American violist, Karina Schmitz, recently settled in Sydney and is thrilled to find herself immersed in the rich and vibrant musical scene in Australia. She is a member of the Australian Haydn Ensemble and Duo Corbetta, and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band, Salut! Baroque, and Adelaide Baroque. In the United States, Karina was principal violist of Handel & Haydn Society in Boston, principal violist of Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland, principal violist of the Carmel Bach Festival in California, and founding violinist/violist with New York based 17th century ensemble ACRONYM.
Opera is a particular passion for Karina, and in addition to her exciting work with Pinchgut Opera, she performed in the 2020 production of Carmen with Opera Australia in Sydney, as well as several fully staged operas and concert performances as a member of the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra from 2007-2018. She has performed and recorded modern premieres of operas by Jommelli and Grétry with Opera Lafayette in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as performances of Charpentier’s David et Jonathas with American Opera Theater, and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with the Greenwich Music Festival. Karina has toured Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Dido with Handel & Haydn Society, and with Apollo’s Fire, she has toured Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo across North America.
Karina holds viola performance degrees from New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her early music studies began as an undergraduate at Oberlin Conservatory with Marilyn McDonald, David Breitman, and Miho Hashizume, and she continued her training in the Apollo’s Fire Apprentice Program. A dedicated practitioner of Historically Informed Performance Practice, Karina finds a way to geek out over the expressive possibilities in every period of music she plays, and she is exceedingly grateful for the opportunities in which HIPP has greatly influenced and shaped her career.
Karina plays on a copy of a Brothers Mantegazza viola she commissioned from Canadian maker, Francis Beaulieu, in 2011.
Pinchgut Opera acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the first story-tellers and singers of songs. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging.