A prizewinner in the British Contemporary Piano Competition, Karis Stretton has performed as a soloist, accompanist and ensemble musician in many of the UK's principal concert venues, including St. John's Smith Square and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She made her Purcell Room debut as a finalist for the European Music for Youth Piano Prize and gave her first international performance in Cologne, Germany.
Taking her first piano lessons at the age of nine, Karis went on to receive a scholarship for entry to Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied piano with Malcolm Wilson. She graduated with first class BA Honours having won awards for her solo playing as well as her performances as a chamber musician. Moving to London, she studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Susan Alexander Max, who remained her tutor for a number of years. In master-classes, Karis has worked with many distinguished concert artists including Peter Donohoe, Martin Roscoe and Philip Fowke.
Karis performs a variety of music with a repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the present day. She retains a keen interest in twentieth century and contemporary works and she has collaborated with composers and groups in a variety of projects. Examples include performing with B.E.A.S.T. (Birmingham Electro-Acoustic Sound Theatre) to give the world première of Mike Vaughan’s Collective Memories; working with The Music Collection and Jean-Jaques Dünki, giving the UK première of the Swiss composer's keyboard quartet Tétraptéron; and on-stage performances of music for cello and piano specially commissioned for choreographer Charles Linehan's production of Rialto.
Karis also maintains an involvement in music education. She teaches piano at the Centre for Young Musicians London, coaches at National Young Pianists’ Week, lectures at Open University residential schools, and is an examiner for the Associated Board. In addition, she has given workshops and educational concerts in schools, and participated in the series of study days held in association with Birkbeck College, giving a lecture-recital at Wigmore Hall.