Amadi Azikiwe
violist
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John Novacek

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.

www.amadiazikiwe.com

BACH, J.S.

Brandenburg Concerto #6 in B-flat, BWV 1051

BARTÓK

Concerto

BLOCH

Suite (1919)

BRITTEN

Lachrymae for Viola & Strings

BRUCH

Concerto for Clarinet & Viola, Op. 88
Kol Nidrei, Op. 47
Romanze, Op. 85

BYERS, Patrick

Concerto

HAILSTORK, Adolphus

Two Romances for Viola & Chamber Orchestra

HINDEMITH

Der Schwanendreher (1935)

HOFFMEISTER

Concerto in D

MARTINŮ

Rhapsody-Concerto (1952)

MOZART

Sinfonia concertante in E-flat, K. 364

PENDERECKI

Concerto (1983)

STAMITZ, Carl

Concerto in D

TELEMANN

Concerto in G
Concerto for 2 Violas

WALTON

Concerto (1928-29)

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

11/4/2016 (7:30pm)

HARLEM CHAMBER PLAYERS

Goddard Riverside Community Center (NYC)

Grandjany: Rhapsodie for Harp & String Quartet
Renie: Ballade fantastique (harp solo)
Ravel: String Quartet
Saint-Saëns: Fantaisie for Violin & Harp
Caplet: Conte fantastique for Harp & String Quartet
with Ashley Jackson, harpist
Ashley Horne, violinist
Jessica McJunkins, violinist
Lawrence Zoernig, cellist

11/22/2016 (11am)

TUESDAY MORNING MUSIC CLUB

The Community Church of Douglaston (NY)

Duo-Recital with Debby Azikiwe, pianist
Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
Cohn: Piano Sonata #2
Vieuxtemps: Capriccio
Cohn: Viola Sonata

12/3/2016 (8pm)

WASHINGTON CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (Bethesda, MD)

Mozart: String Quartet #14
Schubert: String Quintet
with Pressenda Chamber Players

1/12/2017 (7:30pm)

NEWARK ACADEMY ORCHESTRA (NJ)

Amy Emilianoff, conductor

Mozart: Violin Concerto #3

1/21/017 (pm)
1/22/2017 (pm)

ST. CROIX LANDMARKS SOCIETY (Frederiksted, VI)

Estate Whim Great House

Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
Brahms: Violin Sonata #1
Perkinson: Blue/s Forms (viola solo)
Paganini: Sonata per la Grand Viola

2/4/2017 (8pm)

WASHINGTON CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (Bethesda, MD)

Haydn: String Quartet, Op. 20 #2
Brahms: Piano Quintet
with Pressenda Chamber Players

2/23/2017 (6pm)

CAROLINA CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

Bank of the Arts (New Bern, NC)

 

3/25/2017 (8pm)

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY (Waltham, MA)

Slosberg Music Center

Brahms: String Quintet #2
with Lydian String Quartet

3/31/2017 (11:30am)

HARLEM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Amadi Azikiwe, conductor
Apollo Theater (NYC)

Cohn: Variations on John Henry
Montgomery: Strum
Britten: Simple Symphony

4/16/2017 (4pm)

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE (Hanover, NH)

Faulkner Recital Hall, Department of Music

Lee: Violin Sonata #1
J.S. Bach: Suite #6 (viola solo)
Schubert: Fantasy
with Mikael Darmanie, pianist

6/4-7/2017

HOT SPRINGS MUSIC FESTIVAL (AR)

 

6/28-7/9/2017

APPLE HILL CENTER FOR CHAMBER MUSIC (Nelson, NH)

 

8/8-13/2017

GATEWAYS MUSIC FESTIVAL (Rochester, NY)

 

10/1/2017 (3:30pm)

COMMUNITY CONCERTS AT SECOND

The Second Presbyterian Church of Baltimore (MD)

Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
Brahms: Violin Sonata #1
J.S. Bach: Suite #1 (viola solo)
Perkinson: Blue/s Forms (violin solo)
Paganini: Sonata per la Grand Viola
with Debby Azikiwe, pianist

Cohn: Sonata for Viola & Piano (mvt. III – excerpt)
Bank of the Arts (New BernNC)
February 16, 2016

J.S. Bach: Suite #5 in c minor (Gavottes I & II; excerpts)
Forbes Center for the Performing Arts Recital Hall (HarrisonburgVA)
January 10, 2014

Perkinson: Blue/s Forms
Friday Musicale Auditorium (JacksonvilleFL)
February 20, 2011

Paganini: Sonata per la Grand Viola (candenza excerpts)

Friday Musicale Auditorium (JacksonvilleFL)
February 20, 2011