The Winston-Salem Symphony appoints new  assistant conductor

Karen Ni Bhroin

The Winston-Salem Symphony appoints new  assistant conductor
March 05
11:58 2020

The Winston-Salem Symphony has named Karen Ní Bhroin assistant conductor effective June 1. Ní Bhroin is originally from County Wexford, Ireland, and currently holds the position of graduate assistant orchestral conductor at Kent State University, Ohio, where she is pursuing her masters in orchestral conducting with Dr. Jungho Kim and will graduate with a master’s of music in May 2020.

As assistant conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Ní Bhroin will be responsible for managing the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program, including conducting the Youth Orchestra, the program’s top ensemble; acting as the cover conductor for the music director for all Winston-Salem Symphony concerts, including serving as an extra set of ears in the hall, making notes for rehearsal, and covering/filling in for the conductor as needed; conducting a select number of Winston-Salem Symphony concerts and/or portions of concerts; providing artistic planning support; and engaging with the community, including speaking, media interviews, and fundraising events.

Timothy Redmond, music director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, met Ní Bhroin during the summer of 2019 at the Dartington Music Summer School and Festival in Devon, England, and invited her to join him as guest assistant conductor for the opening concerts in October 2019 of his inaugural season as music director (2019–20).

“I had great interactions and conversations with Karen at the Dartington Summer School, including a lively and interesting discussion centered on Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring,’” said Redmond. “My first concert as music director with the Winston-Salem Symphony included ‘The Rite of Spring,’ and I thought Karen would be the perfect person to act as my assistant conductor for that concert. She did such a great job and was so well received by the musicians and staff, that it soon became clear she would be the perfect person to fill the Winston-Salem Symphony’s assistant conductor position. I can’t wait for the Winston-Salem community to meet her. She is going to be a tremendous asset to both the symphony and the Triad community.”

“My experiences visiting Winston-Salem in October and working with Tim, the musicians and the staff of the Winston-Salem Symphony were fantastic,” said Ní Bhroin. “I was extremely impressed by the caliber of the musicians and the professionalism of the staff. In addition, I felt warmly welcomed by Winston-Salem and I am really looking forward to June when I will begin working with everyone. It is the perfect next step for my career.”

In 2019, Ní Bhroin was appointed assistant director of the Akron Symphony Chorus, Ohio, and made her debut with the Akron Symphony Orchestra in 2020. In the summer of 2019, Ní Bhroin was an ssistant conductor at National Music Festival in the United States with conductor Richard Rosenberg and she also attended Dartington International Summer School Advanced Conducting program on full scholarship working with conductors Timothy Redmond and Graeme Jenkins. She was Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) Conductor in Training from 2016–2018, working with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir in Dublin, Ireland. In 2017, Ní Bhroin made her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, conducting a lunchtime concert at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, which was broadcast live for RTÉ Lyric FM. She was a Britten-Pears Young Artist Marin Alsop at Snape Maltings in the United Kingdom during 2018. She won the Orion Young Conductors’ Award at MusicFest in Aberystwyth, Wales, in 2017 with the Orion Orchestra and conductor, Toby Purser. One of three finalists in the ESB Electric Ireland Feis Ceoil, Ireland’s inaugural conducting competition in 2014, Ní Bhroin conducted the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and made her conducting debut while in the final year of her degree with the Trinity College Orchestra.

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