Amanda Howard-Phillips joined the Spokane Symphony in 2003 and became principal second violin in 2008. Originally from Bainbridge Island, Washington, Amanda began violin lessons at four years old and made her solo debut with the Bainbridge Orchestra at age eleven.
Amanda received her bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Camilla Wicks, and her master’s degree in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with David Updegraff. She has studied chamber music with many prominent chamber musicians, including Mark Sokol, Peter Salaff (of the Cleveland Quartet), the Cavani Quartet, Paul Hersh, Ian Swensen, Bonnie Hampton, and Clive Greensmith (of the Tokyo Quartet). She has been awarded fellowships to study at the National Repertory Orchestra and the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, and won first prize in the Pacific Chamber Symphony Concerto Competition in San Francisco, playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
As part of the Northwest Bach Festival, Amanda has performed Schubert’s Cello Quintet and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence with music director and Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey. She performed with the Oregon Coast Music Festival from 2007 to 2015 and currently performs with the Inland Northwest Opera Orchestra and the Northwest Bach Festival. She has appeared as soloist with the Spokane Symphony several times, most recently with concertmaster Mateusz Wolski in performances of Arvo Pärt’s Tabula Rasa for two solo violins, string orchestra, and prepared piano.
A passionate advocate for new music and music by women and people of color, Amanda has programmed music for the Spokane String Quartet by such composers as Caroline Shaw, Vivian Fung, and young American Indian composers under the instruction of Chickasaw composer Jerod Tate. The Spokane String Quartet’s live recording of these youths’ compositions, recorded at the Bing Crosby Theater in 2017, has been broadcast on the National Public Radio program Performance Today several times, heard by approximately 1.2 million listeners on over 280 public radio stations across the country.