Born in Exeter, Katy Woolley began playing horn at age ten. She studied with Sue Dent and, later, Simon Rayner. Ms. Woolley graduated from the Royal College of Music in London with a first class degree and was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal by the Prince of Wales. She served as principal horn in the European Union Youth Orchestra for two years and undertook further study with Christian Friedrich Dallmann at the Universität der Künste in Berlin.
Ms. Woolley was appointed principal horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra at age twenty-two, having previously been awarded the third horn position while she was still a student. She has joined the Philharmonia Orchestra as a soloist in Mozart’s Horn Concerto Nr. 2, both Richard Strauss’s Horn Concertos, Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings and Tansy Davies’ ‘Forest’ Concerto. She has also performed as a soloist with the London Mozart Players and the New York Philharmonic.
A passionate teacher, she has been a professor of horn at both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. As a visiting teacher she has educated students at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
In 2019, Katy Woolley was appointed principal horn of the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam.