I’m Ariel. I’m a Texan by birth and a Clevelander by fortune. I love making music I love, for people I love, in a city I love. Although classically trained, I absolutely love performing traditional Irish, folk, and jazz, and lending my sounds to singer-songwriters and non-classical ensembles especially excites me! To that end, I’m just as at-home in a recording studio as a concert hall, and as comfortable playing Bach in a hot dog bar as I am in a private home recital or on a concert stage. In short, my days are full and diverse, and I’m always thrilled to find a new venue, collaborative project, or way to simply share music with others.
As an independent performing artist, I give more than 120 performances annually, primarily in northeast Ohio: from intimate private events to large-scale, black-tie affairs, and everything in between. I’ve performed for diplomats, dignitaries, artists, and all sorts of other interesting folks…
Violinist Ariel Clayton Karas enjoys a diverse career as a violinist, ensemble director, music educator, and classical music advocate. Originally from Dallas, Mrs. Clayton Karas arrived in Cleveland in the summer of 2007 to complete formal studies in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, under the direction of David and Linda Cerone, and Stephen Rose. She also received Suzuki certification through the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies by pedagogue Kimberly Meir-Sims.
Upon completion of her Masters in Violin Performance in 2011, Mrs. Clayton Karas launched into a multi-faceted career of performance and instruction, and now averages more than 120 performances annually in public, private, formal, and informal settings. As an avid session musician, she frequently records for albums featuring northeast Ohio singer-songwriters, and her recent stylings of Bach and Bruch were featured in the soundtrack of the 2015 documentary Violins of Hope, narrated by Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody.
OPUS 216, her chamber ensemble founded in 2012, collaborates frequently with the Cleveland Museum of Art on public and private occasions, has partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Foundation, the 2016 Republican National Convention Host Committee, and performed for private events at the City Club and MOCA, among others. As an active chamber ensemble, OPUS 216 has appeared in various concert series, including “Music On The Hill” (Marysville, OH), as well as programs for the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Survival Kit Gallery, and The Bop Stop. OPUS 216 also provides special music for dozens of weddings, private events, and house recitals, annually.
As director of Classical Revolution Cleveland, Mrs. Clayton Karas organizes free, monthly performances of classical music by independent professionals and conservatory students in unusual settings. In keeping with Classical Revolution CLE’s commitment to non-traditional concert formats, these performances most often appear in hot dog bars, modern art galleries, and other less-suspecting venues. Interviews and performances by the ensemble can be regularly heard on Cleveland’s classical music and NPR affiliate stations.
Mrs. Clayton Karas’ past violin faculty positions include the Aurora School of Music and the Laurel School, and she currently directs Rainbow Strings, a violin program based in East Cleveland City Schools. Mrs. Clayton Karas also maintains a tight-knit studio of private students and enjoys offering outreach and volunteer opportunities for her young music students to share their gift with others.
As an advocate for classical music and music education, Ariel Clayton Karas has presented lectures and participated in panel discussions at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The City Club of Cleveland, and Case Western Reserve University Student Affairs. Additionally, her February 2016 performance-presentation on classical music at Pechakucha Cleveland was widely received as both innovative and powerful. She and colleagues also collaborate annually with the Education Department at the Cleveland Museum of Art on performance-based, team-building exercises for professionals, as part of their Art and Insight program.