Karen Zorn has been President of Longy School of Music of Bard College since 2007. With the merger of Longy and Bard College in 2012, she assumed the role of Vice President, Bard College. Since her arrival, Zorn has led Longy through a process of radical change unprecedented in its nearly 100-year history. A fearless educational entrepreneur, she has balanced the budget, boosted enrollment, executed a merger with Bard College and established partnerships with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and FundaMusical of Venezuela (El Sistema) to launch innovative programs of study and community engagement. These include the recently launched Take a Stand program and new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Music program, based in Los Angeles and soon to expand to the East Coast, as well as teaching by Longy Conservatory students in public schools, community centers, prisons, shelters and other external venues where the traditions of music education can contribute to public life.
A Wisconsin native and Boston resident, Zorn is herself a classically trained musician, having been educated as a pianist in the United States and Germany. Prior to her tenure at Longy, Zorn served as Associate Provost at Berklee College of Music and held the roles of Acting Director and Director of Instruction at MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis. She has taught as a member of the faculties of Berklee, MacPhail, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City.