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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Michael Adams

Michael Adams

Violist Michael Adams, a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1989, has carved out a unique career that has led down many roads: orchestral player, chamber musician, writer on music, radio host and producer. Along with his wife Daria, a violinist in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Adams is also the founding artistic director of Music in the Vineyards Festival in Napa, CA. As the festival’s emcee and concert commentator, he says that his goal is to make the music sound so interesting, with stories, explanations and analysis that people cannot wait to hear it performed.

He joined the viola section of the Minnesota Orchestra in 1988 after serving as an on-air host for WCAL-FM in Northfield and can be heard occasionally on Minnesota Public Radio. During Sommerfest 2015 he hosted a “Celebrate Cuba” concert with the Cuban choir Coro Entrevoces, part of the Orchestra’s ongoing musical exchange with Cuba.

Adams has been a member of ensembles including the Denver Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Springs Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. In recent seasons he has performed as a guest with the Musical Offering chamber ensemble, Alcan Quartet, Artaria String Quartet and Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, as well as with violinist Gil Shaham, pianist Garrick Ohlsson and other musicians.

Adams attended both the Mannes College of Music and Eastman School of Music. While at Eastman he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under David Zinman and received a National Endowment for the Arts performance grant. He is the father to three children, ages 23, 21 and 19. An avid bicyclist, Adams also enjoys canoe camping in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, sailing with friends on Lake Superior and planning fantasy vacation trips with his collection of maps.