Entrepreneur, activist, and musician, Elizabeth Newkirk encompasses thoughtfulness and artistry in all of her work, performances, and collaborations. She is the co-founding pianist of Bow & Hammer, her primary ensemble in which she serves as the Artistic Director. With Bow & Hammer, she explores her passion for duo repertoire of the early 20th century, while balancing it with new and standard works. Extremely inspired by the slow-food movement, she is dedicated to creating concerts that can mirror the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of the food movement, furthermore creating a relevancy for new audiences, meaningful experiences, and a camaraderie among other disciplines. “IndustryNight” and “Élevé ,” are just two examples of presentations by Bow & Hammer that feature a wide range of disciplines, artists, and small businesses in Chicago.
Newkirk is equally versed in duo collaboration with voice. Passionate about art song and opera, she is a collaborative pianist for the vocal department at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts. There, she serves as a staff pianist, vocal coach, and rehearsal pianist for recitals, opera rehearsals, and productions. With Bow & Hammer, other chamber ensembles, and mixed genres, she has premiered new works, performed with mixed media and multiple disciplines, supported new projects, and remains a part of a diverse network that includes traditional institutions as well as new organizations.
Growing up on her family farm in Indiana, Newkirk came to Chicago to pursue studies in Piano Performance. She received her MM from Roosevelt University with a minor in Collaborative Piano where she studied with Ludmila Lazar, Dana Brown and Angela Yoffe. Receiving her BA from Columbia College, she studied under pianist/composer Sebastian Huydts and jazz with Dennis Luxion. Additionally, she has had the privilege to work with Mary Sauer, Winston Choi, Cliff Colnot, and Sylvia Wang. Newkirk currently is on faculty at Columbia College Chicago. When not in the thick of rehearsals or performance, Newkirk enjoys cooking, supporting her colleagues, and of course, running with her cattle dog, Lady.