Katie Yap, Melbourne-based modern and baroque viola
Katie grew up playing the violin and piano in her hometown of Brisbane. Shortly before starting her Bachelor of Music at the University of Queensland (UQ), she fell in love with the viola and has never looked back since! Katie studied with Patricia Pollett at UQ, graduating with Honours and a University Medal in 2011. She then spent three years studying at the Australian National Academy of Music under Caroline Henbest and Christopher Moore.
She was a finalist in the Freedman Fellowship Classical awards in 2019. This gave her the chance to develop a project called 'HOME', involving the creation of a concert program showcasing the baroque viola, a commission of a new work for baroque string trio by Matt Laing, an Australian tour and a recording. Through this project, Katie aims to bring diverse groups of people together to reflect on their home communities, ideas and landscapes through music spanning almost 1,000 years and across genres. Click here for more information on this project, including how to book a concert.
Katie likes to keep her musical life varied, and her favourite kind of music making is with chamber groups. She is violist in the Chrysalis Harp Trio (2019 ANAM Artists), early music chamber groups Ironwood Ensemble and The Muses’ Delight, and joined the Australian String Quartet in 2016 in programs of quintets and sextets. In 2017, Katie spent a month in Central Queensland touring with the Orpheus Club, presenting 10 public concerts, 8 schools concerts and workshops, and recording four new Australian works. In 2018, she joined Van Diemen's Band in a national tour of chamber music of the late baroque period, including performances at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and UKARIA Cultural Centre.
Orchestrally, she plays with modern ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, and held the position of Associate Principal Viola with Orchestra Victoria in 2015. She joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as Guest Principal and Associate Principal, and the Opera Australia Regional Touring Company as Principal Viola in 2018.
Katie's early music orchestral playing includes groups such as the Academy of Ancient Music, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Van Diemen's Band and Bach Akademie Australia.
She loves to teach as well, and is a sessional viola teacher at the Australian National Academy of Music and Monash University, and spent six months in 2017 at the University of Queensland as guest Head of Viola.
She also plays Scottish, Irish and Canadian folk music. In her spare time, she likes to explore a wide range of musical contexts, including busking, improvising, teaching and community music. She has a chronic sweet tooth, and firmly believes that it is always the right time to eat chocolate!
Katie's plays a baroque viola by Jan Pawlikowski in Poland (2018) and a modern viola made by Helge Grawert in Queensland, Australia (2009). She plays on a baroque bow by French archetier Clément lê Quan (2019) and a modern bow by Francois Bazin (c.a. 1850).