Violinist and conductor Jacob Ashworth is the “impressive Artistic Director” (New York Times) of the New York baroque and modern ensemble Cantata Profana, and Co-Music Director of the “categorically imaginative [and] radical” (New Yorker) Heartbeat Opera. Equally at home in modern or period performance, Jacob has been called a “lithe and nimble” (New York Times) baroque violinist, an “exacting and sensitive” (Boston Globe) new music player, a “richly detailed” (New York Times) conductor, and “a flat-out triumph” (Opera News). As an Artistic Director, Jacob has become increasingly well known as a curator, always telling a new story of the history of music; his vision for crafting rarely-heard masterpieces into theatrical, genre-bending chamber music shows earned Cantata Profana the 2016 CMA/ASCAP National Award for Adventurous Programming.
Jacob has performed extensively on period instruments, including as concertmaster for Mark Morris Dance Group and Opera Lafayette, and with the American Bach Soloists, TENET, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Helicon Ensemble, Juilliard415, and New York Baroque Inc. In contemporary music, he has premiered works with New York New Music Ensemble, Princeton Sound Kitchen, MATA Festival, Locrian Chamber Players, The Cecilia Series of Kansas City, and at the Museo National de Arte in Mexico City. Jacob has been an artist at the Staunton Music Festival, David Shifrin’s Chamber Music Northwest, New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Wellesley Composer’s Conference, France’s Festival Daniou, and Music Mountain. His latest album, “Hermestänze,” on MSR Records, features cycles for solo violin by Susan Kander, played “expressively and knowingly throughout” (Gramophone).
Jacob earned his masters and doctorate from Yale under renowned violinist Ani Kavafian and studied baroque violin with Robert Mealy as a member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Previous degrees include a Performer Diploma from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s from Manhattan School of Music.