Karen Lynne Deal
                                                               This season marks Karen Lynne Deal’s  11th season as music director and
onductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.  During  her tenure Maestra
Deal has brought local and statewide opportunities to the Illinois Symphony
Orchestra, using classical music to entertain, educate, and make history
come alive in our state capital and beyond.  At the request of violinist,
Rachel Barton Pine, Maestra Deal led the orchestra in its Chicago debut at
                                                               Millennium Park for Ms. Pine’s Great Performer concert this summer.  She
and the orchestra have also been invited to play at Ravinia for a second
time, performing an all Tchaikovsky concert on Labor Day in honor of
Maestro Eric Kunzel.  

It was in 2008 that the Illinois Symphony Orchestra debuted at Ravinia, performing in honor of the
Lincoln Bicentennial.  The invitation came following the success of An American Dream, a concert event
created and conducted by Maestra Deal in honor of the 100th anniversaries of the founding of the
Abraham Lincoln Association and the NAACP, and in commemoration of the  100th anniversary of the
Springfield Race Riots of 1908.   Gaining the attention of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, Maestra
Deal was subsequently asked to create and conduct a celebratory concert for the Lincoln Bicentennial at
the Prairie Convention Center in February 2009.  This concert, entitled,
Let Freedom Sing, brought
together over 1000 performers, including local school children, a mass community choir, youth and
community orchestras, along with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Bill Kurtis, and public officials, to
celebrate the historic occasion with an integrated and diverse audience of over 4000 men, women, and
children, in stark contrast to the Lincoln Centennial held at the old Armory in 1909.  These examples of
creative programming and community involvement have led the orchestra to win several awards from
Illinois Council of Orchestras including the Community Event of the Year Award/2009, the
Community Service Award/2008, and the Meritorious Service in Outstanding Programming
Award/2000.  Maestra Deal has been awarded the Illinois Humanities Council,
Studs Terkel Humanities
Service A
ward - 2004, and the Springfield Arts Council Mayor’s award for Individual Artist of the Year.

At the heart of her community service and desire to educate is a consummate musician, devoted to the
music itself and making it come alive.  Noted across the country for her passionate performances and
precise technique, Ms. Deal’s orchestral, ballet, and operatic repertoire is extensive. Guest engagements
have included the orchestras of Boise, Richmond, Tulsa, Tucson, Reading, New Mexico, Waterloo/Cedar
Falls, Kansas City Camerata, Sacramento, Springfield (MO), Westmoreland, Brevard, Bremerton, and the
Orquesta del Nuevo Mundo in Mexico City.  At home with a wide variety of styles and concert formats,
Maestra Deal has conducted for such prominent artists as Itzhak Perlman, James Galway, Donald Peck,
and William Warfield, as well as popular artists, Peter, Paul and Mary, Chet Atkins, Kathy Mattea, and
Mercedes Ellington.

Prior to coming to Illinois, Maestra Deal was Associate Conductor of the
Nashville Symphony.  She also
served as Music Director of
Nashville Ballet, Tennessee Opera Theatre, and frequently guest conducted
Nashville Opera. Before moving to Nashville, Ms. Deal was Associate Conductor of the Annapolis
Symphony Orchestra, and Founding Music Director of the Sinfonia Concertante, a professional chamber
orchestra noted for its commitment to living composers. She made her European debut in Vienna,
Austria with the Pro Arte Orchestra and also assisted at the Frankfurt State Opera before returning to
the United States to pursue her doctoral studies in orchestral conducting at The Peabody Conservatory
of Music. She has a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music in Flute
Performance.  She has received conducting scholarships at the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals,
and was winner of the National Repertory Orchestra’s Biennial Conducting Competition, serving two
years as Associate Conductor.

Ms. Deal’s public image is wide ranging, from appearances on PBS’ Nova science series, to the 1997
“Coolest People,” award by Nashville Life magazine. She has received citations of appreciation from: the
Mayor of Nashville, in “recognition of her years of leadership as creator, conductor, and coordinator of
Let Freedom Ring,” an annual musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  She is a favorite guest
speaker wherever she goes, and is often called upon to present lectures on leadership and diversity
inclusion for academic and civic groups. In Springfield she has been a guest speaker for the Animal
Protective League, Leadership Springfield, Illinois Women in Leadership, the Urban League, Freedom
School, Prairie Heart Center for Living, Daughters of the American Revolution, and various other non-
profit organizations. An animal enthusiast, Karen lives with her dogs Jake and Skye, enjoys playing jazz
flute, and spends the summers snorkeling with whale sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles.  

                   Maestra Deal may be reached at


                   1215 Ivywood Drive        Springfield, IL  62704          (888) 698-4035