started playing at the age of six and attended the Royal Academy of Music
and Trinity College, Cambridge, studying under the watchful eyes of Emma Ferrand and David Strange.
She became the
principal cello of the European Union and National Youth Orchestras and
then joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as co-principal until settling
in as the number two cello and eventually principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.
September 2002, she was one of nine musicians, including Tim Callaghan, to
perform a Classics By Candlelight concert that featured her as a soloist on
Antonio Vivaldi’s “Cello Concerto in C minor”.
She was one of
two featured soloists, the other one being violinist Cynthia Fleming, on
the BBC Concert Orchestra’s world premiere recording of the ballets, Horoscope by Constant Lambert and The Wise Virgins by Sir William
Walton, in 2004. In 2007, she
was one of the cellists on Roberto Cacciapaglia’s
CD, Quarto Tempo.
up with violinist Vaughan Jones on 29th June 2007 for Duos for a
Summer’s Evening at the Church
of St. Giles, which
is located in Cheddington, Buckinghamshire. The church fundraiser included
transcriptions of sonatas originally written for the keyboard by Antonio Soler and Domenico Scarlatti.
December 2007, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra honoured
the sixteenth anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence
with a Kazakh gala concert. The
program comprised Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 4 in E minor,
Op. 98”, Sir Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor,
Op. 85”, and Ties Kazhgaliev’s “Kyz Kuu” from Steppe Legend.
forces with Pinchas Zukerman on 18th
January 2008 for Max Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor,
Op. 26”, Elgar’s “Serenade for Strings, Op. 20”,
and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony
No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36”.
the Philharmonia in September 2008 and they put
her right to work, hosting that month’s podcast and then delivering
the cello solo from Olivier Messiaen’s La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur
Jesus-Christ in October.
Lorin Maazel conducted the U.K. premiere of his own “Farewells: Symphonic Movement, Op. 14”,
as well as Gabriel Faure’s Pelleas et Melisande and Jean Sibelius’s “Symphony
No. 2 in D, Op. 43”, on 2nd April 2009.
August 2009, the Philharmonia participated in the
Three Choirs Festival by performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Festival Chorus at
Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Modest Mussorgsky’s
Pictures at an Exhibition, and
Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23”,
with Simon Trpceski at the keys, in November and
Karen was an
adjudicator at the Bedford Rotary Club’s Young Musician Competition
final at Bedford
Middle School on 21st
March 2011, The Harborough Collective, which was
rounded out by Catherine Leech, Lisa Nelsen and David Le Page, performed
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Flute Quartet in D” at St.
Dionysius Church in Market Harborough.
with whom Karen has worked include the Ad Hoc Quartet, the Allegri Quartet, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish
Symphony, Chamber Domaine, the Chamber Players, English
Sinfonia, the London Sinfonietta,
The Philharmonia Orchestra and Voices blasted off with 2001: A Space Odyssey Live on 12th
June 2011, they reunited with Simon Trpceski for
Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G, Op. 44”, which
was sandwiched between Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture,
Op. 96” and Sibelius’s “Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 43”.
In addition to
her busy performing schedule, Karen is also active in the field of music
education, tutoring Pro Cordo and the National
Youth Orchestra and teaching at the Royal Academy of Music.