The second disc of the Utah Symphony’s series of Saint-Saens’s orchestral works includes the famous Danse Macabre. Listen to Madeline discuss her approach to this solo with Michael Keelan from Kansas Public Radio.
“Reflections, the most recent NOVA Chamber Music Series concert, eloquently conveyed its theme in a cohesive, imaginative way that any artistic director should envy. Throughout the season, Madeline Adkins, NOVA’s music director, has expanded upon the organization’s unique branding for programming concerts with themes that elucidate new dimensions of music appreciation. Adkins really knocked this one out of the park.”
1/4/19: Utah Arts Review
Adkins’ Szymanowski Provides the Highlight in Utah Symphony’s New Year Program: “With her commanding stage presence she gave a robust account that captured the many subtleties of the solo violin writing. Szymanowski emphasizes the melodic aspect of the violin in this concerto and Adkins excelled in underscoring the fluid lyricism and soaring lines in her part. But she also dove into the challenges of the work with confidence, playing boldly and with conviction.”
12/13/18: Deseret News: “Utah’s Top 13 Superstars”
Madeline is included in The Deseret News’ list of 13 Utah Superstars!
12/10/18: Noteworthy Women in Music
Madeline is profiled as a featured artist at the Utah Symphony in January 2019. She shares her thoughts on women in classical music: “There are over 3.5 billion women in the world, and it seems incredible to me that we as artists could possibly be content not representing the life experiences and emotions of half the Earth’s people. The female voice is so important in music, film, and literature,” she explained. “There’s a richness to art when it delves into the hearts and minds of all kinds of people around the world.”
10/15/18: Utah Review, 15 Bytes, and the Utah Arts Review
8/28/18: WQXR Blog
Madeline performed as Concertmaster at the Grand Teton Music Festival for Mahler Symphony No. 3, with Music Director Donald Runnicles on the podium. Listen to the entire performance here!
5/23/18: Deseret News
5/8/18: Utah Review
4/14/18: KSL News
3/25/18: MOTUS blog on Tumblr
3/24/18: New Website
Read about former Toronto Symphony Concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch's life and legacy on this beautiful new website! Madeline is grateful to perform on Jacques' exquisite violin, the "ex-Chardon" Guadagnini of 1782, graciously loaned by his widow, Gabrielle.
12/20/17: Utah Review
"As the NOVA Chamber Music Series marks its 40th anniversary season, audiences are observing the rigorous standards of musicianship in concerts featuring Utah performers that would be admired and respected in any major metropolitan market. One performance stands out as a definitive moment of the Utah Enlightenment: Concerto in D Major for violin, piano and string quartet, Op. 21, by Amédée-Ernest Chausson (1892), as performed by Madeline Adkins, concertmaster of the Utah Symphony and Jason Hardink, piano, and accompanied by the Fry Street Quartet, which is in a long-term artistic residency at Utah State University. It was in the slow movement (the third), which produced a sound truly of an other-worldly beauty – the most heartfelt poetry of music one could experience.
That standard of musicianship likely will be enhanced in the future, as Adkins also becomes NOVA’s music director while Hardink takes on the role as artistic adviser. The innovative move in organizational structure is intended to add depth to NOVA’s unique programming model, especially in how it juxtaposes existing works in the chamber music series with new compositions."
11/20/17: Salt Lake Tribune
March 2017: New CD Review from American Record Guide
"Mendelssohn’s violin sonatas are unjustly neglected: only the first movement of an unfinished sonata is from his 16th year, the same year as his miraculous Octet. Two sonatas are juvenilia, written age 11 and 15, and the last from 1838 he left unpublished. So we have no complete violin works from Mendelssohn’s prime years. It’s a mystery that Mendelssohn hid the mature Sonata 3 in F, as it’s ebullient and stirring, cut from the same expressive cloth as his Italian Symphony.
Here Ms Adkins and Mr Magalhães are ardent and spontaneous, ecstatic, like mature Schumann—but Schumann had yet to publish any chamber music by 1838. The juvenile Sonata 2 in F minor would be the pride of any seasoned composer—it is masterly, dark, and profound, like the best early Beethoven, especially at the exceedingly moderato tempo in I; these players take 10-1/2 minutes where most take about 8. It’s a risky choice, and teases more adolescent angst out of a movement that can sound like a petulant snit fit at faster tempos. The soulful Beethovenian II is soothing, the grumpy Mozartean finale agitated and sec, where the fierce coordination of these musicians is breathtaking. The unfinished D minor Sonata comes next, fiery and brooding. It’s too bad Mendelssohn didn’t finish it.
His first childhood sonata comes last and owes much to Beethoven’s early violin sonatas. It’s playful and not at all profound. The performers toss off its considerable technical demands with ease. I thought the performers sounded distant at first, but grew to enjoy the realistic concert perspective and blend. Ms Adkins has a lovely and intense tone, very passionate. This is a desirable release in every way, and I have a hard time imagining the music done better."
January 2017: CD Review from Fanfare Magazine
"The playing by these two musicians is astonishingly good. It’s so good, in fact, that the highest tribute I can pay it is to say that if Mendelssohn were alive today to hear these artists play his completed sonatas, he would rush to dust off his uncompleted manuscripts and finish them, just to hear Adkins and Magalhães play them. Even if the performances were not as phenomenally good as they are, and the TwoPianists recording was not as immaculately clean, transparent, and beautifully balanced as it is, this release would still deserve strong commendation for including more of Mendelssohn’s violin and piano works on a single disc than any others I know. But the performances and the recording are magnificent, so, urgently recommended." --Jerry Dubins
11/11/16: Salt Lake Tribune
10/8/16: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
8/20/16: New CD Review: Baltimore Sun
"Madeline Adkins, who starts as concertmaster of the Utah Symphony this season, was long valued as Baltimore Symphony Orchestra associate concertmaster for her sure technique and vibrant personality. Those gifts abound on this Mendelssohn collection.
Partnered with equal ease and nuance by pianist Luis Magalhaes, Adkins captures the lyrical sweep of Mendelssohn's F major Sonata from 1838. The youthful F major Sonata from 1820 inspires playing of great clarity and color, especially in the whirlwind finale. Adkins finds the drama in the F minor Sonata, Op. 4, as well as the poetic possibilities in the single, promising fragment from an unfinished D minor Sonata." --Tim Smith
8/5/16: Via WOSU
7/1/2016: Via Two Pianists Records
Madeline's new disc of the Complete Mendelssohn Sonatas with pianist Luis Magalhães was released in early August!
12/10/2015: Baltimore Sun
"Madeline Adkins, the highly regarded Associate Concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2005, and Assistant Concertmaster before that, has been appointed Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, effective September 2016.
Adkins will be missed around here, as much for her pristine technique and sensitive music-making as for her personal charm and dynamism."
12/10/2015: Strad Magazine
12/09/2015: The Salt Lake Tribune
10/05/2015: Review: Washington Post
"Stenz brought a feather-light touch and hushed dynamics to Mozart’s youthful First Symphony and glorious Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, which featured solo work of gorgeous timbre and Olympian poise from BSO Associate Concertmaster Madeline Adkins and principal viola Lisa Steltenpohl."
10/02/2015: Review: Baltimore Sun
"There is no mistaking the maturity of the Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, written when Mozart was in his early 20s. The score offers a feast of melodic invention and, in the second movement, a peak of poetic thought.
Two of the BSO's star players, associate concertmaster Madeline Adkins and principal violist Lisa Steltenpohl, took the solo parts with confidence and style. Backed solidly by Stenz and the ensemble, they zipped nimbly through the outer movements; in the Andante, their expressive tenderness and well-blended tone yielded particular pleasure."
6/01/2015: New Recording
In June 2015, violinist Madeline Adkins will record the Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Felix Mendelssohn. Portuguese pianist Luis Magalhães will join Adkins for this release for TwoPianists Records. The recording will take place June 19-21 in the acoustically superb Endler Hall at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The disc will include all three sonatas plus an unfinished 4th sonata only available in manuscript. Anticipated release is Spring 2016.
2/13/2015: Review: Washington Post
"BSO concertmaster Jonathan Carney and associate concertmaster Madeline Adkins then took the stage as soloists in Bach’s beloved Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. The lively tempos now considered appropriate in baroque music can be challenging to contemporary string players with their different bows and techniques of using them. Nevertheless, Carney and Adkins acquitted themselves marvelously, particularly in the heartfelt slow movement."
2/12/15: New York Times
At Baltimore Symphony, A Cello and a Violin Make More Than Music
2/11/15: Review: Baltimore Sun
"The Concerto for Two Violins put the spotlight on concertmaster Jonathan Carney and associate concertmaster Madeline Adkins. They delivered superbly blended playing in tone and temperament; even their occasional slides were neatly matched. The violinists also enjoyed supple rapport with conductor and colleagues throughout, including the nearly breathless finale."