We are delighted to announce that the CBSO has appointed Katherine Thomas as Principal Harp. Katherine will officially start with the Orchestra in May 2020, but keen-eyed concertgoers will also spot her performing with us on Thursday 13 February with conductor Juanjo Mena and violinist Leila Josefowicz.
Katherine Thomas is a harpist who has performed with artists ranging from Bryn Terfel and Rolando Villazon to Katherine Jenkins and the Manic Street Preachers. She has toured extensively as a soloist and with orchestras including Orchestra of Welsh National Opera with whom she was Principal Harp.
A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Katherine plays the traditional celtic and triple harps as well as the pedal harp. Her recordings range from classical music and traditional Welsh music to contemporary recordings, with recent projects including new releases by Sheku Kanneh-Mason and The Four Seasons re-imagined with the CBSO.
As a chamber musician, Katherine is a member of the Enigma Duo with violinist Laurence Kempton. Replacing the harpsichord and used as a continuo instrument in works such as Sonatas by Handel and Corelli, the harp then becomes an entire orchestra in Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances and Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns. Striving to expand the repertoire for their combination, the duo compose and commission new works from others and also challenge the boundaries of the harp’s capabilities - no more so than in the Cesar Franck Violin Sonata.
As a former student of Meinir Heulyn, it was always inevitable that Katherine would be drawn into the world of teaching and arranging. Her arrangements for harp ensembles have been played throughout the UK and working with ALAW Katherine has compiled and edited four volumes of Scales and Arpeggios as well as transcribing Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for the harp.