Kari Ravnan, born and raised in the USA, left home at the age of 13 to study with Gabriel Magyar (cellist of the Hungarian Quartet) at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. Three years later she was accepted as a student of Leonard Rose and began studying at the Juilliard School. After graduating from Eastman School of Music with a Soloist Diploma, she continued her studies in Europe with Pierre Fournier in Geneva, William Pleeth in London and Sandor Vegh in Salzburgh.
In addition to many recital tours with her father, pianist Audun Ravnan, in the USA, and solo recitals in Washington D.C. and at the Bergen International Festival, Ravnan has appeared as soloist with several European and American orchestras, including the Aspen Philharmonia, Aldeburgh Festival Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Opera Orchestra. She was chosen the winner of the 1985 Washington International Competition in Cello and made her solo debut in Washington, D.C.
As a passionate chamber musician, Kari has been a member of the Zennor String Trio and Prometheus Ensemble in London and Borealis Ensemble in Oslo. Her many festival appearances include Marlboro Music, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Leicester International Music Festival, Oslo Chamber Music Festival and Vestfold Festspillene. She has performed together with such artists as Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet), Anthony Marwood, Sandor Vegh, Norbert Brainen (Amadeus Quartet), Roger Tapping (Juilliard Quartet), Marianne Thorsen and Isadore Cohen (Beaux Arts Trio). Ravnan is the founder and artistic director of the Horten Chamber Music Festival.
Kari began teaching at an early age when at 19 years old she was appointed to be assistant to her teacher, Paul Katz, at the Eastman School of Music. She has taught at the Trondheim Music Conservatory and since 2008 at the Barratt Due Institute of Music. She has a special interest in teaching chamber music. Her students have won many competitions, including “Musician of the Year” of the Norwegian Music Competition for Youth, “Æresprisen” of the Sparre Olsen Competition and the bronze medal at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, Junior Division in the USA (the world’s largest chamber music competition for youth).
Kari Ravnan has been the principal cellist of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Norwegian Opera Orchestra. She has also worked with Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Ensemble Modern. Ravnan is presently a member of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.