Combining period and modern performance, violist Katie Yap’s love of music was fostered in the school music programs of her hometown Brisbane.

She is fascinated by music’s ability to tell stories and bring people together, and explores this in her own projects, as well as bringing this connecting quality to all her ensemble work.

She is the 2022 Freedman Fellow, and one of the 2023 Musica Viva Australia FutureMakers. Her focus in both explores a life-long fascination with improvisation, and her love of the natural world. She is very deeply a viola player – so rather than taking a solo approach with her projects, she loves to collaborate and connect through group improvisation and co-composition. Her Freedman Fellowship project Multitudes involves the co-creation of four new pieces with collaborators Emily Sheppard, Donald Nicolson, Mindy Meng Wang, and Bowerbird Collective, all based on bird poems by Judith Wright.

She has been the Artistic Director of Music, She Wrote (3MBS’s festival celebrating women in music) since its inception in 2021, and she believes deeply that representation in programming never means sacrificing quality – just a more curious mind in the hunt for works.

Her greatest love in performing is chamber music, and she is a founding member of prog-baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey, the Chrysalis Harp Trio, and artistic director of crossover folk/baroque group Wattleseed Ensemble.

She plays regularly with Australia’s finest ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and has joined groups like the Academy of Ancient Music overseas.

She is also a passionate educator, having taught viola at the University of Queensland and Monash University, and she has an intractable habit of stress-baking, which can make for delicious rehearsal breaks!