Athens Youth Symphony | providing the finest orchestral and performance opportunities for students in Northeast Georgia

Karl Schab

Music Director and Conductor
Athens Youth Symphony

Karl Schab grew up in Athens from the age of eight, his father a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Georgia. From a family of musicians, he began his study of the violin with AYS board member Jane Douglas, was the first concertmaster of the now-defunct Clarke County Youth Orchestra, and graduated from Clarke Central High School after going to All-State Orchestra six years and serving as concertmaster at the Governor's Honors Program.

Mr. Schab entered the University of Georgia at seventeen and was concertmaster of the UGA symphony at eighteen. He transferred to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and earned a Bachelor's degree in performance, studying violin with Richard Young and viola with Dorothy Mauney.

After earning a Master's degree in viola performance from Indiana University, studying with Abraham Skernick, Mr. Schab took positions with the Venezuelan National Symphony and the Pro-Arte Quartet of Caracas, touring extensively in Latin America and performing the entire cycle of Beethoven string quartets.

Settling in the Atlanta area in 1980, he continued his chamber music work with the Atlanta Virtuosi and became Principal violist of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Chattanooga Symphony. A member of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra since 1984, he also performs with the Savannah Symphony (acting principal,1991), Charleston Symphony, Augusta Symphony, and others in the region. In 2001 he was named Principal Violist of the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.

Mr. Schab founded and directed the Athens String Ensemble from 1996-2000 and was appointed the first Music Director of the Athens Youth Symphony in November, 2000. He and his wife, Debra, a violinist, share their home with two cats and countless students. His hobbies include building and restoring harpsichords and golfing.