An uncommonly versatile musician, cellist Margaret Parkins is in demand as both a performer and a teacher. Based in Los Angeles, Parkins is equally at home in chamber music, orchestral music and the avant-garde, and has performed throughout the Americas and Europe.
Her current work ranges from concert recitals to multimedia, multi-genre collaborations. Always an advocate for new and experimental music, Parkins with the Eclipse String Quartet, has commissioned or premiered numerous works from composers including Carla Kihlstedt, Zeena Parkins, Fred Frith. Eclipse has residencies at Mills College n Oakland and the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.
The Eclipse String Quartet released its first CD in 2005 on John Zorn's Tzadik label and is also set to release Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet on the Bridge label as well as 3 American works for string quartet and percussion on New World Records. Parkins is also a member of the Los Angeles based Mojave Piano Trio and formerly with the Robin Cox Ensemble and Quatracelli. Her interest in music outside the classical tradition has led her to perform with groups including the Jazz Passengers, Billy Childs, the Anthony Braxton Ensemble and The Phantom Orchard Orchestra.
As an orchestral performer, Parkins has performed under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle and Andre Previn. Her orchestral experience also includes the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Syracuse Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Riverside Symphony and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. No stranger to the solo stage, Parkins has performed concerti and recitals with the UC-Irvine Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and many others. She has collaborated with singers as diverse as Jessie Norman to Enya to Megan McCauley and Bjork. An active recording artist as well, Parkins has recorded extensively with harpist Zeena Parkins and with accordionist Guy Klusevsek on the Tzadik, Avan and Victo labels.
While working on her doctorate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Parkins was a prizewinner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition with the Stonybrook Piano Trio. Ms. Parkins has performed around the world at prestigious venues including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Festival Internacional de Musica de Cadaques (Spain), Heidelberg Castle Festival, Spoleto (USA and Italy), the Taktlos Festival (Switzerland), and the Bach Aria Festival in New York.
Parkins received her B.M. from the Eastman School of Music and her D.M.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Timothy Eddy and Steven Doane, and she has performed in master class with Yo Yo Ma, Joel Krosnick, Bernard Greenhouse, and Menahem Pressler. She has led master classes at New York University, University of Nevada, Lawrence University, and Chapman University, and has taught cello and chamber music at UC Irvine since 1997 and is also currently on the faculty at Irvine Valley College.