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Judith Aller is an American-born virtuoso violinist, a product of the vanishing romantic-expressionist tradition. Guided by her father, the late Victor Aller, (a Capitol recording artist also known for his chamber music recordings with the Hollywood String Quartet) and her teacher, Jascha Heifetz, the non-pareil violinist of this century, she has become, and remains, a completely individual artist. There is no other like her on the scene today. She is capable of re-establishing the grand tradition of which Heifetz, Kreisler, and Piatigorsky, and so many great composers from Brahms to Bloch, are a part. Judith Aller comes from a family with a musical heritage that goes back many generations in Europe. She grew up in the midst of Hollywood’s classical music golden era. Her father, pianist Victor Aller, best known for his chamber recordings with the Hollywood String Quartet, was in charge of music at Warner Brothers Studio. Ms. Aller started taking lessons on the violin at seven, and as a teenager, she began her studies with Jascha Heifetz in his master class at the University of Southern California. After three years with Heifetz and following an impressive American debut tour, Aller relocated to Finland, residing first in Helsinki and subsequently in Pori. She toured Europe in recital and with the Pori Symphony Orchestra, in which she performed as soloist and served as concertmaster and assistant conductor. From Helsinki she toured with the Finnish Radio Symphony, made many recordings for Finnish Radio, and taught at the famous Sibelius Academy.
During this period the Helsinki newspaper Helsingin Sanomat wrote: “Judith Aller is in the midst of an indisputably bright career. Her technique is already so highly polished that she can be counted among the elite. Her tone is mellow and intensive and its purity exemplar.” The fatal illness of her father brought Judith Aller and her family back to America. In Los Angeles, she performed for seasons as a principal and frequent soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra and played literally hundreds of dates for motion pictures, television, and commercial recordings. In her conducting debut with the Los Angeles Accademia Filarmonica, a Los Angeles critic wrote that “Aller’s … results were … so illuminating — particularly in Mozart’s 29th Symphony — that one caught a glimpse of the days before World War II when such conductors as Furtwangler and Stokowski ruled the musical firmament.” After remarrying, she moved to Paris with her husband, Bruce Cook, a novelist known on both continents (whose pen name was Bruce Alexander). While dividing her time between Paris and Los Angeles, Aller recorded “ARCHANGEL!” (on the USA Music Group Label), a selection of the Opus 5 violin sonatas by the great Italian Baroque master, Arcangelo Corelli.
These sonatas, which she describes as “music that exists outside of time,” were recorded in a single day, and are among the finest recorded renditions of these virtuoso pieces. Following that, Ms. Aller returned to England, and soloed on a soundtrack she composed for a film, titled “Maestro,” about a violinist. She continued to perform recitals in France with pianists from the Paris Conservatory — and in Los Angeles with the Aller Quartet, with whom she recorded the Debussy String Quartet; a performance — wrote a Chicago critic…. “that almost leaves one speechless, feeling as though one had never really heard the work before…. It is as much a discovery as it is a performance, a re-creation that truly re-creates.” Describing Aller’s solo CD, “Passione/Passione Solo,” that same critic wrote: “But while the performances of Judith Aller on ‘Passione/Passione Solo’ certainly have depth in that metaphorical sense, here one feels that this depth is also literal — that the contact between bow and strings, fingers and strings, somehow descends far ‘down’ into the instrument, which in turn vibrates and sings with a remarkable fervor. And always there is Aller’s sense of what might be called the ‘pressure points’ of the music she plays, her knowledge of where the life-principle of the music resides and thus how to bring it to life. Passione, indeed.” Many of Aller’s live recordings can be heard on her YouTube channel and website. At her recent concert, Judith Aller received an award from the City of Los Angeles…. An honor coinciding with the publication of her story, titled “THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, about her father” (Chicago Quarterly Review Vol. 15).
CHILDREN AND MUSIC PROJECT
CHAMP was a classical music education program for children directed by Judith Aller, its founder. The project was established (1984) at Wonderland Ave. School as Aller’s response to the city-wide need for music education in Los Angeles public schools including such education for learning disabled and handicapped children. The CHAMP project was endorsed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, Wonderland Ave School and the Crippled Children’s Society summer camp Joan Mier in Malibu where a three-day intensive workshop was given. CHAMP received support from teaching professionals, entertainment related businesses including artists, producers, musicians, attorneys, members of the medical profession as well as community businesses in the Los Angeles area.
CHAMP* was an orchestra and chorus of children from ages seven to twelve. Thirty-three children of diverse backgrounds came together at Wonderland Avenue school to record and perform complex musical selections (Bach and Bartok) arranged and conducted by Judith Aller. Before the five-month CHAMP course began, none of the children (with the exception of Aller’s two school age daughters who assisted in the project), had had music training of any sort. The CHAMP chorus performed a Bach Cantata Chorale (in 4-part harmony) in the German language; the Bartok Folk Song was sung in Hungarian. Both works were accompanied by the orchestra from memory. In addition to instrumental, choral and language skills, the children were taught basic harmony, music theory, improvisation and music appreciation. A performance by CHAMP was broadcast from Wonderland Avenue School on KABC EYEWITNESS NEWS, presented by Fred Anderson, Christine Lund, and Jerry Dunphy.