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Kathleen Solose, pianist

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A Musical Journey

Professor of Piano at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, Canadian pianist Kathleen Solose earned prestigious degrees from the Juilliard School, New York, from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and from the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with renowned artist-teachers Adele Marcus, Carlo Zecchi, and Stanislav Neuhaus. In New York she also worked with renowned pedagogue Dorothy Taubman. The recipient of numerous Canada Council Grants for study abroad, she was first prize winner at the Casagrande International Competition in Italy. Her solo credits include performances in recital and with orchestras in Germany, Austria, Italy, Bulgaria, Australia, the United States and Canada. She has recorded for RAI-TV, Radio Svizzera Italiana, National Public Radio (US) and for the CBC.

Kathleen Solose's repertoire is eclectic and includes rarely performed sonatas by Scriabin, Korngold and Balakirev in addition to much of the standard repertoire. Her all-Chopin CD features the rarely performed Sonata no. 1 in C minor, as well as Chopin's Sonata no. 2 in B flat minor and the Polonaise-Fantasie. Her live performance of John Cage's complete Sonatas and Interludes has been released on CD Baby . She has recently released a recording of Sonatas no. 2 and 3 of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, a unique genius and child prodigy, one of the last Romantics of the Viennese School.

Kathleen Solose is pianist and Artistic Director of the Elixir Ensemble which has presented thirteen seasons of adventurous chamber music repertoire. She has been the founding member of several other chamber ensembles in Toronto, Victoria and Saskatoon, including the Toronto Kammertrio and Musici Amati. She has performed in concert with Philip Hansen, Paul Marleyn, Erika Raum, Marc Destrubé, the Lafayette and Penderecki String Quartets, and countless other artists. She has also played with the Array and New Music Ensembles in Toronto, as well as presenting recitals of new music at the Music Gallery and Mercer Union in Toronto.

The Solose Duo (Kathleen & Jane Solose) has performed virtuoso two-piano and duet literature throughout the US and Canada. They have released an acclaimed CD of music by Rachmaninov, Chopin, Schubert and Liszt.
Kathleen Solose is also dedicated to performance of the piano literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries on historical instruments. She performs on a reproduction of an 1814 Viennese Streicher fortepiano which is the piano of Beethoven, Schubert and his contemporaries.

In addition to her activities as a performer, Kathleen Solose offers a variety of workshops and master classes.

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The Fortepiano

The fortepiano, one of the original names for the piano, which could play "loudly and softly" (as opposed to the harpsichord) usually refers to an instrument from the origins of the piano up to the middle of the 19th century. Performances on the "Mozart" piano, a five octave instrument, equipped with knee levers instead of pedals, have become more and common over the past 30 years, as performers and public begin to appreciate the beauty of hearing the literature played with a sonority close to how it must have sounded when this music was composed.

"The instrument I am taking on tour is a reproduction of an 1814 Streicher piano, one which Beethoven might have played. Beethoven was a good friend of Nannette and Andreas Streicher, who moved to Vienna, continuing the piano-building business of Nannette's father, Johann Andreas Stein, whose instruments were extolled by Mozart. Beethoven wrote to Andreas Streicher "I can't help it, the piano beside the door near your entrance is constantly ringing in my ears - I feel sure I shall be thanked for having chosen this one - so do send it..." (July 10, 1810, Vienna).

This piano has a six-octave range, suitable for most of the works of Beethoven, Schubert and their contemporaries, including early romantic repertoire. It has three pedals - an una corda pedal, a "moderator" pedal (also a "soft pedal" effect), and a damper pedal. The sound - transparent, but rich in variety and colour - reveals things to us about the music which we may not glean from performances on modern instruments. The particular beauties of texture and timbre which are revealed to us by these instruments enlighten and inform our interpretations, and even influence the way we perform on the modern piano."

My programs will include Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart and Haydn, as well as selections from the early romantic repertoire. Workshops will deal with aspects of interpreting this literature, taking into account the instruments and our legacy of knowledge from the literature of the time.

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Workshops and Master Classes

Kathleen Solose is highly respected as a teacher and adjudicator, and has a large class of students at the University of Saskatchewan, as well as some budding young talents at the pre-college level. Many have won awards in local and provincial competitions, including the prestigious Lyle Gustin Award and the Florence Bowes competition. Her teaching reflects the pianism and pedagogy of the international artists with whom she has studied, as well as the Taubman technique, which emphasizes playing comfortably and efficiently, with a minimum of tension.

Master Classes provide an opportunity for students and teachers to get feedback on a one-to one basis about the repertoire they are currently studying. This is a wonderful time to ask questions and get some tips about musical as well as technical considerations.

Workshop topics include:

Performance Practice of Classical piano music
       Issues of phrasing, articulation and communication

The Art of Interpretation
       Decoding and interpreting the printed page

The Dorothy Taubman Technique
       Aspects of this technique applied to repertoire of your choice

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Classical Musician Reviews

Respected Insights

Badische Zeitung, Germany

"Her virtuosity, her mastery of the fiendish difficulties (Ravel's Scarbo) was impressive...this was high-calibre pianism!"

Sudkurier, Germany

"This was Haydn as he is seldom heard - charming, crystal clear and elegantly structured."
"The audience was felt the sheer physical and spiritual confrontation in the transcendental variations of Beethoven's "summum opus" (Beethoven's Op.111)

Napoli Notte, Italy

"Absolutely first-class...perfectly calibrated sonorities...above all, this artist possesses interpretive taste and the capacity to bring life to a work within its picturesque and aesthetic context."

La Nazione, Florence, Italy

"Gave the impression that the entire keyboard was not enough to contain the turbulence of harmonies...a performance of great bravura"

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