Elizabeth Adkins, violin
Elisabeth Adkins' richly varied musical life makes her equally at home in solo, orchestral, and chamber music repertoire. At the age of 25, she was awarded the position of Associate Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in Washington, D.C. by Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich. Over an orchestral career that spans four decades, she has worked closely with the most celebrated conductors, composers and soloists of our time. Ms. Adkins has appeared with the NSO as concerto soloist on numerous occasions, including at the special request of the late Iona Brown, whom she joined in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins. She has also appeared as soloist with the Dallas, Seattle, and Baltimore Symphonies. Other performances include concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, Glazunov, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Vivaldi, and Prokofiev.
Ms. Adkins collaborates with her husband, pianist Edward Newman, in a violin/piano duo beloved in the Washington area. Their National Gallery recital was chosen to inaugurate WETA’s series Front Row Washington. In addition to frequent appearances at the Kennedy Center and throughout the mid-Atlantic region, the duo was featured at a special concert for both houses of Congress in the Capitol Rotunda.
Ms. Adkins is a noted interpreter of the contemporary repertoire. As solo violinist with the 21st Century Consort, directed by Christopher Kendall, she has premiered and recorded a number of works and is a favorite collaborator for many American composers. She has served as concertmaster of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Adkins was a founding member of the American Chamber Players and recorded with the group on Koch International Classics.
In great demand as teacher and coach, Ms. Adkins has been on the faculty of the University of Maryland, the National Orchestral Institute, the Wintergreen Summer Festival and Academy, and the NSO’s Youth Fellowship Program. Her positions on the faculty of both the NSO’s Summer Music Institute and the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland have allowed her to work intensively with young people interested in pursuing orchestral careers.
In August of 2014, after thirty-one seasons with the NSO, Ms. Adkins left the orchestra to join the faculty of Texas Christian University School of Music in Fort Worth. She welcomes the opportunity to focus on teaching and training at the college and graduate levels, while continuing to perform solo and chamber music. She joined several of her siblings as the resident quartet for Piano Texas; the group played most of the major works of Brahms and Schumann for strings and piano in an intensive three-day chamber music weekend, joined by pianists Vadym Kholodenko, Davide Cabassi, and John Owings. Ms. Adkins also serves as concertmaster for the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony and the Plano Symphony.