James Adler's extensive list of compositions is highlighted by "Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem." The work premiered in Atlanta in 1996 and has been performed from New York City (Johannes Somary, conducting) to Tallinn, Estonia (under the baton of Ants Soots) to San Francisco (directed by Grammy-award winner Joseph Jennings). Memento mori features a “range of expression [that] is expansive” and is “a unique, well-crafted, emotionally rich piece” (American Record Guide). Maestro Somary and the AmorArtist Chorale and Orchestra released the premiere recording Memeno mori on the Albany label with soloists Kate Dutton, Neil Farrell, and Victoria Livengood.
Mr. Adler's most recent CDs include a digital-only download of his "Reflections Upon a September morn," a remembrance of 9/11. Featuring the composer at the piano with Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano, and Virginia Brewer, oboe and English Horn, the work is available for download from iTunes and Amazon.com. His "Reverie, Interrupted" for tenor sax and piano is included in Parma Recordings CD"Sculpting the Air".
His first solo CD, James Adler plays Syncopated Rhythms. was released by Albany Records in 2006 and features his own works as well as works by Menotti, Ornstein, Antheil, Gershwin, and Copland. “It is a virtuosic affair, brilliantly played... The centerpiece is the stunning transcription of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (complete, including all the cadenzas)” (Turok’s Choice, September 2008).
Other compositions by Mr. Adler include "Allegro Scherzando" for symphonic band and piano, which premiered at Symphony Space in New York City in 2009; "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. 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 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. 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 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.