Norman Adams is Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia, the Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN music, and a musician eager to explore many different styles of music, sound creation and performance. A student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, the American master Bernard Greenhouse, and American new music pioneer Pauline Oliveros, Norman has been a featured soloist with SNS, and Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montréal and has performed chamber, and improvised music throughout Canada, the US, the UK and France. His performances have also been heard across Canada on CBC Radio and on the Australian Broadcasting network.
In addition to his work as a classical cellist, Norman is well known across Canada, as an improviser and electronic musician, playing free and creative music. Norman has collaborated with many leading artists including Evan Parker, Xavier Charles, Eddie Prévost, Pauline Oliveros, Jerry Granelli, Marilyn Crispell and Joelle Leandre. In the spring of 2015, Norm toured across Canada with The C/A/P Trio with world renowned drummer Gerry Hemingway
Since 2000 Norman has been the Artistic Director and Producer of suddenlyLISTEN Music, an organization that presents an annual series of concerts of improvised music, featuring a broad range of local, Canadian and international artists. He also continues to be dedicated to sharing music with all people, co-leading suddenlyLISTEN sponsored workshops, as well as creative workshops for a variety of musicians, young and old in schools and communities across Canada.
Since the 1990's Norman has collaborated as a performer, improviser and composer with Halifax dancer/choreographer Gwen Noah. Together they have performed over sixty concerts around Nova Scotia, and in several tours across Canada.
In 2015/16 Norm recorded with Montreal trumpeter Craig Pedersen in October performed in London and Glasgow in December, performed as a soloist with SNS, and travelled to the Candian New Music Network FORUM in Ottawa in January, visited Iqaluit, Nunavut for the first time in March, and recorded the music of Derek Charke, and a month's worth of solo cello improvisations in May!
Norman has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council, Arts Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism Culture and Heritage, and he thanks them for their support. Norman was awarded the 2010 Established Artist Recognition Award by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council, and in 2000 he was named to the Halifax Chronicle Herald Arts Honour Role. Norm currently serves as a board member for Strategic Arts Management, The Lieutenant Governor's Masterworks Award and The Canadian New Music Network.
Norman makes his home in Halifax with SNS principal violist Susan Sayle, and their two sons. Together, they spend their summers living and working on Prince Edward Island. Norm's passion for music is equaled by his love for riding and racing bicycles, and if he's not playing the cello he's probably out cycling on the roads and trails of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Norman uses two instruments in performance: a cello made by Benjamin Banks in Salisbury 1776; and a Luis and Clark carbon fibre cello. Amplification is provided by a nice little AER acoustic amplifier. Interactive processing is constructed in Max/MSP and Ableton Live. Norman uses and endorses Schatten Design pickups exclusively.