20th Anniversary Edition:
Piano Puzzlers on Public Radio
Fred Child has hosted Bruce Adolphe’s Piano Puzzlers on air as a weekly segment on Performance Today since 2002, originally with NPR and then with American Public Media. Bruce plays a familiar tune disguised in the style of a Classical composer and contestants call in to name both the tune and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating. Often the puzzlers are mashups of a well-known tune and a particular Classical piano piece — such as Eleanor Rigby and an intermezzo by Brahms or They Can’t Take that Away from Me and a Prokofiev piano sonata. You can hear Piano Puzzlers on the radio or as a podcast.

The show attracts over 1 million listeners per week, is the most popular segment of Performance Today, and one of the most popular weekly broadcasts among all of American Public Media's offerings. Bruce has composed more than 600 Piano Puzzlers over the past 20 years. The book, featuring essays by Fred and Bruce, commemorates this milestone.
According to Bruce, Fred says that “if you play all the Piano Puzzlers back-to-back it is longer than Wagner's Ring Cycle!”
Bruce Adolphe with Fred Child, Host & Senior Editor, APM's Performance Today
Visions and Decisions:
Imagination and Technique in Music Composition
Bruce’s new book, just published by Cambridge University Press, is Visions and Decisions: Imagination and Technique in Music Composition. It is focused primarily on composition and improvisation (in a wide range of styles past and present), and it also delves into playwriting, film, painting, and even falafels. The ideas in it are supported by scientific research, drawing on neuroscience, cognitive studies, dream/sleep studies, as well as recent research into creative processes. People referenced in the book include Duke Ellington, Kaija Saariaho, Sofia Gubaidulina, Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Reena Esmail, Anthony Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, Harold Pinter, Picasso, Stravinsky, Gesualdo, and also Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Janacek, as well as scientists Antonio Damasio, Robert Stickgold, and more.

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