Karen Holvik

Kalamazoo College alumni, Karen Holvik

Karen Holvik

Currently the chairperson of the voice department of the New England Conservatory. She was also former faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Vassar College, New York University, and the Eastman School of Music.

Karen came to K almost by accident, transferring in as a junior, and very nontraditional student, when a rock band she was on the road with stalled in Kalamazoo. Her master’s degree and performer’s certificate in opera comes from the Eastman School of Music.

Holvik has toured extensively in the United States, and has appeared in Canada and Western Europe singing both popular and classical repertoire. She has been successful in many competitions, including the American Opera Auditions, Liederkranz Foundation, Oratorio Society of New York, Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, and Joy in Singing, which sponsored her debut recital at Alice Tully Hall. The Richard Tucker Gala Concert marked her Avery Fisher Hall debut, an event that was recorded by RCA Victor Red Seal and shown nationally on PBS, and she made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra. Other New York venues in which she has appeared in concert, opera, and oratorio include Merkin Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, Miller Theater and St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, the Knitting Factory, and Dance Theater Works.

Holvik spent five summers as an Opera Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, where she was a student of Jan DeGaetani and Arleen Augér and sang leading roles in numerous opera productions. She has since returned as a guest artist to sing concerts featuring works by Bach and Mozart, as well as an evening of Gershwin songs to celebrate the opening of the Harris Recital Hall, with her Eastman classmate, baritone William Sharp, and pianist Steven Blier.