Lauded for his “engaging” performances and his “expressive and intense” playing (American Record Guide), Jacob Adams is Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of Alabama and a board member of the American Viola Society. Since making his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 17, he has performed throughout the United States and at major venues around the world, including all three stages at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, the Rudolfinium in Prague, and the El Escorial Palace in Spain. Jacob has performed on the prized Amati instruments at the Smithsonian and appeared on stage with such diverse acts as the Kronos Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Suzanne Vega, Herbie Hancock, and Quincy Jones, among others. He has premiered new works by celebrated composers, including William Bolcom and Caroline Shaw. Jacob is a frequent performer with ensembles and orchestras around the country, including A Far Cry (Boston), Manchester Summer Chamber Music, and the symphony orchestras of Santa Barbara, Mobile, Huntsville, and New Haven. Jacob serves as principal violist of the Tuscaloosa Symphony.
Recent engagements include serving on the viola faculty of the Brevard Music Center, recitals in Havana, Prague, and Seattle, soloing with the University of Alabama’s Huxford Symphony Orchestra, and presentations at the 2017 International Viola Congress (Wellington, NZ), the 2018 ASTA National Conference (Atlanta), and the 2018 American Viola Society Festival (Los Angeles). Jacob’s debut album, “Czech Portraits,” was released on the Centaur label. A dedicated teacher, he has given guest classes at colleges and high schools across the country. He has written articles for the Journal for the American Viola Society and The Strad. Jacob co-commissioned a new viola and piano work from composer William Bolcom, which was premiered at Merkin Hall in New York City on the occasion of the composer’s 80thbirthday.
Chamber music highlights include performances with members of Camerata Pacifica, the Muir String Quartet, and the St. Petersburg String Quartet. From 2007-2009, Jacob was the violist of the critically acclaimed Vinca String Quartet, with whom he won special mention at the Borciani International Quartet Competition. As the founding violist of the Erato Quartet, he won top prize at the 2001 Coleman Chamber Music Competition.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacob is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music, and University of California – Santa Barbara. His principal teachers include Helen Callus, Jesse Levine, Roger Chase, Roland Vamos, Masao Kawasaki, and Catharine Carroll Lees. In addition to his performance degrees, Jacob earned his M.A. in Musicology from the University of California – Santa Barbara. In his spare time, Jacob is likely to be found hiking, exercising, cooking, or bowling (high score: 289). He lives with his wife, Shannon McCue, and their son, Isaac, in Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit www.jacobviola.com.