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Samuel Adler

Artists/Composers - Composers A-E
Samuel Adler

Samuel Adler


Samuel Adler was born March 4, 1928 in Mannheim, Germany; came to the United States in 1939. Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May 2001, he is the composer of over 400 published works that have been performed all over the world. He has also contributed numerous articles to major magazines and books published in the US and abroad.

Adler was educated at Boston University and Harvard University, and holds four honorary doctorates. His major teachers in composition were Herbert Fromm, Walter Piston, Randall Thompson, Paul Hindemith, and Aaron Copland; in conducting Serge Koussevitzky.

Adler is Professor-emeritus at the Eastman School of Music where he taught from 1966 to 1995 and served as chair of the composition department from 1974 until his retirement. Before going to Eastman, Adler served as professor of composition at the University of North Texas (1957-1977), Music Director at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX (1953-1966), and Instructor of Fine Arts at the Hokaday School in Dallas, TX (1955-66). From 1954 to 1958, he was music director of the Dallas Lyric Theater, and the Dallas Chorale. Since 1997, he has been a member of the composition faculty at the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Adler has given master classes and workshops at over 300 Universities worldwide, and in the summers has taught at major music festivals such as Tanglewood, Aspen, Brevard, Bowdin, as well as others in France, Germany, Israel, Spain, Austria, Poland, South America, and Korea.

Some recent commissions have been from the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Barlow Foundation-Atlanta Symphony, the American Brass Quintet the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Berlin-Bochum Bass ensemble, the Yihng Quartet, the American String Quartet, to name only a few. His works have been performed lately by the St. Louis Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Mannheim National Theater Orchestra. Besides these commissions and performances, previous commission have been received from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the Koussevitzky Foundation, the City of Jerusalem, the Welsh Arts council and many others.

Adler has been awarded many prizes including a 1990 award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Charles Ives Award, the Lillian Fairchild Award, the MTNA award for Composer of the Year Special Citation by the American Federation of Music Clubs. In 1983, he won the Deems Taylor Award for his book The Study of Orchestra. In 1988-89, he was designated "Phi Beta Kappa Scholar, in 1989 he received the Eastman School's Eisenhard Award for distinguished teaching, in 1991 he was honored being named the Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists. Adler was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has been a MacDowell Fellow for five years. During his second visit to Chile, he was elected to the Chilean Academy of Fine Arts "for his outstanding contribution to the world of music as a composer. In 1990, he was elected to the Akademie der Kuenste in Germany for distinguished service to music. While serving in the United States Army, Adler founded and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra, and because of the orchestra's great psychological and musical impact on European culture, he was awarded the Army's Medal of Honor. In May of 2003 he received the Aaron Copland Award from ASCAP for lifetime achievement.

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