?Karen T. Madden, Conductor | Columbus, Ohio | About Karen
 Close up photo of Karen T. Madden, conductor

About Karen

Photo of Karen T. Madden holding conductor's baton

Karen Madden is known to audiences in Central Ohio as an orchestral and choral conductor, cellist and business woman. A native of Indianapolis, Karen began her conducting training at age sixteen, studying with English conductor Leonard Atherton. She continued her training at The Ohio State University and Illinois State University. She has a degree in Music Education and received distinction for her scientific research on the acoustic properties of student-level string instruments.

Ms. Madden has lived and worked in central Ohio since 1995, and maintained a career as an orchestral cellist for much of that time. Concurrently, she advanced her conducting skills by covering orchestra and choral rehearsals and performances. Trained as an educator, and drawing from her experience as a parent, she has been noted for her enthusiastic work on pops and family concerts.

Understanding that music is a people business, Ms. Madden has spent her time away from the podium developing a diverse set of skills. Founding her first company at age 20, she honed her taste and delivery of refined product through her highly regarded pastry business, Vanilla Bean Bakery. In 2000, she co-founded an Internet Service Provider, sharpening her finance and contract skills as Principal Finance Manager. To complement her years on the stage and podium, she has volunteered extensively behind the scenes with community orchestras. She has assisted in the areas of personnel, library, operations, website and ticketing, and donor relations. Of particular note, she built a pilot Musicians in the Schools program on a zero-dollar budget for one orchestra, and for another, secured key donors for the first orchestral commission to be successfully funded entirely via the Kickstarter platform. She has also served as board member of a community orchestra and co-managed a music director search.

Ms. Madden currently serves as Music Director of the Orchestra School of Central Ohio. She was formerly the Assistant Conductor of the Greater Columbus Community Orchestra, and now maintains an active cover conducting schedule. She is one of two choral conductors at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbus Ohio. Ms. Madden counts among her most influential teachers Maestro Atherton, Cliff Colnot, Hilary Apfelstadt and Peter Stafford Wilson.

Ms. Madden resides in central Ohio with her husband, who is an IT professional, and their two children. As a hobby, Karen enjoys spending time concocting new desserts for her friends. In their spare time, she and her husband are renovating a small cottage, where she wields a sledge with a little less delicacy than a baton.