Jane Atkins: Violist
As a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Jane Atkins is one of Britain’s most diverse and versatile violists, with performances encompassing multiple genres ranging from Baroque to Contemporary music, Dance to Jazz. Passionate about expanding the viola repertoire Jane has commissioned and performed many works by eminent composers including John McLeod, John Woolrich, Diana Burrell, Ib Norholm and Andrew Toovey. Her contemporary recordings include Woolrich’s Ulyssees Awakes, Burrell’s Concerto – “Calling, Leaping, Crying, Dancing” and Tavenor’s Out of the Night for Viola and Tenor.
Attending the Yehudi Menuhin School from the age of six and completing her studies with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Jane won the LPO/ Pioneer Young Soloist of the Year and gained second prize in the Lionel Tertis competition before graduating. Since her solo debut performance of the Walton concerto with Kurt Sanderling and the London Philharmonic, Jane has appeared as a soloist throughout the UK and Europe with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the English and Scottish Chamber Orchestras, the Dutch and Danish Radio Orchestras and both the City of London and Northern Sinfonias. As a recitalist she has performed in some of the major British Festivals including Harrogate, SpitalZields, Newbury, Cheltenham, East Neuk and Edinburgh.
Early on in her career, Jane honed her craft as an orchestral and chamber musician in the role of Principal Viola with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, whilst continuing to Zlourish as a soloist and recitalist. Later, during her years as principal viola with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jane collaborated with many conductors, composers and performers including Joseph Svenson, Oliver Knussen, Robin Ticciati, John McLeod, Llyr Williams, Hugo Ticciati and Alexander Janiczek, delivering highly acclaimed solo and ensemble performances.
In November 2020, Jane teamed up with the artist Jyll Bradley and composer Anna Clyne to create the audiovisual work “Pardes”, commissioned by and featured in the Scottish Ensemble’s Solo Collaborations series. This was recently made into a Zilm, “Reveal”, to accompany Jyll’s instillation, currently being exhibited at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket gallery.
Jane currently enjoys a varied freelance career, regularly performing with the Scottish Ensemble, Chineke! Orchestra and Ensemble and the London Symphony Orchestra. She is a tutor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. FulZilling her passion for keeping music alive for younger generations, she also coaches young musicians with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra.
“Atkins made the viola sing like few I’ve ever heard, embodying perfectly the sense of lyrical longing at the heart of this work”.
“a player of tremendous muscle and charisma – gave an urgent, restless performance of Britten’s Lachrymae. Her energy was ferocious, which made the graciousness of her Cinal variation even more striking”.
“Atkins herself seemed electriCied with energy after her fearsomely focused performance, and so too was the audience, judging by the rapturous reception the work received”.
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Opera Caledonia engagements: “Anush Hovhannisyan: An Evening of Opera & Song”.