Karen Lonsdale holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and Griffith University. She has performed as Principal Flute with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Symphony and Sydney Symphony. She has also performed with the North West German Philharmonic, Tasmanian Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Melbourne Philharmonic, Camerata of St. John’s, Queensland Pops Orchestra and the Australian Entertainment Orchestra. She has played in orchestras for the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Simon Gallagher and co, ‘Operettvilag’, Broadway Touring Company, Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, and Opera in the Paddock (Mimosa Orchestra), among others. She has performed as a soloist with the Queensland Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Sunshine Coast Sinfonia and Balmain Sinfonia. She has also performed in the Queensland Orchestra Players Chamber Series and has been guest artist with the Southern Cross Soloists, Armenian String Virtuosi, Topology and Darwin International Guitar Festival.
Karen Lonsdale has a great love of pop, rock, jazz, world and other modern styles, and has played in back-up orchestras and ensembles, with well known performers such as Il Divo, Michael Bolton, The Ten Tenors, Tommy Emmanuel, Grace Knight, Julie Anthony, Tommy Tycho, Simon Gallaher, Jon English, Marina Prior, Rhonda Birchmore, Donny Ray Evins, Jackie Love, Don Lane, Todd McKenney, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sirens of Song, Rachael Beck, and Ian Stenlake. She was Solo Flute and Lead Vocalist with the cabaret ensemble X-Collective for a decade, until the group disbanded in 2011. In 2007, she played as a soloist with the Queensland Orchestra, rock guitarist Tim Gaze and the River Festival Surf Band in the final concert of the Brisbane River Festival. She recorded Kerin Bailey’s Five Dances for Flute and Piano in 2010.
Her research on injury prevention and management for flutists has been presented at the National Flute Association (NFA) Conventions in Kansas City (2008), New York City (2009), Anaheim (2010), Charlotte (2011) and New Orleans (2013). She has also presented papers at the Australian Society for Performing Arts Health Care (ASPAH) Conference in Melbourne (2008), Brisbane (2009), Sydney (2014) and the Performing Arts Medicine Symposium in Aspen (2009 and 2010). Other key presentations were at the Sydney Flute Festival (2006), Masterclass Australia Workshops (2006), 12th Australian Flute Convention in Coffs Harbour (2005), Australian Flute Festival in Adelaide (2009), Griffith University (2007-2011) and the International Music and Performing Arts Conference (IMPAC) 2014 in Malaysia. She was a guest clinician at Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia (FOBISSEA) annual music teachers’ conference in Phuket, Thailand (2013). She was on the organising committee for International Music and Performing Arts Conference (IMPAC) 2014 in Malaysia.
Karen Lonsdale has been the Adjudicator for the Adelaide, Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, New South Wales Flute eisteddfod societies, the Queensland Flute Challenge, James Carson Flute Competition (Queensland), Leslie Barklamb Scholarship Finals (Victoria), Blitz (Allans) and the Australian National Band Championships. More recently she was a jury member for the Sultan Idris National Wind Orchestra Competition and the Finale Wind Orchestra Competition, as well as the English X-Factor singing competition in Malaysia.
She was an Examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board in Queensland, and previously also in New South Wales from 1995-2012. She has presented flute workshops for the Australian Youth Orchestra, New South Wales Flute Society, Education Queensland, Queensland Flute Guild, Victorian Flute Guild, Darwin Youth Music Camp, Grafton Artsfest, University of New South Wales Music Department, and Central Queensland University. She was Flute Tutor at the USQ McGregor Summer School for 18 years (1994-2011).
Dr Lonsdale taught flute and chamber music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (2008 – 2012) and was Lecturer in Flute at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba (2004 – 2008). Many of her former students are now working in the music industry as professional and semi-professional musicians, school classroom and multi-instrumental teachers, studio flute teachers, arts administrators, flute sales representatives, workshop presenters and as a music therapist. Her students have won major prizes in competitions such as the James Carson Competition for the Queensland Champion Flautist, Australian Flute Festival Open Ensemble Competition, Australian Flute Convention Ensemble Competitions, and many awards at the Queensland Conservatorium.
Karen Lonsdale has been the Director for music events, including the Queensland Flute Workshops (2012), Logan Summer Music Workshops (2010), Approaching the Music of Mozart with Stephen Barlow (Masterclass Australia, 2006); Michael Cox masterclasses (Queensland Flute Guild, 2002; Flutes and Flutists, 2010), Paul Edmund-Davies recital and masterclasses (Queensland Flute Guild, 2001); Queensland Woodwind and Brass Competition (Music Teachers Association of Queensland, 2008); and the Queensland Summer Flute Festival (2007).
Karen Lonsdale is currently Senior Lecturer at the Faculty for Music and Performing Arts, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Sultan Idris Education University), Tanjong Malim, Perak, Malaysia. She has lectured across a range of courses, including Flute, Voice, Choral Studies, History of Western Music, Woodwind Techniques, Popular Singing, and Musicianship. She is an International Reviewer, and Technical Editor for the Malaysian Music Journal. Dr Lonsdale has been a board member for the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare since 2014.