Adler, Larry

Adler, Larry

(Lawrence Cecil Adler) (ăd`lər), 1914–2001, American harmonica player, b. Baltimore. Adler, whose career spanned seven decades, is generally credited with elevating the harmonica to concert status in the classical music world. As a child he studied piano and was briefly enrolled at Baltimore's Peabody School of Music, but he was self-taught on the harmonica, and did not learn to read music until 1941. Beginning in 1934, he performed for film soundtracks, and he also appeared in concert. From 1939, Adler was a harmonica soloist with many of the world's major symphony orchestras and was particularly noted for his interpretations of Darius MilhaudMilhaud, Darius
, 1892–1974, French composer. Milhaud studied at the Paris Conservatory. In Brazil (1917–19) as an aide to Paul Claudel, poet and French minister to Brazil, he became acquainted with Brazilian folk music.
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 and Ralph Vaughan WilliamsVaughan Williams, Ralph,
1872–1958, English composer, considered the outstanding composer of his generation in England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1894 and studied composition with Parry and Stanford at the Royal College of Music, London, as well as
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. In 1941 he formed an association with tap dancer Paul Draper, with whom he performed for many years. During the 1950s the two were blacklisted for alleged Communist affiliations, charges that Adler denied. Adler left the United States for London in 1952 and spent most of the remainder of his life there. His books include How I Play (1937) and Larry Adler's Own Arrangements (1960).

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1984).

His brother, Jerry Adler (Hilliard Gerald Adler), 1918–2010, b. Baltimore, was also a virtuoso harmonica player, performing primarily popular music. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s he often was a soloist on motion-picture soundtracks.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (2005).

Adler, (Lawrence) Larry

(1914–  ) harmonica player; born in Baltimore, Md. The world's leading classical harmonica virtuoso, he began concertizing in his teens and commissioned many works for the instrument. He emigrated to Britain after being blacklisted during the 1950s Red Scare and continued his career there as a respected musician.
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