Early music artist Adam Cockerham specializes in theorbo, lute and baroque guitar. Beginning his performance career as a classical guitarist, he then gravitated toward historical plucked strings, preferring the collaborative opportunities of chamber music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. As an accompanist and continuo player, Cockerham has performed with numerous ensembles – Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, TENET Vocal Artists, Four Nations Ensemble, ARTEK, New York Baroque Incorporated, the Sebastians, the Academy of Sacred Drama and J415. He founded voice and plucked string duo Jarring Sounds with mezzo-soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah.
Beyond chamber music, Cockerham concentrates on 17th-century Italian vocal music. He is the Associate Music Director of the Academy of Sacred Drama, a group that is dedicated to the revival of Baroque-era oratorios. In the past, Cockerham has served as assistant conductor for dell’Arte Opera Ensemble’s production of Cavalli’s La Calisto and was involved in numerous modern world premiere performances with opera companies such as Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Le nozze in sogno) and Ars Minerva (Astianatte, Ermelinda, La Circe, La Cleopatra, Le Amazzoni nelle isole fortunate).
His early training as a performer of modern music on guitar has led to a sub-specialty of new music for old instruments. In addition to commissioning works for solo and chamber music with lute and theorbo, Cockerham performed for the premiere of operas and major works with the Prototype Festival (Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel’s Bone), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (The Judas Passion), and Opera Parallèle (Gesualdo).
Cockerham earned his doctorate from the Juilliard School after completing a Master of Music degree in Historical Plucked Strings. His doctoral dissertation “The sepolcri of 1671” won the Richard F. French Prize for best dissertation. He also holds Master and Bachelor of Music degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. His discography includes recordings with Jarring Sounds, El Mundo, ARTEK, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, NOVUS NY, Augusta McKay Lodge, and Emi Ferguson + Ruckus.