravity” (The Telegraph). She was 2013-4 Music Fellow at Rambert Dance Company, and 2015 New Music Programmer at Kettles Yard Art Gallery. Her music for Flight by choreographer Malgorzata Dzierzon for Rambert toured the UK in 2016: “ripples with just the right sense of fragile momentum” (The Telegraph). Her piece Speak out to words by Malala Yousafzai was premiered by BBC National Orchestral and Chorus of Wales on International Women’s Day 2017: ‘a powerful statement, full of kinetic energy’ (Wales Arts Review).
In 2016-2017 she wrote the children’s opera Paws and Padlocks with librettist Sabrina Mahfouz for Blackheath Halls, about two children who get trapped in a zoo overnight and the music for Consent by Nina Raine at the National Theatre. NMC Recordings released a CD of her music, I am I say, in March 2017: “unpretentious, appealingly vigorous and visceral” (The Guardian); “an excellent introduction to her sonic world… a tremendous work” The Times.