Karen Sinclair | Violinist
Violinist Karen Sinclair enjoys an active performance career as an orchestral and chamber musician. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, she has been a member of The Phoenix Symphony’s first violin section since 2008. During the summer months, Karen performs for ten weeks with the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago, where she has been a first violinist since 2007. An avid chamber musician, Karen has been featured many times on Phoenix’s Downtown Chamber Series and has performed with groups such as Mill Ave Chamber Players and Fountain Hills Chamber Players. She is the co-artistic administrator of Urban Nocturnes, a Phoenix-based chamber ensemble made up of six of the area’s finest musicians, which she founded with Phoenix Symphony colleague Christopher McKay.
Karen made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra when she was eleven years old and subsequently returned to perform as a soloist with the same orchestra on two other occasions. Having earned acceptance to the Curtis Institute of Music at age fifteen, she graduated at nineteen with her Bachelor of Music degree and went on to receive a Diploma of Postgraduate Performance from London’s Royal Academy of Music and a Master of Music degree from Rice University. Her major teachers have included Jascha Brodsky, Yumi Ninomiya Scott, Gyorgy Pauk, Kathleen Winkler and William Preucil.
Before joining the Symphony, Karen won prizes at a number of solo competitions. At the International Competition of Padua, Italy, Karen was awarded the top prize for Soloist with Orchestra, second prize for String Recital, and third prize for Virtuosic Recital and performed as soloist with the Bacau State Philharmonic of Romania. She was named the first prizewinner of the MTNA National Competition and the Delaware Contest for Young Musicians and was a top prizewinner at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland and the AustrianAmerican Society Competition. She was also a finalist in the Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Competition.
Karen’s professional orchestral experience includes performances as a substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra (London), Houston Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and as a member of the Akron Symphony, City Music Cleveland, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and The Knights of New York City, Formerly Associate Concertmaster of the Canton Symphony, with whom she appeared several times as soloist. During the 2017/18 season, she appeared as a soloist with The Phoenix Symphony conducted by music director Tito Munoz on the orchestra’s Classics Series, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with violist Mark Deatherage. Karen plays the “Sir Patrick Vance” violin, made by Pietro Guarneri of Mantua in 1692.