Since the Concordia String Trio formed in 1999, they have performed throughout the Midwest, given concerts and lecture/demonstrations at Tufts University, the Berklee College of Music, performed at the Tsai Center for the Performing Arts in Boston, and been artists-in-residence at the Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in Vermont. Many fine composers have written pieces for the Trio, including Leonard Mark Lewis, Samuel Headrick, Andrew List, Jeffrey Hoover, Alan Schmitz, and David Colson. Most recently they have premiered works at the Alfred Loeffler New Music Symposium at the California State University in Chico, in Chicago, and in Texas.
Capstone Records released the Trio's recording of Alan Schmitz's "String Trio," and the Trio’s recording of Andrew List's "Six Bagatelles for String Trio" is set for future release.
Marcia Henry Liebenow, violinist, is Concertmaster of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and professor of Violin, Viola, and Chamber Music at Bradley University in Illinois. She leads a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, solo performer, and orchestral musician in the US and abroad, and collaborates with such well-known artists as Donald Weilerstein, Mathieu Dufour, Martin Chalifour, Charlotte Mattax, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Her performances have been broadcast in Russia and the United States, including appearances on National Public Radio's Performance Today. The CD she recorded with Pompa-Baldi of the three Grieg Violin Sonatas was released by Centaur Records.
Marcia is also a founding member of the Concordia String Trio, the River City String Quartet and Peoria Lunaire, a newly formed ensemble mainly dedicated to performances of contemporary repertoire. In the summers, Marcia is a faculty artist at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana, the Birch Creek Music Festival in Wisconsin, The Warebrook Contemporary Music Festival in Vermont, and the ARIA International Summer Academy in Massachusetts and Canada, and has also performed at the Affetti Music Festival in Alaska. She appeared as soloist with the Samara Philharmonic Symphony in Russia, served as Primo Violino at Orvieto Musica in Italy, and performed in Germany, Ireland, and Wales. Last year she was the featured soloist with the PSO in the exotic Svara-Yantra, Concerto for Violin, Tabla, and Orchestra by Shirsh Korde.
Her work has been recognized with the Outstanding Studio Teacher Award from Illinois American String Teachers’ Association, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University, 25 Women in Leadership Award by the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, and by Arts Partners of Illinois for her work with the community.
Marcia earned her Graduate Diploma in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory, studying with James Buswell and serving as his teaching assistant, and her Master and Bachelor degrees with Highest Honors from Ohio University, where she studied with Howard Beebe.
Leslie Perna, violist, is a respected artist and teacher whose performances have been broadcast internationally on radio and television, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Brazil's Radio and TV MEC and the ABC Nightly News. She has recorded the music of some of today’s most important composers, including Samuel Adler, James Willey and Andrew List for the Albany, Centaur, Capstone, New World and CRI labels. Her performances have taken her to Europe, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Canada, and many major American cities, where she is frequently invited to perform and teach viola and chamber music.
After earning degrees from Boston University and Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, she studied chamber music at the Chautauqua and Blossom music festivals and with members of the Muir, Emerson, Audubon, Cleveland, Vermeer, New World and Kolisch string quartets. She was violist of the Da Vinci Quartet, in residence at Colorado College and the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music from 2003 to 2005. Previously, she was assistant concertmaster of the Yamagata Symphony in Japan. As the violist of the Artaria Quartet, which was selected as one of the ten leading young string quartets in the world by the Banff International String Quartet Competition, she won prizes at the Alliance Auditions in Ohio and the Concert Artists Guild in New York. They were also recipients of the first ever Rural Residency Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
She was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory and the “Artist Teacher of the Year” Award and “Outstanding Collegiate String Educator” Award from the Missouri Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and was the founder and President of the Missouri Viola Society from 2008 to the present. She is currently Professor of Viola at the University of Missouri-Columbia, violist of the Esterhazy Quartet, Director of the Missouri String Project, and a founding member of the Concordia String Trio.
Cellist Karen Becker is an active soloist and avid chamber player having performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Mexico and Puerto Rico. She 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. She has recorded for several PBS documentaries and with several bands, including Bright Eyes. She tours regularly as a soloist and chamber player. She is the newest member of the Concordia String Trio and a member of Trio Nuovo with UNL pianist Mark Clinton and Anton Miller, concertmaster of Lincoln Symphony. She is a former member of the Omega String Quartet 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 and on Texas Public Television.
Becker is an active member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She is a past president of both the Nebraska and Missouri chapters of ASTA, has served on national committees, and has received the ASTA Citation for Leadership & Merit. She continues to serve as a clinician and guest conductor for high school orchestras and cellists throughout the United States and enjoys teaching in Suzuki workshops in the Midwest.
She 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 Associate Professor of Cello at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, as well as principal cellist of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and director of the Lincoln Junior Youth Orchestra.