Biography

dsc_0031_loresJames 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).

This season, Mr. Adler appears in November on the Arts in Bergen concert series of Saint Peter’s University in a program entitled “Remembrances and Homages”; the program features works by Paul Turok, Henco Espag, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his own adaptation of Franz Lizst’s Mephisto Waltz. February sees a performance of James Adler’s and Debra Rue’s “Canticle for Peace” on the American Music Concert of the Sigma Alpha Iota Fort Worth Alumnae Chapter; the performance commemorates the 70th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights. In April, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps presents the premiere of his FANFARE XL, which the band asked Mr. Adler to compose in honor of their 40th anniversary. Another commissioned work, “A Cat, A Bird, and Winter Fur,” receives its premiere in May by the Bayville (NJ) Central Regional High School Chorale, under the direction of Beth Moore.

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, and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series. His appearances have brought him from Chicago’s Grant Park, to London’s Royal Albert Hall (broadcast by the BBC), to Thesseloniki, Greece, to New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, and the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

His extensive list of compositions is headed by Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem. Performed worldwide, 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). A Winter Triptych – about which Sonograma Magazine notes “delicacy and sensitivity are conveyed directly to the listener’s heart” – was recently recorded by the choir of Judson Memorial Church (NY) for Albany Records. In 2018, Mr. Adler premiered his Elegy for Norman for flute and piano, composed in honor of his late brother (“mournful indeed, but with a measure of reserve and dignity,”[Q]onStage). Other compositions include Reflections upon a September morn (poetry by Walt Whitman); Monday’s Child, performed at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Daughters of Music, commissioned by Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Fort Worth Alumnae Chapter and performed at the SAI National Convention in 2018; Carols of Splendour, premiered at Carnegie Hall (“A cheerful, splashy tour de force, skillfully constructed and full of clever ideas”, The Choral Journal); It’s Gotta Be America, commissioned for the Centennial Celebration of the Statue of Liberty; and Canticle For Peace, written for the opening of the 43rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (published by Colla Voce Music). Mr. Adler is also the composer of Concerto in G for Piano and Orchestra (published by Alfred Music and distributed by Luck’s Music Library), 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.

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 a 2018 inductee in the SAI Composer’s Bureau. James Adler is a recipient of the 2017 Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Photo: Frank Gimpaya