Professor Emerita, Desautels Faculty of Music
Dr. Karen Jensen served as a professor of voice and the graduate chair in the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba.
She has performed in major concert halls of London, Rome, Turin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. She was a founding member of the vocal avant-garde electronic group Electric Phoenix. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Jensen teaches vocal pedagogy at the University of Manitoba and has created software for the study of singer’s diction. As vocal judge and examiner she serves in Europe and across Canada.
Jensen is a founding member of Electric Phoenix, a UK avant-garde solo vocal quartet that commissions new works for electronic music and voice from composers such as Henri Pousseur, Peter Maxwell Davies, Roger Marsh. Electric Phoenix has performed world premieres in major venues and festivals in Europe, the UK, and North America, including the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Aldburgh Festival, Royal Albert Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Purcell Room, and Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Jensen has also served as a soloist with chamber groups such as Red Byrd, directed by John Potter, and Lontano, conducted by Odaline Martinez, performing in Finland and across Canada.She has also served as a soloist in Turin and Rome, for Laborintus II by Luciano Berio with the Rome Philharmonic with a repeat performance with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. She also performed in the premiere of “The Cycle of Spring," by Glenn Buhr, with the Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra, Centre in the Square.
She has studied with mentors Cathy Berberian, Robert Spencer, Marjorie Thomas, Jessica Cash, and Dorothy Howard, and performed or worked with many musicians, including Linda Hirst, John Potter, Catherine Bott, Andrew Parrott, Luciano Berio, Henri Pousseur, Clive Waring, John Gardener, and John Alldis. Jensen is also the composer of songs based on exploration of ancient sacred spaces in the Mediterranean.
She received the International Award for Innovation in Teaching and Technology for her multimedia CD-ROM diction text: A Singer’s Guide to the IPA. Jensen was also awarded a Merit Award in Teaching from the University of Manitoba.
During her time as a faculty member at the University of Manitoba, in addition to her work as a voice professor, Jensen served as Associate Dean for the Desautels Faculty of Music, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.