Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester, will celebrate American composer Samuel Adler in a CD release event for “One Lives but Once: A 90th Birthday Celebration” at 4 p.m. on May 1 in Hatch Recital Hall, followed by a CD and book signing reception in Wolk Atrium.
Adler was a faculty composer at Eastman in 1966-95, where he served as department chairman of the composition department from 1974 until his retirement. The release event will include remarks and performances by Eastman faculty members, several of whom were featured on the CD and worked with Adler during his tenure at Eastman.
Adler’s catalog features over 400 published works, including five operas, six symphonies, 12 concerti, nine string quartets and five oratorios. He wrote four books, including “The Study of Orchestration” and “Building Bridges with Music: Stories from a Composer’s Life.” Adler was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in May 2001 and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in October 2008.
His latest recording, “One Lives but Once,” is a collection from Linn Records of pieces from his career.
“A composer could not ask for a more meaningful birthday present than these three CDs that span so much of my musical output for so many years,” Adler said. “I am especially grateful for the participation of the Eastman school in this project, since I was associated with the school for 30 years and it has meant so much in my life. I am thankful to Nicholas Goluses, the many colleagues also featured and the administration of the school for their commitment to making this such a very successful venture.”
“One Lives but Once” is comprised of three CDs, the third of which features an all-Eastman program made up of Eastman faculty and student ensembles. It includes Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra with Goluses, professor of guitar, and Eastman Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Neil Varon; “Into the Radiant Boundaries of Light” (1993) with Goluses and Phillip Ying on viola; “Ports of Call” (1992) with Juliana Athadye and Renee Jolles on violins and Goluses; and “Five Choral Scherzi” (2008) with Randolph Kelly on viola, Goluses and Eastman Chorale, conducted by William Weinert.
“Sam Adler is one of the leading composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, and we are proud to welcome him back to Eastman where he taught on our faculty for 29 years,” said Jamal Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger dean. “We are thrilled to celebrate Sam’s remarkable contributions as a composer and teacher and the release of his latest recording, ‘One Lives but Once.’”
“Sam represents the best of what our profession can become,” Goluses said. “His vision of beauty is apparent with every note that he writes. Adler’s virtuosic Guitar Concerto represents some of the most rewarding, and some of the most challenging, music I have played. Sam was the first composer to welcome me to Eastman, and it has been an honor to collaborate with and to record his masterworks with my colleagues for Linn Records.”
The CD release event for Adler and “One Lives but Once: A 90th Birthday Celebration” is free.