Violist Karen Duong was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. From a young age, Karen had always showed an interest in the arts, but it was not until the age of 11 when she first encountered the viola that her special love for music became recognized! Having enjoyed the viola so much in middle school, Karen went on to attending the Etobicoke School of The Arts where her love for music and the viola only continued to blossom, leading to her enrolment in private lessons at age 17 with violist Angela Rudden. Karen is currently in her fourth year of study in the Bachelor’s of Music Honors Performance degree program at Western University under the tutelage of Sharon Wei, where she is a recipient of scholarships such as the Gordon Jeffery Endowment Strings and Chamber Music Continuing Awards, Jeannetta Marion Burroughs String Award, and the Willena Evans Award in Music. In the summer of 2017, Karen was also given the opportunity to attend the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Program with the 2017 Council for Canadian American Relationship Cross-Border Summer Scholarship. This scholarship, valued at approx. $8,000 CDN, covers the cost of tuition, housing and dining and is only awarded once per year. Along with Curtis Summerfest, Karen has also attended Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music and Orford Musique. Over the years, she has had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned violists, such as Richard O’Neill, Toby Appel, Roberto Diaz, Jutta Puchhammer Sédillot, Teng Li, Paul Silverthorne, David Rose and Dan Scholz! Upon successful graduation for undergraduate study at Western University, Karen hopes to continue her musical studies and pursue a Master’s degree in viola performance. In her spare time, Karen enjoys seeking out new cute cafes with friends, and spending time outdoors!