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Joshua Peckins, Violin

Described by the President of the International Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition as, “…intensive, profound, intelligent,” award-winning violinist Joshua Peckins “…is among the most active recitalists in New England,” (The Enterprise) performing with “particular brilliance” (Worcester Telegram). Peckins has presented solo recitals nationally and internationally throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including the renowned Figaro Hall of Palace Pálffy (where Mozart himself presented his “The Marriage of Figaro”), Crystal Hall in Japan, the Haydn and Mendelssohn Halls in Austria, as well on the Artist Series of the Bled Festival in Slovenia, the Salzburg Festival at the Mozarteum, the Orford Festival in Canada, and the Cervo Festival in Italy.

Trained in Europe at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts, and in the United States at the Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory, Joshua Peckins recently completed a multi-year cycle of the complete solo violin music by Bach and Ysaÿe in a series of over 30 lecture recitals, described by Scout Magazines as “…solo violin music at its best” and Reporter Today as a “…brilliant show…!”

An avid chamber musician, Peckins has appeared with the renowned New England Bach Festival at Marlboro, Grammy-nominated A Far Cry (also as section leader), Camerata New England, Music at Eden’s Edge (where he also received the Emerging Artist Award), and Manchester Summer Chamber Music (also as concerto soloist). He has performed string quartets in concerts ranging from the streets of Paris to an audience with the Federal President of Austria, and has performed chamber music on nationally syndicated TV/radio on three continents, including a European Union special television broadcast commemorating the reunification of Europe, NPR’s From the Top, and educational programming in Japan.

“An award­-winning concert violinist, Peckins also has a gift for capturing audiences’ attention with inspiring and educational stories about the music he performs.” (Backyard News) Passionate about connecting on a personal and emotional level with listeners, Peckins engages modern audiences by speaking from the stage, inviting them into a rich and personal experience of hearing the performance. During the covid-19 pandemic, Peckins created Songs of Loss and Hope, an immersive concert film experience for digital audiences. In this film, Peckins performs music of lament and hope – music that speaks to us in a time of suffering – and shares rich and personal commentary about the role of art and music in society as a vital balm that connects us to each other and helps us experience our deepest emotions. A compelling artist/audience connection is central to Peckins’ mission as an artist and performer.

Current projects include include Music Speaks, a new concert series that presents solo violin music ranging from classics by Bach and Paganini to exciting new music by living composers from around the world. Paired with rich commentary about the composers and their music, the core recital series in Cambridge, MA, has been enthusiastically received by sold-out audiences from the inaugural concerts in 2021 through the present season. With his long-time collaborative duo parter, pianist Eliko Akahori, Peckins also continues the recital series Art of the Recital, founded in 2016, which has since reached hundreds of audience members, with a focus on the great violin and piano duo repertoire, including sonatas, newer works, virtuoso showpieces, and salon pieces. In every recital program, Peckins draws on a traditional classical repertoire studied in Vienna and performed internationally (on tour in Japan, Europe, and North America), and also seeks out new and diverse works by contemporary composers. Peckins firmly believes that programming authentic, diverse, and fresh repertoire, alongside the traditional warhorses of the past, is necessary in order to keep classical music relevant today.

Recent collaborations with notable contemporary composers include giving the United States premier of Toshio Hosokawa’s “Lied IV” in 2022 and recording his “Elegy” for solo violin (available on major platforms), touring and recording the works of Odaline de la Martinez (featured in the international Composers Edition publication), recording and performing works by Jessie Montgomery (featured in “Songs of Loss and Hope”) and Polina Nazaykinskaya, and performing music by Shirishe Korde.

As an orchestral musician, Peckins has toured from Symphony Hall to Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s Performing Arts Center, and even performed as part of the Summer Olympics in China. He has played with the Boston Symphony Esplanade Pops Orchestra, and has been a full time member (first violin) of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Discovery Ensemble, in addition to serving as associate concertmaster of the Cape Cod Symphony, and performing at the Monadnock Festival.

First appearing as soloist with orchestra at age 11, Joshua Peckins has performed as soloist with the Bach Consort, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, the Orchestra on the Hill, the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, and the Wakefield Choral Society, performing concerti and solo works by Brahms, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sarasate, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Vivaldi, and John Williams.

Mr. Peckins’ teachers include some of the legendary figures of classical violin playing, including Michael Frischenschlager, Nicholas Kitchen, Marylou Churchill, Syoko Aki, Lynn Chang, Tymur Melnyk, Maria Benotti, and Trudy Larson. He is connected by a direct pedagogical lineage to some of the most towering musical artists of the past, tracing all the way back, teacher to teacher, to Beethoven and Haydn.

Joshua Peckins performs on a violin by Douglas Cox and a bow by Thomas Dignan.

Post.Grad Vienna University of Music, MM Yale School of Music, BM New England Conservatory. Violin, Viola, and Chamber Music faculty at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and Extension Division.