The Kennedy Center

Bruce Adolphe


Born in 1955, Bruce Adolphe is a composer, author, actor, pianist, scriptwriter, and a leading figure in the field of music education and audience development.

Adolphe has written works for many renowned artists and musical groups, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York Chamber Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. He has composed four operas and several theater pieces, all of which have been produced throughout the United States. He has been composer-in-residence at many festivals and institutions, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest,the Grand Canyon Festival, the Virginia Arts Festival, and the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C.

A prolific author, Adolphe has written three books on the art of listening to music: The Mind's Ear: Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination; What to Listen for in the World; and Of Mozart, Parrots and Cherry Blossoms in the Wind: A Composer Explores Mysteries of the Musical Mind. He has appeared on nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts, and is often a guest on National Public Radio.

He is the creative director of PollyRhythm Productions, a company devoted to the creation of music, books, scripts and games linking musical concepts to science, art, history, and daily life. The company is named after Adolphe's opera-and-jazz-singing parrot, Polly Rhythm.  Also, he co-hosts Piano Puzzlers, featuring Adolphe at the piano playing folk tunes and popular songs in the styles of famous classical composers for call-in contestants.
Bruce Adolphe