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Samuel Adler

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Samuel Hans Adler (born March 4, 1928) is an American (German-born) composer and conductor.

Adler was born to a Jewish family in Mannheim, Germany, the son of Hugo Chaim Adler, a cantor, and Selma Adler. The family fled to the United States in 1939, where Hugo became the cantor of a synagogue in Worcester, Massachusetts. Sam followed his father into the music profession, earning degrees from Boston University and Harvard University (where he studied with Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, Paul Pisk, Walter Piston, and Randall Thompson and earned an M.A. in 1950. He studied conducting with Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood in 1949.

While serving in the United States Army (1950-1952), Adler founded and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra. After his military service he was offered a conducting position, just vacated by Leonard Bernstein, on the faculty of Brandeis University but instead accepted a position as music director at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas, where the rabbi, Levi Olan, was a friend of Adler’s family. Adler began his tenure in Dallas in 1953. At the Dallas temple, he formed a children’s choir and an adult choir and made the latter a prominent part of the religious services, often performing contemporary Jewish choral works that might otherwise have been neglected. In 1966, he left Dallas to accept a position on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he taught composition and conducting until his retirement in 1994. 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.

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