Bruce Adolphe

Image © Christian Slater

Whether it's about a mysterious message from the moon, a fugitive turkey or a terrifying dinosaur, Bruce Adolphe's music captures the hearts and minds of his audience, kids and adults alike. Adolphe has composed music for Itzhak Perlman, the chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the National Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Beau Arts Trio, Sylvia McNair, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Caramoor Festival and many other renowned musicians and organizations. He has been composer-in-residence at festivals around the country, including SummerFest La Jolla in California, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest in Oregon, Music from Angel Fire in New Mexico, Bravo! Colorado, and the Appalachian Festival in North Carolina. Adolphe's music is also frequently performed abroad in Germany, England, Japan, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy.

As composer, author, actor, pianist and scriptwriter, Bruce Adolphe has earned a national reputation as a leading figure in the field of music education and audience development. Renowned for combining comedy and musical scholarship, he has been the lecturer of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1992, as well as a frequent speaker at many of the country's premier concert series and festivals, music schools and education conferences. A prolific author, Bruce has written three books on the art of listening to 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. He has appeared on nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts, and is often a guest on National Public Radio.

Letter from Bruce about his oboe Quartet
Dear Jared,

I am glad to hear you're playing the piece. Let me be
the first to state that my Oboe Quartet is hardly a
Brave New Work! I was only 23 when I wrote it, and I
am now 45. That takes care of it being terribly NEW.
As for brave, it is a neo-classical sounding work with a
sensual yet Baroque first movement, a dizzy waltz
second movement and a scurrying finale. It may
be braver of the oboe player, like yourself, to play
it than it was for me to compose it. I wrote it for
Gerard Reuter and his colleagues in the ensemble
An die Musik. Audience seem to like the piece a lot,
which has made it easy to program on standard concert
series. Perhaps now that a kind of, dare I say it,
"post-modern" glaze has taken hold, the piece seems a
little newer than it did at the time! My music has, of
course, evolved quite far from the sound of that piece
over the years, but I recognize that the Oboe
Quartet seems to have found a place for itself without
my help. Have fun with it!

Bruce Adolphe

Interview from Lincoln Center

Another Interview

A recent article about him,

In Tuesday's Cleveland Plain Dealer (3/27), Donald
Rosenberg profiles Bruce Adolphe, who "may be a
composer, author, lecturer, teacher and occasional actor,
but he really sounds more like a big, happy kid." The CIM
New Music Ensemble will feature Adolphe's
"lighthearted" "Tyrannosaurus Sue: A Cretaceous
Concerto" as well as a "serious" work, "Whispers of
Mortality" (String Quartet No. 4). Rosenberg finds that
Adolphe "relishes his multifaceted career, which keeps
him busy, not only as composer of chamber music and
operas for children, but also as education adviser for the
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center." Adolphe
explains: "I'm really living the life musically even more
than I expected to . . . I feel very lucky. If I was only
writing something like a string quartet and not doing
books or lectures, I'd probably have less to do and less
success and be more stressed."

Back to The Return of Are You Brave ? Festival

Back to welcome page