Music in Fermanagh
Born in London, Katherine Hunka began playing the violin at the age of four. She grew as a young musician under the tutelage of Sheila Nelson, performing at concert halls at London’s South Bank and the Royal Albert Hall, was soloist with the City of London Sinfonia and led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Katherine studied for five years with Gyorgy Pauk at the Royal Academy of Music and furthered her studies in the USA at Indiana University where she also acted as teaching assistant to her professor, Mauricio Fuks. She has since returned to Indiana as a guest Professor and been made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Katherine is Leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 2002 and regularly directs from the leader’s chair. As director and soloist, with the ICO, she has toured Germany, China and Singapore, and appeared at festivals including the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Katherine directs ICO national tours, which take the orchestra all over Ireland.
In 2020, Katherine released her first solo CD recording with the ICO of Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and Schubert’s Rondo in A and received glowing reviews.
As part of her role with the ICO, she has directed premieres with Irish composers Sam Perkin, Ian Wilson, Raymond Dean and John Kinsella. As leader, she has also enjoyed performing solo concertos and chamber music with wonderful artists such as Jörg Widmann, Pekka Kuusisto, and Nigel Kennedy. At the Aldeburgh Festival, she premiered Benjamin Britten’s rediscovered Double Concerto.
In 2020 Katherine became Artistic Director of the Killaloe Music Festival for which she devises programmes to include world class musicians. Her group “The Far Flung Trio” with accordionist Dermot Dunne and bassist Malachy Robinson delights audiences with its light-hearted approach. Their repertoire spans from Bach to Klezmer. They released a disc in 2019. Katherine was a member of the Academy of St Martin in the fields and guest leader with the Manchester Camerata, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She has also been guest soloist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. She is currently a Lecturer at the MTU Cork School of Music and the Irish World Academy of Music.