Adam Tendler has been called “a virtuoso pianist” by The Village Voice, "an exuberantly expressive pianist" who "vividly displayed his enthusiasm for every phrase" by The Los Angeles Times, a “quietly charismatic...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." And the new music blog, "i care if you listen," described Tendler's recent performance at The Kitchen in New York City as "virtuosic... eerie... agonizing... distressing."

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, (le) Poisson Rouge, The Kitchen, Symphony Space, National Sawdust,  92nd Street Y, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Joyce Theatre, Columbia University, The Fisher Center at Bard College, New York’s Sheen Center, 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 Maverick Concert Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Rubin Museum,  Museum of the Moving Image, 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, and in 2017 will perform a several day retrospective of Cage’s music at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. 

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 J.S. Bach, CPE Bach, Amy Beach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, John Cage, George Crumb, Edvard Grieg, Charles Griffes, Lou Harrison, Alan Hovhaness, Edward MacDowell, and Erik Satie for C.F. Peters for their newly-released iPad app, Tido, and recently released the premiere recording of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes on the Ebb & Flow label. Tendler will record an album of music by American composer Robert Palmer in 2017.

He maintains the blog, The Dissonant States, and is working on his second book, tidepools.

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.