Family string ensemble returns to UNT for concert, award

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 19:18


What: Alumni Recital featuring the Adkins String Ensemble and 2013 College of Music Honored Alumni Award given to the Adkins siblings

When: 8 p.m. April 8 (Monday)

Where: Voertman Hall in the Music Building, 415 Avenue C, Denton

Cost: Free


A family of string players returns to UNT, their alma mater, to play a concert on April 8 and receive the 2013 College of Music Honored Alumni Award for their accomplishments.

The six brothers and sisters who make up the Adkins String Ensemble are natives of Denton and received their early musical training at the University of North Texas, where their parents, Cecil Adkins and Alis Dickinson, were on the musicology faculty. Elisabeth Adkins, Christopher Adkins, Clare Adkins Cason, Anthony Adkins,and Madeline Adkins made their debut as the Adkins String Ensemble in a 1993 concert and have released four CD recordings together. They currently perform professionally with orchestras throughout the United States, several in positions of national prominence.

Five of the siblings will return for the program, joined by Elisabeth’s husband, pianist Edward Newman.

This year, rather than presenting the Honored Music Alumnus award to one person, the College of Music decided to present the award to the Adkins family to commend their extensive musical accomplishments. Dean James Scott will present the award following intermission.

The first half of the concert includes Piano Quartet in G minor by Mozart and Sonata for Two Violins Op. 15 by Miklós Rózsa. The concert concludes with Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 by Robert Schumann.

A reception honoring the Adkins family will be held in the Music Commons immediately following the performance.

About the Adkins String Ensemble members

Elisabeth Adkins has been the Associate Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1983. She and her husband, pianist Edward Newman, have given concerts at the Kennedy Center, the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, and the Cosmos Club. Elisabeth has appeared as concerto soloist with the Dallas Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Seattle Symphony and the Maryland Symphony. As the solo violinist of the 21st Century Consort, she is a noted interpreter of the contemporary repertoire. She is on the faculty at the University of Maryland, Catholic University and the Levine School.

Christopher Adkins is the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He began his cello lessons with Dr. Charles Baker of the UNT faculty, and at 16 enrolled full-time to study with the distinguished pedagogue, Adolfo Odnoposoff. He continued his studies at Yale University and after receiving his Master of Music degree, he assumed the duties of assistant principal cellist with the Denver Symphony. Christopher’s longtime dream of a major symphony principal chair was realized first with the Milwaukee symphony. In 1987, he returned to his native Dallas, to occupy the principal chair with the symphony orchestra. He has taught at Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, and is a frequent clinician at universities and festivals around the country.

Clare Adkins Cason is Concertmaster of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra and principal second violin of the East Texas Symphony. She studied violin with Dr. James Lerch at the University of North Texas, where she was concertmaster of the University Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Baroque orchestra. She was named a Presser Scholar and was chosen by the faculty as the Outstanding Undergraduate in Music. Clare has been active in the performance of early music, and serves as concertmaster of the Dallas Bach Society. Clare also enjoys playing and teaching Irish traditional music, and serves as co-director of the O'Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp and as Music Director of the North Texas School of Irish Music.

Anthony Adkins did his early work on the cello with Jungshin Lewis and Adolfo Odnoposoff, and he was one of the last students of Lev Aronson. He studied with Carter Enyeart at UNT, where he served as principal cellist of the university orchestras and was three times featured as concerto soloist. After doing graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Alan Harris, he held the positions of principal cellist with the Knoxville Symphony and assistant principal cellist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra. In 2005, Anthony returned to UNT  where he earned a Master of Science in Accounting. He is currently a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Manager in the Audit practice for Grant Thornton LLP in Dallas, Texas.

Madeline Adkins was appointed to the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Yuri Temirkanov in 2005.  She joined the orchestra in 2000 as Assistant Concertmaster.  She appears annually as soloist with the BSO, and is also the Concertmaster of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra. Madeline has served as guest concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra in Chicago. A champion of early music, Madeline has been a member of the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the Dallas Bach Society, and currently Pro Musica Rara of Baltimore. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from UNT, she received her master’s degree from the New England Conservatory where she studied with James Buswell.   

Edward Newman received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School. He has been a prizewinner in many major competitions, including the Robert Casadesus (Grand Prize, 1979), Gina Bachauer, and University of Maryland International Competitions. Newman has been featured soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Utah Symphony, and the Boston Pops, and with a number of European orchestras. As pianist of the American Chamber Players for 10 years, he appeared in concert throughout the United States. He has served on the faculties of The Catholic University of America, George Mason University, the Levine School of Music, and the Washington Conservatory; he maintains a private teaching studio in Arlington, Va.

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