The Kennedy Center

Denise Wilkinson


Denise Wilkinson has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra viola section since 1982. A native of New Jersey, Wilkinson had a passion for the viola from the moment she began playing, at the late age of 16. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Montclair State University and subsequently was awarded a full merit scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Music where she earned her Master of Music degree.

As a devoted chamber musician she has performed with Denyce Graves and on various music series associated with the National Symphony, Orchestra Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, American Chamber Orchestra, 20th Century Consort, National Musical Arts, and is a founding member of the Columbia String Quartet.

Outside the D.C. metro area she has participated in the Chautauqua and Casals Festivals, and has been heard on WGMS and National Public Radio broadcasts.

As a soloist, Wilkinson has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christopher Hogwood and former Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, Mount Vernon Chamber Orchestra, and Eclipse Chamber Orchestra.

Her viola was made by Johannes Gagliano, and dates from approximately 1780. Her husband is former National Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal Timpanist Charles Wilkinson.
Denise Wilkinson