Karen Anne Lonsdale obtained her Bachelor of Music (1988) and Graduate Diploma of Music (1989) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. She continued her flute studies in Germany, graduating with a Meisterklassendiplom from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich in 1992. She was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts from Griffith University in 2011. Her doctoral thesis is entitled: "Understanding Contributing Factors and Optimizing Prevention and Management of Flute Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders”. In 2020, she was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Education (Leadership and Management) from the Queensland University of Technology.
Karen Lonsdale has performed as a flautist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony, Munich Symphony, NorthWest German Philharmonic, Queensland Pops Orchestra, and Camerata. She has performed as a soloist with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Balmain Sinfonia and the Suncoast Sinfonia. She has performed in orchestras led by renowned conductors Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Yoel Levi, Yuri Temirkanov, Simone Young, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Christopher Seaman, Carl Davis CBE, Sian Edwards, and Loris Tjeknavorian.
As a chamber musician, she has performed in Australia, Germany, Malaysia and the USA. She is also a trained singer who has toured Queensland as the Flutist and Solo Soprano with the X-Collective Cabaret Ensemble, led by Craig Allister Young.
She can be heard on recordings with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, X-Collective, Topology, Ten Tenors, Munich Symphony (film), Camerata (app), as well as her solo CD, 'Vocalise'. She performed the flute demo tracks for Kerin Bailey's "Five Dances for Flute and Piano", as well as the Music Bumblebees Aural and Theory Workbooks.
Dr Karen Lonsdale has adjudicated at the Australian National Band Championships, Sultan Idris National Wind Orchestra Competition (Malaysia), Finale Wind Orchestra (Malaysia), Unplugged Singing Competition: English X-Factor (Malaysia), the Malaysia International Music Arts Festival (MIMAF), Ipoh Music Festival (Malaysia), Bandfest (Newcastle), as well as numerous eisteddfods and music competitions in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
Dr Lonsdale has taught Flute and Chamber Music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University; Flute, Flute Choir and Flute Pedagogy at the University of Southern Queensland; and Flute at the University of New South Wales. She was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Music and Music Education, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, Sultan Idris Education University or (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris/UPSI), Malaysia from 2012-2018. Her main teaching areas were Flute, Voice, Choir, Choral Conducting, Popular Singing, History of Western Music, Woodwind Technique, and Fundamentals of Music Theory. Dr Lonsdale teaches Flute, Singing, Recorder and Music Theory to enthusiastic and talented emerging artists from Greater Brisbane and regional Queensland. Many of her former students are now professional Arts workers, including performers, educators, music therapists, and arts managers. She has also been a Guest Clinician or Tutor at many schools around Greater Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast.
She has presented research papers at the Performing Arts Medicine Association Symposium (USA), the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare Conference, National Flute Association Convention (USA), Australian Flute Festival, International Music and Performing Arts Conference (Malaysia), the Federation of British International Schools in South East Asia (FOBISSEA) Conference (Thailand), and the ‘Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures’ (BIBAC 2016) Conference at the University of Cambridge, UK.
In 2017 Karen Lonsdale was a guest artist at the 2017 Australian Flute Festival (Brisbane), and the Ipoh Music Festival. She also performed with the Nakasari Ensemble (Malaysia) at the Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research in Melaka, and the BrisAsia Festival in 2018.
Since returning to Australia in September 2018, Karen Lonsdale has performed with Camerata and collaborated with pianist Dr Hila Yusopov for the Australian premiere of Mushel’s Flute Sonatina, at the University of Queensland in July 2019. She also presented workshops at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University for Project Week and for the Queensland Music Teachers' Association.
In 2021, Karen Lonsdale performed on Flute, Alto Flute and Recorder at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital for The Stairwell Project. She has also given several solo concerts as a Singer/Pianist in aged care facilities in Brisbane and Redlands for Musical Circles, and performed on flute with the Queensland Irish Choir.