A Peek into Pierrot: Katherine Watson, flute/piccolo
Katherine Watson is an acclaimed Canadian developing musician that currently resides in Toronto. For the past half-decade, Katherine has established herself as one of Toronto’s emerging classical/contemporary flutists. She has premiered dozens of new compositions written for flute, has recorded live for CBC radio, as well as recorded for and appeared in films such as Pompeii (2014) and Brad’s Status (2017). Most recently, Katherine was invited on full scholarship to attend the Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, to study privately with Douglas Stewart (Canadian Opera Company Orchestra) as well as the Legendary Robert Aitken, working with the composition studio to workshop and premier several new Canadian compositions along with TORQ percussion quartet and the Iris string ensemble.
In the past year, Katherine has been performing with the Toronto Winds and is the newest member of Charm of Finches, Toronto’s own professional flute quintet. She regularly plays for the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s events, as a soloist with the Bach Children's Chorus, and Fawn Opera. More recently, Katherine presented a concert/recital of contemporary flute works including Steve Reich's Vermont Counterpoint, played back in surround sound. Last winter, Katherine performed with Continuum Ensemble’s Continuum in the Classroom project with the Toronto District School Board, as well as performing as a soloist for Soundstreams for a Salon 21 event at the Gardiner Museum. She also presented a concert featuring the music of Montreal composer Jason Noble and premiered her own composition for solo flute, Supermoon 2015, at Array Space.
She recently obtained her Masters in Music performance from McGill University in Montreal, studying with Timothy Hutchins (Montreal Symphony Orchestra). Over the last couple of years in Montreal, Katherine has performed with several orchestras in the community, including Pronto Musica, L’Orchestre Symphonic de L’Agora, and L’Orchestre Point D’arrête, as well as appearing in many chamber recitals. She has participated in the Montreal Contemporary Lab’s New improvisation clinic, and performed in chamber and orchestral concerts in the Bathurst Music Festival in New Brunswick.
Are you originally from Montreal? If not what brought you here?
I came to Montreal for my Masters degree in 2014. I'm originally from a small town in the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.
Do you come from a musical family?
Neither of my parents are musicians, besides dabbling in piano and guitar for fun. My great grandfather, however, was a jazz musician in Toronto and recorded some of the earliest Canadian recordings with his big band in the 30s. Jazz91FM recently featured him in their newsletter I'm the only musician since Gilbert!
Is there a particular composition or composer that is a favorite of yours?
Debussy's La Mer or trio for flute, viola, and harp. It's hard not to continuously fall in love with Debussy each and every time upon listening or playing. Have you always wanted to play your chosen instrument?
Yes. I wanted to play Flute or Violin. Violin wasn’t available to me growing up, but learning flute was: I started playing flute in a community marching band for children and youth (The Lindsay Kinsmen Band) since my elementary school did not have a band program. Do you have a guilty-pleasure pop song?
Currently "Show me love" by Robyn, from 1997. I also keep listening to "Congo" by Gloria Estafan, Miami Sound Machine. Nothing makes me want to dance more. Do you have any crazy or strange performance/gig stories? Care to share it?
One of the most unique performance experiences I’ve had was playing a solo Piazzola etude as part of a Bicycle Opera Project performance in my hometown of Lindsay, Ontario. The audience was filled with my family and friends, all who have known me my entire life. Sharing music on that stage became so personal. I think that may have been the first time I 'owned' a piece of music, performing it exactly as I, Katherine Watson, would, and not how I thought my teachers thought I should.
Since that performance, I attempt to channel that truly personal experience in all of my performances.
Come check out Katherine and the rest of the Pierrot team at La Sala Rossa on December 10th at 7:30 pm. Grabbing your tickets online in advance saves you 10% and group rates are available! Click Here for
tickets and more information on this incredible production.