Col. and Mrs. Ran Watson Principal Chair
Allyson Dawkins, Principal Violist of the San Antonio Symphony, has won consistent admiration for her playing as both orchestral soloist and recitalist. Critics have praised the “great sensitivity and intelligence” of her playing, as well as her “full-bodied, velvety tone.”
Ms. Dawkins is on the faculty of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is highly sought after and widely respected as a private teacher. During the summer she serves as Dean of Students, teaches viola, and coaches chamber music at the Castleman Quartet Program at State University of New York at Fredonia. She is co-author, with Charles Castleman, of a technical instruction book titled Fingerboard Memory for both viola and violin. As a teacher and coach she has taught at the New World Symphony, and participated in a workshop there on the topic of Orchestral Leadership.
She has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Victoria Bach Festival, and as Principal Violist of both the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin and the Sunriver Music Festival in Oregon. She is currently a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Dawkinsreceived a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, and a Master of Music degree and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.
Ms. Dawkins also has substantial practical organizational experience having served on many boards. She was a musician representative to the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Symphony from 2004-11. Since 2004 she has also served on the board of the San Antonio Chamber Music Society where she is Chair of the Outreach Committee and a member of the Artists Committee. Since September 2012 she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the American Viola Society where she is Chair of the Orchestral Excerpt Competition.
Strongly committed to community service, Ms. Dawkins is director of the San Antonio Symphony Caroling Project, a program that takes musicians to area hospitals, hospices, correctional institutions, and shelters during the December holiday season.