Amanda Gates Armstrong
Violinist Amanda Gates Armstrong was appointed Assistant Concertmaster of the acclaimed Virginia Symphony in 2002. She is an active chamber musician, and has performed and recorded with the Chautauqua String Quartet, the Virginia Chamber Players, the Norfolk Chamber Consort, and the Chautauqua Symphony Chamber Players. A native of Reston, Virginia, she was awarded a National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship for high school students, receiving private lessons, master classes, and opportunities to perform with the NSO. She also attended ENCORE School for Strings in Ohio where she studied with Kay Stern and Viktor Danchenko.
She graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Program at Catholic University in 1996, where she was a full scholarship student of Robert Gerle. While studying at Catholic University, she formed the Shenandoah Quartet, which performed for ambassadors, congressman, and in a private audience for the late John Paul II at the Vatican.
With the Virginia Symphony, she has performed as soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending, and John Adams’ Violin Concerto, as well as electric violin engagements on several occasions. She has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, and with the Catholic University Orchestra as soloist as well, including the Washington, DC premiere of Kurt Weill’s violin concerto, the Beethoven concerto, and, filling in for the ailing Jody Gatwood, the Tchaikovsky concerto on one day’s notice.
Awarded a position with the Chautauqua Symphony in upstate New York in 2002, she spends the summers there performing with her husband, Vahn Armstrong, and playing with their two boys, Byron and Blake.
Recently, she has been performing electric violin in The Music of Led Zeppelin – a 5-piece cover band which plays alongside symphonies to sold-out crowds around the country. She has also composed and recorded acoustic arrangements for the Portland-based band emberghost.
Ms. Armstrong performs on a violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri, Brescia, 1699, and a 6-string electric Viper violin by Mark Wood.