Karen LeFrak's Gloriosa... It shares some of the wistful atmosphere of Faure's century-old music, making it a good program fit. The work itself was evocative and at time playful. Worthy of further listening.

Ken Turner, Classical piano and related stuff, October 16, 2019

Sleepover at the Museum by composer and author Karen LeFrak marks the fifth collaboration with MISO. Based on LeFrak’s children’s book, this suite in thirteen movements depicts the journey of young Mason and his friends as they celebrate Mason’s birthday with an adventurous sleepover at a museum of natural history. With the goal of inspiring children’s imagination, the performance did not rely on visual aids. Instead, Athina Klioumi—actress and wife of the conductor—provided the narration of the story line before each movement. The story is charming and the music accessible and imaginative. With many of the musical illustrations referencing some of the great composers of the past—Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns, or Mussorgsky—LeFrak’s composition retained a sense of purity and simplicity that was fitting to its young target audience. She succeeded in capturing the features of each scavenger hunt clue with clever instrumentation and musical motives. A sneaky staccato bassoon represented the dark hallways; timpani rolls and stomping low brass for the dinosaurs; open sonorities and mysterious harp glissandi for the planets; and flickering woodwind patterns and an elegant cello melody for the butterflies. The work included a re-fashioned jubilant “Happy Birthday” scored for the full orchestra, before the majestic ending of the Epilogue. Marturet and the Miami Symphony musicians seemed at home with this light work and delivered the best ensemble work of the evening in Lefrak’s premiere.  South Florida Classical Review, Inesa Geg

prifti, February 25, 2019

Following intermission, Marturet led the premiere of Questa Via, a love song by Karen LeFrak (whose Sleepover at the museum, a work for narrator and orchestra, will be premiered by the Miami Symphony next season). A power ballad in the vein of James Horner's My Heart Will Go On (from the film Titanic), the song was more appropriate for a pops program, but was charming nonetheless and attractively sung by Angelina Green (a onetime contestant on America's Got Talent) and Hansel De Muñoz. Marturet and the orchestra turned on a dime to sound like an expert studio group. When a technical glitch forced the leather-jacketed Muñoz to change microphones, Marturet repeated the song, much to the delight of the audience and LeFrak, who was in attendance and basked in the applause.

South Florida Classical Review, Lawrence Budmen, April 30, 2018


...Following intermission, there was a local premiere of Gentle Memories choreographed by the Czech born dancer-choreographer Jiri Bubenicek, created for the Youth America Grand Prix in 2012 and staged that September at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. With Ming Luke at the piano, the music by Karen LeFrak was filled with musical phrases clearly linked to Scottish folk songs, appropriately enough for Yuan Yuan Tan with four swains, Tiit Helimets, Victor Luiz and Carlos Quenedit.

Woollywesterneye.com, January 24, 2016

...Yet the evening's highlight was the impeccable Yuan Yuan Tan (in the flowing red dress), Tiit Helimets, Carlos Quenedit, and Luiz and solo pianist Ming Luke in the company premiere of "Gentle Memories," an appropriately titled, wistful 2012 dance by Czech choreographer Jiri Bubenicek, set to Karen LeFrak's poignant score.

San Francisco Examiner, Leslie Katz, January 22, 2016

...More memorable was the first showing here of "Gentle Memories"...with Karen LeFrak's attractive piano scores performed onstage by Ming Luke.

SF Gate, Allan Ulrich, January 22, 2016

...Windy Sand is introspective...ricochets from movement inquisitively physical to profoundly intimate...and altogether, creates moment after moment where you can practically hear the audience catch their breath.  Pieces like this remind us why we watch ballet to begin with.

Huffpost, Alexandra Rainesford, October 9, 2015

...The material doubles as costume and set, as the groups - independently or all together - eddy through trellis-like formations to Karen LeFrak's voluptous score...

New York Times, Siobhan Burke, June 19, 2015

...Gemma Bond's Cat's Cradle took dancer connect to a more literal level... Set to a musically whirling score by Karen LeFrak...

Eye on Dance and Arts, Annie Woller,June 21, 2015

...The dancers were so light on their feet in Kremnev’s breezy "Windy Sand," you could hardly imagine them making footprints on the imaginary beach where their playful escapades unfolded. Set to a lyrical piano score by Karen LeFrak and performed live by Grace Kim...

SeeChicagoDance.com, March 10, 2015

...The first shows them the variance between down beat and up beat through clapping and stomping. Another teaches the children different styles of music, from a waltz to the sounds of a march. The audience, whose age range was predominately between one and nine, stomped their little hearts out to every beat they heard..."Bark! In The Park" is choreographed by the very talented and charming Chase Brock. He is the man behind the moves of the On Broadway show "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark." The woman behind the music and story line is Karen Lefrak. She is an author, musician/composer and dog enthusiast. It's no wondering these two made a perfect team in blending together such a wonderfully captivating ballet performance.

edgeboston.com, Sugi Salazar, February 9, 2011

...Mr. Mulligan played Karen LeFrak Melodious yet very au courant score impeccably. This ballet  and these performers generated a unique atmosphere; I'd love to see this piece again...

 Oberon's Grove

...Gentle Memories is an abstract ballet, and Bubenicek has found the particular language that suits the music - melodious, romantic, transparent, but with lots of undertones.

Igor Stupnikov, Dancing Times, December 2012

...The Ballet turned out very Petersburgian - it has in it the famous Petersburgian spite, served with a little ironic and romantic innuendo, and a peaceful and transparent golden autumn.

Gentle Memories at the Mariinsky Theatre, Kommersant.ru, October 1, 2012

...Pavlovsk is a dramatic work choreographed by Roger VanFleteren to an almost Tchaikovskian score by Karen LeFrak. A young widow brings a rose to place at the statue of her late husband... The work is touching and the score is well-suited to the drama...

Oberon's Grove, March 2010