Madalyn Parnas
Madalyn Parnas, photo by Michael Polito


American violinist Madalyn Parnas secures her place on today’s concert stage as a player bringing unique style, artistry, and musical vision to every performance. The New York Times applauds these qualities in addition to her robust technique: “Ms. Parnas gave a fiery account… and negotiated this [technical] minefield with assurance and vigor, seized the opportunities offered by this changeable score’s lyrical interludes and fleeting touches of humor.” This season, Madalyn performs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Alexandria and Schenectady Symphonies, and presents the premiere of Sandström’s violin concerto, Force and Beauty. Her chamber music concerts include performances at the Kennedy Center, New York’s Subculture, Minneapolis’ Museum of Russian Art, the San Francisco Academy of Achievement International Summit as a 2014 delegate, as well as in Shanghai and Macao while on tour in Asia. Her current recording project with Aqua, an Argentinian/Latin American label, will be distributed by Naxos. Madalyn is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Ms. Parnas made her debut at age twelve with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra performing the Kabalevsky Violin Concerto. Numerous competition prizes led to many concerto engagements, and today Ms. Parnas has performed more than 60 times as soloist throughout the U.S. and Europe. She recently toured France with L’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire performing Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 and La Muse et le Poète, and also appeared with the El Paso Symphony as artist-in-residence at the El Paso Pro-Musica Festival. She has been a guest soloist with the New York String Alumni Orchestra conducted by Jaime Laredo, with David Alan Miller’s Albany Symphony Orchestra, and Randall Fleisher’s Hudson Valley Philharmonic, among many others.

Ms. Parnas’ chamber music career began in 1997 when she and life-long musical partner, cellist Cicely Parnas, performed on stage as a duo. Ten years later at Carnegie Hall, the sisters took 1st prize in international chamber music competition. They have concertized with renowned artist Peter Serkin as the Parnas/Serkin Trio, and have collaborated with Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and Maxim Vengerov, among others. The duo parnas has performed in festivals throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Israel including Tanglewood, the American Composers Festival, Tannery Pond, Maverick Concerts, Music Mountain, and the Honest Brook and ShortGrass Music Festivals in the US; Banff, Lachine Music Festival, and Bravo Music! in Canada; the ProQuartet Festival in France; and the International Musical Arts Festivals of Shanghai and Macao. Their upcoming debut at the Sitka Music Festival features performances with Zuill Bailey, Navah Perlman, and Thom Moore.

The duo parnas has released three albums on the Sheffield Lab label. duo parnas NOW (2014) features award-winning composers of the 21st century, including Lera Auerbach, William Bolcom, Paul Moravec, and Charles Wuorinen. Parnas Double (2008) and Gare du Nord (2010) have received rave reviews and international recognition. On Albany Records, The Other Side of Time (2012), an album of works by composer Brian Fennelly, features the duo as soloists with David Dzubay’s New Music Ensemble in a live performance of Fennelly's double concerto, Fantasia Concertante. After this concerto took 1st prize in competition, the duo recorded it with the Fauxharmonic Orchestra, an ensemble of digital instruments “conducted” by Paul Henry Smith.

Ms. Parnas is a 2012 Marshall Scholar. She holds a M.A. in Violin Performance, graduating with distinction from London’s Royal Academy of Music; an Artist Diploma from the Jacobs School of Music, where she earned the Josef Gingold Award and twice the Artistic Excellence Award; and a B.S. from The College of Saint Rose, graduating summa cum laude with majors in Music Industry and French. Currently she is pursuing her D.M.A. at Indiana University with Mark Kaplan. Her teachers include grandfather and legendary cellist Leslie Parnas, György Pauk, Jaime Laredo, James Buswell, and Betty-Jean Hagen. Ms. Parnas performs on a 1715 Alessandro Gagliano violin. Last updated: 03/2015

Portrait of a Violinist
   —Madalyn Parnas

Steve Torres films and interviews American violinist Madalyn Parnas during a NYC concert tour in the spring of 2012.


“Madalyn gave a fiery account of Lutoslawski’s “Subito” (1992), a work composed as a test piece for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and packed with technical challenges meant to show which competitors had the goods. Ms. Parnas negotiated this minefield with assurance and vigor, but she also seized the opportunities offered by this changeable score’s lyrical interludes and fleeting touches of humor.”
-- Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

“The Sisters Parnas, violinist Madalyn and cellist Cicely, are poised for potential major careers in an increasingly superstar-oriented classical music business. The winsome Stephentown, N.Y. duo made that perfectly clear in their performance with the Albany Symphony...”
-- Berkshire Living

“The Parnas sisters...could just as well have been gazelle and antelope, so thoroughly did they erase programmatic connotations with the suavity and assurance of their playing... They are real talents. There is nothing showy in their playing. Everything is for musical value...”
-- Andrew Pincus, Berkshire Eagle

“Remember the name Madalyn Parnas!  Surely, [she] is destined for a long and successful career on the concert stage.”
-- Times Herald Record

“Parnas executed with poise and mastery. Polyphonics of the andante were in hand and easily spent, and notes drawn in her instrument's highest tessatura carried with ghostly effect. A young mistress of the violin...”
-- Kingston Daily Freeman

“It truly was a breathtaking moment. Each soloist played with a flair and zest that seemed way beyond their years, and the sound quality and intonation was truly extraordinary. The result was a resounding standing ovation from the delighted crowd.”
-- Mid-Hudson Times

“teenaged musical phenom” who “showed strong rhythmic precision… captured the lyrical dance… played with much feeling and musicality.. and was not afraid to soar.”
-- Schenectady Daily Gazette


BACH Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041
Double Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043
BARBER Violin Concerto, Op.14
BRUCH Violin Concerto No.1 in G Minor, Op.25
Scottish Fantasy, Op.46
Double Concerto for Violin & Viola, Op.88
DVORÁK Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op.53
HAYDN Violin Concerto No.2 in G Major, Hob.VIIa:4
KABALEVSKY Violin Concerto in C Major, Op.48
LALO Symphonie Espagnole in D Minor, Op.21
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op.64
MOZART Concerto in G Major, K.216
Concerto in D Major, K.218
Concerto in A Major, K.219
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op.29
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op.63
SAINT–SAËNS Violin Concerto No.3 in B Minor, Op.61
SHOSTAKOVICH Violin Concerto No.1 in A Minor, Op.77
SIBELIUS Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op.47
VIEUXTEMPS Violin Concerto in F# Minor, Op.19
VIOTTI Violin Concerto No.22 in A Minor
Violin Concerto No.23 in G Major
Sinfonie Concertante No. 1 in F Major
VIVALDI Violin Concerto in A Minor, RV356
The Four Seasons