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Chris Adler


Christopher Adler is a composer, improviser and performer living in San Diego, California. His compositions draw upon over a decade of research into the traditional musics of Thailand and Laos and a background in mathematics and computer modeling. As a pianist and conductor, he has performed with many of the West coast's finest improvisers, he performs contemporary solo and ensemble repertoire and is the pianist for the San Diego New Music resident ensemble NOISE.
At present, he is the only person in the world with extensive traditional background composing and performing new works for khaen, a mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand.

He has performed his compositions for khaen with members of the string quartet Ethel, members of the Ciompi Quartet, and cellists Jonathan Kramer and Hugh Livingston at events such as the Bang on a Can Marathon and Music at the Anthology and he has performed on Thai classical xylophone in the premiere of his composition Lineamenta with the Seattle Creative Orchestra.
He has been commissioned by San Diego New Music's NOISE, the Durham, NC ensemble pulsoptional, the Seattle Creative Orchestra, the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Duke University, the Eighth International Biennial of Painting in Cuenca, Ecuador, the improvising ensemble SoNu, guitarist Colin McAllister and choreographer Hyun-mi Cho. His compositions have been performed on four continents by such noted performers as percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, percussionist Pedro Carneiro, harpsichordists Michiyo Honma and Martin Pearlman, sheng virtuoso Wang Zheng-Ting, carilloneur Neil Thornock, and San Diego New Music's NOISE. His compositions have been broadcast and webcast internationally on WGBH's
Art of the States, and may be heard on his 2004 CD Epilogue for a Dark Day (Tzadik).
He performs improvised music on piano with woodwind player Alan Lechusza and drummer Vikas Srivastava in the Christopher Adler Trio and in Alan Lechusza's Iguana. He has conducted large improvising ensemble projects by Alan Lechusza and Nathan Hubbard, and has performed with Mark Dresser, George Lewis, Anthony Davis, Vinny Golia, Michael Vlatkovich, Christopher Garcia, Gustavo Aguilar, and with members of Cosmologic, Return to One and the Trummerflora Collective. He is active as a performer of modern music on piano, pipe organ and harpsichord, and is the pianist for the San Diego New Music resident ensemble NOISE, and has appeared at the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, the University of California at San Diego, and the California Institute of the Arts. His piano improvisations may be heard on the forthcoming album Mineralia (pfMentum) and Pleistocene, by the Alan Lechusza/Christopher Adler Duo, and on Transcontinental, by the Christopher Adler Trio (9 Winds Records). A site-specific solo khaen improvisation recorded aboard the Artship in Oakland, CA is available from Artship Recordings.
He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of San Diego where he teaches composition, sound art, theory, twentieth-century music, computer music and world music. He has also taught at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and at Mahasarakham University in Thailand, and has lectured about his music at Universities and conferences across the United States and Thailand. He received Ph.D. and Master's degrees in composition from Duke University and Bachelor's degrees in music composition and in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His teachers have been Scott Lindroth, Stephen Jaffe, Sidney Corbett, Evan Ziporyn, and for studies of Thai music, Panya Roongruang.

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