Adam Larison has established a position at the forefront of his generation of American classical guitarists. About a recent performance Cleveland Classical wrote, “Larison played a beautifully delineated, soaring melody with lovely variety in dynamics, especially in the final fade to nothingness.” As a soloist, he has performed across the U.S. and abroad including in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tignes Space (Tignes, France), the Cleveland Guitar Society, the New Mexico International Guitar Festival, and Guitar Sarasota. Along with follow guitarist Andrew Stroud, Adam performs as half of “Duo 220,” with recent feature performances for the Louisville International Guitar Festival, the Texas A&M International Guitar Symposium, the Troy University Guitar Festival, the Wilmington Guitar Society, and the Corsham Arts Festival (U.K.). He has performed North American and world premieres of works by Georg Friedrich Haas, Robert Morris, and Sebastian Anthony Birch.
A passionate advocate for innovative, inclusive, and accessible music pedagogy, Adam currently serves on the faculty of Kent State University in Ohio where he teaches both on the Stark Campus and in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. In 2016 he launched the Kent State “Guitar Weekend,” a three-day festival dedicated to the celebration of all styles of guitar playing. Funded by the Ohio Arts Council and Arts in Stark, the “Guitar Weekend” brings performers of classical, jazz, and rock guitar into contact with students in area schools and provides free, evening performances for the general public. Adam has recently served as a guest clinician for the Greater Cincinnati Guitar Society, the Servite Ensemble Festival, and the Troy University Guitar Symposium, and as a guest adjudicator for the Texas A&M International Guitar Competition, the Youngstown State Concerto Competition, and the Tuesday Musical Scholarship competition at the University of Akron.
Adam was introduced to the guitar at the Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His formative teachers were Albuquerque-based musical polymath Louis Critchfield, and visionary pre-college guitar pedagogues Mickey Jones and John Truitt. Adam completed his undergraduate degree with Bruce Holzman at Florida State University where he was the recipient of a full scholarship and graduated magna cum laude. He holds a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory where he received a Presidential Scholarship and studied with Sergio Assad, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Nicholas Goluses and Paul Odette. He earned 1st Prize and Audience Prize in the 2014 Great Lakes Guitar Competition, 2nd Prize in the 2014 Hamilton Guitar Competition (Ontario, Canada), and 3rd Prize in the 2007 Boston GuitarFest competition.
Adam splits his time between northeast Ohio and Chicago with his wife, the animator and filmmaker Naghmeh Farzaneh.