Polyphony Arts is an arts and artist management organisation founded and managed by me, Katie Beardsworth. It began in early 2018 (as Beardsworth Arts), when I went freelance in order to have more flexibility and choice over my work, and to enable myself to spend the right amount of time with my young family.
Since then, my client base and the range of projects I take on has widened enormously and diversified in truly inspiring ways. I have developed a remote team of fantastic arts experts, to allow the business to grow. I feel very lucky to be working with such wonderful people and projects!
Polyphony Arts focuses on classical music artist management and project management. We are all about clarity, inclusivity, flexibility, and making life and work be the best it can possibly be.
Specific services that we provide include: promotion of artists to a large international database of contacts; festival and event management; strategic and artistic planning for arts festivals and organisations; publicity work including copywriting, press and media releases, social media management, and website updating.
We also offer funding support (we have a proven track record of successful fundraising) including grant applications, corporate sponsorship packages, and individual giving programmes such as Friends schemes; and tour management, amongst many other things.
And we regularly collaborate with Classic FM, through projects and artist promotion. Get in touch to find out how we can help you!
You can read more about our team, projects and artists on this website, and follow us on social media at the links below.
I come from a musical family, and have been working in the arts throughout my career. I am lucky enough to have worked with a wide range of wonderful venues, festivals and organisations, such as the Sage Gateshead, Cheltenham Music Festival, Orpheus Foundation, New Paths Music, Hull Chamber Music, the University of Hull’s Events Series, Cadogan Hall, Middleton Hall, St George’s Hanover Square, York Grand Opera House, York Barbican Centre, St Paul’s Covent Garden, Hull Truck Theatre and Hull Minster.
I have been working in the arts since 2005, and have been involved in classical music for my entire life. It is very exciting for me to be running my own arts business. I have always had a passion for arts administration; I have a deep understanding of what it means to work creatively, and I love supporting artists to do creative work.
I have a friendly, professional manner (with an underlying ruthlessness when it comes to negotiating fees!), and meticulous attention to detail/ability to work to deadlines whilst respecting and working with artists’ own priorities and pressures. I enjoy writing and talking to people, and hold myself to high standards of communication.
I am also a singer, and teacher of singing and music theory. For more information on my singing and teaching work, please visit https://katiebeardsworth.weebly.com.
Outside of my professional life, I am a keen volunteer doula and breastfeeding peer supporter for a Hull-based organisation called The Goodwin Trust. This work is very special to me, as I have been trained to offer support to women of all backgrounds during pregnancy, birth, and after birth. The wide range of training, including safeguarding, domestic abuse and FGM awareness, and sign language/deaf awareness, has deepened my understanding of the wide range of issues that people across society face.
As well as being hugely rewarding work in its own right, this volunteering has given me a passion for ensuring the arts are truly accessible and appealing to everyone, no matter what their circumstances are. I am particularly enjoying working on several projects in the field of disability and accessibility, including a project focusing on deafness with the New London Chamber Ensemble, and working with Hull Chamber Music to bring chamber music to a much wider range of the population of Hull and the East Riding.
Margaret studied English and Modern Languages at King’s College, Cambridge where she was heavily involved in the music scene playing co-principal double bass in the university music society’s first orchestra. She was a contemporary of a number of notable performers and composers including George Benjamin, Joanna MacGregor (with whom she performed in “The Threepenny Opera”), Gerald Finley and Mark Padmore.
She went on to qualify as a solicitor, practising international shipping law in the City and then moving the United States where she specialised in international corporate law on Wall Street. After moving to the Boston area with her family, she joined the faculty of Harvard University where she won two awards for excellence in teaching from the Derek Bok Institute for Education.
Returning to the UK she worked as a writer and translator (she has published three children’s and YA books) as well as serving as academic director at a prestigious summer school at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
Margaret also has enjoyed a successful career as a consultant in public sector construction and procurement acting as partnering adviser and project manager on a number of large infrastructure projects for the Ministry of Justice and several major councils across the country.
More recently she worked as Head of Market Intelligence for a major international law firm advising on policy and strategy as well as editing several newsletters for their marine, trade and energy business group.
In 2017 she was selected to join a small, but diverse cohort of business people from across the country on the CBI’s Executive Leadership Programme which took her to into the heart of government and policy making in Westminster, Brussels and Washington.
Margaret continues to play the double bass, sitting as section principal in the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra, for which she also serves as an executive committee member. She is involved in various other local music societies and festivals including Hull Chamber Music.
She currently serves as a local councillor and was Town Mayor of Beverley in 2012/13. She uses her position to promote the arts, especially music education for young people.
When she is not playing music to relax, Margaret is making a name for herself on the stand-up comedy circuit and has appeared in London and New York as well at venues across the North of England. She is winner of the Rising Stars Comedy Club Audience Award.
Margaret speaks fluent German as well as being competent in a number of other languages (including Indonesian).
While studying Music at The University of York, Susie pursued several interests alongside her course including rock climbing and skiing. During her summers she worked at Harrogate Music Festival and Dartington Summer School and, upon graduating, she embarked on a career in artist management. Initially completing two short term contracts at smaller agencies, she subsequently joined Askonas Holt in 2010 where she worked for a decade.
Susie continues to balance out her musical life with various activities and over the years has completed courses in theatre practice at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, film making with the BFI Film Academy, worked on a community musical project with The Old Vic Theatre, and even qualified as a yoga instructor in 2019.
Graziana Presicce is an Italian pianist, based in the United Kingdom. She recently completed a scholarship-funded PhD in Music Performance at the University of Hull (2020). Her research and doctoral thesis, also explored through her performance activities, investigates music listeners’ experiences of visual imagery. Graziana graduated in 2012 with a First Class BA Music Degree at the University of Hull, where she was awarded the Sir Thomas Beecham Music Scholarship and Special Prize in Music; she then completed a Master course with Distinction (2014).
As a performer, Graziana actively engages in recitals, both as a soloist as well as accompanist. Past engagements include concertos with the New International Chamber Ensemble (NICE) and the former Hull University Orchestra. Graziana also performed on various occasions as part of the Hull Philharmonic Orchestra, beside an engagement as a concerto rehearsal pianist. In March 2017, she performed what is believed to be the recorded premiere of works by the Hull-born composer Ethel Leginska, alongside baritone Lee Tsang. The events, part of Women of the World Festival and Hull City of Culture 2017, were also featured on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters.
Relationships are everything in the arts; here are some that I am particularly grateful for.
Mark Brownlee from RichWeb Marketing, excellent web designer – you rule!
Helen Wyllie, graphic designer – thank you for the logo and other design work.
Linda Martin, photographer – thank you for Katie’s headshots, featured throughout this website.