Zachary is the clarinetist of the sextet Eighth Blackbird, a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, and a founding Co-Artistic Director and member of the eccentric performance collective Mocrep. He has frequently performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Music of the Baroque Chicago, and Manual Cinema. He has been a featured solo artist with the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s All Access Chamber Series, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the University of Louisville’s New Music Festival, the Washington Arts Ensemble, DePaul University's Ensemble 20+, and at The Phillips Collection. With Eighth Blackbird, Zachary has appeared as a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the US Navy Band, the Dallas Winds, and the Pacific Symphony. As an improviser, he performs and records with the trio ZRL (with Lia Kohl and Ryan Packard) and the amplified acoustic and synthetic quintet Honestly Same (with Lia Kohl, Zach Moore, Sam Scranton, and Mabel Kwan), as well as regularly appearing on improvised music series throughout Chicago. His discography includes releases on Moon Glyph Records, American Dreams Records, Carrier Records, No Index, Homeroom, Parlour Tapes+, ears&eyes, and more.
As a composer, Zachary explores contrapuntal possibilities on the soprano clarinet with small–interval multiphonics (”close dyads”), creating the illusion of multiple clarinetists playing simultaneously. His music is quietly virtuosic, inspired by the intricacies of the clarinet and a love for Baroque nuance and form. Zachary’s compositions and intersecting multiphonic research were the focus of his dissertation, “Add Dye: Dyadic Perspectives on Close Dyad Multiphonics for the Soprano Clarinet.” A companion to this document is Zachary’s most substantial composition to date, Lake Heritage (2019–2022): a 45-minute piece that incorporates 65 unique multiphonics across four soprano clarinets in Bb. As an arranger, Zachary’s Style Brisé project (2017–present) is an ongoing series of French Baroque harpsichord preludes arranged for bass clarinet, including preludes by Élisabeth de La Guerre, Louis and François Couperin, and Gaspard Le Roux. To enhance these arrangements, he has collaborated with Chris Wood to build a custom electronic sustain pedal to artificially recreate the resonance of a harpsichord. As a collaborator, Zachary works closely with composers to bring new work to life, having premiered over 125 compositions to date. As a Fellow and clarinetist in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2014–2016, he developed the Orchestra's New Music Workshop. He has co-composed album/concert length works with Tonia Ko (Up High), Lia Kohl (Standing Lenticular), Ben Roidl-Ward (Arb), and ZRL (Physics for Listeners), and Mocrep (I Like My Friends). With Mocrep, Zachary has collaboratively devised new works that span artistic disciplines, including theater, performance art, pop albums, books, media, anything, and everything.
Zachary is a passionate music educator. He has presented masterclasses at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, DePaul University, Gettysburg College, Northwestern University, and at the universities of Alabama, Arkansas, DePauw, Louisville, North Carolina at Greensboro, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland State, and Texas at Austin. Alongside the musicians of Eighth Blackbird, he was Visiting Instructor at the University of Richmond during the 2019–20 academic year. In 2018, Zachary worked closely with cellist Yo-Yo Ma to mentor young musicians at the second annual Youth Music Culture Guangdong Festival in Guangzhou, China. He proudly served as a middle school band director at the Chicago Waldorf School 2015-2021.
Zachary is a graduate of Northwestern University (DMA), Oberlin Conservatory, and DePaul University. He has studied with Steve Cohen, Larry Combs, Richard Hawkins, Kathryn Montoya, Eric Nelson, and Steve Williamson. He is the recipient of the 2021 Luminarts Classical Winds Fellowship. Zachary has participated in fellowships with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Aspen Contemporary Music program.
Zachary is a D’Addario Woodwinds Artist.