Kathryn Stott (born 10 December 1958) is a British classical pianist who performs as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Her specialities include the English and French classical repertoire, contemporary classical music and the tango. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music and Chetham's School of Music, and has organised several music festivals and concert series.
Grove Music Online describes Stott's playing as "marked by a vivid sense of immediacy and personal communication." A recent review of her fiftieth birthday gala concert in The Times describes her as "one of the most versatile pianists on the circuit".
Early life and education:
Stott was born in Nelson, Lancashire. Her mother was a piano teacher and she began to learn the piano at the age of five. She attended the Yehudi Menuhin School, where her teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Marcel Ciampi, Barbara Kerslake and Ravel specialist, Vlado Perlemuter, and then studied at the Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor.
Performance and recording career:
Stott's career as a soloist was launched after she gained fifth place in the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1978. Her London début was at the Purcell Room the same year. She has since toured throughout Europe, Asia, America and Australia with a concert repertoire that encompasses concertos, solo piano music and chamber music. She is unusual in always performing from a score.
Stott has a particular affinity with English music, and her series of recordings of works by Frank Bridge, George Lloyd, John Ireland and William Walton is described as "distinguished" in Grove. She is also known for her love of French music, particularly the works of Gabriel Fauré, whose complete piano works she has recorded to critical acclaim.Contemporary classical music is another of Stott's specialities. She has given the first performances of many works, including a concerto by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Michael Nyman's The Piano Concerto and Graham Fitkin's Circuit (with Noriko Ogawa). Since the mid-1990s, she has also been interested in tango and other Latin dance music, which she describes as "primitive music, hard to place, both abrasive and tender".
Stott first met her long-time collaborator, the noted American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, in 1978 when she "discovered a Chinese man in his underpants playing the cello" in her flat after returning from holiday. (Ma had rented the flat from Stott's flat-mate, violinist Nigel Kennedy, without realising that it was shared). Stott and Ma have worked together since 1985; the pair frequently tour together and have made several joint recordings, including Soul of the Tango and Obrigado Brazil, which received Grammy Awards in 1999 and 2004. She also has long-standing collaborations with cellists Truls Mørk, Christian Poltéra and Natalie Clein, violinist Janine Jansen, and pianist Noriko Ogawa.
Stott has directed several successful music festivals and concert series in the north of England. In 1995, she organised a Fauré festival in Manchester to mark the composer's 150th anniversary. According to the Independent, the event was "transformed by her enthusiasm and her own sumptuous performances of this neglected composer's works." The success of the festival led to her appointment as Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
She directed two major piano festivals at the Manchester Bridgewater Hall in 2000 and 2003. As Stott considers "It's very important at an event like this that we should let people play", both festivals featured multiple Steinway grands that the public were allowed to try, as well as a variety of novelty pianos including a red "Ferrari" Steinway, an "exploded" piano revealing the internal workings, a grove of woven pianos, and a concert grand fitted with a pool which played a variety of watery sounds.
In 1998, Stott directed a concert series "Out of the Shadows" with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, featuring two neglected female composers, Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn. More recently, she has directed the series "Chopin: The Music and the Legacy" at Leeds College of Music (2004-5) and "Paris" at the Sheffield Crucible (2006). In 2008, she was appointed the musical director of the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society. She is also on the board of the Hallé Orchestra.
As of 2008, Stott teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. She formerly taught at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Stott lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. She has a daughter, Lucy, from a previous marriage.
Regis RRC 1159
A Debussy Collection
A Liszt Collection
The Complete Music for Piano
Hyperion CDA 66911/4
Regis RCC 2034
Essays in the Modes, Music-Pictures Groups VI,VII, Variazioni ed Improvvisati su un Tema Originale, English Tune with Burden, Egoistic (Mode V L), April - England
Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Ravel, Rachmaninov, and others
Piano Works including the Pièces pittoresques
Elizabeth Burley (piano)
Regis RRC 1133
Suite dansante en jazz, Piano Sonata No. 1, Cinq études de jazz, Second Suite for piano, 11 Inventions, Hot Music
Les Heures Persanes
Dreams, The Curious One, Concert Étude in C major, On the Sea Shore - a memory, Fantasia on Czech Folksongs, Czech Dances, Books 1,2
Chopin, Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, Satie, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Ginastera, Bartók, Dvořák, Sibelius, Guarnieri, Lecuona
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Summer Night on the River, In Summer Garden, A Song before Sunrise, North Country Sketches, Dance Rhapsody Nos 1,2
Delius arr. Warlock
Noriko Ogawa (piano)
Sir Lennox Berkeley: A Centenary Tribute: Sonatina for Piano Duet, Palm Court Waltz, and others
Piano Concerto No. 4
London Symphony Orchestra, George Lloyd (conductor)
Piano Concerto No. 3
BBC Philharmonic, George Lloyd (conductor)
The Rio Grande, Concerto for Piano and Nine Players, Horoscope
Delia Jones, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
Decca 473 424-2
The Piano Concerto
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Michael Nyman (conductor)
Decca 443 382-2
Orchestral Works: Ballade in F sharp, piano and orchestra, and others
BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier
Collected Works: Sinfonia Concertante
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley (conductor)
RCA Red Seal
BMG RCA 74321 92575 2
Concertos for Piano and Orchestra Nos 2, 3, The Comedians
BBC Philharmonic, Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)
Concertos & Dances: Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vernon Handley (conductor)
Concertos for Piano and Orchestra Nos. 1, 4, Symphony No. 2
BBC Philharmonic, Neeme Järvi (conductor)
Soul of the Tango
Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and others
Sony SK SK63122
Sonata No.1 in E minor for Violin and Piano, Sonata No.2 in E minor for Violin and Piano, Bagatellen
Per Enoksson (violin)
Sonatas for Violin and Piano Nos 1,2, Zwei lyrische Stücke, Poème pour violon et piano
Per Enoksson (violin)
Le Saxophone Lumineux: 15 Etudes for Saxophone and Piano, 7 Pieces for Saxophone and Piano
Federico Mondelci (saxophone)
Paris - La Belle Époque
Fauré, Franck, Massenet, Saint-Saëns
Yo-Yo Ma (cello)
Sony SK 87287
Guarnieri, Gismonti, Villa-Lobos and others
Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and others
Sony SK 89935
String Quintet in G major, Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major
SU 3909-2 131
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Sonatina for Cello and Piano, and others
Christian Poltéra (cello)
Truls Mørk (cello)
Ballade for Cello and Piano, Preludes for Piano
Christian Poltéra (cello)
Sonatas for Cello and Piano Nos 1,2, Nocturne No. 13, Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello
Christian Poltéra (cello), Priya Mitchell (violin)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license