The Adkins String Ensemble is an exciting chamber group, unique in that all six string players are members of one family. The Adkinses are natives of Denton, Texas, and all received their early musical training at the University of North Texas, where their parents were on the musicology faculty. Although these young people had long played together informally in family music-making, it was only in the spring of 1993 that they organized to play a benefit concert for the Trinity Ministry to the Poor (now Trinity Works) in Dallas. The enthusiasm aroused by that performance led to their formal debut at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas in 1994. The group was described by critic John Ardoin in the Dallas Morning News as "superb performers who blend together as an ensemble of enormous sensitivity and precision." He later named the concert as one of the ten most exciting of the year.
In 1995, Elisabeth's husband, concert pianist Edward Newman, joined the ensemble, allowing them to broaden their repertoire. Because the younger family members were still in university, performances during the first years were necessarily limited to special appearances. But after they had established themselves in leadership positions in various orchestras (the National Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Opera Orchestra, and the Sherman Symphony), the Adkins String Ensemble launched its first professional season in the spring of 1999, centered around a subscription series in Dallas.
Early in 2001, the ensemble began releasing CDs–one featuring Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht recorded in 1999 in honor of the work's hundredth anniversary, and two live recordings of works from concerts in the 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 seasons. In March 2004, their recording of Briley’s Quintet for a Healing Nation (#98201) was released on the Jabez Press label, along with works by Bridge and Brahms. For more information about the ensemble, performances, and booking, visit www.adkinsstringensemble.com.