The Learning Maestros : Tools for creative thinking


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Bruce Adolphe and Polly Rhythm

Bruce Adolphe, Creative Director

Composer, author, educator and performer Bruce Adolphe is the founding creative director of The Learning Maestros, Resident Lecturer and Director of Family Concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the comic keyboard quiz-master of Performance Today’s weekly radio program Piano Puzzlers.

Adolphe has written works for many of the world’s most renowned artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Sylvia McNair, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Caramoor Festival, St. Luke’s Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Brentano String Quartet, the Miami Quartet, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many others. His compositions include four operas and several theater pieces, all of which have been produced throughout the United States. He has been composer-in-residence at many festivals and institutions, including SummerFest La Jolla, the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, Bravo! Colorado, the Grand Canyon Festival, the Moab Festival, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Virginia, the O.K. Mozart Festival and the Perlman Music Program. Adolphe served as the Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music for the 2003-04 term.

Formerly on the faculties of the Juilliard School and New York University and a Visiting Lecturer at Yale, Adolphe has been the lecturer of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1992, and has been featured in Live from Lincoln Center television programs. In December 2003, he discussed and illustrated aspects of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos from the harpsichord in a live national television broadcast of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s 35th anniversary concert from Alice Tully Hall. In addition to his lecture series, Inside Chamber Music, now in its 12th season at Lincoln Center, Adolphe was a featured lecturer from 2001 to 2005 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where his series was called A Composer’s View. A much sought-after speaker and concert host, he has appeared at many of the major concert series in the United States, as well as at education conferences, festivals, and competitions.

Adolphe has written three books on music: The Mind's Ear: Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination; What to Listen for in the World; and Of Mozart, Parrots and Cherry Blossoms in the Wind: A Composer Explores Mysteries of the Musical Mind. His books are used in college and conservatories throughout the United States, and excerpts have been read as short features on National Public Radio. The recently published Origins of Creativity (Oxford University Press), includes summaries and highlights of lectures by renowned scientists, including Antonio Damasio and Benoit Mandelbrot; artists Dale Chihuly and Francoise Gilot; and Bruce Adolphe as the spokesperson for creativity in music. A chapter on Adolphe is included in the book The Muse that Sings: Composers Speak About the Creative Process by Ann McCutchan (Oxford University Press). He is also included in both the Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Groves Dictionary of Opera, as well as the Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music.

Adolphe’s music has been recorded on the Telarc, Naxos, CRI, Delos, Koch, Summit and PollyRhythm labels. The Milken Archive’s/Naxos “American Classics” CD of his music inspired by Jewish subjects was one of five recordings that won a Grammy for producer David Frost in 2005. Adolphe’s film scores include the permanent documentary at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Adolphe lives in New York with this wife Marija, his daughter Katja, and his opera-and-jazz-singing parrot, Polly Rhythm.