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multi skilled, violist/violinist, composer and arranger.

Blurred Black and white photo of Karen De Nardi focusing on her viola and left hand fingers near the scroll


Karen’s compositions have a strong reputation in the South Australian scene. Her talent was recently showcased in performances with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra during the prestigious Big Rehearsal. Entitled The Biscuit Suite, this collection of five orchestral pieces, conducted by Graeme Abbott, captivated audiences in both 2019 and 2021 and 2023.

In 2022, Karen took center stage as the featured composer for COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide), curating a captivating concert that showcased her versatility across various ensembles, including string quartet, string ensemble, and guitar duo compositions.

Karen's impact extends beyond the concert hall, as she lent her expertise to the 2021 ABODA schools music competition, where her compositions challenged and inspired string ensembles of varying skill levels.

Notable among her commissioned works is Le Feu a Notre Dame, a poignant string quartet piece commissioned by the Zephyr Quartet in 2019, inspired by the tragic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral. (audio and video below)

In 2017, Karen's composition Odyssey, exploring themes of migration and inclusion, was performed at the Queensland Festival of Music, showcasing her ability to infuse profound narratives into her music.

Karen's compositions have garnered national attention, with broadcasts on ABC ClassicFM, underscoring her growing influence in the Australian music landscape.

Embracing collaboration and exploration, Karen eagerly seeks opportunities to expand her creative horizons, welcoming the chance to collaborate across different art forms and locations. Experience more of Karen's compositions at


“Viola players make great arrangers... It is the details and intricacies of the middle harmonies and rhythms that provide great scope for arrangements and composition.​“

In July 2021, Karen embarked on a groundbreaking project, arranging 20 orchestral renditions of Pink Floyd's timeless music. Collaborating with a 30-piece orchestra and a rock band, she breathed new life into classics, enchanting audiences nationwide. The show's resounding success saw it grace sold-out theaters across Australia's major cities, captivating over 2000 attendees each night.

In September 2023, Karen undertook the task of arranging "Rocket Man: The Music of Elton John." With the same blend of orchestral prowess and rock sensibility, she orchestrated a spectacle that dazzled audiences at the Adelaide Festival Centre. Now poised for a national tour, the show promises to captivate audiences far and wide.

Beyond her orchestral endeavors, Karen has lent her talents to singer-songwriters and bands, crafting emotive string accompaniments that elevate their music. Additionally, her repertoire boasts numerous pop arrangements tailored for string quartets, offering a diverse array of musical experiences. Those intrigued by her work are invited to explore her repertoire at and get in touch to acquire these unique arrangements.

If you are interested in acquiring any of these pop arrangements please check the list at and get in touch.

Karen de Nardi's orchestral arrangements being played live on stage by 30 piece orchestra and 8 piece band at Adelaide Festival Centre. Eclipse Pink Floyd Orchestrared.

ECLIPSE Pink Floyd Orchestrated ( Adelaide Festival Theatre 17 July 2021)


Le Feu à Notre Dame  ( The Fire at Notre Dame )

"On being asked to compose a piece for Zephyr, I had many melodies spinning around in my head and a strong idea for a groove based uptempo tune. I had planned to get started on the music when I awoke to hear the news of The Notre Dame, in flames, being broadcast across the world.

One fire – destroying years of history, centuries of craftsmanship, irreplaceable paintings and stunning stained glass windows. Countless memories from billions of visitors, stories of religious gatherings and romantic holidays lost in a matter of hours. This monumental structure means so much to the people of Paris and those who have visited the city over many years. To see it alight was heartbreaking.

This is where writing from the heart took precedence over technical planning. Not choosing any particular chord structure, I wrote the beginning of this piece starting from a unison G (the initial flame) which then slowly spreads and finds air, creating uncertainty. The music rises as the flames take over and you can hear the church spire catch alight and begin to fall. The melodies resemble that of the organ and choral music. A more calming theme is heard as the fire disperses and the damage can be seen; the paintings and windows are safe and there is a feeling of relief that the building can be saved."

Tim Tam Slam from The Biscuit Suite

I was thrilled that my suite was chosen to be performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. This suite includes Arnotts biscuit favourites - Scotch Finger Hoedown - a finger splitting piece using slides and double strings, Moorish Montecarlo - a moor inspired hypnotic tune, Kingston Calypso - with Carribean style rhythms and melodies, Classic Nice - a very classical style fugue, and finishes with Tim Tam Slam."

This concert is called Big Rehearsal and gives young students the opportunity to sit alongside professional ASO musicians and learn repertoire for performance. The above was recorded during rehearsal in the ASO Grainger Studio.


available for purchase from SHOP

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