Karen Yeh is an active cellist based in Los Angeles, California. A multifaceted performer, she has appeared in solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has played in venues ranging from symphony appearances in Carnegie Hall to sold-out pop concerts at the Dolby Theatre. She is in demand as a recording artist for the motion picture industry and can be heard in the new Charlie’s Angels and It: Chapter 2 soundtracks. Festival appearances include the Meadowmount School of Music, Domaine Forget, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Montecito Festival, and the International Music Academy in Pilsen (Czech Republic). In 2009 she traveled to Oberstdorf, Germany to attend the Oberstdorker Musiksommer to perform in masterclasses with Stephan Forck (Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin). Karen has played in masterclasses for such distinguished artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Colin Carr, Anner Bylsma, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Matt Haimovitz, and Janos Starker.
Karen is an active chamber musician and has been coached by members of the Pacifica Quartet, Calder Quartet, and Danish String Quartet. In the summer of 2009 she performed Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” String Quartet with violinist Sylvie Gazeau (Paris Conservatory) in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
A proponent of new music, Karen often premieres new works in both orchestral and chamber settings. She collaborated with composer Kaija Saariaho at Northwestern University in a concert showcasing Saariaho’s complete cello works. She has also performed as guest artist with Now Hear, a Santa Barbara-based ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. Most recently she performed with New West Symphony and the Lyris Quartet in their world premier of Salmagundi by Bruce Broughton, Emmy Award-winning TV and film composer.
An avid orchestral musician, Karen served as principal of her section at Northwestern University, Indiana University, and the University of California Santa Barbara. She currently performs with New West Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, and Santa Barbara Symphony.
In addition to performing, Karen has extensive experience teaching students of all levels and ages. She held a private studio in Santa Barbara and served as a teaching artist for the Santa Barbara Symphony. While at Indiana University, she was an Associate Instructor and was the Orchestral Teaching Assistant while attending UC Santa Barbara.
Born on Long Island, Karen was inspired to begin piano at the age of 6 and later started cello studies at age 9. She attended the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook’s Pre-College Program where she received her first chamber music coachings. She received her Bachelor’s of Music degree at Northwestern University under the tutelage of Hans Jorgen Jensen and a Performer’s Diploma at Indiana University where she served as Janos Starker's last assistant. She completed her master's under full scholarship at the University of California Santa Barbara where she studied with Jacob Braun and Jennifer Kloetzel.