A top classical violinist surprised and delighted music lovers at a Dorset care home when she performed live during a visit to see her 100-year-old grandfather.
Just a few weeks after performing at the BBC Proms, Katie Stillman entertained residents of Colten Care’s Castle View in Poundbury near Dorchester.
In line with the home’s Covid-safe visit protocol, she stayed behind a see-through screen at the entrance as her audience watched and listened from the foyer inside.
Katie, co-leader of Manchester Camerata and a renowned soloist and chamber musician, played movements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the opera Orfeo ed Euridice by the 18th century German composer Christoph Gluck.
The impromptu recital took place on a visit to Katie’s grandfather John Stillman. The centenarian had only recently watched her on national television at the Proms playing Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in her role as principal violinist for London’s Aurora Orchestra.
John, a former architect and chorister who once sang at the Albert Hall in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, said: “I watched Katie playing at the Proms on iPlayer recently and was completed moved by the experience.
“Then, when she came and performed for us right here at our home, it made me feel so proud of her once again.
“Everyone was surprised and amazed when she spontaneously started playing.
“She is a true artist with the most outstanding creative musicianship and technical skills.
“As well as playing, she collects classical violins and, like others in her collection, the one she was playing for us has great historic value and is worth many thousands of pounds.”
Castle View’s Companionship Team Leader Katya Williams said: “We couldn’t take our residents to the Proms this year, but luckily the Proms came to us.
“It was absolutely delightful to see our residents enjoying the magic of Katie’s playing. What an exquisite treat!”