Samuel Adler, Composer/Conductor
Samuel Adler was born in Mannheim, Germany in 1928 and came to the United States in 1939. He holds a B.M. from Boston University, an M.A. from Harvard University, a Doctor of Music (honorary) from Southern Methodist University, a Doctor of Fine Arts (honorary) from Wake Forest University, a Doctor of Fine Arts (honorary) from St. Mary's College (Indiana), and a Doctor of Music (honorary) from the St. Louis Conservatory. During his tenure in the U.S. Army, he founded and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra, and because of the orchestra's great psychological and musical impact on the European cultural scene, he was awarded the Army's Medal of Honor.
Adler's catalog includes over 300 published works in all media including five operas, six symphonies, eight string quartets, six concerti (organ, piano, violin, flute, saxophone quartet, woodwind quintet), many shorter orchestral works, chamber music, a great deal of choral music and songs. He has published three books: Choral Conducting, an anthology (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971), second edition (Schirmer Books, 1985); Sight-Singing (W.W. Norton, 1979); and The Study of Orchestration (W.W. Norton, 1982, 1989), and numerous articles in major magazines and reference books here and abroad.
Since 1966, Adler has been professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music and chairman of the composition department since 1974. He retired from Eastman in 1994 and is Professor Emeritus. In 1984, he was made a mentor of the University of Rochester. Previous to this, he was professor of composition at North Texas State University (1957-1966) and Music Director at Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas (1953-1966). From 1954 to 1958, he was music director of the Dallas Lyric Theater. He has been a guest composer or conductor at over 300 universities and colleges worldwide and has conducted All-State orchestras, choruses, and bands in 37 states.
He has received numerous commissions and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1978, 1980, and 1982), the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Barlow Foundation, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Fine Arts Quartet, the Pro Arte Quartet, the Kentucky Arts Commission, the Sinfonia Foundation, the City of Jerusalem, the Cleveland Quartet, the Welsh Arts Council, Koussevitzky Foundation Memorial Commission, Oklahoma City Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and many others.
He has been awarded many prizes including a 1990 award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Charles Ives Award, the Lilian Fairchild Award, etc. In 1983, he won the Deems Taylor Award for his book on orchestration; in 1984, he was appointed Honorary Professorial Fellow of the University College in Cardiff, Wales, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1984-85. He has been a MacDowell Fellow for five years between 1954 and 1963. In 1986, he received the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from Boston University. The Music Teacher's Association selected Adler as its "Composer of the Year 1986-87" for Quintalogues, which won the national competition. In the 1988-89 year, he was designated "Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar." In 1989, he was awarded The Eastman School's Eisenhart Award for distinguished teaching, and he has been given the honor of Composer of the Year (1991) for the American Guild of Organists. During his second visit to Chile, Adler was elected to the Chilean Academy of Fine Arts (1993) "for his outstanding contribution to the world of music as a composer, conductor, and author."
His works have been performed by major symphonic, choral, and chamber organizations in the U.S., South America, Europe, Asia, and Israel including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Houston Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, as the orchestras of Kansas City, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, New Orleans, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and others.
Adler has also appeared as conductor with major orchestras both here and abroad, and his compositions have been recorded on RCA, Vanguard, Crystal, CRI, Lyrichord, Mark, Turnabout, Gasparo, and Golden Crest Records.
October 21, 1995