Composer Adrienne Albert studied piano as a child with Jakob Gimpel and Aube Tzerko and studied composition with Leonard Stein and Saul Kaplan. Albert, however, was diverted into performance, beginning as a soprano with the Gregg Smith Singers, a group of which she was a member for many years. The fine and unusual qualities of her voice were noted by composer Igor Stravinsky, who referred to Albert as "my favorite boy soprano". He utilized herRead more voice for several of his final recordings including the 1966 recording of his Mass and his setting of Edward Lear's poem The Owl and the Pussycat. Albert also performed as a soloist in Stravinsky's Mass at the composer's final conducting engagement in Toronto in 1968.
At CBS, Albert was often used in various recordings, and producer John McClure tapped Albert's voice for several songs featured on the LP New Music of Charles Ives. This was probably the first time on records that Ives' songs were sung by a "pop" voice, and Albert's sliding, microtonal performance of Ives' Like A Sick Eagle was singled out for particular praise from the critics.
Around 1970, Adrienne Albert married and took time off from music to raise a family, although she still accepted occasional engagements as a pop backup singer in recording studios on the west coast. In the late 1990s, after brushing up with Albert Harris and Stephen "Lucky" Mosko, Albert emerged as a full-time composer, debuting with her Concerto for Alto Sax, Trumpet & Orchestra at the Mancini Institute in 1997, which she also conducted.
Within a decade, Albert became an established composer; her works have been performed widely to considerable acclaim and she has accepted, and fulfilled, a number of commissions. Among Albert's best-known pieces are her Western Suite, Doppler Effect, L.A. Tango Nuevo and Mirror Images. In 2006, Albert fulfilled a commission from her former ensemble, the Gregg Smith Singers, to compose a couple of choruses for them, Night and Meditation. Read less
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