Bio


Adam Tendler has been called "an exuberantly expressive pianist" who "vividly displayed his enthusiasm for every phrase" by The Los Angeles Times, an “intrepid...outstanding...maverick pianist” by The New Yorker, a "modern-music evangelist" by Time Out New York, and a pianist who "has managed to get behind and underneath the notes, living inside the music and making poetic sense of it all," by The Baltimore Sun, who continued, "if they gave medals for musical bravery, dexterity and perseverance, Adam Tendler would earn them all." New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini reported that Tendler played an outdoor performance of John Cage's music "captivatingly," and that "the wondrously subdued sounds silenced many, who listened closely even as street bustle and chirping birds blended in." London critic Frances Wilson described Tendler's memorized performance of Morton Feldman's Palais de Mari at London’s St. John’s Smith Square as "a concentrated listening experience...meditative, intense and beautifully poised." The Herald-Tribune Sarasota wrote, "By performing [John Cage's] Sonatas and Interludes not only from memory, but in a darkened room, no light on the piano at all, he played with a natural authority demanding his audience to turn inward and tune in only to the music."


Recognized as a leading interpreter of American music, Tendler has performed solo recitals in all fifty United States, including engagements at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Columbia University, The Fisher Center at Bard College, Princeton University, New York University, Bennington College, Kenyon College, Boston Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Portland State University, University of Nebraska, University of Alaska and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, as well as artistic landmarks like Houston's Rothko Chapel, The Rubin Museum, Joe’s Pub, Stonewall Inn, and James Turrell's Skypace in Sarasota, where he was the space's first musical performer. 


Tendler’s memorized performances of John Cage's complete Sonatas and Interludes include a sold-out concert at The Rubin Museum in New York City and a featured recital in the “Cage100” festival at Symphony Space on what would have been Cage’s 100th birthday, listed by New York Magazine as one of the Top 10 Classical Music Events of 2012. In 2014, Tendler performed Cage’s 31’57.9864” in an appearance with the John Cage Trust at Bard College’s Fischer Center, presenting a realization of Cage’s 10,000 Things, and in 2015 he performed music by Cage and Henry Cowell, including Cage’s 4’33”, at the famed Maverick Theatre in Woodstock NY, where 4’33” had its premiere. In 2016, he presented a solo program of Cage works at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts to an at-capacity audience.


Tendler’s memoir, 88x50, about the year he performed solo recitals in all fifty states, was a 2014 Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and Lambda Literary Award Nominee. He has recorded the music of John Cage for C.F. Peters, recently released the premiere recording of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes on the Ebb & Flow label, and is developing an album of piano works by American composer, Robert Palmer. He also maintains the blog, The Dissonant States.


A graduate of Indiana University, Tendler lives in New York City and serves on the piano faculty of Third Street Music School Settlement, the country’s first community music school.



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