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James Adler





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Composer; Conductor; Performer




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Jan 6, 2023

Photo by Frank Gimpaya

James Adler


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James Adler is a pianist who “can create whatever type of music he wants at the keyboard” (Chicago Sun-Times) and a composer who writes “with uncommon imagination” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). He has been commissioned by the Curtis Institute of Music to compose a work as part of the Curtis Centenary Commissioning Initiative “100×100”. Mr. Adler will compose a work for solo piano to be performed and recorded by him in 2023, marking the 50th anniversary of Mr. Adler’s graduation from Curtis.

In April, Mr. Adler returns to the Arts on Bergen midday concert series at Saint Peter’s University, where he will premiere a new work by Henco Espag: Mistieke Feetjies, composed for and dedicated to him. Thoughout the season, Mr. Adler will be recording his theatre and art songs at the Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon for a forthcoming release by Albany Records. The release also features Mr. Adler’s latest work, “Hope” is the thing with feathers (poetry by Emily Dickinson).

He recently joined the Sound Espressivo Advisory Board. Sound Espressivo – Virtual Classical/Jazz music is known for the competitions and events it hosts. For the 2022-23 concert season, they will be introducing auditions to compete for an in-person concerto appearance at Carnegie Hall, New York City, as well as with orchestras around the world, in addition to offering online Virtual Concert Halls concerts and events. The James Adler Audience Favorite Award is presented at Carnegie Hall during the Laureates Gala.

After winning the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Award, Mr. Adler made his orchestral performing debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Orchestra Hall. He has appeared in places as varied as Chicago’s Grant Park and Ravinia Festival; London’s Royal Albert Hall (broadcast by the BBC) and Wigmore Hall; the Dimitria Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece; and New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, and Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

His extensive list of compositions is headed by Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem. Recorded by AmorArtis Chorale and Orchestra, and published by Alfred Music, Memento mori features a “range of expression [that] is expansive” and is “a unique, well-crafted, emotionally rich piece” (American Record Guide). His catalog includes numerous works for chorus, chamber works for vocalists and instrumentalists, and works for symphonic band and for orchestra. They have been performed worldwide: from Christchurch, New Zealand, to Tallinn, Estonia; New York City to San Francisco; at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United Nations, and at the Statue of Liberty 200th anniversary celebration.

A musician who is greatly interested in new works, Mr. Adler has had the privilege of premiering compositions written for him by Paul Turok, Henco Espag, Kevin Cummines, Abdulaziz Shabakouh, and Seth Bedford. He has also written works commissioned by the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, the piano duo of LeDuc and Engel, oboist Ian Shafer, baritone Malcolm Merriweather, Central Regional High School (NJ), the Cheektowaga Millenium Youth Chorus, and the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps symphonic band.

As performer and composer, Mr. Adler can be heard on recordings from Albany Records, Capstone, Navona, and Ravello Records. He is a member of the Department of Fine Arts at Saint Peter’s University, a National Arts Associate in the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity and was selected in 2018 for membership in the SAI Composer’s Bureau. James Adler is a recipient of the 2017 Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

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James Adler

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