Featured Composer: Kitty Xiao


Offering unique interpretations that capture a modern sensitivity, artist Kitty Xiao’s compositions and performances continually evolve to stimulate and inspire. A versatile musician, Kitty performs diverse repertoire specialising from Mozart to Australian composers such as Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards and her own award winning compositions with Nimbus Trio. 

Kitty is an Australian composer, pianist and collaborative artist. Kitty began her music studies at an early age and was accepted on a scholarship to Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in 2003. There she studied with Glenn Riddle, also lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne. In addition to her piano studies, Kitty began studying composition in 2004 with Melbourne composer Anthony Lyons, composing film music, orchestral and chamber music. During her time there she completed her Licentiate in Music Diploma and Certificate III in Music. Other achievements include her top of the state marks in Victorian Certificate of Education music subjects; Music Performance and Music Styles. In 2007 Kitty was awarded the Victorian State Premier Award in Music Performance. 

Kitty continued her studies in music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music. There she continued studying with Glenn Riddle and also received tutoring and master classes with Ben Martin, Ronald Farren- Price, Max Cooke, Ian Holtham and Anna Goldsworthy. 

Kitty has recently returned to Melbourne after completing her Master of Music Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich, London. There she studied with Eugene Asti as a proud recipient of the Alfred Kitchin Scholarship. During her time abroad Kitty composed and performed her own music for the renowned Brighton Fashion Week in London. Kitty was invited to the Royal Danish Academy of Music by Danish composer Signe Lykke to record and premiere her work. Kitty performed as a soloist and as a member of the Kirolian Piano Trio in London and composed music for short film ‘Cervine Chronicle’ which was released in London late 2013.

Kitty received the Music Society of Victoria's David Henkels Composition Award in 2013. Her award winning composition 'Nimbus' was premiered at Deakin Edge in Federation Square. Kitty was featured and interviewed on 3MBS and her performance was broadcasted live. Kitty was featured as a composer and pianist on 3MBS' second season of The Talent and scored music for the short film TORN which will be premiered at Federation Square early 2016. Kitty was a finalist in the 2016 Areon International Composition Competition and is currently scoring music for the short film SOLUS.

Kitty composes and performs in an array of musical styles, reflective in her work with her group Nimbus Trio; performing her own contemporary classical compositions, funk/soul/blues band The Upstanding Members, electro/folk/pop band The Jills and rock/electro band Delusions of Grandeur. Kitty is looking forward to travelling to the US in 2016 as part of 'Keep Composers Weird' program in Austin, Texas. 

Kitty is a registered teacher with Victorian Institute of Teaching, a Full Member of Victorian Music Teachers Association, a Full Writer Member of Australasian Performing Rights Association and a member of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. Kitty is currently teaching, composing, adjudicating, performing and has recently completed her Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne. Kitty's research project examined teaching music composition and she looks forward to publishing it next year.

Kitty Xiao's new work Solstice I was featured in PLEXUS at Beleura on 31 October 2016 at the Tallis Pavilion, Beleura.