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Celebrating 62 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 24 – July 29, 2023

Karen Birch Blundell

Woman with brown hair in ponytail in 3/4 headshot wearing black shirt, holding an oboe against her right shoulder. Background is blurred fall foliage

KAREN BIRCH BLUNDELL (English horn/associate principal oboe) is an active freelance artist based in New York City. She is the English horn player for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, a member of the Double Entendre Music Ensemble and an Eastern Music Festival alumna. She has performed throughout the Northeast with ensembles including the American Symphony Orchestra, Amor Artis, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, New Camerata Opera, Riverside Symphony and Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to her time in NY, Birch Blundell was second oboe/English horn with the Sarasota Orchestra. While in Florida, she regularly performed with neighboring orchestras including the Florida Orchestra and Naples Philharmonic. Before joining the faculty at EMF she spent her summers in Mexico City as solo oboe of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria. Birch Blundell has been a guest musician with the Houston Symphony, the Houston Ballet Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Pops where she was honored to don one of their famous red jackets. Beyond the classical realm, she has toured the US with the New Sousa Band and has been a back up musician for mega stars including Bernadette Peters, Idina Menzel, Mannheim Steamroller and The Who.

Birch Blundell holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Hartt School of Music. After completing her degrees, she was a Fellow at the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Her teachers include James Caldwell, Alex Klein, Humbert Lucarelli and Robert Atherholt. She lives in Washington Heights with her husband, conductor Reuben Blundell, her daughter and a rather cantankerous cat.

Photo Credit: Matt Dine