Faculty & Staff

John Aler

Tenor | Opera

Associate Professor of Music
  • Voice
  • The Catholic University of America
  • The Juilliard School

Professor John Aler joined the faculty of the School of Music in Fall 2010, teaching Applied Voice.  A renowned American tenor, Professor Aler is one of the most acclaimed and admired singers on the international stage.  A consummate artist, he has been a frequent performer with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the  symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.  He has sung in Europe with the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre Nationale de France, and the BBC Symphony, among many others, appearing with the world’s most respected conductors, including James Conlon, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, Herbert Blomstedt, and Leonard Slatkin, to name a few.  He has performed at the major opera houses of the world, including the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, Hamburg, Geneva, Madrid, and Brussels, as well as the New York City Opera, the Washington Opera, and Santa Fe.  He is a regular performer at the major American summer festivals, including Ravinia, Aspen, Chautauqua, Newport, and Grant Park.

Performances highlights of recent seasons have included Britten’s War Requiem with the Moscow Philharmonic and the Munich Philharmonic under James Conlon, Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust with Carlos Kalmar at the Grant Park Music Festival, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Dallas Symphony under Claus Peter Flor, Britten’s Saint Nicholas with the Indianapolis Symphony under their conductor laureate, Raymond Leppard, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Strathmore Hall with the National Philharmonic, and his 24th season at the Cincinnati May Festival, where he performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mozart’s “Great” Mass in c minor under James Conlon. He returns to the May Festival in 2011 to sing Haydn’s Heiligemesse. Highlights of 2010 include Britten’s Canticle II, Abraham and Isaac with Marietta Simpson performed at the Kennedy Center, the Ravinia Festival where he sang Bernstein’s Candide under John Axelrod, and Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Conlon with the Chicago Symphony.

Mr. Aler has an extensive concert repertoire, which ranges from the Evangelist in the Passions of Bach to the War Requiem and Serenade for Tenor Horn and Strings of Benjamin Britten and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which he performed with the San Francisco Symphony, at the Ravinia Festival under Andrew Litton, and with the New York Philharmonic, who recorded it for a limited release under its New York Philharmonic Special Edition label.

John Aler is featured on three Grammy Award-winning recordings: in the role of Jupiter in an all-star recording of Handel’s Semele with John Nelson and the English chamber Orchestra for DGG, which won “Best Opera Recording”; Bartok’s Cantata Profana with Pierre Boulez and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, also on DGG, which won “Best Classical Album”; and the Berlioz Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony on Telarc, which won for “Best Vocal Soloist.”  He has an extensive discography and can be heard on more than 60 recordings on DGG, Decca, EMI/Angel, Telarc, Teldec, and more than a dozen other labels. A recitalist of note, he has several recordings of chansons, Lieder and song including a solo album entitled “Songs We Forgot to Remember” on Delos. In December 2006, he recorded Bach’s Coffee Cantata with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in a downloadable format for Deutsche Grammophon.

A native of Baltimore, John Aler is an alumnus of the Catholic University in Washington, DC and the Juilliard School. John Aler appears regularly on the concert stage throughout the world.

Contact Prof. Aler:  jaler@gmu.edu