Press





“He might not be playing any notes on the instrument, but he was still performing a piece of music. And this leads to another fascinating concept which 4’33” provokes: the idea of performance and the pianist’s presence, gestures and body language during performance.”The Cross-Eyed Pianist, a review of Tendler’s performance of 4’33” in London


“The high point of the season, by my lights, is Riener’s assemblage from Merce Cunningham’s early work, for eight dancers in black unitards designed by Millepied, accompanied live by the virtuoso pianist Adam Tendler. Playing John Cage’s Music for Piano on an uncapped grand “prepared” to produce a range of startling sounds, Tendler consults the score (on an iPad) as he throws himself into the guts of the instrument...” — Village Voice, LA Dance Project’s Run at the Joyce Is Worth Attending Twice


"virtuosic... eerie...agonizing...painfully quiet... distressing" — 88 Keys (plus strings, mallets, & music boxes) at MATA’s Piano Night, i care if you listen.com


"Adam Tendler, the pianist for Marina Poleukhina’s 'for thing' looked like a man having foreplay with the instrument. He tenderly reached inside the piano and lovingly caressed and plucked strings with a blissful expression on his bearded face... Closing out the night was one of the strangest pieces I have ever seen, called 'collector' by Charlie Sdraulig and performed by Adam Tendler. Again with the overhead camera projecting from above, Tendler achingly moved his hands down the keyboard, sucking out dry percussive sounds, only occasionally punctuated by an actual note. There was no 'music' by any definition I can think of, and yet this was one of the strongest compositions of either night. In a way that is hard to describe, the piece has some kind of poetic truth that nails part of the experience of a living thing trying to stay alive. The image I had in my head was someone coming out of a coma and trying to reacquaint themselves with light, touch, and their senses. In the program notes, Sdrauling says the piece 'takes a hypersensitive approach to touch.'"— Feast of Music Review of the 2017 MATA Festival, New York City


Pianist Mixes Music and Meditation, Houston Press


Local Boy Brings Flair to Montpelier Chamber Orchestra Concert, Times Argus, Vermont


Anthony Tomassini describes “John Cage’s undulant, exotic “Mysterious Adventure” for prepared piano, played captivatingly by Adam Tendler. The wondrously subdued sounds silenced many, who listened closely even as street bustle and chirping birds blended in.” Variety and Verve at Make Music New York, New York Times, June 2016


Wall Street Journal: When The Toy Piano Takes Center Stage


UnCaged Toy Piano Festival: Rehearsal Montage, a short film by Ester Eva Damen


"...a concentrated listening experience...meditative, intense and beautifully poised." —Frances Magdalene Wilson, on Tendler’s memorized performance of Morton Feldman’s Palais de Mari at St. John’s Smith Square, London. Interview with Frances Magdalene Wilson for her blog, The Cross-Eyed Pianist... there’s a place for anyone in music. Truly. Everyone has a seat at the table. One has to envision that place, though, be open to it shape-shifting over the years, which it will, and put in the work to build it, simply carving into that identity, that little niche, every day. Some days will feel super tough and other days effortless, but faith and tenacity and a great deal of devotion—those are the ingredients to a life in music. Not Hanon, I’m afraid.”


Feature in International Piano Magazine for participation in Occupy the Pianos, London


William Anderson’s Re-Cap of the 24-Pianist Well-Tempered Clavier, New York City Summer 2015

Adam Tendler, who played brilliantly and organized the whole thing.  Mr. Tendler has a Tendancy to risk an action, to dare to make a splash, and I am certain we will see him do many important things soon and ongoing.”


"Tendler applied a powerful technique, very wide dynamic range, and interpretive insight that enabled him to draw the maximum musical value from these sometimes crazy pieces. ...It’s a measure of Tendler’s success that the audience was completely silent during the entire sequence of pieces and then greeted the conclusion with a huge outburst of applause. He really brought those pieces alive while making them sound as though they could have been written last week. I hope I get to hear this wonderful musician again."- Half a Tasty Loaf—The Boston Music Intelligencer Review of Tendler’s Maverick Concerts Debut (Cowell/Cage)


ArtsJournal: Music in the Midst of Life — Greg Sandow reviews 88x50


Subway Book Review: 88x50, by Jordan


Lambda Literary: Adam Tendler On Modern Music, the Advantages of Self-Publishing, and Coming out on the Page


Talking about John Cage with Fred Baumgarten on Robin Hood Radio, “the smallest NPR-affiliated station in the country.”


Tendler visits the Pathfinder youth detention center in Lincoln, Nebraska (Journal Star)


“An exuberantly expressive pianist, Adam Tendler vividly displayed his enthusiasm for every phrase...” — Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times


“Maverick pianist...” — The New Yorker


“One doesn’t expect pornography at a serious music concert, but...” — Art Leonard Observations


Tendler revealed new corners of [John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes] by holding it up to a softer, more diffused light...” — Daniel Corral, auscultations


“[Tendler’s performance of Philip Glass’s Two Pages] was a piece of hardcore minimalism that  kept getting more hypnotic the longer it lasted, and at a certain point everyone was looking at each other with disbelieving looks. ‘He actually memorized the whole thing?’ ... a style that can best be described as simultaneously discerning and ecstatic.” — Michael Strickland, SF Civic Center Blog


“Adam Tendler, much like [John] Cage, has courageously followed his bold and very different vision for the musician in our society. By performing 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.  It was, from start to finish, a remarkable experience. Tendler proved himself to be a selfless servant to the music and the personal meaning we can draw from simply staying in the moment. Such music, in such a space, with such intent was simply profound.” — Gayle Williams, Herald-Tribune Sarasota, on the first-ever performance in the James Turrell Joseph’s Coat Skyspace, Ringling Museum


“...a charismatic, engaging performer...” — San Diego CityBeat


“He played with fiery enthusiasm and deep, tender feeling, bringing the audience to its feet at the end.” —Maui News


“Tendler proved a master of this difficult music, not only playing it accurately and from memory (unusual in modern music), he imbued it with his own personal style as well as delivering Cage’s subtle but important emotional content.  Young artists like this go a long way in making new music accessible to audiences.” — Jim Lowe, The Times Argus


“Adam Tendler has an infectious youthful exuberance for what he does, which is to travel around the country playing contemporary piano music.” — Susan Rife, Arts Sarasota


"If they gave medals for musical bravery, dexterity and perseverance, intrepid pianist Adam Tendler would earn them all.  He has managed to get behind and underneath the notes... living inside the music and making poetic sense of it all."  Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun


“...pianist and modern music evangelist...” — TimeOut New York


“Some people find letting go of expectations confusing or annoying; others find remaining in the moment, liberating. This experience of freedom (or confusion or annoyance) was amplified by Adam Tendler’s show. The contemplative, abstract state of mind encouraged by the light performance married well with the unpredictable, “un-hummable” Cage masterpiece that followed it. Tendler appeared to physically embody the music that he played so passionately and intuitively (and for 65 minutes without a break, by memory, and in almost complete darkness).” — Pamela Beck, Sarasota Visual Art


“...beguiling...Tendler played [John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes from memory, occasionally with nearly flamboyant gestures, and with persuasive nuance, delicacy and feeling, bringing out the prepared textures by contrast with the unmodified keys, astutely using the pedal to create shimmering auras of sound at times, then producing soft clavichord style clarity in other moments. In his committed hands, the preparation is far more than a gimmick but rather an essential part of the music’s beauty. Ironically, it was those very preparations that made us listen so closely to the actual timbre and sound of the piano itself, sometimes more than the music it was playing. Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes are a compelling testament of love to the instrument.” Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch


“There’s no doubt that Tendler, a Cage devotee, understands the master’s work and performs it (from memory) with acuity.” — Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine



“Talented, bright, and passionate...” — Veronica Pastore, Sarasota Magazine


“...an hourlong sonic wonderland of fragmentary melodies, scurrying syncopations and lullaby-like beauty. The tamperings with the piano create gamelan-like percussive effects as well as eerie otherworldly tunings: Cage at his best.” Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times


“...a dedicated, thoughtful and compelling ambassador.” — Kyra Kordoski, Whitehot Magazine


“There are few things more exceptional in this world than the way a truly powerful music performance can change your temporal experience, and the power and gravity felt in the silence between gestures. Tendler accomplished both of these.” — Dave DeDionisio, thosewhodig.net


“Tendler performed with a very wide dynamic range, throwing himself physically into the piece, and squeezed a lot of expressivity from Cage's printed notes.” — George Colligan, Professor of Jazz Studies, Portland State University


"Like the minstrels and bards of the Renaissance, Adam Tendler, is the newest enfant terrible to arrive on our diverse music scene...." -Rich Arenschieldt, Outsmart Magazine


“...he created his own classroom, began a journey where he discovered himself and his music and realized -- finally -- that he didn’t have to ask permission to be an artist. He called that classroom America 88x50 -- a 50-state tour where he performed, often for free, living out of his car much of the time.” — Margaret Reist, Lincoln Star Journal, “Youth Center Students Get a Taste of Tickled Ivory”



“Tendler seemed to begin each passage from the center of his being, the sound forming before the point of contact with the keyboard.  Empathetic and engaged, his performance invited the audience to enter the music rather than sit as the impassive receiver.  It is this interconnectedness of music, musician, and audience that makes the live experience of this music so compelling.” - Michele Brangwen, ArtsHouston

"Tendler does not look like a typical American boy. Nor does he fit the privileged, pasty-white-from-time-in-the studio conservatory type. Tendler blends in with Latino, Jewish and Middle Eastern crowds alike.  Add to that his youth and signature black leather pants, and he's a true rebel with a cause." - Daphne Larkin, Times Argus, Vermont


"I think that everyone agrees with me that the Adam Tendler recital was an outstanding musical experience. It is wonderful programs like this that show our students what can really be done with themusic of the piano." -Ted Lassen, Piano Instructor at the Denver School of the Arts, Colorado

"Eighty-eight keys in each of the fifty states. You do the math. Adam Tendler [is] a well-traveled clavierist." -Rob Thomas, Capital Times, Wisconsin

"Adam Tendler probably can't change what the average person thinks about classical music, but it hasn't stopped him from trying. " - Ian MacFarland, Weekly Beat, New York

"Tendler is on a mission to bring modern music out of the ivory tower and into the public." - Matthew Lynn Riegel, Lutheran Mountaineer, West Virginia

"Classical pianist Adam Tendler has taken on the heart of a roving folk singer." - Wisconsin State Journal Arts Calendar

"Playing the piano is one note on the bass clef of Adam Tendler's life." - Kyle Rogers, Public Opinion, Pennsylvania

"He sort of dropped out of the sky. I've lamented the lack of idealistic young musicians [and their] intent on art. Adam Tendler was a pleasant surprise." -Verne Windham, Program Director, NPR affiliate KPBX, Washington

"Imagining some old wisened master? Think again. Adam Tendler is 23, tiny, and amazing. Absolutely amazing." - from the blog, RandomSean

"As he played, half of the confused clientele kept up their conversations, shouting to be heard over the espresso machines and the blenders. The other half fled [in what was] almost a riot." - Cindy Lange-Kubick, Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraska

"Some say our culture is a Christian one. Some say it's rooted in a commitment to rebellion. Others claim our number one value is 'neighbors helping neighbors,' while others yet say America is a consumerist wasteland based on instant gratification. Our public discourse is a cacophony, [but] we value the cacophony as evidence of our unique freedom. Art has a funny way of teasing out these ideas, and that's exactly what pianist Adam Tendler did at his concert." - Zach Hagadone, Sandpoint Reader, Idaho