Award-winning flutist Karen Baumgartner has given many solo performances including a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall which later aired on National Public Radio, and can often be heard on Minnesota Public Radio. Karen has a love for premiering new works and has commissioned multiple flute concertos, chamber works, and a multimedia solo flute piece. Karen’s first commission was a Flute Concerto by Grant Luhmann which she premiered with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. The performance was recorded and later aired on MPR and shortly after Karen premiered the chamber version of the piece. Karen is a member of 10th Wave and is a founding member of e(L)ement, a flute and harp duo which is currently a Class Notes Artist through MPR.
As a proud Minnesotan Karen is thrilled to be based in the Twin Cities to pursue her varied flute interests. She performs with many groups including Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. Karen has soloed with Saint Paul Civic Symphony, Apollo Music Festival, and others, and has been a board member of Upper Midwest Flute Association. Karen has been a faculty member at University of Minnesota Morris and is currently a faculty member at University of Northwestern - St Paul.
Karen has been an award winner in Minnesota Orchestra's Young Artist Competition and was awarded a $10,000 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award when she appeared on From the Top. She has soloed with orchestras at the Eastern Music Festival, and was twice the runner-up at Indiana University's Woodwind Concerto Competition. Karen has won the Pellerite Orchestral Excerpt Competition, Schubert Club Competitions, and Thursday Musical Competitions. During the 25th year of the Laudie Porter Flute Competition Karen became the first flutist to win each age division of the competition. Karen has been a finalist in the YPSCA Competition and Minnesota Public Radio’s Varsity Competition.
Karen has received degrees from Indiana University and University of Texas at Austin and is forever grateful for the many teachers and mentors who have guided her to where she is today. She is especially thankful for her flute teachers Michele Frisch, Thomas Robertello, and Marianne Gedigian.