Sponsored by John Dickinson and Nancy Van Natta
Karen Sremac received her Performers Certificate and Master’s of Music in clarinet from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Stanley Hasty. She was the only clarinet student accepted into the master’s program that year. She received her Bachelors of Music in clarinet from USC, where she studied with Mitchell Lurie.
Karen also studied clarinet extensively with David Breeden, Don Carroll and David Neuman of the San Francisco Symphony and Rosario Mazzeo of the Boston Symphony.
Karen has been the principal clarinetist of the Santa Cruz County Symphony since 1990. She also performs regularly with the Violeto Trio and arranges music for the unique combination of violin, clarinet and cello. Karen performs on all the clarinets: Bb, A, Eb, basset horn and bass, and on saxophones: soprano, alto and tenor. She has performed in many orchestras including the San Francisco Ballet and Opera, San Jose Symphony and now Symphony Silicon Valley, San Jose Ballet, Carmel Bach Festival, Midsummer Mozart, Heidelberg Germany Festival and West Bay Opera. She has performed under the batons of many great conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Bernstein, Eric Leindsdorf, and Herbert Bloomstedt.
Karen has also been honored to perform as soloist with many groups including the Rochester Philharmonic, Santa Cruz County Symphony, Master Sinfonia, Palo Alto Symphony, Redwood Symphony, and in Europe with the Daniel String Quartet.
Karen has enjoyed teaching privately since 1985. Some of her students have gone on to play in symphonies and/or teach in universities. One year, despite the seemingly impossible odds, the only two clarinetists from throughout the United States to be chosen to perform as members of the National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall were both from Karen’s studio. Karen has previously been on the faculty at the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, and the Santa Clara University.
Karen Sremac joined the faculty at CSMA in 2008. She teaches private clarinet and saxophone lessons.