Amadi Azikiwe

Amadi Azikiwe, violist, violinist and conductor, has been heard in recital in major cities throughout the United States, such as New York, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., including an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Azikiwe has also been a guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at the Alice Tully Hall in New York, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  He has appeared in recital at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, the “Discovery” recital series in La Jolla, the International Viola Congress, and at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since then, he has performed throughout Israel, Canada, South America, Central America, Switzerland, India, Japan, Nigeria, Hong Kong, and throughout the Caribbean.

“Violist Amadi Azikiwe is a musician who plays so effortlessly that the listener does not fully appreciate what has been accomplished until reflection after the fact. … He captured perfectly the spirit of the Jewish prayer (Bruch’s Kol Nidre, Op. 47) and the technical feats demanded by the Paganini (Sonata per la Grand Viola)”

– Raoul Abdul, New York Amsterdam News New York, NY

As a soloist, Mr. Azikiwe has appeared with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, Delaware Symphony, Virginia Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, Roanoke Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, Salisbury Symphony, Richmond Philharmonic, SUNY Fredonia Symphony Orchestra,  Indiana University Symphony Orchestra, Gateways Music Festival Orchestra, Hot Springs Music Festival Orchestra, City Island Baroque Ensemble of New York, National Symphony of Ecuador, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra, and at the Costa Rica International Music Festival. He has also toured with Music from Marlboro, and performed at the Sarasota, Tanglewood, Aspen, Norfolk, and San Juan Islands Festivals, El Paso International Chamber Music Festival,  Salt Bay Chamber Festival, Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, Festival Baltimore, Virginia Arts Festival, Maui Classical Music Festival, Missouri Chamber Music Festival, Yachats Music Festival, Staunton Music Festival, Taconic Music, Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Mr. Azikiwe’s performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, “St. Paul Sunday”, on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, WFMT in Chicago, and the BBC, along with television appearances in South America.

“Most delicious of all were Azikiwe’s warm tones and ardent phrasing in the second movement-there was a little master class in rubato here.  He then leapt into the finale with some stunning fingerwork.”

David Perkins, The News and Observer Raleigh, NC

As a chamber musician, Azikiwe has appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Kandinsky Trio, the Horszowski Trio, the Chester, Miro, St. Lawrence, Anderson, Arianna, Coolidge, Harrington, Lydian and Corigliano quartets. He has also performed extensively with the Ritz Chamber Players and the Concertante Chamber Players, with whom he recorded Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, released on the Helicon label.  On the MSR label, Mr Azikiwe has recorded the Sonata for viola and piano by American composer James Cohn. Among Mr. Azikiwe’s prizes and awards are those from the Concert Artists Guild, the North Carolina Symphony, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Epstein Young Artists Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, with whom he still maintains a strong artistic and mentoring association.

Mr. Azikiwe was previously the conductor of the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta University Center Orchestra. He was also a visiting faculty member of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN. Most recently, he was on the faculty of James Madison University and University of Maryland Baltimore County. Currently, he is a Music Artist Faculty member of the NYU Steinhardt School, the Mannes School of Music, a member of The Harlem Chamber Players, the Pressenda Chamber Players, the Serafin Ensemble, and Music Director of the Harlem Symphony Orchestra. With the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, he made his New York City conducting debut at the Apollo Theater, and his Washington, D.C. conducting debut at the National Gallery of Art. With the Harlem Chamber Players, he conducted the world premiere performance of Adolphus Hailstork’s Tulsa 1921: Pity These Ashes, Pity This Dust, broadcast on New York’s WQXR. He has guest conducted for the Intercollegiate Music Association, Tennessee Music Educators Association All-Collegiate Orchestra, Third Street Philharmonia, Gateways Music Festival, and Trilogy Opera Company.

Mr. Azikiwe has appeared as artist faculty at the Brevard Music Center, Hot Springs Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Killington Music Festival, Kutztown University Summer Chamber Music Festival, Taconic Music, Garth Newel Music Center, Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Conference of the East, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Session and the Aria  International Academy in London, Ontario.

“Violist Amadi Azikiwe clarified not only the work’s structure, 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…”

– Sharon McDaniel Democrat and Chronicle Rochester, NY

As an orchestral musician, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as principal violist of the SHIRA Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra and guest principal violist of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of conductors Lorin Maazel, James DePriest, Christoph Eschenbach, Gerard Schwarz, Marek Janowski, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Morgan, Pinchas Zukerman, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sixten Ehrling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Bernstein.

“Conductor  Amadi Azikiwe had the full measure of the work, maintaining a clear dramatic arc while urging his players on as they embellished the story through music.”

Clive Paget, Musical America

A native of New York City, 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, receiving his Bachelor’s degree.  Mr. Azikiwe was also awarded the Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, where he served as an Associate Instructor, and received his Master’s Degree in 1994 as a student of Atar Arad.