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Street, Karen

She is an accordionist, wind musician and composer who started playing the accordion when she was seven years old and composing for the local music festival while still at school.  She took her musical studies at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, Bath University and the Guildhall School of Music.

Entering competitions she performed in the Coupe Mondiale in England and Germany and also earned herself the title of British Virtuoso Champion from 1981 to 1982.

She became a freelance musician, often in the jazz scene, playing the accordion, clarinet, flute and saxphone as well as composing and has since performed and/or recorded n several productions in London’s West End and with many artists and groups/ projects that include the BBC Philharmonic, Celtonia, The Fairer Sax quartet, Lammas, the Matrix Ensemble, the Phil Robson Octet, Platterback, The Royal Opera House and The Royal Shakespeare Company.

 She and her husband have run Saxtet, which is a saxophone quintet that often plays her compositions along with those of the other members of the ensemble.

After becoming a teacher she wrote a set of “easy pieces for saxophone and piano” and her compositions for saxophone are used in the syllabus for music exams throughout the UK.  Her other compositions are regularly performed by ensembles and soloists alike.

In 2001 her work for accordion, “In the Ballroom with Rope” was the composition winner at the London Accordion Festival.  Also in 2001 she released her debut album Finally a Beginning and in 2004 followed it up with Accordion Crimes, which had the accompanying tour the following year.  In 2006 she worked with Kate Westbrook on her The Njinska Chamber where she appears as the featured artist and in 2008/9 she saw the release of her latest CD Another Story.

Celtonia Recordings
Baloo Lammy (Scottish Traditional)
Zah Zah 9809 (CD: Celtic Flute Christmas)
Harp/Clarsach – Jennifer Campbell
Bodhran/Uillean Pipes – Steafan Hannigan
Guitars – Donald McPhearson
Accordion – Karen Street
Celtic woodflute/Whistles/String & Percussion arranger – Declan Waggett