Karen Knudsen Stanley, Mezzo-Soprano Biography

Growing up in a large musical family meant that Karen 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 Handel’s Messiah, where she played cello in the orchestra and would then emerge from the orchestra pit to sing the alto solos. After studying vocal performance at Brigham Young University where she toured with the BYU Singers, she 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 (Bach) with both the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Bach Festival. She was the featured alto soloist in the Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn) with The Phoenix Boys Choir and most recently the St. Cecilia Music Festival in Austin, Texas. She’s performed the title role in Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi) with the Vivaldi Festival and has performed The St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion (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 lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her two amazing yet “spirited” children, without whom, she would be lost.