Katy Hamilton


Photo : Helena Cooke

Katy Hamilton is a freelance researcher, writer and presenter on music. She is one of the UK’s most sought-after speakers on music, providing talks for a host of organisations including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, BBC Proms, Ryedale Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival. In addition, she regularly writes programme notes for the Salzburg Festival, Leeds International Piano Competition and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3.

Katy’s area of specialism is the music of Johannes Brahms and his contemporaries, and she is particularly interested in exploring nineteenth-century chamber and vocal music and its connection to amateur music-making. She has also been involved in a wide range of other research projects and publications covering subjects as diverse as the history of the Edinburgh Festival, the role of émigré musicians in post-1945 British musical life, and variety shows at the Wigmore Hall in the early twentieth century. More recently, she has interviewed and provided programme notes for leading contemporary composers including Mark-Anthony Turnage, Sir James MacMillan and Judith Weir.

Katy worked as Graham Johnson’s research assistant for his monumental Franz Schubert: The Songs and their Poets (Yale University Press, 2014) and is co-editor and contributor to Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Brahms in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She has written chapters for ­30- Second Classical Music, a number of other music history books for the general reader, and score prefaces for the ‘Repertoire Explorer’ series published by Jürgen Höflich, which seeks to make lesser-known works of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries available to a wider public. She has a particular passion for finding ways to explore new and familiar repertoire with concert audiences, whether in written form or through talks and broadcasting.

In addition to her research and presentation work, Katy has taught at the Royal College of Music, City Lit, the University of Nottingham and Middlesex University, working with students in performance workshops and music history classes.