Karen Ní Bhroin

One of Ireland’s Leading International Orchestral Conductors

why book karen?

  • Karen is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading young conductors, making significant debuts with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London and the BBC Philharmonic
  • As the creator of the podcast “And Other Duties, The Life of the Assistant Conductor,” Karen is on a mission to change conducting education, focusing on topics not traditionally taught and fostering honest conversations in the field
  • Karen’s brings her conducting experience to her keynote “The Silent Leader: How conducting really works, what do we really do and what kind of leadership is it?”


Karen Ní Bhroin, whose career on both sides of the Atlantic is attracting attention wherever she conducts, is one of Ireland’s leading young conductors. This season Karen has made debuts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, BBC Philharmonic, first engagements with The Ulster Orchestra Belfast, Orchestre Métropolitan Québec and a return to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.

Karen’s 2023 commenced with the West of England Youth Orchestra, later on in the season she will work with Chetham’s School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Manchester, and will make her debut with TRNC Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Cyprus. Other recent highlights include concerts with Grand Rapids Symphony (Michigan), and engagement with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the premiere of Mark Lanz Weiser’s Opera, Galaxies in Her eyes, (High Point, North Carolina).

Creator of the podcast And Other Duties, The Life of the Assistant Conductor, Karen is on a mission to change conducting education: to teach the things that are not usually taught and to create a forum for honest conversations and communication. As a partner with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Karen is developing, conducting and presenting the orchestra’s community and education programmes over the next three years.

Having trained at home in Ireland as Conductor in Training from 2016-2018, Karen worked closely with the National Symphony Orchestra and National Philharmonic Choir. She subsequently moved to the USA, where held the position of Assistant Conductor of North Carolina’s Winston-Salem Symphony, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program and Associate Conductor and Visiting Professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts from 2020-2022. In 2017 Karen made her debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, in 2019 she was appointed Assistant Director of the Akron Symphony Chorus, Ohio and in 2020 made her debut with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.

Assisting some of the best conductors in the world today, Karen has worked closely with JoAnn Falletta, Nathalie Stutzmann and Thomas Wilkins. She has also been mentored by Marin Alsop, Timothy Redmond and Neil Thomson. Karen has worked as Assistant Conductor at National Music Festival USA with conductor Richard Rosenberg (2019), attended Dartington International Summer School Advanced Conducting programme (2019) and was a Britten-Pears Young Artist at Snape Maltings, UK (2018). During 2021, Karen was part of the inaugural conducting academy at National Orchestral Institute, where she was a fellow with Marin Alsop. During 2022, Ní Bhroin received an artists bursary for a French language residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, an emerging artist music bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland, and will be a Taki-Alsop Mentee with Marin Alsop throughout 2023.


The Underdog

The journey to the podium for one conductor who went from conducting a local choir in Co. Wexford to leading some of the world’s top orchestras.
You will learn:

  • The success story of someone who’s odds were against her
  • The psychology of conducting and getting the best out of any team
  • Maintaining a healthy mind at the top of your game
  • Is communication only verbal?
  • Setting goals and achieving them
  • Believing in your vision, when no one else does
  • Dealing with failure on a daily basis
  • Entrepreneurship, creating your own career and life
  • Creating a balance

The Silent Leader

How conducting really works, what do we really do and what kind of leadership is it?
You will learn:

  • Leadership styles and how they apply not only to music
  • Trusting your team
  • Building honest communication
  • Admitting when you are wrong
  • Dealing with failure in front of your team and publicly
  • Dealing with criticism
  • Being true to yourself always
  • Putting your art first no matter what

Karen Ní Bhroin