With a career on both sides of the Atlantic attracting attention wherever she conducts, Karen Ní Bhroin is one of Ireland’s leading young conductors. This season she makes her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra, and returns to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Manchester Camerata having made her debut with them all last season. She is Music Director for a production of Breathwork with Irish National Opera and conducts the Irish Chamber Orchestra with soprano Ailish Tynan. She is an award recipient from the prestigeous Taki Alsop Fellowship from 2024, which follows on from her having been a mentee with Marin Alsop for the previous two years.
Last season also included her debut with TRNC Presidential Symphony Orchestra (Cyprus) and a return to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for a concert broadcast live on RTE following her debut there in 2017. Other recent highlights include first engagements with with Grand Rapids Symphony (Michigan), Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Orchestre Métropolitan (Montreal) and the Ulster Orchestra (Belfast) as well as the world premiere of the opera Galaxies in Her Eyes, by Mark Lanz Weiser. In 2019 she was appointed Assistant Director of the Akron Symphony Chorus, Ohio and in 2020 made her debut with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.
An advocate for youth orchestras, Karen’s 23/24 season includes concerts with Chetham’s School of Music Symphony Orchestra (Manchester) and the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, having previously worked with the West of England Youth Orchestra and the Ulster Youth Orchestra (Belfast).
Assisting some of the best conductors in the world today, Karen has worked closely with JoAnn Falletta, Nathalie Stutzmann and Thomas Wilkins. She has also been mentored by Marin Alsop, Timothy Redmond and Neil Thomson. Karen has worked as Assistant Conductor at National Music Festival USA with conductor Richard Rosenberg (2019), attended Dartington International Summer School Advanced Conducting programme (2019) and was a Britten-Pears Young Artist at Snape Maltings, UK (2018). During 2021, Karen was part of the inaugural conducting academy at National Orchestral Institute, where she was a fellow with Marin Alsop. During 2022, Ní Bhroin received an artists bursary for a French language residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, an emerging artist music bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland.
Creator of And Other Duties, The Life of the Assistant Conductor and And Other Duties, Conducting Courses, Karen is on a mission to change conducting education: to teach the things that are not usually taught and to create a forum for honest conversations and communication. As a partner with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Karen is developing and conducting the orchestra’s community and education programmes over the next three years.
Having studied at home in Ireland as Conductor in Training from 2016-2018, Karen worked closely with the National Symphony Orchestra and National Philharmonic Choir. She subsequently moved to the USA, where she held the position of Assistant Conductor of North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Symphony, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program and Associate Conductor and Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts from 2020-2022.
A music education graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she earned her Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at Kent State University, Ohio, where she studied with Dr. Jungho Kim as his Graduate Assistant Conductor.
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Email: Isabella Hopkins