A native of New York City, violist AMADI AZIKIWE enjoys a global, multi-faceted career and reputation, known for his stunning solo and recital performances, chamber music collaborations and community engagement events. He is also renowned as a violinist and conductor.
In the United States, Amadi Azikiwe has been heard as a recitalist in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington, DC, including a performance at the Supreme Court of the United States. He has also been a guest artist with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, both in New York City and at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Internationally, he has toured in Canada, Central and South America, Switzerland, Israel, Nigeria, India, Japan, Hong Kong and throughout the Caribbean.
Amadi Azikiwe has been guest soloist with the American symphony orchestras of Delaware, Fort Collins, Indiana University, North Carolina, Roanoke, Salisbury, SUNY/Fredonia, Virginia, Virginia Beach, Winston-Salem and Western Piedmont, the Prince George’s and Richmond philharmonic orchestras and the orchestras of the Gateways and Hot Springs music festivals.
As an avid chamber musician, Amadi Azikiwe has toured with Music from Marlboro and performed at numerous festivals, among them: Tanglewood, Aspen, Bravo! Vail, Carolina, Charlottesville, El Paso, Maui, Missouri, Norfolk, Salt Bay, San Juan Islands, Staunton, Virginia and Yachats. He has also appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Kandinsky Trio and Harlem Chamber Players, as well as the Anderson, Arianna, Chester, Corigliano, Harrington, Miro and St. Lawrence string quartets.
On CD, Amadi Azikiwe can be heard on the Helicon label in Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence with the Concertante Chamber Players. He has also recorded James Cohn’s Sonata for Viola and Piano for MSR. Mr. Azikiwe’s performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “St. Paul Sunday”, on WNYC (New York City), WGBH (Boston), WFMT (Chicago) and the BBC. He has also been seen and heard on various telecasts in South America.
Amadi Azikiwe was born in 1969. After early studies with his mother, he began his formal training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, as a student of Sally Peck. He continued his studies at the New England Conservatory with Marcus Thompson and conductor Pascal Verrot, earning his Bachelor’s degree. Subsequently, Mr. Azikiwe became a student of Atar Arad at Indiana University, where he was awarded the Performer’s Certificate, served as an associate Instructor and received his Master’s degree.
Among Amadi Azikiwe’s prizes and awards are those from the New York Philharmonic, Concert Artists Guild, North Carolina Symphony, National Society of Arts and Letters and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with which he maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.
Brandenburg Concerto #6 in B-flat, BWV 1051
Lachrymae for Viola & Strings
Concerto for Clarinet & Viola, Op. 88
Kol Nidrei, Op. 47
Romanze, Op. 85
Two Romances for Viola & Chamber Orchestra
Der Schwanendreher (1935)
Concerto in D
Sinfonia concertante in E-flat, K. 364
Concerto in D
Concerto in G
Concerto for 2 Violas
Violist Amadi Azikiwe is a musician who plays so effortlessly that the listener does not fully appreciate what has been accomplished until refection after the fact. He captured perfectly the spirit of the Jewish prayer (Bruch’s Kol Nidre) and the technical feats demanded by the Paganini (Sonata per la Grand Viola).
NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS
Azikiwe seemed to have mastered every leap and slide and drawn-out tone and intricate line [Penderecki Viola Concerto]. One was left, not only with a feeling of amazement over technical skills but with a sense of satisfaction that here was music of substance capable of giving pleasure, and here was a well chosen soloist for it.
THE HERALD-TIMES (Bloomington, IN)
Violist Amadi Azikiwe clarified not only the work’s stature, but also revealed a depth of power and lyric beauty. A wide, rich palette of tone further enhanced the remarkable young artist’s expressive approach to the music.
DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE (Rochester, NY)
Guest violist Amadi Azikiwe electrified the listeners with Walton’s Concerto for Viola. Each of the three movements was performed with artistic agility and intensity.
THE SALISBURY POST (North Carolina)
Violist Amadi Azikiwe made a great impression with the strength and sensitivity of his playing.
SUNDAY PATRIOT-NEWS (Harrisburg, PA)
Opening with Vieuxtemps’ Sonata in B-flat Major, the viola immediately produces a big, rich sound in the Maestoso movement. Beautiful sustained tomes gave way when the Barcarolla kicked in, and Mr. Azikiwe proved himself eminently capable of some very fast and intricate fingering. He positively blazed through the Finale Scherzando.
THE POST AND COURIER (Charleston, SC)
Azikiwe’s attacks were lively and his tone colors seductive. His sound brought to mind an impossibly high cello and a deeply throaty violin.
THE VIRGINIAN PILOT (Norfolk)
Most delicious of all were Azikiwe’s warm tones and ardent phrasing in the second movement [Bartók Viola Concerto]–there was a little master class in rubato here. He then leapt into the finale with some stunning fingerwork.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER (Raleigh, NC)
Missouri Chamber Music Festival gets off to a strong start [headline]
The opener was Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola by Bohislav Martinu, played by the well-matched Maria Schleuning and Amadi Azikiwe. Madrigals is sometimes prickly, sometimes lyrical, and filled with complex rhythmic figures and the folk harmonies of Martinu’s native Bohemia. As performed by Schleuning and Azikiwe, it was always engaging. Azikiwe is a find, a violist with a distinctive, muscular sound. He and Schleuning were well-matched and very much in sync.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
HARLEM CHAMBER PLAYERS
Goddard Riverside Community Center (NYC)
Grandjany: Rhapsodie for Harp & String Quartet
TUESDAY MORNING MUSIC CLUB
The Community Church of Douglaston (NY)
Duo-Recital with Debby Azikiwe, pianist
WASHINGTON CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (Bethesda, MD)
Mozart: String Quartet #14
NEWARK ACADEMY ORCHESTRA (NJ)
Amy Emilianoff, conductor
Mozart: Violin Concerto #3
ST. CROIX LANDMARKS SOCIETY (Frederiksted, VI)
Estate Whim Great House
WASHINGTON CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (Bethesda, MD)
Haydn: String Quartet, Op. 20 #2
CAROLINA CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Bank of the Arts (New Bern, NC)
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY (Waltham, MA)
Slosberg Music Center
Brahms: String Quintet #2
HARLEM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Amadi Azikiwe, conductor
Cohn: Variations on John Henry
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE (Hanover, NH)
Faulkner Recital Hall, Department of Music
Lee: Violin Sonata #1
HOT SPRINGS MUSIC FESTIVAL (AR)
APPLE HILL CENTER FOR CHAMBER MUSIC (Nelson, NH)
GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL (Rochester, NY)
COMMUNITY CONCERTS AT SECOND
The Second Presbyterian Church of Baltimore (MD)