“…a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity.” – The Chicago Tribune
The 2021/22 season saw major highlights for Karen, including her subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Dima Slobodeniouk, who stepped in for Semyon Bychkov. Under Maestro Bychkov, Karen also performed with Czech Philharmonic, returning to the orchestra having debuted only last season, as well as Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Karen also made her debut with Orquesta Nacional de España with David Afkham, and made returns to the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris under Mikko Franck. To close off her season, she stepped in last-minute for Leonidas Kavakos with the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and Cristian Macelaru, with whom she collaborates regularly.
In Europe Karen has worked with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, WDR Sinfonieorchester, Dresdner Philharmoniker, Polish National Radio Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Danish National Symphony, Kristiansand Symphony, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Already well established in North America Karen has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Detroit, San Francisco, Dallas, Cincinnati, Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, St. Louis, and Washington D.C.
Further afield, Karen has toured twice with the New Zealand Symphony and also appears regularly with the Melbourne and Sydney symphony orchestras. This upcoming season she makes her debuts with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra as well as the Taiwan Philharmonic National Symphony Orchestra.
Strongly committed to contemporary works, Karen world-premiered Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen to great critical acclaim. The work was written for Karen and commissioned by the CSO’s ‘Music Now’ series for their 20th anniversary. Karen also gave the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Concerto No. 2 Mar’eh with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington under the baton of the composer. Most recently, she performed Elizabeth Ogonek’s “In Silence” with the Detroit Symphony. Next, she takes on Samy Moussa’s concerto “Adrano” written in 2019, to give its US premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony and conductor Fabien Gabel.
For the occasion of Astor Piazzolla’s 100th anniversary in 2021, Karen released ‘A Piazzolla Triology’ on BIS Records, recorded with the Strings of Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and guitarist Stephanie Jones. It follows Karen’s first project with BIS, a collection of works by Paganini and his baroque predecessors recorded with guitarist Ismo Eskelinen, released in 2019.
“…deeply serious, temperamental and just plain gorgeous… always with a clear sense of the music’s rhythmic pulse and sonic perspectives.” – Toronto Globe & Mail
Karen has had the pleasure of working with such conductors as Semyon Bychkov, Gustavo Dudamel, Jakub Hrusa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Andrew Davis, Cristian Macaleru, Dima Slobodeniouk, David Robertson, David Zinman, Hannu Lintu, Jaap van Zweden, James Gaffigan, Karina Canellakis, Leonard Slatkin, Louis Langrée, Mark Wigglesworth, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Neeme Järvi, Pinchas Zukerman, Thomas Dausgaard, Thomas Søndergård, Vasily Petrenko and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
A passionate chamber musician, Karen has collaborated with Kathryn Stott, Leif Ove Andsnes, James Ehnes, Antoine Tamestit, Emmanuel Pahud, Lawrence Power, Christian Poltéra, Alisa Weilerstein, Tine Thing Helseth, Lars Anders Tomter, Eric le Sage, Daishin Kashimoto, Ismo Eskelinen, Paul Meyer, and the late Heinrich Schiff. She gave a three-week tour of Australia with Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and has also joined Jeremy Denk at his Milton Court/Barbican residency in London. She has appeared a number of times at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, the Seattle Chamber music Society in the US, the Moritzburg Festival in Germany, and the Risør Festival in Norway. Future chamber music plans include a recital with pianist Olli Mustonen, and piano trio concerts with pianist Kiveli Doerkin and cellist Julian Steckel.
Karen participated as violinist, host, and narrator in a 2013 documentary film produced by NHK Japan about Antonio Stradivarius called The Mysteries of the Supreme Violin, which was broadcast worldwide on NHK WORLD.
She is also a champion of the Nuevo Tango music of Astor Piazzolla, and collaborates with Piazzolla’s longtime pianist and tango legend Pablo Ziegler, as well as with bandoneon players Hector de Curto, JP Jofre, and Marcelo Nisinman, double-bassist Pedro Giraudo, and electric-guitarist Claudio Ragazzi.
Karen plays on the “Aurora” Stradivarius violin of 1703 that was bought for her exclusive use by a private sponsor.