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Kathryn Selby

Hailed by the Australian press as a 'formidable talent' and winner of the prestigious Australia Council Fellowship for 2007-8, Kathryn Selby is not only pianist but entrepreneur, having been responsible for the creation of literally thousands of concerts since her return to Australia in 1988. Most recently she was also invited to share the stage in recital with visiting guest artist Ralph Kirschbaum. Selby began her piano studies at the age of seven with Nancy Salas at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and then studied with Bela Siki at the University of Washington in Seattle. At the age of 14 she was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to study in the US. During the same year she travelled with Dame Joan Sutherland and Maestro Richard Bonynge to perform at the United Nations General Assembly in an Australian Government sponsored concert in aid of UNICEF.

Ms Selby studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia with Horszowski where she was graduated with the school’s Gold Medal and the prestigious Rachmaninoff prize. She was graduated Cum Laude with the Horace Alwyn prize for music from the famed Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia in 1985, having studied privately with Claude Frank. Selby received her Masters of Music from Juilliard where she studied with Rudolf Firkusny, entering the Doctoral Program in Performance there in 1987.

Selby has won prizes at the Van Cliburn Competitions, the William Kapell Competition, the Bruce Hungerford Memorial award in New York the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York as well as the Ferruccio Busoni Competition giving her a debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall. She spent the summer of 1982 at the Marlboro Music Festival, participating at the special invitation of Rudolf Serkin. During the same year she won the Astral Foundation of New York career development grant. In 1987 she was appointed by Affiliate Artists as Xerox Artist for the 1988-89 season.

Kathryn Selby has performed with the American Chamber Orchestra and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Group. Those she has been guest artist with include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco Philharmonic, Hartford Chamber Orchestra, the ACO, and the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. She has performed at the Athens, Spoleto, Caramoor, Aspen, Marlboro, Sydney Mozart and Sydney Festivals.

She made her debut in London at Wigmore Hall to rave reviews and at Carnegie Hall, prompting legendary New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg to claim that "She is a natural".

Selby began the successful four-year series "Selby & Friends" when she returned to Australia in 1988 with the sponsorship of IBM Australia. The aim of the series was to both introduce school children to classical music in a relaxed atmosphere and then repeat those concerts for the general public. Miss Selby has recorded extensively including an all-Gershwin disc for the NAXOS label, a solo piano recital disc for ABC Classics label, a chamber CD with Canberra Wind Soloists and another with artists from the Australian Festival of Music, and with Macquarie Trio Australia, discs of Beethoven and Piazzolla piano trios and the complete piano trios of Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorák.

In 1988 Ms Selby was officially appointed the first Musician-in-Residence at Macquarie University Sydney. Her role was to create concert and learning opportunities for staff and students and to create a professional concert series on the campus. She held this position until 2003 at which time she merged her Residency into the creation of an ensemble in residence at Macquarie University.

From 1993 – 2006 she was the founding member and manager of Macquarie Trio Australia, which presented subscription seasons in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide including concerts for children and the aged. The ABC Classics label has recorded seven Macquarie Trio Australia CDs, two of which have been honoured on separate occasions with nominations in the Classical Music category of the ARIA Awards. Ms Selby was responsible in this position for all elements of programming, venue and musician hire, extra staff, design, marketing, ticketing, audience development, grant writing, concert program writing, sponsorship and all other aspects of management. Her budget over the fifteen years of the ensemble’s existence grew from $30,000 to over $800,000 at the time of the ensemble’s end. She is also responsible for having organized commissions of new works by Nigel Westlake, Elena Kats-Chernin and others for piano trio. She reported directly to both the Vice-Chancellor and Head of Finance over the course of these nineteen years of association with Macquarie University.

Miss Selby has been a presenter of her own program on 2MBS-FM in Sydney and a presenter for ABC Classic FM. In 2007, Ms Selby was Artist-In-Residence at St Andrews Cathedral School in 2007 and she recreated Selby & Friends National Touring Series for which she is solely responsible for all aspects of management being both General Manager and Artistic Director. The series tours to Sydney, Turramurra, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Bowral. She has formed a new piano trio named TRIOZ with violinist Niki Vasilakis and cellist Emma-Jane Murphy which is the first ensemble-in-residence at the prestigious City Recital Hall Angel Place, Sydney. Miss Selby continues another exciting year of her monthly lunch time concerts in 2009 in conjunction with City Recital Hall aptly named “A Little Lunch Music” of which she is Artistic Director. Miss Selby is currently on scholarship at Sydney University where she is pursuing her PhD.

Latest News


Selby & Friends proudly presents the third tour for 2010, 18 - 26 July, entitled 'Timeless' with works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Max Bruch, and Olivier Messiaen. Click here to view upcoming concerts.


Please note that changes have been made to the venue for Canberra's 2010 season. Click here to find out all of the details.

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