Dr Karen Grylls, CNZM - Artistic Director

Karen Grylls is Associate Professor in Choral Conducting at the University of Auckland. She conducted the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1989 to 2011, founded Voices NZ in 1998 and with the New Zealand Secondary Students’ choir now under the aegis of Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand, she is currently Artistic Director of these three internationally acclaimed national choirs.

From 2011 to 2013, Karen was also Artistic Director of Toronto’s Exultate Chamber Choir. During her time at the University of Auckland, Karen has established a postgraduate pathway in Conducting. She received an Auckland University Distinguished Teaching Award in Music (1996), and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to choral music (2023). She is also the recipient of two national citations for services to New Zealand music and was recently appointed to the Board of the NZ Choral Federation.

Karen is much in demand as an adjudicator for competitions and festivals worldwide, most recently in Bali and Taipei, the 48th International competition in Tolosa, and the Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition, Bavaria. She is sought internationally as a choral clinician and regularly conducts masterclasses and workshops in Wales, England, North America, Canada, Singapore, and Australia.

In August 2019 Karen was a plenary speaker at the Oxford Conducting Institute and at the Sydney Conservatorium Conference. Since the outbreak of the pandemic online lecture appearances have included the Sydney International Series (Gondwana), Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston and Montreal. In July 2022 she was a member of the jury for the Tokyo International Chamber Choir Competition.