James Adler is known as pianist who “can create whatever type of music he wants at the keyboard” (Chicago Sun-Times, December 3, 1984) and a composer who writes “with uncommon imagination” (Derrick Henry, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,).
During the 2019-20 season, Mr. Adler will release his latest recording on Albany Records, entitled Homages & Remembrances. The recording—officially released August 1, 2019—will feature the world premiere recording of an original work for flute and piano, Elegy for Norman, dedicated to Mr. Adler’s late brother, performed by Mr. Adler and flutist Cain-Oscar Bergeron. Also included on the disc will be Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition alongside solo piano works by Paul Turok, Mozart, and Henco Espag, with Mr. Adler at the piano. Mr. Adler will celebrate the launch of this recording with a recital at New York’s Yamaha Piano Salon, November 2019.
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.
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 career 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 at Madison Square Garden; and a special London orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC.
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.