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Katie Stillman announced as new Orchestra Leader

Opera North today announces the appointment of Katie Stillman as the new Leader of the Orchestra of Opera North from August.

Following an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader, Katie is currently first violinist with the Villiers Quartet, one of the leading string quartets in the UK known for their Late Beethoven cycle and for championing music by British composers.  During the past season, she has directed performances with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Manchester Camerata, and Northern Chamber Orchestra, as well as being a guest leader with Opera North for several productions. She has performed recitals throughout the UK at venues including the Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, and Wigmore Hall.

Committed to educating the next generation, Katie has regularly performed in concerts for children in the acclaimed Bach to Baby series and has taught at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, where she completed her own studies.

The Orchestra of Opera North in Huddersfield Town Hall © Justin Slee

Laura Canning, General Director, Opera North, comments:

“I’m thrilled that Katie will be joining us as Orchestra Leader following David Greed’s decision to step back after over 40 years with the company. Katie’s passion for music is second to none and, during her stints as guest leader, we have been consistently impressed by her unparalleled commitment both to her own music-making and to enabling others to perform at their best. As our orchestral players prepare to tackle a new production of My Fair Lady at Leeds Playhouse this spring, followed by a busy season of opera and classical music performances in Leeds and on tour, we are all delighted to welcome Katie to her new role.”

Garry Walker, Opera North Music Director, adds:

“I’m delighted that Katie is joining the orchestra as Leader. We have known each other for many years, indeed since our time at the RNCM, and I know that she will bring so much to us as an Orchestra and as a Company.”

Katie Stillman with her 1741 Nicolo Gagliano violin © Alejandro Tamagno

Katie Stillman comments:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Opera North as Leader. Over the past few years, I have been excited by the energy, imagination and musicianship of the amazing players, singers and conductors in this Company. The versatility of the orchestra, ranging from its incredible concerts on the stage, in the pit, in schools and for families is remarkable, and I can’t wait to get to know the audiences.

“I was given my first orchestral work with Opera North when I was a student in Manchester, so it feels wonderful to now be involved in its future. Highlights for my first season will be Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Mozart’s Magic Flute – one of my absolute favourites as a child!”


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