Composer & Pianistview work
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). In February 2013 Ravello Records released the album JAMES ADLER & FRIENDS. The album features music of Mr. Adler, including his Reverie, Interrupted for Tenor Saxophone and Piano (with Jordan P. Smith), A Song of the Road for lyric baritone and piano (with Malcom J. Merriweather), and some of his solo piano works, including a Liszt-like fantasy on Stephen Sondheim's The Ballad of Sweeney Todd. Liszt and other musical influences are included on the album, as are two compositions written for Mr. Adler: Christopher Street Rag, by Seth Bedford, and Paul Turok's Tango for James Adler.
Selections from the album were presented at Mr. Adler's April 2013 recital at the Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon in New York City; that program also includes a new work commissioned by oboist Ian Shafer, and Twisted Tango for Tenor Saxophone and Piano. Twisted Tango, commissioned by David R. Babich, received its world premiere in January 2013 at the 36th International Saxophone Symposium, sponsored by the U.S. Navy. December 2012 saw the world premiere of Six Little Variations on Noël Ancien (Ile-de-France) for flute and piano, composed for Scott Oaks.
Mr. Adler’s extensive list of compositions is headed by Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem. The work premiered in Atlanta and has been performed from New York City (Johannes Somary, conducting) to Tallinn, Estonia (under 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). His other compositions include Allegro Scherzando for symphonic band and piano, which premiered in 2009 at Symphony Space (New York City); the often-performed Carols of Splendour, which premiered at Carnegie Hall; 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. 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.
Audiophiles can enjoy Mr. Adler’s music on the premiere recording of Memento mori by the AmorArtis Chorale and Orchestra, directed by Mr. Somary, on Albany Records. His solo piano CD, James Adler Plays Syncopated Rhythms, “is a virtuosic affair, brilliantly played” (Turok’s Choice); it includes works of Adler, Gershwin, Copland, Menotti, and Antheil. Nicholas Underhill’s CD Light and Sirius features Mr. Adler’s 3 Piano Transitions, which Gramophone noted “spins appealing variations on the venerable forms of passacaglia, prelude and toccata before immersing itself in spicy and ebullient Caribbean-influenced dances.” Daniel Coombs writes in Audiophile Audition of the premiere recording of Reverie, Interrupted (on Scuplting the Air: Modern Works for Wind Instruments) that it “is a very nice jazz-inflected work that meanders in and out of the lyrical and the buoyant; all supported by a very neat noir-like piano part.” Digital downloads of Mr. Adler’s 9/11 remembrance Reflections upon a September morn are available from Albany records; featuring poetry by Walt Whitman which “resonate[s] chillingly anew in the recording” (Bruce-Michael Gelbert, [Q]onStage.com), “the whole is recommended, a fine, moving piece” (Paul Turok, Turok’s Choice).
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, and a special London orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC. His New York appearances include Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, and the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
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 University, where he is also director of the Vocal Arts Ensemble. 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 is a laureate in Who’s Who in American Music and the International Who’s Who in Music. James Adler is a Yamaha Artist lauded by Director of Yamaha Artist Services Bonnie Barrett as "the consummate Yamaha Artist, a musician's musician."
Photo: Frank Gimpaya
Composer & Conductorview work
Douglas Anderson is a composer, conductor, educator, and producer who has been active in the New York area for more than 40 years. He studied music and psychology at Columbia University, where he received three degrees culminating in a doctorate in music composition in 1980. He began his professional career as a jazz musician at the age of 12, and performed widely in the Eastern United States before moving to New York to attend college. He made his professional conducting debut at the Beacon Theater on Broadway, leading the Boston Ballet (with narrators Cyril Ritchard, Celeste Holm, and James Earl Jones) in a run of Peter and the Wolf (1973).
Anderson's compositions include chamber works, orchestral works, concerti, vocal music (including synthesized voice), electronic music, radio drama, jazz, film, and opera. His composing grew out of his improvisations as a jazz musician, and his desire to be able to edit and revise. In 1991 his music was presented in a retrospective concert by the New Renaissance Chamber Artists, and his chamber opera Faust Triumphant was premiered in March 1995 at the International Faust Festival. In the summer of 2009 he was a guest composer at the Bar Harbor (Maine) Music Festival, where he spoke about his music. In the summer of 2011 he was the featured composer on the Eight Strings & a Whistle website. For the 2012-13 season he was the composer-in-residence for A Potpourri of Song in Brooklyn NY.
His music has been heard live and on radio around the world for decades, notably on Voice of America radio abroad, and nationally on NPR in three radio dramas broadcast on NPR's The Radio Stage: Romance Concerto, The Sound of Fear Clapping, and The King of Jazz. He wrote an Internet 'opera of blood' for SCIFI.com entitled The Moon Moth. In addition to a large number of chamber works, his larger works include four operas (to librettos by Andrew Joffe): Faust Triumphant (1995), Medea in Exile (2000), Through/In (2001), and Antigone Sings (2006); two dramatic song cycles: My Year, My Life (1996) and Cassandra Songs (2010); and two concertos: Ahai (1980) for violin and orchestra, and Spirit Guide (2013) for clarinet, soprano, and orchestra.
A conductor equally adept with theatrical, vocal, and instrumental music, Anderson has since his debut conducted a great variety of ensembles and over 75 premieres, including the first electronic music opera and the first concerto for steel drum and orchestra. His repertoire includes standard and modern operas, symphonic and choral music, as well as a wide range of unusual works from all eras. His operatic repertoire alone consists of over 100 complete operas conducted in over 400 performances. He is in regular demand as a guest conductor, and is the Conductor of the Downtown Symphony, the Director of The Putnam Chorale, and Conductor of the American Chamber Opera Company.
He is on the faculty of the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY, where he is a Professor of Music and was for 14 years Chair of the Music and Art Department.
His conducting teachers included Neemi Jä rvi, Carl Bamberger, Richard Lert, Max Rudolf, and Howard Shanet. Composition teachers included Mario Davidovsky, Harvey Sollberger, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Chou Wen-chung, and Charles Wuorinen.
Further information on Anderson can be found on his website www.douglasandersonmusic.com, and his music can be purchased in printed versions at www.noxonpublications.com.
Francesca Arnone is an active flute and piccolo soloist, chamber musician, and clinician. An avid traveler, she enjoys pursuing this passion through music and has performed in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, in such venues as St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Conservatory of Madrid, Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice, Split Academy of Music in Croatia, and the Chicago Public Library. Currently flute professor at Baylor University, she is a member of the Baylor Faculty Chamber Players, Baylor Wind Quintet, and the Waco Symphony. A veteran of regional and opera orchestras in the US and Mexico, she has also been a concerto soloist on flute, alto flute, and piccolo, playing solo repertoire ranging from Bach to Chen Yi. She has been the featured guest artist at flute festivals around the country, and has performed at numerous flute conventions, including those of the National Flute Association, British Flute Society, and the Flute Society of Spain. Arnone teaches at and directs the summer Baylor Flute Seminars, and previously taught at West Virginia University, Boise State University, and Idaho State University. She earned flute performance degrees from Oberlin, San Francisco Conservatory, and the University of Miami, where she studied with Robert Willoughby, Julia Bogorad-Kogan, Tim Day, and Christine Nield. Arnone released two recordings, Games of Light (December 2013) and Dedications (August 2014) on MSR Records. She is an Altus Artist. With violinist Mikylah Myers McTeer, she established the flute and violin duo reACT in 2009 as a chamber ensemble dedicated to performing works by living composers www.francescaarnone.comclose
Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi is a Canadian-born pianist whose playing has been lauded as "brilliant" (New Music Connoisseur), "persuasive" (Sequenza21), and "beautiful" (American Record Guide). Her repertoire, ranging from the Renaissance era through the present, clearly affirms her keen interest in new music, which has led her to commission and premiere many new solo and collaborative works-music that has been featured on live radio broadcasts and released by Albany Records (David Lefkowitz: Music of Contradictions), Innova Recordings (Here and There: music for piano and electronics), Ravello Records' Capstone Collection (Phillip Schroeder: Music for Piano and Songs of My Affinities) as well as various recordings for the Society of Composers Inc. Performers Recording Series including the inaugural disc, mélange: New Music for Piano and its successors, Sonance: New Music for Piano and Chroma: New Music for Piano.
The recipient of performance and research awards and grants, Astolfi's passion for new music has been recognized by invitations to many regional, national, and international music forums, where she has premiered and conversed about new piano music. Astolfi also frequently serves as a piano clinician, coach, and master class instructor. She is an active member in various local, state, and national music associations, serves on the governing board of PianoArts (a North American piano competition, festival, and fellowship organization) and is a founding member of duoARtia with pianist Holly Roadfeldt, and of chamber ensemble, Piedmont Camerata. Her advanced studies in piano performance were with pianists Helmut Brauss(University of Alberta), Tom Plaunt (McGill University), and Lydia Artymiw (University of Minnesota), with whom she completed doctoral studies. Astolfi is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Piedmont College.