Described as a “musical phenomenon”, Atkinson Duo is one of the most active and exciting instrumental ensembles on the Gulf Coast! Passionate about building relationships with people, this professional brother-sister team seeks to meet needs through meaningful music that speaks to the heart, bringing peace, joy, and inspiration.
Known for their innovative approach to programming, Atkinson Duo regularly delights audiences with a variety of musical styles such as gypsy violin, classical masterpieces, Spanish dances, Viennese waltzes, Broadway, traditional and sacred favorites, performed on the harp, violin, piano, voice and other instruments.
Rebekah and Matthew Atkinson grew up together in a large musical family and have been playing together for over a decade. They have studied music with teachers of both national and international acclaim, and currently keep an active schedule, playing chamber music concerts together and performing with professional symphonies, as well as helping with other events in the community. They consider it a true blessing that their life’s work involves sharing what they love with others!
Rebekah Atkinson is one of the most prolific performers on the Gulf Coast, active both as a professional harpist and also as an advocate for making live music more accessible to communities across the Southeastern states. Currently, she is playing as principal harpist for Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Destin, FL), Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra (Biloxi, MS), and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra (Meridian, MS), 2nd harp for Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (Pensacola, FL), and substituting for multiple other orchestras. Some of the artists of international renown with whom Rebekah has recently enjoyed performing, include the Irish Tenors, Jamie Bernstein, Denyce Graves, and Kristin Chenoweth. Rebekah also frequently collaborates with opera companies such as Pensacola Opera, musical theater groups, ballet companies such as the Mobile Ballet & Northwest Florida Ballet, and choral groups such as Bella Voce, Eastern Shore Choral Society, Greater Mobile Bay Area Choral Group, and the Singing River Chorale.
Rebekah is passionate about working with people, and makes it a priority to join with other musicians in chamber music groups to share the love of music with people in all walks of life. Over a decade ago, Rebekah formed her favorite chamber group with her brother Matthew, a professional violinist, the Atkinson Duo. Together, they have joined organists and choir directors to bring special music to church worship services, reached out to retirement groups and community centers, played for scores of weddings and special events, and performed for educational and school concerts. They frequently make concert tours and are known for their unique and exciting programs! Recently, the Atkinson Duo has recorded two CD’s “Timeless Classics & Sacred Favorites” and “Sunset Serenade” with the acclaimed organist Dr. George Mims and pianist Ms. Leslie Mims.
Rebekah grew up in a large musical family where all the siblings played an instrument, and her parents emphasized the importance of sharing talents with others. She began her musical training on the piano with her mother at an early age, but later focused most of her formal studies on the harp. While Rebekah was fortunate to study with many outstanding artists, the biggest influences on her musical development were harpist Catherine Anderson (Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra) and soprano Linda Zoghby (Metropolitan Opera). Rebekah studied the French school of playing the harp, in the legacy of Henriette Renie and Susann McDonald, and also participated in master classes with notable harpists such as Delaine Fedson and Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton.
Matthew Atkinson is widely known as a leading concert artist on the Gulf Coast, appearing frequently both as a soloist, and also in various chamber groups. He specializes in music from the Romantic Era, and is recognized throughout the region for his distinct, deeply resonant and passionate style of playing. Matthew places a great emphasis on tone production, agreeing with Maximilian Pilzer that, “There must be an inner, emotional instinct, an electric spark within the player himself that sets the vibrato current in motion… in order to give fluent expression to emotion…….warmth, rounded fullness, the truly beautiful violin tone….”
Matthew performs most frequently in Atkinson Duo concerts with his sister, a professional harpist. Audiences are delighted by unique and exciting programs in which they may hear a fiery gypsy fantasy, a poignant serenade for harp & violin, and a favorite classic from Mathew’s baritone voice all in one evening! Outside of the Atkinson Duo, Matthew is also founder and first violin of the Gulf Coast String Quartet, a group easily recognizable for its powerful, rich tone and exquisite musicality. Recently, Matthew & Rebekah collaborated with acclaimed organist and pianist, Dr. George and Ms. Leslie Mims to record two CD’s “Timeless Classics & Sacred Favorites” and “Sunset Serenade.”
Also highly active within the community, Matthew can be heard in a variety of settings ranging from playing as a featured soloist with the Mobile Singing Children to opening with John William’s brilliant “Fiddler on the Roof” cadenza at the Joe Jefferson Theater. Matthew especially enjoys joining in worship services and is a frequent guest artist at many churches such as St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Matthew has been a member of professional symphony orchestras such as the Gulf Coast Symphony (Biloxi, MS) and still joins in concerts with symphonies, choral groups, and operas when he has time. When Matthew is not making music, he works as a professional computer technician and executive of Red Baron Computers. He also enjoys flying as a private aircraft pilot.
Matthew began playing the violin at an early age and has studied with the finest teachers on the Gulf Coast, including Jenny Gregoire, concertmaster of the Mobile Symphony, Leonid Yanovskiy, concertmaster of the Pensacola Symphony, and Joseph Meyer, concertmaster of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also studied with teachers and artists of international acclaim, such as Michel Boris Zaitzeff of the Paris Conservatoire, accessing the legacy of the great violin virtuosos of the past- Ivan Galamian, Josef Gingold, and Zakhar Bron. Matthew received instruction as well, from foremost performers of our day, such as Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, through master-classes during his college studies of violin performance.