The American mezzo-soprano, Karen Knudsen, grew up in a large musical family and was always surrounded by music and started performing at age 2. Her mother taught her piano at age 5, and at age 10 she began playing the cello. Her solo career was born when, at age 14, she performed as the alto soloist in George Frideric Handel's Messiah, where she played cello in the orchestra and would then emerge from the orchestra pit to sing the alto solos. She studied vocal performance at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where she toured with the BYU Singers. She also attended several workshops: CSU Summer Arts Opera Workshop in Arcata, California; American University Summer Opera Workshop in Washington, D.C.; Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop in New York City.
After her studies, Karen Knudsen moved to Phoenix in 1997 and began singing with The Phoenix Chorale (then The Phoenix Bach Choir) and the Arizona Opera Chorus. She’s performed as the alto soloist in the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) by J.S. Bach with both the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Bach Festival. She was the featured alto soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn with The Phoenix Boys Choir and most recently the St. Cecilia Music Festival in Austin, Texas. She has performed the title role in Juditha Triumphans by Antonio Vivaldi with the Vivaldi Festival and has performed the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and St. John Passion (BWV 245) by J.S. Bach with the Arizona Bach Festival. She has recently performed Karl Jenkin's Stabat Mater with the Choirs of the All-Saints Episcopal Church where she currently serves as the Alto section leader and soloist. Karen and her 7 real sisters, The Knudsen Sisters, recently released a Christmas album titled "Joy".
Karen Knudsen lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her two amazing yet “spirited” children, without whom, she would be lost.