Kathryn Knowles is a composer, cellist, conductor, and writer from Inverary, Ontario and currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Her compositions have been played in workshops by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the New Orford String Quartet, and the Penderecki String Quartet. Her work, Biarc, commissioned by the Accordion and Clarinet Duo, Joseph Petric and Martin Carpentier, was premiered in April 2022 and streamed on the Canadian Music Centre platform, Picanto. Recently, she was commissioned by Joseph Petric to write a piece for Accordion and Electronics. The piece, Dreams of Hope, was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and will be premiered in 2023.  She is currently collaborating with pianist, composer, and singer, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, to write a musical titled Between Fires, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Kathryn regularly performs as a cellist in various chamber ensembles around Toronto. In 2022, she performed as guest principal cellist with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, and she performed at the Oshawa Music Awards with Juno-nominated singer-songwriter, Lindsay Schoolcraft. She recently recorded tracks for an upcoming album by the Juno-winning band, OKAN set to release in 2023, as well as another album by Lindsay Schoolcraft. She continues to collaborate with Lindsay Schoolcraft on several string arrangements of her songs to be performed in 2023.

Kathryn received honourable mention in the Writer’s Digest 89th Annual Writing Competition for her poem, Beyond the Black Horizon’s Crease, and her short story, Lester’s Bird Feeder. Her debut fantasy trilogy, The Quiescence Trilogy, is available for purchase. Book one, The Relics of Illayan, book two, The Warrior Queen, and book three, The Age of Resonance. She has plans to release another stand-alone fantasy book, and a book of poetry over the next year.

Kathryn is interested in multidisciplinary artistic exchange, and in exploring the creative process. She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of International Business from Queen’s University, as well as a Master in Music Composition from the University of Toronto where she was awarded the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship. During her time at U of T, Kathryn initiated and led the creation of an annual interdisciplinary conference to showcase artistic creation-based research known as the Multidisciplinary Creative Conference.

In addition to her work as a composer and writer, Kathryn is a Centre Director with Sistema Toronto, the Music Director of Music4Life String Orchestra, and the Founder of Mad Endeavour. Kathryn is a strong advocate for the accessibility and appreciation of music and art in today’s society and she values the constant pursuit and celebration of knowledge.


The Quiescence Trilogy

An epic fantasy series about two rival kingdoms and one family whose mysterious and dangerous magic could shape the fate of humanity forever.

Book 1, The Relics of Illayan

The first novel in a trilogy, THE RELICS OF ILLAYAN is an exciting, action-packed tale of adventure told through the eyes of two strong women as they encounter volatile magic, warring kingdoms, and unexpected allies.

Book 2, The Warrior Queen

THE WARRIOR QUEEN follows Catanya to the Kingdom of Awnell where she meets Queen Ayr, a freethinking and cunning leader intent on safeguarding her people’s liberty. Miles away, Diyah’s resistance is tested as new allies emerge and old secrets unravel. Diyah begins to suspect that nothing is as it seems in Caerlon.

Book 3, The Age of Resonance

THE AGE OF RESONANCE is the whirlwind conclusion to the Quiescence Trilogy. Mórceá is on the brink of war, and long-kept secrets are beginning to unravel. Catanya and Diyah must decide how far they’re willing to go to shape the future and protect the people they love.



The Last Verratrí follows Drayk, a young man living on the streets of Awnell City, who uses his wits and charm to stay alive. When he finds himself in over his head, he’s given a choice that will change the course of his life forever.

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List of Works


Cello Concerto No. 1 (2018) – Mmus Thesis Project

Gestures & Games (2017)

Selected for TSO Explore the Score 2019; Reading Session, January 12, 2019 @ Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto. Conducted by Gary Kulesha.


Mirror Lake (2014)


Parable of Immortality – Poem by Henry van Dyke (2013)


Dreams of Hope – for Accordion and fixed Electronics (2021)

Commissioned by Joseph Petric and funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Biarc – for Accordion and Bass Clarinet (2020)

Commissioned by Joseph Petric and Martin Carpentier, premiered April 2022, streamed on the Canadian Music Centre platform, Picanto.

Back and Forth – for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (2017)

The Tower – for Violin, Cello, and Accordion (2017)

Awakening – for Flute, Violin, Clarinet, Accordion, and Percussion (2016, rev. 2017) – originally composed with choreography by Tracey Norman

Curiosity Killed – for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Accordion (2016)

Guidelines – for String Quartet (2014)

Reading Session: January 11, 2014 @ Chalmers United Church, Kingston. Performers: Penderecki String Quartet.

Reading Session: November 2, 2016 @ University of Toronto. Performers: New Orford Quartet

Impetus – for Guitar Quartet (2014)

Seeking Avalon – for Mezzo-Soprano, Flute, and Cello (2013) – text by Kathryn Knowles

Hubris of a Tragic Hero  For Clarinet, Viola, and Piano (2013)

Impatient Personalities  For Clarinet and Marimba (2013)

L’inquietude – For Flute and two Pianos (2011)


Phases & Elements  for Piano Solo (2017)

Premiered and Livestreamed: January 12, 2022 @ Koerner Hall, Toronto, 21C Festival. Performer: Morgan-Paige Melbourne, Piano

Minerva’s Mourning  for Bassoon Solo (2012)


Prima Zombie: The Diva That Just Wouldn’t Stay Dead (2017) – collaborative project, libretto by Michael Albano

Premiered: February 24, 2017 @ MacMillan Theatre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (as part of the 2017 University of Toronto New Music Festival)

Michael Albano (director), Sandra Horst (conductor), with University of Toronto Opera Division


Between Fires (ongoing. est 2023) – book, music, and lyrics by Kathryn Knowles and Morgan-Paige Melbourne

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Disorder! (2018) – book, music, and lyrics by Kathryn Knowles


Ember (2018) – Short Animation by Kaitlyn Henderson

Teslas’s date (2018) – Short Animation by Natasha Stanarevic

Animal Jam (2018) – Short Animation by Virginia K Findlay