Kathryn Tickell & the Side
Kathryn Tickell is the foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes, a composer, performer and successful recording artist whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria.
Kathryn is currently recording and touring with her new folk-classical ensemble The Side, comprising Louisa Tuck (cello), Ruth Wall (harp) and Amy Thatcher (accordion, clog dancing). With support from the PRS for Music Foundation, she is writing and commisioning new work. The Side first toured the UK in autumn 2013. The quartet’s debut album is released in September followed by UK touring. Early 2015 sees further UK touring and concert hall dates at the Berliner Philharmoniker and Luxembourg Philharmonie.
This follows a busy 2013 when Kathryn was awarded “Musician of the Year” in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Her album “Northumbrian Voices” won “Best Traditional Album” in the Spiral Earth Awards, voted for by the public. Kathryn initiated and was Artistic Director for “The Festival of the North East”, a celebration of arts across the region. Included in the programme was “One Night in Gateshead” where Kathryn’s new pieces for Royal Northern Sinfonia were premiered; this night also saw the premiere performance by The Side. Kathryn also worked closely with Live Theatre as Musical Director for a new play “Tyne”, performed in June and July, with further successful runs at Theatre Royal Newcastle and the Customs House South Shields in March 2014. Ongoing collaboration with Sting resulted in her performing in the theatre music show “The Last Ship” at The Public Theatre, New York in autumn 2013. She continues to be involved in the development of the material.
Kathryn works collaboratively across many genres, making her work contemporary and exciting. In 2009, she was presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music, awarded to those deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to British music. Kathryn was granted two commissions in 2010: to contribute to Alex Wilson’s “Compass Suite” for the first Summer Solstice festival at Canary Wharf in June, and to compose a piece for pipes and piano, for Joanna MacGregor. This led to a further commission in 2011: to compose new work and curate a programme for Bath International Festival with Joanna. Later that year, Kathryn went on to curate, present and perform in a BBC Proms Percy Grainger night, to great critical acclaim. Kathryn also developed her music-theatre show “Northumbrian Voices”, supported by the Arts Council of England, and following a hugely successful UK tour went on to release the double album “Northumbrian Voices” in 2012.
New compositions by Kathryn in 2012 included “Northumbrian Fantasia” for the National Youth Orchestra. She also produced “Jig Hop”, composing for and performing with Folkestra and other artists for BT River of Music, part of the Cultural Olympiad.