Our Director


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, receiving his Bachelor’s degree. At the New England Conservatory, he studied conducting with Pascal Verrot. Mr. Azikiwe was also awarded the Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University where he served as an Associate Instructor. It was there he also received his Master’s Degree in 1994 as a student of Atar Arad.

Mr. Azikiwe is an accomplished conductor, violist, concerto soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and instructor.

Amadi Azikiwe, conductor and violist, 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, DC. Mr. Azikiwe’s appearances include a performance at the U.S. Supreme Court. He 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, DC.

Mr. Azikiwe has appeared as a concerto soloist with many symphony orchestras and at several music festivals including the Virginia Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, the Gateway Music Festival Orchestra, the City Island Baroque Ensemble of New York, the National Symphony of Ecuador, and the Costa Rica International Music Festival.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Azikiwe has appeared in concert with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Chester, Miro, St. Lawrence, Anderson, Arianna, Harrington, and Corigliano quartets.  He has also performed extensively with the Ritz Chamber Players and the innovative ensemble Classical Jam. Some of the venues in which Mr. Azikiwe has performed include the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Carolina Chamber Music Festival, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival, the El Paso International Chamber Music Festival, and the Salt Bay Chamber Festival in Maine.

Mr. Azikiwe’s orchestral performances have been under the batons of conductors Lorin Maazel, James DePriest, Pinchas Zukerman, Christoph Eschenbach, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Morgan, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sixten Ehrling, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, and Leonard Bernstein. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, and as a guest principal violist of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Professor Azikiwe is currently on the faculty of James Madison University and a former visiting faculty member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Previously, he was the conductor of the Old Dominion University Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta University Center Orchestra. He has given master classes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the North Carolina School of the Arts, Hong King Academy of the Performing Arts, West Texas State University, and the Boston Symphony’s Project STEP.


Amadi Azikiwe, Music Director