For over a dozen years Katherine made annual pilgrimages to Scotland in the summers to learn Socttish Fiddle, principally with Alasdair Fraser, but also with Ian MacFalane, Buddy MacMaster, Alan Henderson, Karen Steven and other prominent exponents of the Scottish style.
On the fiddle Katherine is also an active performer, presenting many concerts and festivals while living in Austria with Peony and Stone Circle as well as performing often with guitarist Thomas Herzl. In Michigan she performs with Blue Caledonia.
Katherine Dunham... a very fine teacher and engaging performer, she has put an immense amount of love, care and thought into the intricacies of the Scottish fiddle and is able to express her ideas in a beautiful and exciting manner.
KATHERINE DUNHAM | VIOLIN, CELTIC FIDDLE, AND IMPROVISATION
Katherine completed her high school education at Interlochen Arts Academy, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance at the Peabody Conservatory, with further studies at the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria. She spent over 20 years as a working professional musician in Vienna, Austria, playing in the orchestra of the Wiener Kammeroper, and in the Sinfonia Piccola des Theaters der Landeshauptstadt St. Polten. She toured Austria and other central European countries as a member of Trio Melisande and with Quartett Yggdrasil Wien.
If I were giving a prize for the most sensational chamber music concert of the year 1993, I’d bestow it on Quartett Yggdrasil for their concert in the Stadtinitiative...In short: four simply magnificent musicians performed four simply brillant works and gave the listeners a concert experience that was delightful in every detail. And since the mood in the ball was so good, they closed with the Polka from Shostakovitch’s Age of Gold
-Christina Heindl, Wiener Seitung
In 2003 Katherine left her adopted home in Austria to pursue a Masters degree in Improvisation from the University of Michigan, which she received in 2005. Her vision was to integrate classical and non-classical music making. Improvisation plays a prominent part in her work with Blue Caledonia.
Katherine, is a violinist who completed her MM in Improvisation last term, and she brings an extraordinarily broad musical exposure to her work, informed particularly strongly by Celtic and other folk genres, and modern chamber music, and of course trans-stylistic approaches to large ensemble improvising. I am sure you will dig it.
-Ed Sarath, Chair Dept. of Jazz and Improvisation at the University of Michgan
Katherine is a dedicated teacher and a life member of the American String Teachers Association. She has presented workshops on teaching improvisation at several ASTA national conferences. Currently Katherine teaches at the Clarkston Conservatory of Music and in her studio in Ann Arbor. Katherine’s teaching is based on traditional methods, stressing a foundation in music theory and note-reading in classical violin, as well as mastery of the instrument. For Celtic Fiddle she teaches tunes primarily by ear and emphasizes stylistic differences of various regions and types of dancing associated with those tunes.