Jacob Tews

Department of Music

Jacob Tews

Assistant Professor - String Studies/Orchestra

Ferguson Ctr R-109
(757) 594-8788


  • DMA in Viola Performance/Music Theory, University of Minnesota
  • MM in Viola Performance, University of Minnesota
  • BM in Viola Performance, University of Minnesota


Viola and Violin
Music Theory and Ear Training
Composition, Arranging, and Orchestration


The creation, performance, and pedagogy of contemporary art music


Dr. Jacob Tews is Assistant Professor of Strings and Orchestra at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. He has served previously as an educator at Wartburg College, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, and the University of Minnesota.
He earned a DMA in viola performance, with a secondary emphasis in music theory, from the University of Minnesota.

As a soloist, he regularly performs recitals mixing standard and new repertoire. His present chamber music focus is on his contemporary music duo with violinist Erik Rohde, sonic apricity (; they regularly collaborate with living composers, and recently returned from a successful guest artist residency with the Alba Composition Program in Alba, Italy. Their recording of Elliott Miles McKinley’s String Quartet No. 8, written for the duo and their colleagues at Indiana State University, was released in 2019, and their debut album as a duo is slated for distribution in 2022.

As a conductor, Tews has served as Music Director of the Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra, and as Assistant/Cover Conductor for the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony and the Southern Illinois Music Festival. As a composer, he has had his works played around the world; his newest major work, a double concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra, was premiered by Kiril Laskarov, Eric Lenz, and the Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra in 2018. Upcoming premieres include a series of overtures for the Hampton Roads Philharmonic and a solo violin sonata for Dr. Sophia Han.

When not teaching, rehearsing, performing, or composing music, Tews enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, is training for his fifth marathon, and continues his pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. He currently lives in Hampton, Virginia, with his wife, Leith, and their children.

  • Journal Article, Professional Journal
    (2021). Mensch in the Middle: John Harbison's new Sonata for Viola and Piano. Journal of the American Viola Society. Volume, 37. Issue, 1 (Spring 2021). Pages, 35-44.
  • Music - Adjudicator, Clinician, or Consultant
    "Emerging Teachers Masterclass". American Viola Society. virtual.
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