KATHARINE MAY studied the harpsichord at the Royal College of Music in London with Ruth Dyson and Robert Woolley. On graduation she was awarded the Raymond Ffennell Prize for best degree of the year. She later studied with Jill Severs in London, and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy where for four years she was given a scholarship to study with Kenneth Gilbert. 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.
As a soloist and experienced continuo player, Katharine 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. In 1997, Katharine made her debut at the Wigmore Hall, London where she was described by a critic from The Times as “the evening’s feisty and urbane harpsichordist”.
Since 1995, Katharine has worked in duo partnership with oboist Althea Ifeka. 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.
Katharine has been a regular contributor to ‘Early Music Today’ and ‘Music Teacher’ magazines since 1996.