Opera News recently raved that violinist Jacob Ashworth’s 2015 fully staged, memorized performance of Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragments was “A flat-out triumph for its two fearless performers.” Across the spectrum of classical music, Jacob has gained a reputation as a consummate stylist, from his “diligent attention to [baroque] period style” (New York Times) to his “exacting and sensitive” interpretations of modern works (Boston Globe). Ashworth is violinist, conductor, and Artistic Director of the New York based ensemble Cantata Profana, which he founded at Yale School of Music in 2012, and Co-Music Director of Heartbeat Opera. For Heartbeat’s 2016 production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the New Yorker noted, “Ashworth, leading from the violin, elicited a performance that was elegant, boisterous, and melancholy by turns.”
Recent highlights include performances with most of New York’s principal baroque ensembles, concertmaster under Nicholas McGegan for Mark Morris Dance Group, a tour of the UK and Paris with Yale’s Schola Cantorum and Juilliard’s Historical Performance Program, residencies in New Hampshire and Canada, and world premieres of solo and chamber music by many friends, teachers, and colleagues. During the summers, Jacob has been an artist at the Staunton Music Festival, New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Wellesley Composer’s Conference, Lake George Music Festival, and Music Mountain. Jacob conducted the 2016 premiere reading of Susan Kander’s full opera The News from Poems, and he is featured on Ms. Kander’s 2017 album of violin solo music on the MSR Classics label.
This 2016-2017 season with Heartbeat Opera, Jacob will music direct the first ever opera on New York City’s famous High Line, as well as Heartbeat’s third annual Drag Show, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Performances with Cantata Profana will include Schoenberg’s Serenade, Bach’s Brandenburg concerti, a debut show at Joe’s Pub, and conducting Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord. Jacob will receive his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music, where he was a student of Ani Kavafian and a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble.