Karen Street studied music at Bath University, the Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music. Her performing credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the BBC Philharmonic, the Matrix Ensemble, Ice Breaker and many West End productions. Karen has recorded with the Fairer Sax, Ute Lemper, Tim Garland's Lammas and Mike Westbrook.
She first started composing at school and for the local music festival. When she began teaching the saxophone, she realised how limited the saxophone repertoire was at that level. Karen wrote a set of easy pieces for saxophone and piano which was published by Boosey and Hawkes, and is now on the Associated Board syllabus. There was also a lack of music for saxophone ensemble so Boosey and Hawkes approached her to write three ensemble books; two of which were written under the name of the Fairer Sax, the all female quartet of which she was a member.
She has since written all kinds of music for the saxophone from solo studies to saxophone choirs. She co-runs and plays accordion and tenor saxophone in the saxophone ensemble Saxtet, whose members are noted for writing their own compositions.
The accordion now features increasingly often in Karen's career, and over the last ten years she has played with Mike Westbrook, Tim Garland, Steve Arguelles, Elvis Costello, Willard White and Phil Robson. She has just released a new CD of her own compositions for accordion called Finally a beginning, with Fred Baker on guitars and Stan Sulzman on saxophone.
In the Winter of 2002, Karen wrote and recorded her debut CD on accordion. It has received widespread critical acclaim and one track, In the Ballroom with the Rope, took first prize at the London Accordion Festival Composition Competition in 2001.
Her second CD Accordion Crimes was recorded in 2004 with Stan Sulzmann, Mike Outram and Fred Baker and features original compositions inspired by the book of the same name by E. Annie Proulx.
Visit the composer's site: www.karenstreet.com
Karen's compositions and arrangements available on SXP include: