Karen Murray, MA, L.TC.L, Dip. CSM
Music Director, VIMA
“Without question, Ms Murray is one of the foremost Strauss violinists in the world today.”
--Dr. Eduard Strauss, Great grand nephew of Johann Strauss II
“Following Ms. Murray`s performance, it is truly heartening to know that Ireland's musical heritage and future is in such safe and gifted hands in Vienna.”
--President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins
"In her public performances Ms. Murray not only impressed with her exceptional technique, but also with her exceptional musical sensitivity. I value this musical component above all else and it distinguishes this artist as a typical Viennese violinist.”
--Prof. Werner Hink, Concertmaster Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director of the Vienna International Music Apprenticeship and Irish concert violinist, Karen Murray has dedicated her life to her music and mentoring young musicians to achieve their highest level of playing and shine with ease on stage during the most important years of their development.
Ms. Murray has won international acclaim as violinist and champion of the interpretation of Viennese music as well as the Irish Classical music tradition.
She has performed solistically in major cities in Europe and Asia also giving special performances touring Japan on the Johann Strauss Violin an Amati, 1615) where the “King of Waltzes” performed maybe the worlds most famous Waltz, The “Blue Danube Waltz”. Karen Murray performed a series of concerts in the US where she made her American debut performing for Albert II, Prince of Monaco, in New York City.
As First prize winner of the Mozart Concerto Competition and Solo Bach Competition, performing solistically and touring worldwide with many Viennese Ensembles and The Celtic Virtuoso, Ms. Murray became known as one of the leading performers of Viennese music classical and the virtuosic Irish music tradition.
Her music has been broadcasted on many media outlets including National Public Radio Washington D.C, NHK television Japan, RTE Dublin and Radio Stephansdom Wien.
She has received special Awards including the Hugo Breitner Award for Artistic Excellence from the office of the Lord Mayor of Vienna and Arts Council Dublin.
Her touring agents have been Künstlersekretariat Rudolf Buchmann and Concert Agency Music INC. Tokyo.
Irish concert violinist, Karen Murray began her violin studies at the Cork School of Music Ireland at the age of 4 as a Suzuki student and graduated with a BA in Performance and Teaching under violin teacher Una Kindlon who greatly inspired her not only in her playing but as a violin teacher, sowing the seeds of what would become Ms. Murray`s great passion of performing and teaching.
Her greatest teachers of studying the Viennese style and interpretation were at the Musik und Kunst Universität under Prof. Florian Zwiauer (1st Concertmaster of the Wiener Symphoniker and 1st Violinst of the Franz Schubert Quartet and with Prof. Manfred Kuhn, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she graduated successfully at the Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien, MUK.
Ms. Murray holds a diploma from Trinity College London in Violin Performance and an MA from the Musik und Kunst Privat Universität Vienna (MUK) and a Diploma in Chamber Music, Akademie Graz, Austria
She has held teaching positions at the Cork V.E.C, the Music Psychology Dept. at the University of Vienna, Webster University, Longy School of Music, Boston, and The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Washington DC. and is currently the Music Director of the Vienna International Music Apprenticeship, Austria.
Univ. Prof. Edwin Vanecek, PhD
Founder and Managing Director of VIMA
Cellist, music Professor and author of several books based on Music and Literature, Prof. Edwin Vanecek, PhD, studied Cello at the University of Music (MUK) in Vienna. He was featured on “Who is Who in America?” and received many awards for his work including the Du Pont Fellowship.
Born in Vienna, Edwin Vanecek holds an MA in Cello performance, Chamber music and teaching, studying with the Bartok String Quartet, and Franz Schubert Quartet, he was First Prize Winner of the Jungend Musiziert – String Quartet Competition.
In his teaching he follows the VIMA philosophy of educating young musicians and to create an inspiring and deep understanding to a unique interpretation of Schubert, Haydn and Mozart, making the experience of playing music in Vienna a unique aspect of their time here.
He was the co-founder of the Wiener Solisten Ensemble, performing Viennese music and touring Asia. He has also performed with many Orchestras and Ensembles in Vienna including the Austrian Radio Symphonie Orchester, the Wiener Volksoper and the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler Orchestra.
He performs regularly in Vienna including VIMA Concerts with Concert Violinist Karen Murray and Head of the Musicology Project Program Schubert “Cause and Interpretation – the act of writing in its musical representation in Franz Schubert´s vocal works”. Edwin Vanecek is solo cellist and co-founder of the “Wiener Solisten Ensemble”.
Edwin Vanecek also holds a PhD in German Literature and is a leading expert in the field of the literaric- and cultural historical connections between music and literature and is one of the leading experts in the field of the influence of German Literature and Music. As a renowned professor of Music and Literature at the Private University of Music and Arts (MUK) in Vienna, he as toured worldwide performing and lecturing at prestigious universities including Harvard University, the University of Virginia, the George Mason University and the Universitiy of Massachusetts, Boston.
A special feature of Edwins cello lessons at VIMA is the extended musical- and historical approach to the VIMA repertoire. As founder of VIMA, through his interdisciplinary expertise, he brings a deeper insight and authenticity into the interpretation of the typical Viennese repertoire and style by giving our young musicians also the cultural and historic background of the pieces they are playing, creating a bridge between their cultural and artistic environment and it´s music they are playing. For many of our advanced and Pre-college level VIMA students their active knowledge of the cultural artistic background of their music has contributed significantly also to their success to getting accepted at prestigious universities like MIT, Yale, Oxford University or the University of Virgina.