Cellist Darrett Adkins belongs to an exciting new generation of American musicians who are redefining the concert experience.  His appetite for bridging established tradition and the avant-garde enables him to explore repertoire in almost every genre, from the classical cannon to the contemporary frontier. Recent presentations of his Hypersuite, a ground-breaking hybrid program combining solo Bach works with contemporary pieces inspired by them, have riveted both listeners and critics. The press has described Adkins’ performances variously as “Stunning”, “Intensely involving”, “Heroic”, and “Fiery”; his 6 hour premiere performance of Morton Feldman’s monumental Quartet II, with the Flux quartet, was described by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross as “a disorienting, transfixing experience that repeatedly approached and touched the sublime”.

Adkins is acclaimed internationally. He was named ‘Cellist of Honor’ at the Rio de Janeiro International Cello Encounter, where he gave master classes, recitals and concerto performances. Winner of the Cultural Arts Grant from the American Scandinavian Society in 2004, he has performed numerous Norwegian works and with Norwegian musicians; King Harald of Norway attended his Oslo debut. Adkins has performed both standard and contemporary concerti with numerous orchestras, including orchestras such as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Tochio Soloisten, The Suwon Philharmonic, Seoul’s Prime Orchestra, Cleveland’s Red {an orchestra}, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (NYC), the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and the North Carolina and New Hampshire Symphony Orchestras. His premiere performances have included Donatoni’s cello concerto and Birtwhistle’s Meridian (Tanglewood), Andrew Mead’s Cello Concerto (Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble), Rolf Wallin’s concerto Grund (Carnegie’s Zankel Hall,), and Jeffrey Mumford’s Cello Concerto (Cleveland Chamber Symphony). Adkins also gave the first New York performance of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XIV, which he has recorded for Naxos’s complete Sequenzas collection.  With Red {an orchestra} he helped develop and premier the new dramatic work “Schubert Songbook” which features himself on cello and soprano Arianna Zuckerman in a dramatic setting of orchestrated Schubert songs. 

Highly in demand as a chamber performer, Adkins performs regularly on prominent chamber concert series, and recently recorded a new string quintet by Jay Greenberg with the Juilliard String Quartet,for SONY label. From 1997 until 2002, Mr. Adkins was a member of Flux, an internationally-acclaimed string quartet dedicated to cutting-edge music, appearing in major festivals in New York, Melbourne (Australia), Southern California (Ojai), and Oslo.  Since 1998, Mr. Adkins has been a member of the Zephyr Trio, featuring Lady Jeanne Galway (flute), and Jonathan Feldman (piano). The trio tours regularly in the U.S, and recently gave the world premier performance of Lowell Lieberman’s Trio.

Adkins has recorded for the Mode, SONY/BMG, Naxos, RCA, Tzadik, Koch, MMC, Engine Company and CRI labels.   Combining passionate teaching with performing, Adkins has taught cello and chamber music since 1995 at the Juilliard School, since 2003 at Oberlin Conservatory, and since 2003 at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he co-directs the string chamber music program. Besides receiving degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Norman Fischer, and the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Joel Krosnick, Adkins also received a Master of Music degree from Rice University. He is originally from Tacoma, Washington and now lives in Cleaveland, Ohio , with his family.