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Classical scholar, musician, Communist and author of an influential book on Mozart - the composer she most admired. Katherine’s political education began in the early thirties in Germany, when she saw the fascist jackboots on the streets an experience that stayed with her for the whole of her ling life.
Later in the thirties, she married George Thompson (see separate entry) and joined him in the Communist Party in 1940. She helped form the Birmingham Clarion Choir, which became an invigorating, anti-fascist force in the war, expressing the songs of struggle of the labour movement and the international workers’ movements, whilst also inspiring its audiences with music drawn from the classical repertoire.
After the war she developed her thesis on Mozart and eventually published “The Masonic Thread in Mozart (1977). In a similar way to her husband, who traced the social origins of Greek drama, Katharine went some way in finding a similar pattern in her account of the influence of underground radical opinions to be found in the work of Mozart.
Katherine celebrated her hundredth birthday on June 29th 2006 but was to die shortly afterwards.