2017 Festival Orchestra: Karen Freer

Freer-Karen-Headshot-1 Mainly Mozart San Diego Classical Music Festival & Concerts

Karen Freer, cello

Cellist Karen Freer has lived in Atlanta since the fall of 1998, where is an Artist Affiliate at Emory University and Assistant Principal Cello with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Previously she held positions with the Savannah Symphony as principal cello, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She grew up in the San Diego suburb of University City, where she began piano lessons at age five and cello lessons at age eight. When she was eleven, she began commuting to lessons in Los Angeles with Eleonore Schoenfeld, and she won the concerto competition with the San Diego symphony at age seventeen. She then attended Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music, where she earned respectively a bachelor’s degree in music, a concurrent Performer’s Certifcate, and a master’s degree in music. Her principal professors were Janos Starker and Paul Katz, but she has played in masterclasses for many artists including Ralph Kirshbaum, Zara Nelsova, and Paul Tortelier. Freer has attended several summer festivals including four years at the Aspen Music Festival, where she studied with David Finckel, among others. She played two years with the New York String Orchestra, the second as principal, performing at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. She has attended the Teton Music Festival in Wyoming since 2006. In her free time, she enjoys running, studying French, cooking, traveling, and the company of her cat Sylvia.