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Karen (Matsumaru) Wendel grew up in Vancouver studying violin, piano, and voice. She was a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for 12 years, and currently performs regularly with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Karen was previously the Assistant Principal Viola of Symphony Nova Scotia and was also a fellow with the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Karen received her Master of Music degree in Viola Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. While in Boston, she performed with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra for three seasons, under the baton of Benjamin Zander. Ms. Wendel is also an accomplished singer, having performed with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and other Toronto and Vancouver choirs.

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