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James Adler

James Adler's Biography

James Adler is a well-known pianist and composer. A native of Chicago, Mr. Adler is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty at Saint Peter's College, where he has also served as choral director.

James Adler made his orchestral performing debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in recital on the Orchestra's Allied Arts Piano Series. Other highlights include appearances on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series at the Chicago Cultural Center; featured soloist performances at Alice Tully Hall and New York's Paramount Theatre; and a special London orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC. James Adler is known as a composer who "writes for both chorus and orchestra with uncommon imagination" (Derrick Henry, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). His extensive list of compositions is headed by Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem, which has been recorded by the AmorArtis Chorale and Orchestra (Johannes Somary, conductor) for worldwide distribution on Albany Records. In May 2005, the Estonian National Male Choir, under the direction of Ants Soots, gave the European premiere of the requeim in Tallinn, Estonia. Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood, featured on the Albany recording, also presents the "Pie Jesu" from the requiem on her disc "We Gather Together." Other recordings of Mr. Adler's music include his 3 Piano Transitions, recorded by Nicholas Underhill on his upcoming CD "Light and Sirius."

A busy performer, Mr. Adler featured Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in recital in May 2005 in Little Rock, following on his August 2004 appearance at the Soclair Music Festival in New Jersey at which "Mr. Adler gave a vivid performance, … clearly thinking in orchestral terms with his array of pianistic colors" (Classical New Jersey). Mr. Adler is well-known for his performances of Rhapsody in Blue, a piece he has performed for 50,000 at Chicago's Grant Park Concerts and from New York's Paramount Theatre to the Dimitria Festival in Thessoloniki Greece. Most recently, he played this work on July 4, 2004, at the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, where he returned as soloist in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2 in July 2005.

A 75-minute work for men's chorus, soloists, and orchestra, Memento mori features a "range of expression [that] is expansive" and is "a unique, well-crafted, emotionally rich piece" ( American Record Guide ); it was hailed in the Choral Journal as "a powerful and wrenching work." A wide-ranging tour-de-force, the requiem was lauded by Opera News, which noted that "the composer certainly hits all his marks." Three movements from Memento mori are available as separate octavos through Subito Music. The entire requiem is represented by European American Music and will be featured in Robert Chase's forthcoming book on the contemporary requiem.

Other compositions by Mr. Adler include Reflections upon a September morn with poetry by Walt Whitman; On the Rebound, premiered by the Gregg Smith Singers; the often-performed Carols of Splendour, which premiered at Carnegie Hall; It's Gotta Be America, commissioned and performed for the Centennial Celebration of the Statue of Liberty; and Canticle For Peace, written and performed for the opening of the 43rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Conan Castle in the Choral Journal lauded his "rewarding" A Winter Triptych and El Noi de La Mare (Catalan carol), "a gentle piece of great beauty." Mr. Adler is the composer of Concerto in G for Piano and Orchestra, the children's "pOpera" Herbie and Carnie: A Dinosaga, the Classic Rag-time Suite for orchestra, numerous solo, chamber, and choral works, and the award-winning film score for The Hat Act.

Mr. Adler made his orchestral performing debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in recital on the Orchestra's Allied Arts Piano Series. Other highlights include appearances on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series at the Chicago Cultural Center; featured soloist performances at Alice Tully Hall and New York's Paramount Theatre; and a special London orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC.

A native of Chicago, James Adler is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Mr. Adler is a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty at Saint Peter's College, where he has also served as choral director. He has adjudicated at national and international music competitions and is himself the recipient of an award from ASCAP for outstanding composition achievement each year since 1978. He has received grants from Meet The Composer and from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and he is a laureate in Who's Who in American Music and the International Who's Who in Music. No wonder that "the name of James Adler is a triple threat, as his recognition as composer, conductor, and performer grows steadily" (Newhouse Newspapers).

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James Adler