Karen 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. In 2020, she was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Education (Leadership and Management) from the Queensland University of Technology.
She has performed as a flautist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony, Munich Symphony, Queensland Pops Orchestra, Camerata, and X-Collective Cabaret Ensemble. As a solo and chamber musician, she has performed in Australia, Germany, Malaysia and the USA.
She 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 various eisteddfods and music competitions in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
Dr Karen Lonsdale was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Music and Music Education, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, 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.
She has presented research papers at the Performing Arts Medicine Symposium (USA), the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare Conference, National Flute Association Convention (USA), Australian Flute Festival, Global Illuminators Conference, 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 in 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.
Since returning to Australia in September 2018, Karen Lonsdale has performed with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra and collaborated with pianist Dr Hila Yusopov for the Australian premiere of Mushel’s Flute Sonatina, at the University of Queensland in July 2019.