Happy Birthday to Future Talent co-founder, Katharine, the Duchess of Kent

Join us in celebrating Katharine's birthday with our new video which captures memories of her work with Future Talent since our foundation in 2004, featuring music from one of our young composers, Maddy.
February 22, 2023

On Wednesday 22 February 2023, we are celebrating the 90th birthday of our co-founder and trustee, Katharine, the Duchess of Kent!

Watch our video tribute to Katharine here.

Katharine was inspired to start Future Talent in 2004 by the young people she encountered in her 13 years teaching music in a primary school in Hull. In the film, Katharine explains the story behind the charity in her own words, “The start of Future Talent initially was all about these children… wonderfully talented children with the ability to get right to the top in their career and no options open for them whatsoever. Somebody had to find those stepping-stones… that pathway, climbing that wall and onto something. If they believe in themselves, they can do it and we will help them do it.”

Katharine at Lancaster House in 2022 with (from left to right) Future Talent President Sir Mark Elder, Moira Stuart, Future Talent co-founder and Chairman Nick Robinson, Future Talent musician Dilraj, Dr Hannah French, Future Talent musicians Yoko, Nahuel, Yuma and Casey-Joan, and Camilla Tominey.

The video is set to a piece of music entitled Beauty will save the world, dedicated to the Duchess in honour of her birthday by young composer, pianist, and harpist Maddy Chassar-Hesketh (17) from Shropshire, who has been supported by Future Talent for three years. With our help she has been able to study at Purcell School of Music and the Royal College of Music. Her music has since been performed at Wigmore Hall, Maida Vale Studios, and the BBC Proms among many others.

Maddy said, “Happy Birthday to HRH The Duchess of Kent. Thank you for your work for the musicians of tomorrow. I hope you like my piece. The advice and help of Future Talent has made a huge difference in my music making.”

Future Talent Chairman Nicholas Robinson, who co-founded the charity with the Duchess of Kent said, “On behalf of the Trustees, I send Katharine all our love and very best wishes for a happy birthday. Your passion for music and helping young people has touched so many lives over the years and you are an inspiration - thank you!”

Katharine with Future Talent co-founder Nick Robinson and Ambassador Alexander Armstrong at our Christmas Concert at St George's Hanover Square in 2018.
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