Karen Bergquist Lüth, studio owner, teacher, former Kindermusik mom
Like many children Karen always loved having a song in her head. This early love of music has sustained her through years of experience working with children and music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Thereafter she continued her studies with Samuel Baron of the Julliard School in New York and earned a Master of Arts in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa where she studied baroque and modern flute with Betty Mather. She continued on to do her PhD work in Musicology at Stanford University where she studied baroque flute with Robert Claire, of the acclaimed French baroque orchestra Les Arts Florissants. Karen performs actively in an around Germany in Baroque orchestras and ensembles. Equally at home in historical and modern styles, Karen has premiered numerous new works in close collaboration with composers as part of Ultraschall Festival Berlin, Darmstadt, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Stanford’s Center for Research in Music and Acoustics, and the University of Iowa Center for New Music.
As a performer, historian and flute teacher she has helped nurture this inner song in many children and young adults, and has been inspired as they have carried this music with them into their lives. Karen aims to create a musical experience that will engage children and their families in the fun and excitement of exploration in movement and song.
She’s learned from some of the world’s best flutists and is eager to share their inspiration!
Mercedes Diaz Garcia, Piano
Mercedes Diaz Garcia holds degrees from Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Ohio and Bard College, New York, and has an extensive performance and teaching experience both in the United States, where she lived for about a decade and in Spain, where she taught at National Conservatories.
In 2015 she founded VIVE! Ensemble, with whom they performed Kaija Saariaho’s Opera Emilie, the chamber versions of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, plus many other compositions—standard literature and new works alike— including several premieres. She has researched in her doctorate in contemporary music about subjects of time and auditory scene analysis related to the experience of phrasing and performance.
Ms. Diaz believes in a holistic approach to making music that allows us to connect with our body and with the sound. We make expressive music by feeling the expressiveness inside of us, and in our body. Music is a powerful tool of communication, and to make music is as important to play as it is to learn to listen.
Kathryn studied with Ms. Overholt at Queens College, from which she received her MA in Vocal Performance in May 2012. She also studied vocal performance at Hofstra University with Tammy Hensrud. In the Spring of 2016, Kathryn premiered the role of Winifred in Friedelind’s Wahnfried, in its world premiere at Wahnfried in Bayreuth, Germany. In May, she returned to Carnegie Hall as a soloist in John Rutter’s Requiem, having made her solo debut there in 2013 as the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Most recently on the operatic stage, Kathryn made her role debut as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Opera Theater of Montclair in New Jersey. She has also worked with them in outreach performances of Die Zauberflöte as the Königin der Nacht. Other roles Kathryn has sung are: Violetta in La Traviata with the Long Island Opera Company and the Bronx Opera Company; the title role in Suor Angelica with the Festival of the Aegean and at Queens College; the Lady with the Tattoos in Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with the Bel Cantanti Opera Company; the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro; Musetta in La Bohéme; Micaela in Carmen, and Blanchein Dialogues of the Carmelites. In July 2013, she made her international debut as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece. There, she also sang Mme. Goldentrill in Mozart’s The Impresario as part of the Greek Opera Studio. In August 2013, Kathryn participated in the Berlin Opera Studio in conjunction with the Festival Junger Künstler Bayreuth, where she sang scenes from Verdi’s La Traviata in the Stadhalle in Bayreuth. As a soloist with orchestra, Kathryn has been featured with the New York Virtuosi Singers, Gemini Youth Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, the Nova Philharmonic, OperaOggi, as soloist at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick, and the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory Summer Opera Series, singing music such as the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Joel Mandelbaum’s The Past is Now, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and the Seven Last Words of Christ by both Dubois and Franck, among many others.