Frederick Adler: Personal Statement

musician composer pianist doctor Fred Adler

Personal Statement

Musician, Contemporary Classical Music Composer, Pianist, Medical Doctor

I am a composer, pianist, medical doctor, and occasional poet. The need to reconcile those various roles in the world is part and parcel of my creative process in all my endeavors. [The obvious question of where to find time and energy for all that is perhaps not the most difficult challenge, though I certainly do not mean to understate it.
The assumption, in our time of specialization and compartmentalization, that it is not possible to excel at any task or calling unless it is one’s sole concentration creates problems both internal and external.]

To explain myself I start chronologically and in this case the sequence in time parallels the journey from the depths to the surface. The musician is the oldest of my creative selves ...piano playing beginning at 10 years of age, composing at 15 years of age with musical imagination activating long before either but for the first years without concrete expression. Social activism began somewhere between the above to at age 13 or 14. Medicine much later, pre-medical studies beginning at age 23 and active patient care some 7 years later. Poetry has reared its head tentatively and spontaneously in relation to music, medicine, politics and personal and family life.

If one “peels the onion” the surface most of the world sees is the doctor. This is perhaps natural as the medical profession brings with it power and prestige and requires the management of both priestly and scientific roles both heavy with social meaning. But removing that layer, the next would be the political creature, compelled by social conscience to some level of activism despite a distinct lack of interest in the trappings of those activities. Over the years the doctor has to some degree absorbed the activist, as activism through medicine is congenial to the doctor.

Going deeper there is mostly musician. Celebration of the ecstasies, satisfactions, tragedies and acceptances of life always brings back the musician.