instrumental performing and recording artist Karen FitzGerald brings together a
classically trained technique with a deeply personal musical intuition that
comes straight from the heart. Her
solo piano compositions range from delicate and soothing to passionate and
soul-stirring, evoking the beauty of nature, the subtle shades of human emotion
and a longing for spiritual wholeness. According
to her hometown newspaper, the Bellingham Herald, “Her
soaring compositions are reminiscent of snowstorms and waterfalls.
Her musical expression is at once powerful and melodic.”
debut CD, Heart of the Rain, was released in
April 1999. Heart
of the Rain is nine beautiful piano solos, with tasteful synthesizer
enhancement on two tracks. The
album was recorded at Triad
Studios in Redmond, Washington, and mixed and mastered at Bellingham's Soundings
of the Planet Studio. Heart of the Rain begins with the gentle “Remembering,”
bringing us back in touch with our hearts.
The journey continues expressing the movements of nature, including the
wistful “A Rainy Night Outside Your Door” and the energetic “Summer
Rain.” The album climaxes with
the triumphant “Emergence,” then soothes us to sleep with “Lullaby.”
began early as she listened to her mother play the classics on the family's baby
grand piano. That piano held
special fascination for Karen, and at the age of five, she begged her parents
for lessons, which initiated twelve years of traditional piano studies
emphasizing the classics, music theory, composition and performance.
She graduated with honors from the Wilmington
Music School in her hometown in Delaware. In college, Karen majored in
Physics and Mathematics, but when she needed a break from her studies, she once
again found herself drawn to the piano. As
she released pent up feelings at the instrument, she learned how to improvise,
and began creating her own distinctive musical vocabulary.
then moved to Northwest Washington where she spent the next fifteen years
working as a computer programmer. Early
in this time period, she discovered several pianists who affected her deeply.
"The music of Keith
Jarrett opened my mind and expanded my horizons in the world of
improvisation. But it was the
simple, lyrical lines of George
Winston that changed my life and got me started on my path of piano
Story’s music was inspirational as well, and her presence as a successful
woman pianist-composer provided me with an invaluable role model."
first fruit of this musical exploration was Karen’s 1987 cassette release,
In 1990 her piece, "Remembering" was selected as a winner in
the Songwriter's and Musician's Foundation song contest, and in 1994 her piece,
"Summer Rain" was featured on a
seamless connection, a compilation album of top Northwest Washington
songwriters. In 1998 and 1999,
three of Karen’s pieces were choreographed by Penelope Coberly Lagios of
Bellingham’s Dance Gallery, and were performed live in concert with the
dancers. In 2001, Karen
collaborated with cellist Janet Peterson of Motherlode
to create music for a local production of The
Vagina Monologues. In 2002, Karen’s piece “Lullaby” was released by Spring
Hill Music on The
HeartAid Project, a 9/11 solo piano benefit compilation.
love of music has also involved her deeply with singing.
She has worked with choral groups both large and small in the capacities
of director, arranger, and singer, as well as accompanist.
She was a co-founder of the dynamic 85-member Kulshan
Chorus, and her gospel, country, and jazz piano arrangements dazzled
Bellingham audiences for ten years. Karen
currently performs with the vocal ensemble, Calyx, and her piano work appears on
their 2006 release, Sweet
Life. Karen is also
experienced in accompanying solo performers, and her playing is featured on folk
Allen's 1991 release, Washington Notebook.
Karen’s music has begun to find its way into film and television, including The
Oprah Winfrey Show and Best
Week Ever, as well as background music for numerous promotional
videos and web sites. She can be
heard on a number of Internet broadcasts, including the popular Whisperings
Solo Piano Radio show.
her second solo CD, Cascade, in the planning stages, Karen FitzGerald is poised for further
expansion in her musical career. As
Chris Lunn of the Victory
Music Review says, “Here is modern, original solo piano ~ clean and crisp at its most
lyrical, warm sense... Very fine piano and composition by a woman who should
have national stature.”
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Karen FitzGerald.
All rights reserved.