Karen Rowell was born to a musical family, in Woodstock, Ontario. At age 17, while studying with Gwen Beamish, Karen attended the Banff School of Fine Arts Gifted Youth program. Following this experience Karen earned both her Piano Performance and Teaching Associate Diplomas with the Royal Conservatory of Music. While studying with James Hibbard, Karen was awarded the Gold Medal with Western Conservatory of Music (now Conservatory Canada) for her Performance Associate work, continuing her studies by achieving her Licentiate and Fellowship in piano performance with Trinity College of London, England. Karen enjoys accompanying and performing and has given many benefit concerts. Her public performances include a 1993 performance of Gerald Bales, “Toccata for Piano, 1975” for Mr. Bales, which was later recorded and sent to China, on the request of the composer.
Karen teaches piano, pedagogy, beginning and advanced theory and music history in her private studio. Karen has created and continues to update theory courses and technique courses for her private students in order to make these subjects accessible to all. Karen is working on a series of technique books to support the requirements in the RCM Piano Syllabus of 2008. For further information on these books, please they may be ordered through www.russellpublishing.ca for grades four through eight.
Appointed to the RCM College of Examiners in 1995, Karen is an active examiner, enjoying the challenges of marking advanced theoretical subjects, pedagogy and piano. Active in the Music Community, Karen will be adjudicating at the Elmira Festival in April 2011.
Music is rarely far from mind with Karen, composing being another interest. Many of her pieces can be found in the a published series by CNCM called Northern Lights – An Exploration of Canadian Piano Music in grades one through six. Four more selections are due to be released in July of 2011 at the grade seven level. An enthusiastic supporter of Canadian music performance opportunities, Karen has enjoyed taking part in Summer Sizzle, a CNCM initiative, for a number of summers as a composer.