Dr. Karl Blench
The eight and current conductor for Symphony North is Dr. Karl Blench.
Dr. Karl Blench is a Houston-based conductor, composer, and educator. He received his
undergraduate degrees in music education and music theory from the University of New
Hampshire. He made the move to Texas in 2005 after being a middle school music teacher to
attend Rice University for his master’s and doctorate degrees in music composition.
Dr. Blench has lead various groups as a guest conductor, including the University of New
Hampshire Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and the Prairie View A&M University
Choir. He also has an extensive history leading premieres of new works by both professional
and student composers.
As a composer, Dr. Blench’s music is known for making “Texas-sized statements” and for being “heartbreakingly beautiful.” He fully arranged the Houston-based Axiom Quartet’s debut album in 2018. This album garnered highly positive reviews from The WholeNote and American Record Guide. Other notable performances of Blench’s work include the Indianapolis Symphony, the University of Houston Wind Ensemble, the University of New Hampshire Wind
Ensemble, Duo Dramatique, The h2 Saxophone Quartet, and the Shepherd School of Music Symphony and Chamber orchestras. Blench’s works have also been performed in Carnegie Hall multiple times as well as the Kennedy center.
Dr. Blench is the recipient of the 2010 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award and the
2011 Marilyn K. Glick Young Composers Competition. He also won the 2018 Frame Dance
Composers Competition. Blench worked with novelist Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci
Code,” to orchestrate and arrange Brown’s music for the book, “Wild Symphony.” Recordings
of his work can be found on the Navona and Innova labels.