Saturday 7 February 2009 7.30
Karen gained her GRSM and LRAM diplomas in piano and piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded several prizes and commendations. Whilst at the Academy she performed Gershwin’s piano concerto, Shostakovich’s 2nd concerto and also played to Lutoslawski. She has played in masterclasses with John Barstow, Peter Katin and Roger Vignoles.
Since her solo recital debut at Ferneham Hall in 1985, she has given many recitals throughout the country, both as soloist and in chamber groups. She enjoys regular duo performances with bassoonist Richard Moore, clarinettist Rob Blanken and pianist Eunice Pike.
With the Havant Orchestras she has previously played concertos by Beethoven (2nd and two performances of the 3rd), Chopin (2nd), Rubinstein (4th), Grieg and Poulenc’s 2-piano concerto with Peter Craddock while her most recent appearance in October 2006 was to play Mozart’s No 26, the Coronation Concerto with HCO. She has worked as official accompanist for many festivals, masterclasses and courses, including the Isle of Wight International Oboe Competition and the Portsmouth Vocal Summer School. Karen has played Shostakovich’s concerto for trumpet and piano with Crispian Steele-Perkins and the Southern Pro Musica, Gershwin’s Concerto with Solent Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s 3rd and Rachmaninov’s 2nd and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Petersfield Orchestra. In addition to all her concerto, chamber and solo playing, Karen is Head of Keyboard at Portsmouth Grammar School - a post she has held for the past four years.
When she has time out from playing and teaching the piano, Karen enjoys playing tennis (she has a compact court in her back garden), collecting factual magazines about crime, playing Scrabble and watching ‘Countdown’ on television.