String Faculty


Professor of 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 in Washington, D.C. by Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich. Over an orchestral career that spans three decades, she has worked closely with the most celebrated conductors, composers and soloists of our time.

Ms. Adkins appeared with the NSO as concerto soloist on numerous occasions. She was featured with the Orchestra at the special request of the late Iona Brown, whom she joined in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins. She has appeared as soloist with the Dallas Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. Other performances include concertos by Beethoven, Bruch, Glazunov, Saint-Saëns, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Vivaldi, and Prokofiev. She premiered new concertos by Andreas Makris (with the National Symphony) and Tom Myron (with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra). In October she joined the Sherman Symphony for the Prokofiev Concerto #1, and played the Glazunov Concerto with Germán Gutiérrez and the TCU Symphony in March.

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 serves as concertmaster of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra; several new CD projects recorded by the Smithsonian group and its director Kenneth Slowik have recently been released. Ms. Adkins was a founding member of the American Chamber Players, and recorded with the group on Koch International Classics. She also served for many years as the concertmaster of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.

In great demand as teacher and coach, Ms. Adkins has been on the faculty of the University of Maryland, the Levine School, 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 UMD have allowed her to work with young people interested in pursuing orchestral careers. This past summer she was a featured guest artist at the Wintergreen (VA) Summer Music Festival and Academy; during her week of residency she presented a recital, a master class, appeared in a chamber music concert and two pre-concert interviews, taught four Academy students and coached the graduate string quartet, as well as serving as concertmaster in two separate programs of the Festival Orchestra. This summer she returns to Wintergreen for the month of July.

In August of 2014, after thirty-one seasons with the National Symphony Orchestra, 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 level, while continuing to perform solo and chamber music. She is also serving as concertmaster for the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of her early mentor, John Giordano. Ms. Adkins appeared with the orchestra in its opening concert last season, performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto. 

BM - University of North Texas
MM - Yale University
MMA - Yale University
DMA - Yale University