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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 22, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Kathryn Ladano

Contract Academic Staff; Improvisation; Co-Director, Improvisation Concerts Ensemble

Contact Information

Office Location: A206

Personal Website:
Academic Background

BA (Music), University of Waterloo, 1999
MMus (Bass Clarinet Performance), University of Calgary, 2003
Ph.D. (Music Performance), York University, in progress


Kathryn Ladano is one of Canada’s premiere bass clarinetists. She is a specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. Several works have been composed for her and her ensembles from some of Canada’s most distinguished composers. Kathryn holds a masters degree in bass clarinet performance from the University of Calgary and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Waterloo. Her performance instructors have included Stan Climie, Tilly Kooyman and world-renowned bass clarinetist and improviser, Lori Freedman. In 2004, Kathryn was the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts grant which allowed her to study with Lori Freedman in Montréal. Kathryn has participated in workshops and masterclasses from world-renowned musicians such as bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay and legendary improviser and percussionist, Eddie Prévost. Kathryn has also studied Electroacoustic Composition with Richard Windeyer and Jazz improvisation with Sundar Viswanathan.

Kathryn is heavily involved in both educational and creative work. She is currently the Interim Artistic Director of NUMUS concerts, the co- Director of ICE (Improvisation Concerts Ensemble) at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the bass clarinet instructor at the University of Waterloo. As an enthusiast of improvisation in the classroom and bass clarinet repertoire, she has guest lectured in university classes and conducted workshops across Canada for both teachers and students. Additionally, Kathryn has been a guest speaker at various conferences such as the 2013 Summit on Improvisation Pedagogy and Community Impact in Guelph, and upcoming events such as the 2014 McGill University Music Graduate Symposium, and the 2014 International Society for Improvised Music Conference in New York City.

In 2004 Kathryn founded Canada’s first bass clarinet duo, Bass Impact, with fellow bass clarinetist, Tilly Kooyman. Bass Impact had the honour of representing Canada and performing a recital of Canadian compositions at the 2005 World Bass Clarinet Convention in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Currently, Kathryn performs as a soloist and in a number of ensembles that specialize in new music and free improvisation such as In Orbit, Edges, and Stealth; her duo with famed TorQ percussionist, Richard Burrows. She was a 2008 KW Arts Awards nominee in the music category and a 2010 nominee for KW Oktoberfest Woman of the Year in the “arts and culture” category.

Kathryn’s debut CD “Open” was released in September, 2010 and was made possible by a grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Her music has been featured on CBC radio 2, CISM in Montréal, CJSW in Calgary, CKMS in Waterloo, and on TienCC in The Netherlands. In the fall of 2011, Kathryn completed a Fall Creative Residency at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts and she is currently pursuing her PhD at York University under the supervision of Casey Sokol. Kathryn’s research interests include improvisation pedagogy and the use of free improvisation as therapy for musicians with various anxieties.

Kathryn Ladano is a Vandoren Canada musician.