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Samuel Adams

Chicago, IL         

Samuel Adams (b. 1985, San Francisco, CA) is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. His inventively orchestrated and atmospheric works draw from traditional forms, noise, and his experiences as an improvisor. His work has been hailed as “mesmerizing” and “music of a composer with a personal voice and keen imagination” by The New York Times and “wondrously alluring” by The San Francisco Chronicle. 

Adams has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, pianist Emanuel Ax, and St. Lawrence String Quartet. In 2015, Adams was named a Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure with the CSO, Adams will create new works for the orchestra and co-curate the CSO’s critically-acclaimed MusicNOW series with fellow Mead Composer-in-Residence Elizabeth Ogonek. 

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 fall of 2014, his Drift and Providence, a work co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony, was featured as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s national tour.

Current collaborators include Emanuel Ax, The Australian Chamber Orchestra and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Adams was recently awarded a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship (Umbria, Italy) and will be an artist-in-residence during the summer of 2017. 

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. In the summer of 2016, Adams will be in residence with National Orchestral Institute and will work with the fellows to create a recording of Drift and Providence, which will be released on Naxos. Adams also regularly works with the students of The Crowden School (Berkeley, CA) as a composition instructor. 

Adams grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he studied composition and electroacoustic music at Stanford University while also active as a jazz bassist in San Francisco. Prior to working in New York City between 2010 and 2014, Adams received a master’s degree in composition from The Yale School of Music.