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Karen Gibbard - MA early music, MMus oboe performance - is a freelance oboist and teacher of oboe and recorder. She is a professional member of the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) and the BSI (British Suzuki Institute).


Karen is a professional oboist, specialising in performance on historical oboes from the baroque, classical and romantic periods of music. This has included engagements with the Brighton Early Music Festival, Dunedin Consort & Players, Gabrieli Consort & Players, London Handel Festival, Ludus Baroque, New London Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The King's Consort, Parley of Instruments and The Hanover Band.

Karen was a member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) in 2012, a participant on the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience scheme (funded by Ann and Peter Law) in 2010, and she regularly performed on classical and romantic oboes with the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique 2008-2010. On modern oboe Karen carried out a rare solo performance of Gordon Jacob's second oboe concerto, as well as playing with the All Souls Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and the Orchestra of the Teatro Olimpico of Vicenza at the New York Carnegie Hall.


Karen received a Masters in early music from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland (2013). This included intensive principal study coaching on baroque and classical oboe with Katharina Arfken. Prior to this Karen studied baroque oboe with Katharina Spreckelsen and Gail Hennessy in London, after graduating with an MMus Distinction in Oboe Performance – Orchestral Training from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2008), generously funded by the HR Taylor Charitable Trust and the Mercers' Company. Karen was initially introduced to baroque oboe at the University of Leeds, where she focused on oboe performance and attained her first-class BMus (Hons) in 2007.

Teaching & Community workshops

Karen has trained with the British Suzuki Institute as one of the first Suzuki Method recorder teachers in the UK. She very much enjoys working with young people and encourages children to have fun with music from an early age. Karen teaches oboe and recorder to pupils of a variety of ages, both privately and through local music services.

Karen is also passionate about taking live music into community settings, having been involved in a wide variety of community music workshops through Live Music Now!, Ace of Clubs, the LSO Discovery Scheme, City of London Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Wigmore Hall's Chamber Tots scheme.

"Karen is an exceptionally fine player with very powerful tone and immaculate execution. "
Margaret Jacob

Please contact me if you require further information or would like to book me for performance or education work.