Jacob Adams

Associate Professor of Viola
Assistant Director of Graduate Studies


  • DMA, University of California Santa Barbara
  • MA, Musicology, University of California Santa Barbara
  • MM, Yale School of Music
  • BM, Oberlin Conservatory of Music


Lauded for his “engaging” performances and his “expressive and intense” playing (American Record Guide), Jacob Adams is Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Alabama. Since making his solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 17, he has performed at major venues throughout the United States and across four continents. He has premiered new works by celebrated composers, including William Bolcom and Caroline Shaw. Jacob is a regular performer with numerous orchestras, chamber ensembles, and festival series, appearing with A Far Cry (Boston), Camerata Pacifica (Southern CA), Manchester Summer Chamber Music (MA), Rocket City New Music (Huntsville, AL), Brevard Music Center (NC), and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra (Birmingham, AL). He serves as principal violist for the Mobile and Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestras.

A dedicated teacher, Jacob maintains a full studio of undergraduate and graduate violists at the University of Alabama. He regularly presents and performs at national and international conferences, gives masterclasses and pedagogical workshops throughout the country, and has had articles published in the Journal for the American Viola Society and Strad magazine. He serves on the faculty of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival and has taught at the Brevard Music Center. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jacob holds degrees from 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. He lives with his wife, Shannon McCue, and their three children, Isaac, Jesse, and Maya, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.