Cellist Karen Becker is an active soloist and avid chamber player who has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Becker is a faculty artist with the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana, the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute, and the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Praque (Czech Republic). At Ameropa she has performed in a series of concerts in various venues throughout the city such as the prestigious Suk Hall at the Rudolfinum, Martinu Hall at the Academy of Music, and the Hall of Mirrors at the Klementinum. She has recorded for several PBS documentaries and with several bands, including Bright Eyes. She tours regularly as a soloist and chamber player and is a member of Trio Nuovo with UNL pianist Mark Clinton and Anton Miller, concertmaster of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Concordia String Trio with violinist Marcia Henry-Liebenow and violist Leslie Perna. She is a former member of the Omega String Quartet, quartet-in-residence for Lutheran Music Program, and former principal cellist of both the Melkus Ensemble and the International String Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist and principal cellist with the Texas Cello Choir at national conventions as well as on “Front Row Center,” a Texas Public Television program.
Becker is a past president of both the Nebraska and Missouri chapters of the American String Teachers. She has served on national committees of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and has been on the planning committee for both the 2005 and 2010 ASTA conventions. In February 2005 she received the Citation for Leadership & Merit from ASTA. Becker has conducted several orchestras in the University of Texas String Project and continues to serve as a clinician and guest conductor for high school orchestras and cellists throughout the United States. In addition, she enjoys teaching in Suzuki workshops throughout the Midwest.
Becker received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the Bachelor of Music degree from Ohio University. Her teachers have included her father David Becker, Leighton Conkling, Roger Drinkall, and internationally renowned string pedagogue Phyllis Young. She has served as cello professor on the faculty of Truman State University and as String Project teacher at the University of Texas. Currently, she is Professor of Cello at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, principal cellist of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and director of the Lincoln Junior Youth Orchestra.