was born in 1961. After graduating from high school he studied church music at the Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main, including the organ under Prof. Edgar Krapp, choral conducting under Wolfgang Schäfer and counterpoint, harmony and form studies under Prof. Heinz Werner Zimmermann. Following the basic examinations, he took a further postgraduate course in the organ master class of Prof. Edgar Krapp, before taking his concert exam in 1987 and receiving his academic degree as a concert soloist. Through his membership of the Frankfurter Kantorei (1978–1992), where Karas was temporarily also the deputy conductor, he enjoyed formative collaborations with renowned conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Michael Gielen, Nicolaus Harnoncourt, Eliahu Inbal, Helmuth Rilling, Wolfgang Schäfer and others. He was the choirmaster in charge of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music at the Staufener Musikwoche (1989–1992). After his degree, Karas participated among other things in master classes by Ton Koopman, Michael Radulescu and Jean-Claude Zehnder. Since 1974 many compositions have been written, particularly for choir, piano and organ, which have since been published by various publishers. In 1985 he won the first prize at the Limburger-Dom-Orgelwettbewerb. Markus Karas has been organist at the Bonn Minster and the conductor of its choirs since 1989. In 1992 he also became the regional cantor of the entire Bonn deanery and has since then regularly conducted and played at the Beethovenfest Bonn. In 2001 Karas also took on the musical direction of BonnSonata, Bonn's nationally and internationally highly acclaimed women's chamber choir (North Rhine Westphalia federal state winner in 2005 and 2009), as well as the youth choir of the Rheinischer Kinder- und Jugendchor Bonn; in addition, in 2006 he began conducting all of the children's choir groups. His intensive concert activity as an organist and conductor has taken Karas all over Europe, to Russia, North America and, in 2010, to Lebanon. Several radio and television recordings as well as CDs and DVDs have been made since 1984. Karas is regularly invited as a lecturer at music events and is one of the editors of the magazine Musik & Kirche (published by Bärenreiter-Verlag). Many of his former organ students have since completed successful university careers. In 2008 he was awarded the Sudetenland "Kulturpreis Musik" awarded by the state of Bavaria and in 2009 he was appointed to the Sudetendeutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste in Munich.
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