Lecturer, Violin String Division
B.M., University of North Texas; M.M., M.M.A, D.M.A., Yale University
Elisabeth Adkins's richly varied musical life makes her equally at home in solo, orchestral, and chamber music repertoire. The Associate Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, she is also pursuing a successful career as a soloist and chamber musician.
As a concerto soloist, she has performed many times with the National Symphony, most recently in music from "Schindler's List" by John Williams, and Vaughan Williams’s “The Lark Ascending” at Wolf Trap. She was featured with the Orchestra at the special request of Iona Brown, whom she joined in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins. She has also appeared as soloist with the Dallas Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. Other engagements include performances of concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, and Prokofiev. This past season she premiered a new concerto by Tom Myron with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.
Ms. Adkins joins her husband, pianist Edward Newman, in a violin/piano duo that is a favorite of Washington audiences. The two have been featured at the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, and Strathmore Hall. A founding member of the American Chamber Players, Ms. Adkins has recorded with the group on Koch International Classics. She also serves as concertmaster of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble conducted by her NSO colleague Sylvia Alimena. As solo violinist with the 21st Century Consort, she is a noted interpreter of the contemporary repertoire. Ms. Adkins is on the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Music and the Levine School, and her position as a faculty member of the National Orchestral Institute at UM allows her to work with young people interested in pursuing orchestral careers.
Ms. Adkins’s professional life has been enriched by the academic musical world in which she was raised. The daughter of noted musicologists, she began playing the violin at the age of four. By her teens she was performing professionally not only the modern repertoire, but also early music on period instruments. Her family displays the same versatility, and her seven siblings include four violinists, two cellists, and a soprano, and 1994 saw the debut in the Dallas Symphony’s Meyerson Hall of the Adkins String Ensemble. The family chamber group presents a concert series in Dallas, and has been in residency in Colorado at Music in the Mountains. Several CD recordings are now available on the group's website.