Samuel Adler

American composer, conductor, author, and professor

Samuel Adler was born in Mannheim, Germany (1928). His father was Hugo Chaim Adler, a cantor and composer. The family came to the United States in 1939, where Hugo became the cantor of Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts. There the young Samuel Adler displayed his musical talents at an early age. He became his father’s choir director when he was only thirteen and remained at that post until he began his university studies. 

Adler holds degrees from Boston University (B.M.) and Harvard (M.A.). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, Walter Piston, Hugo Norden, and Randall Thompson, and studied conducting with Serge Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. Following his discharge from the United States Army, he was appointed music director of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, a position he held from 1953 until 1966. He was also a professor of composition at the University of North Texas, and director of the Dallas Lyric Theater for four years. Between 1966 and 1995, Adler served as Professor of Composition at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music. Since 1997, Adler has been a member of the composition faculty at Juilliard.

Samuel Adler is the composer of over 400 published works, including 5 operas, 6 symphonies, 17 concerti, 8 string quartets, 5 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 four books: Choral Conducting, Sight SingingThe Study of Orchestration, and the autobiographical Building Bridges With Music. He has also contributed numerous articles to major magazines and books published in the U.S. and abroad.

(According to: "Samuel Adler" in Milken Archive of Jewish Music. For the full biography click here)


Additional sources:

Samuel Adler's official website (including biography and a list of his works).

Marie Rolf. "Adler, Samuel". In: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition. Edited by S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell. Macmillan Publishers, London 2001.

Biography of Samuel Adler in Wikipedia.

The story about Eric Mandell, his collection and the rediscovery of the music of Hugo Chaim Adler by Edwin Seroussi.

Five Sephardic Choruses (SMR Bresler Collection)