Irish violinist and composer Karen Murray has won international acclaim as violinist and champion of the virtuoso-violinistic interpretation of the typical Viennese as well as Irish and Classical Music Tradition.
She has performed in major European cities, all over Asia and in special performances in the US, where she made her American debut performing for Crown Prince Albert of Monaco in New York City.
Ms. Murray was born in Cork, Ireland, and began her violin studies at the age of four under the Suzuki method and continued further at the Cork Institute of Technology and Music (CIT). She is first prize winner of the Mozart Concerto Competition and the Solo Bach Competition, Ireland and holds several teaching diplomas also from CIT and Trinity College, London. She pursued her studies further at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien (MUK) where she graduated in Solo violin performance. During her studies she was awarded the Hugo Breitner Award for artistic excellence from the City of Vienna.
On the occasion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s 200th anniversary Karen Murray was invited to perform a series of chamber music concerts in White Hall, London, under the patronage of the former Lord Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Helmut Zilk.
During her studies she was awarded the Hugo Breitner Award for Artistic Excellence from the City of Vienna. In 2001 she was also awarded „Person of Extraordinary Ability“ (Green Card) by the US Government for her artistic career.
Karen Murray frequently toured in Asia with various Viennese ensembles. The success of her interpretation of viennese Music lead to the invitation to perform on the original Johann-Strauss-violin, Amati from 1615, on the occasion of its official return to Vienna after several decades. Karen Murray´s performances on this instrument was covered by the Austrian national Television (ORF) as well as Kronen Zeitung and Die Presse.
Ms. Murray was invited by the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA to perform a series of concerts in New York city on the Johann-Strauss-violin. This was the first time that this instrument was heard in the US. Following the great success of these concerts she was sponsored by the Allied Irish Bank, NY, to make the first available solo CD recording on this instrument. The CD presentation took place a the Allied Irish Bank, NY on St. Patrick´s Day.
Karen Murray has performed various honorary award ceremony events and special concerts at the Wiener Rathaus, including a performance for Leon Askin and the prestigious „Wiener Vorlesungen im Rathaus“ with pianist Hans Kann.
Karen Murray toured to Japan as Soloist with the „Wiener Solisten Ensemble“ which was managed by her agent at that time, the Künstlersekretatiat Buchmann, Vienna. On the occasion of this tour Karen gave a press conference at the Austrian Embassy, Tokyo, which was covered by major Japanese newspapers and CD magazines.
Karen Murray has received huge acclaim for her performance of her own compositions and arrangements of Irish music with the Celtic Virtuoso – Show on St. Patrick’s Day in Vienna under the patronage of the Embassy of Ireland, Vienna and former Lord Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Häupl, the Porsche Owners Club, Austria (POCA) and the Austrian National Bank (OeNB).
She has toured extensively in major European cities, as well as all over Asia and has given special performances in the U.S. where she made her American debut performing for Prince Albert of Monaco in New York City. Among other honorary performances she toured with Rudolf Nurejew, performed with austro-american Jazz pianist Joe Zawinul as well as Austro Pop Group EAV.
Among various charity events Karen Murray has performed at the UN, Vienna, the Co-operation Ireland Fund, NYC, the American – Ireland Dund, the US Embassy Vienna, Kinderkrebshilfe Wien, the American – Ireland Fund, NYC, Enable Ireland, Cork, and SOS Kinderdorf Wien.
Ms. Murray´s music has been broadcasted by many radio- and TV stations, including Radio Stephansdom Vienna, NPR, USA Irish Radio, NYC, at the Adrian Flannelly show, NPR, USA, RTE (Radio Telefis Eireann), Ireland, where an entire program was dedicated to her music, and most recently on NHK, Japan.
Karen continues to perform and teach at her home in Vienna and is married to University Professor and Author Edwin Vanacek and has one son, Kian.