Kelly Clark Parkinson began playing violin at seven years old with her first public performance at the age of eight. She attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, Canada, every summer until she graduated from high school to attend Brigham Young University, where she received her bachelor of fine arts in 1980. She and her husband then moved to New Orleans where she worked as a freelancer and a member of the New Orleans Philharmonic Symphony. Kelly also studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music under Daniel Heifetz.
After moving to Los Angeles, Kelly received her master’s degree in violin performance at UCLA and spent many years as a session player in the L.A. and Hollywood studios. She eventually moved to Salt Lake City with her growing family in 1992 and has performed in countless recording sessions, groups, and solo performances with Ballet West and The Madeleine Cathedral Concert Series, and in recitals at Libby Gardner Hall and The Assembly Hall at Temple Square. Kelly has also performed internationally with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival and for Palestinian and Israeli dignitaries at the BYU Jerusalem Center.
A note from the artist:
“In the four decades that I’ve been a violinist, I have played in many traditional venues and some surprising ones: the ancient ruins of an old Roman amphitheater, a hayfield in Central Utah, a grove of trees in western Canada. I arranged ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Abide With Me’ for solo violin because I wanted to be able to play for people in any situation without needing accompaniment. I’ve known for some time that people have a strong emotional attachment to hymns—it is the music they grew up with and associate with spiritual experiences. I received so much positive feedback to these arrangements that I considered writing more, and Kelly Richardson—a local composer and lover of the arts—convinced me to arrange a collection of hymns and make them available to other violinists. I realized he was right. I had used my two humble arrangements so extensively that I wrote nine more. I hope other violinists find them just as useful and inspiring as I have.”