“The diabolical enthusiasm of Katherine Skovira and Robert Whalen left me nearly begging for mercy...the artistic equivalent of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.”
— The Philadelphia Inquirer: "The future of Philadelphia music", David Patrick Stearns
“Skovira, in both English and French and at beyond impressive speed, sang with melodious atonality.”
—, Elizabeth Roan
“The advocacy for the individual and the advocacy for their listening and their participation as chamber musicians is essential...”

— Katherine Skovira & Robert Whalen converse on the birth of the 2017 Barnes Ensemble


November 6, 2020

SoundLAB and Hub New Music will make its West Coast debut of Robert Whalen’s new opera in Salem, OR at Willamette University, alongside master classes, film screenings and talks with the artists and scientists involved in this new project that sits at the intersection of scientific research, advocacy and new music.

April 15-17, 2020
Katherine joins SoundLAB, VocaliD, and Hub New Music in an exciting partnership project involving voice, ensemble and electronics exploring themes of voice as identity and speechlessness through the advocacy and groundbreaking technology of Dr. Rupal Patel and VocaliD’s customized voices and assistive technology.

April 17 will be the world premiere of Robert Whalen’s new opera utilizing a custom-built voice in live performance. Additional events across April 15-17 events will include performances, master classes, film screenings and a special talk with Dr. Patel.

Performances will include additional premieres by Hannah Lash, in SoundLAB’s Boston debut and Hub New Music’s Philadelphia debut.

November 2, 2019
Katherine serves the Reading FilmFEST with Robert Whalen, Music Director of SoundLAB for a screening of the new film Camp Alec ( on the ways that voice and voice synthesis enable connection across physical challenges of motor-sensory disorders, autism, cerebral palsy, and verbal apraxia for a screening of Camp Alec. This film champions the work of the Alec G. Cunningham Foundation ( From their site: “This unique camp is specifically designed for children with physical disabilities whose primary communication mode is AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).” The film production team includes Frank Marshall, producer of such films as the Indiana Jones franchise, Jurassic World franchise, Jason Bourne franchise, Back to the Future franchise, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

October 14, 2019
Katherine performs at “Space, Ice, and Fire: Mining the Music from Data” in the world premiere of Listening for Pele by composer and environmental activist Glenn McClure, whose work is based upon data from the Kilauea Volcano of Hawaii; at Hudson Hall in the Rogers Music Center, Willamette University, Salem, OR.

April 7, 2019
Katherine presents the world premiere of Robert Whalen’s The Wind for voice, percussion and piano, at the Delaware County Symphony’s Chamber Series, presenting a text by Dafydd Ap Gwilym, as part of a larger project to unfold in the 2019-2020 season.

October 14-18, 2018
SoundLAB, a contemporary music ensemble debuting with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Barnes-Stokowski Festival, presents a series of concerts, composer readings and lectures. Katherine performs Augusta Read Thomas’s Plea for Peace on October 18.

Details of events throughout the five-day festival are available at and on the Orchestra’s page.

October 1, 2018
Read Katherine Skovira and Robert Whalen’s contribution to the Philadelphia Orchestra’s blog preceding the debut of SoundLAB at the Barnes-Stokowski Festival.

September 19, 2018

Read the Philadelphia Orchestra’s press release announcing SoundLAB at the Barnes-Stokowski Festival! As Artistic Director of SoundLAB, Katherine is to curate the ensemble’s debut.

December 17, 2017

Known for creating space for innovative concert programming in alternative venues, Katherine Skovira performed "for no one" (WHYY -  read more here) deep inside the Free Library of Philadelphia’s active construction zone of its century-old 5,000 sq ft stacks. The concert series celebrates the 2018 deconstruction / reconstruction of the Library. Its initial program, with flutist Anna Urrey, included works by Schoenberg, Debussy, Aperghis, Gubaidulina, Corigliano, and Rands, with forthcoming video documentary of the Free Library's new 40,000 sq ft cultural center for the Philadelphia arts community.

For more information, please visit and read more here.

October 1-8, 2017
The Barnes Ensemble Premiere Festival

The Barnes Ensemble launched in October 2017 in celebration of the Five-Year Anniversary at the Barnes Foundation. The debut festival includes the JACK Quartet and composers-in-residence Chaya Czernowin and Eric Wubbels, with Music Director Robert Whalen and the World Premiere of Clara Iannotta's dead wasps in a jam-jar (ii) (2017). Twenty String Fellows from around the world join the Barnes Ensemble for this nine-day festival of contemporary music, with performances across Philadelphia from September 30 - October 8!

For more information, visit the Barnes Ensemble on the web:


June 18, 2017
The Barnes Foundation received this review from the Philadelphia Inquirer for our work on Vigilia. Congratulations to Robert Whalen for an excellent evening!

February 12, 2017
Katherine joins the Delaware County Symphony Chamber Series for a performance of Ravel's Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé.

January 27, 2017
Katherine will sing the World Premiere of Robert Whalen's i carry your heart in a program meditating on silence, displacement, and alienation. With works by contemporary composers Georges Aperghis, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Bernard Rands, and David Lehman's Mythologies, read by the poet himself, this performance also includes the US premiere of Ann Cleare's eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) with noted contemporary music clarinetist Carol McGonnell at the Barnes Foundation, January 27, 2017 at 8pm. For tickets, visit

Read the preview of this event and music coming to the Barnes Foundation in the Philadelphia Inquirer and listen further on WRTI: 

July 23, 2016
Katherine joins the Opera Company of Brooklyn in the title role of La Cenerentola on July 23.

June 19-25 2016
As Invited Soloist and Fellow, Katherine will sing Kurtág's Einige Sätze aus den Südelbuchern Georg Christoph Lichtenbergs, Rands' Memo 7, Ives' Sunrise, Cage's The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, and selections from Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire, as well as the music of Vinko Globokar with the composer, in an upcoming concert series with the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at New England Conservatory. She will also serve as Voice and Diction Coach in the World Premiere of Nicholas Vines' In Defence of Toads, with boy soprano William Drury and the faculty of the Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice of New England Conservatory.

November 2015 - 2016
Katherine joins the musicians of the Delaware County Symphony in concerts through their 2017 season, including the music of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Ravel, Debussy, and arias of Rossini and Bellini, including a Gala performance.

May - June 2015
Katherine participates in SongFest 2015 in Los Angeles as New Music Fellow. This position is reserved for a singer demonstrating "outstanding potential in the field of new music." She will perform under the direction of Lucy Shelton, Dawn Upshaw, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Ann Murray and the faculty of SongFest in a month-long fellowship of concerts and masterclasses.

August 2014
Barbara Hannigan selected Katherine as Invited Soloist in Berio's Coro, under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle at the Lucerne Festival. Katherine works with Barbara Hannigan in a weeklong masterclass and concert series as part of the Lucerne Festival on works ranging from Mozart to Schoenberg to Hindemith and beyond.

May - July 2014
Katherine has been invited on full fellowship to the Castleton Festival to workshop the role of Julia in Lorin Maazel's opera 1984, in collaboration with the Maestro, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, and the faculty of the Castleton Festival.