Samuel Adams (b. 1985, San Francisco, CA) is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. His work has been hailed as “mesmerizing” and “music of a composer with a personal voice and keen imagination” by The New York Times, “canny and assured” by The Chicago Tribune and “wondrously alluring” by The San Francisco Chronicle.
Adams is currently a Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure with the CSO, Adams has created three works for the orchestra, co-curated the CSO’s critically-acclaimed MusicNOW series and established the Civic Orchestra New Music Workshop, a program for emerging American voices.
Adams has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, and St. Lawrence String Quartet and has collaborated with many of today's leading voices in contemporary music, including Spektral Quartet, The Living Earth Show, pianist Sarah Cahill and conductor David Robertson.
Recent highlights include Quartet Movement for the Spektral Quartet and the world premiere of Light Readings by the Northwestern Bienen School of Music Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and Members of the Chicago Symphony. In the spring of 2018, the CSO featured his many words of love on their national tour, which included performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall.
Future projects include a chamber concerto for violinist Karen Gomyo, which will have its premiere with members of the CSO under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen and a new work for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, which they will feature on their 2018 Australian tour.
A committed educator, Adams frequently engages in projects with young musicians. In 2014, he was in residence with The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYOUSA), for which he composed a work that was premiered under the baton of David Robertson. Adams also regularly works with the students of The Crowden Music Center (Berkeley, CA) and maintains a private teaching studio.
Adams grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he participated in the improvised music community from a young age. He attended Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in composition and electroacoustic music while performing contrabass in the Bay Area. He received a master's degree in composition from The Yale School of Music.
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