Originally from the Boston area in the United States, Adam Claussen is a composer, performer, and teacher based in Lübeck, Germany with a BA in jazz performance and MA in film music. During his undergraduate studies in jazz saxophone at University of Miami, Adam shared the stage playing saxophone, flute, and clarinet with the likes of Quincy Jones, Maria Schneider, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Grusin, Adam Rogers, Tom Scott, and John Williams among many others. In 2017 and 2019, Adam received two Student Downbeat Awards for his original compositions “All Bets Are Off” and “Minor Conniption”, and in 2017 he was named the winner of the BMI William Golstein Scholarship for outstanding work in the field of jazz composition. In February 2019, Adam released his debut album as a bandleader and saxophonist entitled Arethusa Falls, featuring original works for jazz quintet.
In 2022, Adam graduated with a masters degree in film music from Conservatorium van Amsterdam having scored several short films produced by the Netherlands Film Academy: De Hemelse Bloem (doc, Tessa van der Riet), Joan’s Theme (fiction, Kiefer Eijckelhof), and Entertain Me (fiction, Beek Groot). The original soundtrack for Joan's Theme won the 2022 Keep an Eye Filmscore Award during the week of its premiere at the 2022 Keep an Eye Filmacademie Festival. Ranging widely from jazz to orchestral to German Schlager, the music from each film is available on all streaming sites, and can be found under the "listen" tab above. Adam has also featured as a session musician on the albums Nothing but Love (Just Friends 2018), and There, Back, a Tiny Hat (Fourth Degree 2021) as well as on the soundtracks of numerous short films which you can read about here.
After composing music for the dance sequences choreographed by Thu Hang Pham in De Hemelse Bloem, Adam began a collaboration with international choreographer Anderson Carvalho. Their first collaboration, When I Left the Room, "is a research dance performance of bodies that acknowledge their interdependency. A reflection on identity, culture, and human relationships. Inside a “room” the bodies negotiate possibilities of being in togetherness and physically experimenting, exploring notions of adaptation, agency, and connectedness." [quote from Anderson Carvalho] It received critical acclaim at its premiere in Capetown, South Africa, and has since seen multiple performances worldwide. In 2022-23, Carvalho and Claussen worked on the sequel collaboration, Intimacy of the Skin, which continued the exploration of the previous work's themes even further, with more research into techniques such as lighting and projection, and more embedded and heartfelt forms of storytelling and philosophy. In June-July 2023, Carvalho and Claussen collaborated on a third work together with MindLeaps, entitled "Unseen"- the personal story of the MindLeaps dancers which premiered at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali Rwanda. You can find more about Adam's work in the field of dance & theater here.
Adam is currently based in Lübeck, Germany, where he composes, records, & teaches music from his apartment studio and at Lübecker Musikschule while performing and collaborating with musicians across northern Europe. If you are interested in a collaboration, need a composer or music producer, or would like to inquire about private lessons, you can reach Adam here.
Film- composer credits
Joan's Theme (2022) 23' fiction, dir. Kiefer Eijckelhof
Entertain Me (2022) 26' fiction, dir. Beek Groot
Onvast (2021) 12' fiction, dir. Beek Groot
Grip (2021) 17' doc, dir. Tessa van der Riet
When the Lights Hit (2021) 28' fiction, dir. Meredith Slifkin
The Grump Who Sacked Greatland (2020) 9' animated short, dir. David Shayne
Film- studio musician credits
Candy & Bonita (2023) feature fiction film, dir. Nienke Römer [flute]
Over een Pastor op Regenlaarzen (2022) 30' ficiton, dir. Wessel van Wanrooij [clarinet]
Filho (2022) 23' doc, dir. Tomas Ponsteen [alto sax]
This is Your Captain Speaking (2022) 24' fiction, dir. Idriss Nabil [tenor sax, flute]
LOUDER! SO I CAN HEAR YOU (2022) 29' doc, dir. Laura Bokhoven [alto sax]
Bajo la Superficie (2021) 14' doc, dir. Thomas Ponsteen [clarinet]
Albums- composer/bandleader credits
Intimacy of the Skin (2023)
When I Left the Room (2023)
Boot Statt Bahn [single] (2022)
Arethusa Falls (2019)
Albums- side musician credits
Theater & Dance
Unseen (2023) choreography by Anderson Carvalho, performed by MindLeaps Rwanda
Intimacy of the Skin (2023) choreography by Anderson Carvalho, performed by ACDC
De Hemelse Bloem (2022) choreography by Thu Hang Pham, directed by Tessa van der Riet
2019 Student Downbeat Award: Undergraduate Original Composition (small ensemble) for "Minor Conniption"
2017 Student Downbeat Award: Undergraduate Original Composition (small ensemble) for "All Bets are Off"
2017 BMI Foundation William Golstein Scholarship for outstanding work in the field of jazz composition
2015 NASA Region 8 high school jazz competition finalist