Artist details

helicon artists

Jacob Ashworth


Photo By:
Russ Rowland

Violinist and conductor Jacob Ashworth is the Artistic Director of the “...categorically imaginative and radical” (New Yorker) Heartbeat Opera, which he helped start in 2013. He was also the “...impressive Artistic Director” (New York Times) of the ensemble Cantata Profana, which he founded in 2012 and ran for ten years. Equally at home on modern and baroque violin, as a conductor, and occasionally on the medieval vielle, Jacob has gained a reputation as a consummate stylist and curator of music, earning Cantata Profana the 2016 CMA/ASCAP National Award for Adventurous Programming with his vision for crafting theatrical, genre-bending chamber music shows. He has performed extensively on period instruments with groups like Mark Morris Dance Group, American Bach Soloists, TENET, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Opera Lafayette, where he serves as concertmaster. He has been an artist at the Staunton Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Wellesley Composer’s Conference, France’s Festival Daniou, and Music Mountain. In contemporary music, he has premiered works with New York New Music Ensemble, Princeton Sound Kitchen, MATA Festival, Locrian Chamber Players, The Stone, and NOVUS NY. Jacob has been called a “...lithe and nimble” (NYTimes) baroque violinist, an “...exacting and sensitive” (Boston Globe) new music player, a “...richly detailed” (NYTimes) conductor, and “...a flat-out triumph” on stage (Opera News). With Heartbeat, Jacob has championed the unique practice of leading operas from the violin, "...doing powerful work from the music stand” (Opernwelt). His album, Hermestänze, on MSR Records, features cycles for solo violin by Susan Kander, played “...expressively and knowingly throughout” (Gramophone).

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