Clarinetist Karen Benda is an avid chamber musician, recitalist and artist-teacher who plays with a “well-defined sound and nuance of phrasing.” (Cincinnati Enquirer). Benda has presented numerous chamber music concerts at the Interlochen Arts Camp while also being featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) Performance Today in a performance of Beethoven’s Septet. Benda has held teaching residencies at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, CR and in Colombia, South America as an artist-faculty member of the Batuta Colombian Youth Philharmonic. She has also been featured on KPR Radio station’s live performance studio.
Benda is Lecturer Professor of Clarinet at Washburn University and Instructor of Clarinet at the Interlochen Arts Camp during the summer. She has performed at various venues including the Sunflower Music Festival, the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest and the International Double Reed Society. She has also held teaching positions at Ohio University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department, and a graduate assistantship at the University of Michigan. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, a Masters degree from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Music Education degree from the University of Oklahoma. Benda previously attended the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and was a substitute clarinetist for the New World Symphony. An advocate of body awareness for musicians Benda has presented numerous master classes on this subject. She is working towards a certification in the Alexander Technique, a neuromuscular method that changes a person’s movement (habits) to discover balance, ease and natural movement.
Member of International Clarinet Association
Member of WU Faculty Woodwind Quintet
Member of WU Faculty Reed Trio
Founder and director of Topeka Youth Clarinet Choirs
Faculty Advisor for the Washburn University Clarinet Association.
Instructor and Advisor for the Washburn University Musician Wellness Group