Karen Elaine Bakunin
Karen Elaine Bakunin has commissioned and premiered numerous works for solo viola by such distinguished composers as David Baker, Ed Bland, Gordon Kerry, Patrice Rushen, Bruce Taub, David Ward-Steinman, and Dan Welcher. As an arranger and soloist, Ms. Elaine's works for solo viola with string orchestra have been performed by the Rogue Valley Symphony (Oregon), the Afro-American Chamber Music Society, the Palisades Symphony, and the Southeast Los Angeles Symphony.
Outside the music world, Karen Elaine's presence is felt in the world's marine lands as a recreational scuba diver and instructor. An active photographer and teacher of scuba diving in Southern California, Ms. Elaine has certified over two hundred scuba students and is a featured guest speaker for many of the Southern California dive clubs.
One of her most exciting excursions was in 2004 on the Russian research vessel Grigoriy Mikheev, spending a month aboard as dive buddy to Mr. Amos Nachom (the celebrated photographer from National Geographic).
Karen Elaine has recorded on the Delos, Harmonia Mundi, Laurel, R-Kal, Fleur de Son, and Tzadik record labels. Featured on the daily Karl Hass classical radio program 'Adventures in Good Music' is her recording of the 'Lyric Fantasies' by Norman Dello Joio, one of her many collaborative works with conductor David Amos. In the commercial world of music, Ms. Elaine can be seen on-screen on the American Idol, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, and the Academy Awards Oscars TV shows. She also is with the band on numerous phonograph CD's and sound tracks for TV and Motion Picture, including Space Jam, Major Payne, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Speed Racer, Up, Star Trek, Desperate Housewives, Nathalie Cole's "Still Unforgettable", Avril Lavigne, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder's "A Time to Love", Smokey Robinson's "Love Songs", and many more.