Hailed by the Australian press as a ‘formidable talent’ and ‘Australia’s pre-eminent chamber music pianist’, Miss Selby is the Artistic Director and founder of the iconic nationally touring Selby & Friends concert series. She also co-created and curated the popular A Little Lunch Music at Sydney’s City Recital Hall from 2007 – 2022. She was honoured with being appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia, receiving the ‘AM’ on Australia Day 2013. She is the recipient of both the prestigious Churchill and Australia Council Fellowships. She began her piano studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, earning a Bachelor’s degree from both the famed Curtis Institute of Music and Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, followed by her Master’s degree from New York’s Juilliard School.
Miss Selby has won prizes at the Van Cliburn Competitions, the William Kapell Competition, the Bruce Hungerford Memorial award in New York, the Young Concert Artists Competition in New York, as well as the Ferruccio Busoni Competition giving her a debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall. She spent the summer of 1982 at the Marlboro Music Festival, participating at the special invitation of Rudolf Serkin. During the same year she won the Astral Foundation of New York career development grant. In 1987 she was appointed by Affiliate Artists as Xerox Artist for the 1988-89 season.
Miss Selby has performed with the American Chamber Orchestra and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Group. Those she has been guest artist with include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, San Francisco Philharmonic, Hartford Chamber Orchestra, the ACO, and the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. She has performed at the Athens, Spoleto, Caramoor, Aspen, Marlboro, Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, ASQ Festival in Victoria, Sydney Mozart and Sydney Festivals. She has performed with the Tokyo, Endellion, Goldner and Australian String Quartets amongst others.
Miss Selby created the successful four-year series “Selby & Friends” when she returned to Australia in 1988 with the sponsorship of IBM Australia. This series was recreated in 2006 and now tours nationally presenting an annual 5-series subscription season.
Also in 1988 Ms Selby was officially appointed the first Musician-in-Residence at Macquarie University, Sydney. She held this position until 1992 at which time she merged her Residency into the creation of an ensemble in residence at Macquarie University – the popular Macquarie Trio which toured and recorded from 1992 – 2006.
Miss Selby has been a presenter of her own program on 2MBS-FM in Sydney and a presenter for ABC Classic FM. Her former piano trio, TRIOZ, was the first ensemble-in-residence at the prestigious City Recital Hall, Sydney from 2008-2011. She teaches privately both advanced piano students and chamber music ensembles at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Miss Selby has recorded extensively including an all-Gershwin disc for the NAXOS label, a solo piano recital disc for the ABC Classics label, a chamber CD with Canberra Wind Soloists and another with artists from the Australian Festival of Music, and with Macquarie Trio, a series of discs for the ABC Classics labels of Beethoven and Piazzolla piano trios and the complete piano trios of Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak.
“I have commented earlier on Selby’s superior touch especially with her neat and unfussed trills that really do ornament a melodic line and her ability to build long crescendos and diminuendos into the direction of the music. In addition, Selby’s impeccable articulation is a delight.” ClassikON
“Pianist Kathy Selby and her chamber concerts with musical friends have been a treasured part of the Australian music scene for years.” Limelight Magazine
“Kathryn Selby’s formidable contribution at the keyboard during this concert was particularly fine in this Mendelssohn performance with a superb delivery of filigree around the other instrumental parts. The poignant slow movement was clearly led by her and was a gorgeous moment.” ArtsHub
“The theme and variations [of the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in A minor], meanwhile, cast the piano as concertante soloist. The third variation was a breathtaking demonstration of Selby’s virtuosity, an effervescent cascade of notes while, in the ghostly ninth variation, the impressionistic piano figures in the background were no less exacting.” – Sydney Morning Herald
“The atmosphere at Selby and Friends Concerts in Canberra is unique. Intimate and warm in her approach to performance, Kathryn Selby has attracted an audience who behave like a large and respectful family, who thrill with a frisson of excitement at the prospect of each new program and each different ensemble of performers and who participate in active listening. These concerts are indeed a taste of chamber music at its best.” Canberra Times