Composer and conductor Lee Actor has won a number of awards for his compositions, most recently for Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, which was the First Prize Winner in the 2007 International Horn Society Composition Contest. Variations and Fugue for Orchestra was a finalist in both the Columbia Orchestra's 2007 American Composer's Competition and the Holyoke Civic Symphony's 2005 Composition Competition, and Prelude to a Tragedy was selected as a finalist in the Columbia Orchestra's 2005 American Composer's Competition.
Actor's orchestral music is characterized by its dramatic impact and emotional expressivity, featuring striking use of harmony, counterpoint, motivic development, and lyricism with a fresh, modern flavor. These attributes are most prominent in Actor's large-scale dramatic works. Referring to Actor's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Keith Kreithman of the San Mateo County Times wrote "this is a major work deserving of national attention…this concerto verges on masterpiece". His work has been characterized by conductor Kirk Trevor as "music of the highest quality in craftsmanship, inventiveness, and imagination."
A former violinist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Actor has advanced degrees in both engineering and music composition. He has studied composition with Donald Sur, Brent Heisinger, Charles Jones, and Andrew Imbrie, and conducting with Angelo Frascarelli, David Epstein and Higo Harada. Actor was named Composer-in-Residence of the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2002, following his appointment as Assistant Conductor in 2001, and named Assistant Conductor of the Nova Vista Symphony in 2008. Actor's past releases include a CD of orchestral works released by MMC Recordings in June 2005 and a second orchestral CD released by Albany Records in April 2008.
He is a member of the American Music Center and ASCAP, who recently named Actor the recipient of an ASCAPlus award for the sixth consecutive year.close
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), James Adler's extensive list of compositions is headed by Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem. A 75-minute for work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra, Memento mori has been performed worldwide since its 1996 premiere, and recorded by AmorArtis Chorale and Orchestra under the direction of Johannes Somary on Albany Records. Other works by Adler include the often-performed Carols of Splendour, which premiered at Carnegie Hall; ItÕs 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.
Adler made his performing debut with the Chicago Symphony at the age of 16 and has appeared in recital on the OrchestraÕs Allied Arts Piano Series. His concert schedule has also included appearances on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series at the Chicago Cultural Center; featured soloist performances at Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space in New York City; festival performances in Grant Park (Chicago), Thesseloniki, Greece, and New York; and a special London orchestral performance at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast by the BBC.
Adler holds a bachelor's degree in piano performance and a master's degree in composition from the Curtis Institute of Music. He is a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty at Saint Peter's College.
For more information, please visit www.adleroaksmusic.com.
of Albumsnext previous
Barber, Adler, Van der Roost, Seroff, Gillett, Lach Lau, CrosbySculpting The Air: Modern Works For Wind Instruments
Samuel Adler was born March 4, 1928, Mannheim, Germany and came to the United States in 1939. He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May 2001, and then inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in October 2008. He is the composer of over 400 published works, including 5 operas, 6 symphonies, 12 concerti, 8 string quartets, 4 oratorios and many other orchestral, band, chamber and choral works and songs, which have been performed all over the world. He is the author of three books, Choral Conducting (Holt Reinhart and Winston 1971, second edition Schirmer Books 1985), Sight Singing (W.W. Norton 1979, 1997), and The Study of Orchestration (W.W. Norton 1982, 1989, 2001). He has also contributed numerous articles to major magazines and books published in the U.S. and abroad.
Adler was educated at Boston University and Harvard University, and holds honorary doctorates from Southern Methodist University, Wake Forest University, St. Mary’s Notre-Dame and the St. Louis Conservatory. His major teachers were: in composition, Herbert Fromm, Walter Piston, Randall Thompson, Paul Hindemith and Aaron Copland; in conducting, Serge Koussevitzky.
He 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, Texas (1953-1966), and instructor of Fine Arts at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas (1955-1966). 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 Juilliard School of Music in New York City, and was awarded the 2009-10 William Schuman Scholars Chair. 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, Bowdoin, as well as others in France, Germany, Israel, Spain, Austria, Poland, South America and Korea.
Some recent commissions have been from the Cleveland Orchestra (Cello Concerto), the National Symphony (Piano Concerto No. 1), the Dallas Symphony (Lux Perpetua), the Pittsburgh Symphony (Viola Concerto), the Houston Symphony (Horn Concerto), the Barlow Foundation/Atlanta Symphony (Choose Life), the American Brass Quintet, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Berlin-Bochum Bass Ensemble, the Ying Quartet and 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 Nationaltheater Orchestra. Besides these commissions and performances, previous commissions have been received from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1978, 1980 and 1982), 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 (1988-1989), and a Special Citation by the American Foundation of Music Clubs (2001). In 1983 he won the Deems Taylor Award for his book, The Study of Orchestration. In 1988-1989 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 (1975-1976); he has been a MacDowell Fellow for five years and; during his second trip to Chile, he was elected to the Chilean Academy of Fine Arts (1993) “for his outstanding contribution to the world of music as a composer.” In 1999, he was elected to the Akademie der Kuenste in Germany for distinguished service to music. While serving in the United States Army (1950-1952), Adler founded and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra and, because of the Orchestra’s great psychological and musical impact on European culture, was awarded a special Army citation for distinguished service. In May, 2003, he was presented with the Aaron Copland Award by ASCAP, for Lifetime Achievement in Music (Composition and Teaching).
Adler has appeared as conductor with many major symphony orchestras, both in the U.S. and abroad. His compositions are published by Theodore Presser Company, Oxford University Press, G. Schirmer, Carl Fischer, E.C. Schirmer, Peters Edition, Ludwig Music, Southern Music Publishers, Transcontinental Music Publishers. Recordings of his works have been done on RCA, Gasparo, Albany, CRI, Crystal and Vanguard.
of Albumsnext previous
Samuel AdlerWorks for String Quartet and Other Small Ensembles
A graduate of UCLA in music and the child of European trained professional violinists, Adrienne began studying the piano at age 4 and composition at 10. She had the good fortune to have had great teachers: for piano, Jacob Gimpel and Aube Tzerko in Los Angeles, Joanna Graudan at the Aspen Music School and early composition studies with Saul Kaplan and Leonard Stein. After enjoying a lengthy hiatus performing other people's music, she returned to studying composition with Stephen "Lucky" Mosko at CalArts and orchestration with Albert Harris.close
Nicholas Anthony Ascioti was born in Syracuse NY on May 30th, 1974. He attended the College of St. Rose in Albany NY where he earned degrees in Composition and Conducting. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Composition from Bennington College in Vermont. Asciotis has studied with Allen Shawn, Dr. Amy Williams, and Stephen Siegel.
Ascioti received his debut at the age of 21, with a commission from conductor David Allen Miller, to write for the Albany Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra the Dogs of Desire. In October of 2006 Ascioti released his debut album, Creation’s Voice, on the Albany Records label.
Ascioti focuses on chamber music, song cycles, and choral works. His piano music has received performances throughout the United States and Canada by Justin Kolb. His chamber works have been performed by sopranos Eileen Strempel and Nancy Loesch, tenor Alex Diaz, pianists Sylvie Beaudette and Amy Dissanayake, guitarist Christopher Ladd, and internationally recognized organists Maria Helena Tharp and Stephen Tharp. Ensembles include the Hyperion String Quartet, Adirondack Saxophone Quartet, Musicians of Ma’awlyck, Arcadia Brass Ensemble, The College of St. Rose Chamber Singers, The Bennington Contemporary Ensemble, and the Society for New Music.
Ascioti has been a guest and his music frequently heard on the "Fresh Ink" radio program on WCNY-FM. He was a composer-in-residence with the Society for New Music in Syracuse, where he participated in the "Composer in the Schools Program." As a conductor, Ascioti focuses on performances of the 20th century choral repertoire and as a concert promoter he oversees the Concert Series at St. Jude the Apostle Church. Ascioti currently lives in West Sand Lake NY with his wife Emily and daughters Melody and Noelle. He serves as the Director of Music at St. Jude the Apostle Church and the St. Jude the Apostle School.close
Israeli-born composer and singer/songwriter Ayala Asherov-Kalus is a recipient of the 2011 ASCAPlus Award, winner of the 2011 Chamber Music Composition Award at the biennial Athena Music Festival, and 2010 recipient of the Wild Acres Residency. She is a member of ASCAP, The American Composers Forum, and ACUM. She has a long-reaching musical background, having been raised in a family of actors and directors (her grandparents were among the founders of the Habima National Theater of Israel). As a composer, Ayala’s music ranges from songwriting to programmatic music in the concert hall to multimedia, including film scoring, museum exhibitions, and compositions inspired by the written word. She received her Bachelor of Music summa cum laude in composition and film scoring from the Berklee College of Music in 1998, and her Masters of Music in film scoring from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2000. She has written musical scores for The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic, and underscored exhibits at the Jerusalem Theater (“Poetry and Pictures”); Boston Aquarium, combining live music, electronics, and sound effects; and the interactive multimedia presentation, “The Naharayim Experience,” at the Gesher Museum in Israel. As a songwriter, her songs are published, recorded, and released by many celebrated Israeli artists. Her best known song, lyrics and music, “Along the Sea” (“Le’Orech Ha Yam”), was recorded by Ofra Haza in 1994, and is one of the most recorded songs in Israel. Ayala released her debut CD, Crossing the River in 2007. She has appeared and performed in Tel Aviv, Columbia, South Carolina, and at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC in 2008, and continues to perform her own material on the piano.
In 2011 Ayala completed the score for Second Act, a six part documentary series about the Israeli National Theater for Israel Educational Television. In 2010 Ayala scored “The Forgotten Founder,” part of the South Carolina ETV documentary series, Carolina Stories, which aired in October 2010.
You can learn more about Ayala at www.AyalaAsherov.com.close