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    Stephenson, Karen

    Cellist who 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.

     

    On 26th 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.

     

    Karen teamed 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.

     

    On 9th 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’sKyz Kuu” from Steppe Legend.

     

    They joined 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”.

     

    Karen joined 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.

     

    On 14th August 2009, the Philharmonia participated in the Three Choirs Festival by performing Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Festival Chorus at Hereford Cathedral.

     

    They performed 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 December 2009.

     

    Karen was an adjudicator at the Bedford Rotary Club’s Young Musician Competition final at Bedford Middle School on 21st January 2010.

     

    On 6th 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.

     

    Other groups 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, and Psappha

     

    The Philharmonia Orchestra and Voices blasted off with 2001:  A Space Odyssey Live on 12th April 2011.

     

    On 5th 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.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.philharmonia.co.uk/orchestra/players/cellos/karen_stephenson/
    2. http://www.euyo.org.uk/united-kingdom
    3. http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/entertainment/s/58400_classics_by_candlelight
    4. http://www.alibris.com/search/music/upc/743625116823
    5. http://www.marbecks.co.nz/detail/index.lsd?catalogID=286451
    6. http://www.discogs.com/Roberto-Cacciapaglia-Quarto-Tempo/release/2639677
    7. http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Luton/St-Giles-Church/Duos-For-A-Summers-Evening/95257/
    8. http://www.kazakhgala.co.uk/give.php?file=img/KazakhGala_Programme%207.pdf
    9. http://www.livingclassic.com/recording/tles-kazhgaliev-steppe-legend-symphonic-suite-4-part-kyz-kuu
    10. http://www.liedcenter.org/documents/Royal%20Philharmonic%20Orchestra.pdf
    11. http://philharmonia.co.uk/_downloads/File/transcripts/0809season/September%202008%20Podcast%20Transcript.pdf
    12. http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/LiveEvents08/MessiaenTransfigurationRFH.html
    13. http://www.musicalcriticism.com/concerts/rfh-philharmonia-1008.shtml
    14. http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=6943
    15. http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2009/Jul-Dec09/threechoirs_1408.htm
    16. http://www.philharmonie.lu/downloads/abendprogramm/1230/2009-11-30_091130_Abendprogramm_DOWNLOAD.pdf?PHPSESSID=n9mbrktdscs5pr4hgt3tff3u84
    17. http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=7729
    18. http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.asp?PgID=137766&ClubID=420
    19. http://www.geocities.ws/guyael/cast.html
    20. http://blazejowski.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-hard-enough-walking-around-in.html
    21. http://homepage.mac.com/john_fletcher/2011.html
    22. http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=9279

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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