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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
April 19, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Kathryn Ladano

Contract Academic Staff; 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 a 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 masterclass from world renowned musicians such as bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay and improviser and percussionist, Eddie Prévost. Kathryn has also studied Electroacoustic Composition with Richard Windeyer.

Kathryn regularly works with young composers and improvisers. She is currently the co-Director of ICE (Improvisation Concerts Ensemble) at Wilfrid Laurier University, the bass clarinet instructor at the University of Waterloo, the Artistic Director of the improvisational concert series, MIX, and the Associate Director of the East-West Music Series based at Conrad Grebel University College. 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.

In 2004 Kathryn founded Canada’s first bass clarinet duo, Bass Impact with fellow bass clarinettist, 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. In 2006 she co-founded the Kitchener-Waterloo Improvisers Collective (KWIC). KWIC’s mandate was to promote improvising musicians, and the improvised music scene in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. KWIC created a concert series of improvised music and brought in several world-renowned musicians to host workshops.

Currently, Kathryn performs as a soloist and in a number of ensembles that specialize in new music and free improvisation such as Digital Prowess, Edges, and Stealth; her duo with famed 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.