Byron Adams (b. 1955) is a composer, conductor, and musicologist. His essays have appeared in journals such as 19th-Century Music, The Musical Quarterly, Music and Letters, twentieth-century music, and the John Donne Journal, and have been included in volumes such as The Cambridge Companion to Elgar (2004), Walt Whitman and Modern Music (Garland, 2000) The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams (Cambridge, 2013) and The Music of Herbert Howells (Boydell, 2014) In 2000, the American Musicological Society presented him with the Philip Brett Award. In 2007, he was appointed scholar-in-residence for the Bard Music Festival, and edited the volume Edward Elgar and His World (Princeton, 2007). In addition, Adams has been a Visiting Fellow for the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Studies, of the University of London, and is an Associate Editor of The Musical Quarterly. In 2010, he was named scholar-in-residence for the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles.
Adams’s music has been performed at the 26th “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music, the Leith Hill Festival in England, the Conservatoire Américain in Fontainebleau, France (where he taught in the summer of 1992), and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Adams’s music has been programmed in America by such ensembles as the West Virginia Symphony, Cantori New York, and the Riverdale Sinfonietta. His “Serenade” for nine instruments was performed during the 2013 Hot Air Festival of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Recent commissions include the “Variationes alchemisticae” for Chamber Music Palisades, “Le Jardin Provençal”, for Pacific Serenades, and “Illuminations” for piano, which was commissioned by the distinguished pianist Armen Guzelimian. In the summer of 2011, The Philharmonia Orchestra performed his “Midsummer Music” under the baton on Peter Oundjian; that same year the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra conducted by Grant Cooper performed his “Capriccio concertante”. In 2013, the celebrated violist Nokathula Ngwenyama premièred Adams’ “Sonata for Viola and Piano”; in March of 2014, the celebrated male voice ensemble Cantus sang the première of a score that they had commissioned, “Eventide,” which they featured on their annual Thanksgiving Day broadcast over NPR. In October of 2014, the distinguished ‘cellist Julie Albers gave four performances of Adams’s “Concerto” for violoncello and orchestra with Grant Cooper conducting the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; in November of that year, celebrated pianists Alexander Peskanov and Rafal Lewandowski played the première performance of his “Trittico” for piano duet on a concert on the Bargemusic series in New York.