Call For Scores American Music Festival

"First Draughts" Reading Session - American Music Festival

Orchestra Announces Nationwide Competition for Young & Emerging Composers

(ALBANY, NY) – The Albany Symphony announces an open call for scores for its annual “First Draughts” Reading Session. Open to young & emerging composers nationwide looking to develop and refine their orchestral craft, the Albany Symphony will select three winners to join the orchestra during its annual American Music Festival in June 2018.  The central event will be a reading session of a new work by each of the three selected composers by the full Albany Symphony, led by Music Director, David Alan Miller. In addition, the three composers will attend the orchestra's entire American Music Festival, participating in unique professional development sessions, in-depth collaborations with the symphony’s celebrated resident composers - including David Del Tredici, Chris Theofanidis, and others - and attend all rehearsals and performances.

The competition is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which continues the orchestra’s venerable tradition of commitment to new music, particularly through nurturing new compositional voices.  The initiative fosters collaboration between the orchestra, its audiences, and nationally acclaimed and emerging composers.

The orchestra will accept applications between January 15, 2018 and March 15, 2018.

Application guidelines can be found on the Albany Symphony’s website at:

About the Albany Symphony

The Albany Symphony is one of this region’s most revered music and cultural institutions, having won numerous national awards for its adventurous concert programming, recording projects, composer residencies, and innovative educational efforts involving area schools throughout the region. The Albany Symphony enriches a broad and diverse regional community throughout New York’s Capital Region, tri-state area, and beyond. Central to the Albany Symphony’s mission is its recording of works by living composers. Among its myriad of recently-completed recording projects are discs devoted to works by George Tsontakis, Christopher Rouse, Michael Torke, John Harbison, John Corigliano, and Michael Daugherty.   

The American Music Festival will feature more than 25 new works by 18 American composers, including 14 stunning world premieres by today's best composers.  American master David Del Tredici returns to the Albany Symphony for a performance of "Adventures Underground," one of his most famous works inspired by the literary classic "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." For more information about the American Music Festival, please visit:



Tonight begins the fourth night of Hanukkah. Here are three works that celebrate Jewish stories and traditions.



Composed in 1933, Avodath Hakodesh is based on Hebrew text from the Sabbath liturgy. 


Tehillim (Psalms) was composed in 1981 and is the first work to reflect Reich's Jewish heritage. 


Composed in 1746, Judas Maccabaeus is an Oratorio in three acts that retells the Hanukkah Story.


Heinrich Photo.jpg

Symphony’s Top Post to Be Named in Honor of Teacher, Philanthropist, and Music Aficionado, Dr. Heinrich Medicus

Albany, NY- Today, the Albany Symphony announced plans to dedicate and name its top artistic post in honor of Dr. Heinrich Medicus during a special on-stage ceremony at its first subscription concert on November 18, 2017 at the Palace Theatre. The dedication celebrates the legacy of Dr. Medicus who passed away in February and was a long-time patron, beloved board member, and close advisor to Music Director David Alan Miller.

This summer, the Albany Symphony received an extraordinary endowment gift from the Estate of Dr. Medicus. The $7 million bequest plus the additional anticipated portion of the Estate’s residuary represent the largest financial gift received in the Symphony’s history. As an endowment gift, the use of the funds is restricted to the income they produce. Through this bequest, Dr. Medicus ensured that his decades of support of the orchestra he loved would continue in perpetuity.

Jerry Golub, Chair of the Albany Symphony’s Board of Directors, said, “Heinrich’s commitment to the Albany Symphony was unmatched. His generous bequest provides an incredible foundation upon which we can build our future. It is now our turn to honor his memory and final wish: that his gift serve as a catalyst to inspire others to give more generously as well. The Board is committed to raise the funds needed for the Albany Symphony to continue serving the community for generations to come through its artistic excellence and education and community programs.”

Dr. Medicus, who passed away at the age of 98, was a distinguished professor of physics at RPI and brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Albany Symphony as an active member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Medicus had a deep love of music and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Albany Symphony up until his last days. Dr. Medicus was instrumental in strengthening the Albany Symphony’s position as a nationally acclaimed orchestra by challenging the organization to produce classical music that was second to none in terms of its quality. With his support, the Albany Symphony was able to invite world class musicians like Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma to the Capital Region. Dr. Medicus was a beloved friend and trusted advisor to Music Director David Alan Miller.

David Alan Miller said, “Heinrich Medicus was one of the most passionate music lovers I ever had the privilege of knowing. Music, to him, was as life-sustaining as food and water (or, in his case, wine, about which he was a great expert). While he was most attached to the glorious Germanic repertory he grew up with, he was one of the most open-minded listeners I ever encountered. We will miss him terribly, but his spirit will be with us every time we make music together.”

The special pre-concert ceremony will begin at 7:30PM led by David Alan Miller and representatives from the Albany Symphony’s Board of Directors. The concert program will feature the Albany Symphony’s first performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in over 25 years and a dramatic musical retelling of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle by American composer David Del Tredici. In its 2018-19 season, the Albany Symphony will perform a concert with special repertoire in honor of Dr. Medicus’ 100th birthday in December 2018.
Tickets to the Albany Symphony performance can be purchased by calling 518.694.3300, online at, or by visiting the Albany Symphony Box Office at 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, NY 12207. Individuals who are interested in making a donation to the Symphony in memory of Dr. Medicus are encouraged to contact Geoff Miller, Director of Development at 518.694.3300 x151 or via email at

About the Albany Symphony:
The Albany Symphony is one of this region’s most revered music and cultural institutions, having won numerous national awards for its adventurous concert programming, recording projects, composer residencies, and innovative educational efforts involving area schools.
The Albany Symphony’s season, which spans nine months from October through June, features timeless masterpieces, brilliant soloists, thrilling new compositions, and holiday and family programming. The trailblazing American Music Festival caps each season with a full week of dynamic new works by some of today’s best composers. As the only professional orchestra based in the Capital Region, the Albany Symphony enriches a broad and diverse community and engages more than 150,000 people each year throughout the area.
The Albany Symphony’s programs and events are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
For more information, visit

About David Alan Miller:

Grammy Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. As the Music Director of the Albany Symphony since 1992, Mr. Miller has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder. Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. He and the orchestra have twice appeared at "Spring For Music," an annual festival of America's most creative orchestras at New York City's Carnegie Hall. Other accolades include Columbia University’s 2003 Ditson Conductor’s Award, the oldest award honoring conductors for their commitment to American music, the 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming and, in 1999, ASCAP’s first-ever Leonard Bernstein Award for Outstanding Educational Programming.

Frequently in demand as a guest conductor, Mr. Miller has worked with most of America’s major orchestras, including the orchestras of Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, as well as the New World Symphony, the Boston Pops and the New York City Ballet. In addition, he has appeared frequently throughout Europe, Australia and the Far East as guest conductor. He made his first guest appearance with the BBC Scottish Symphony in March, 2014. Mr. Miller received his Grammy Award in January, 2014 for his Naxos recording of John Corigliano's "Conjurer," with the Albany Symphony and Dame Evelyn Glennie. His extensive discography also includes recordings of the works of Todd Levin with the London Symphony Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon, as well as music by Michael Daugherty, Kamran Ince, and Michael Torke for London/Decca, and of Luis Tinoco for Naxos. His recordings with the Albany Symphony include discs devoted to the music of John Harbison, Roy Harris, Morton Gould, Don Gillis, Peter Mennin, and Vincent Persichetti on the Albany Records label. A native of Los Angeles, David Alan Miller holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School. Prior to his appointment in Albany, Mr. Miller was Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From 1982 to 1988, he was Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony, earning considerable acclaim for his work with that ensemble. Mr. Miller lives with his wife and three children in Slingerlands, New York.

Media inquiries and interview requests, contact:
Justin Cook
Marketing & Patron Services Manager
(518) 465-4755 x141

This Fall at the Albany Symphony

This Fall at the Albany Symphony

Embark on another thrilling adventure with David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony. Following #WaterMusicNY, an intrepid summer tour celebrating the Erie Canal's Bicentennial, the Albany Symphony returns to Albany for a spectacular season filled with timeless classics and colorful contemporary masterpieces by some of today's best composers.

Here is a sample of what you will hear this fall at the Albany Symphony.


Grammy® Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony Release New Album with New York Roots.

Albany, NY [August 16,  2017] – The adventurous and intrepid Albany Symphony recently announced the release of its latest album featuring three new works by distinguished New York composer, George Tsontakis.  Recorded in Troy, NY at the American Music Festival and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the album was released on August 11, 2017 by Naxos Records, the world’s largest independent classical music record label.

Tsontakis, a Grawemayer Award recipient and distinguished composer-in-residence at Bard College and Conservatory in Duchess County, New York, is a major American composer whose newly released album is a compilation of three dazzling never-before-recorded concertos for clarinet, trumpet, and violin.  At the center of the album is True Colors, a two-part, jazz-tinged concerto that was commissioned by the Albany Symphony for its principal trumpeter Eric Berlin.

In addition to  True Colors, the album features Anasa for Clarinet and orchestra, and Unforgettable for two solo violins and orchestra.  Anasa builds upon a body of work inspired by Tsontakis’ passion for Greek art and culture.  Composed for the legendary clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer and named after the ancient Greek word for "breathe," Anasa includes elements of Klezmer and dance themes inspired by traditional Cretan instruments.   The third and final concerto presented on the album is a revision of a previous work commissioned by philanthropist and investor George Soros.  Featuring violinists Luosha Fang and Eunice Kim, Unforgettable is a double concerto for violins and orchestra that balances meditative ballads with playful and buoyant gestures.

With over 28 commercially recorded albums including Conjurer, the Albany Symphony’s debut recording on Naxos that earned David Alan Miller a 2014 Grammy® Award, the Albany Symphony continues to solidify its national reputation as an incubator for American orchestral music while positioning upstate New York as a destination for international new music audiences. 

The album is now available for sale at the Albany Symphony Box Office or for digital download on iTunes or wherever you purchase your music. 


WaterMusicNY's Erie Canal Bucket List

As The Albany Symphony travels from venue to venue, we will be checking out historical sites along The Erie Canal. Come with us as we explore some of the best places to relax, have fun, and make the most of the Erie Canal experience!

Follow our Erie Canal Wish List!

Hike the Peebles Island State Park

Peebles Island is a 190-acre state park with a perimeter trail that offers views of The Hudson and The Mohawk. It's located at the confluence of the two rivers in Waterford, NY.




Mohawk Towpath National Scenic Byway

This 26-mile driving route follows the Mohawk River and the first leg of The Erie Canal.




Down By The River Kayak Rental

Rent kayaks, conoes and other boats at Down By The River and Kayak on the Erie and Mohawk!



The Arkell Museum

The Arkell Museum is a museum in Canajoharie, situated right on the Erie/ Mohawk confluence. It has an extensive collection of American Impression, including works of Thomas Benton, William M. Chase, Childe Hassam, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, and Gilbert Stuart



Enlarged Erie Canal National Register District

The walking tour connects twelve of the sixteen double locks of the Enlarged Erie Canal needed to pass Cohoes Falls. These locks are untouched remnants of the 1860s enlargement.



Schoharie Aqueduct and Crossing State Historic Site

You can see the remains of the impressive Schoharie Aqueduct, locks from 1825 and 1841, and hike, bike, and picnic on the banks of the present-day canal. 


Lock 15 State Canal Park

Located toward the western end of over 40 miles of continuous trail in the scenic Mohawk Valley, the Lock 15 site can be used for all types of recreation. Bring a tent or a barbeque and enjoy the evening!

Camillus Erie Canal Park

Celebrate 200 Years of the Erie Canal in Little Falls and Baldwinsville

Looking for a place to stay or things to do after a night of fun at Water Music NY? How about dining out in Little Falls or a leisurely walk in Baldwinsville next to the Erie Canal?  Check out our suggestions for things to do, places to eat and where to stay while you're in town for the Water Music NY performances!

The Albany Symphony will be traveling through Little Falls and Baldwinsville on July 5th and 6th for a bicentennial celebration of the Erie Canal. Water Music NY is a unique musical experience 200 years in the making featuring FREE canal side concerts, world premieres by award-winning composers, and selections from Handel's Water Music and other American favorites. The Little Falls concert is a barge performance and you can even catch a fireworks show after the Baldwinsville show!

While you're in the area, check out some of these local businesses, museums, and restaurants!

Erie Canal Bucket List


While You're In Town

Places To Stay




History Behind #WaterMusicNY: Lockport

In 1816, the New York State Legislature passed a bill that provided more financial support for the Erie Canal's construction and appointed Stephen Van Rensselaer, DeWitt Clinton, Joseph Ellicott, Myron Holley, and Samuel Young as Commissioners to Construct a Canal from the Hudson the Lake Erie and Lake Champlain. As a result of this bill, it was evident that the Erie Canal would be built through the Historic Niagara County town of Lockport, NY. The first settlers to the town were Quakers, Christians who use no scripture and believe in simplicity in life and worship. Quakers were some of the earliest religious organizations in the colonies to practice religious toleration.

Erie Canal construction began in 1817 and drew 2,000-3,000 settlers to Lockport. The Legislature offered minimal wages to workers, but provided food and keep, often whiskey, dried meats, and materials to build homes. Many of the canal settlers were Irish, originally from New York City. 



On October 26th, 1825, Governor Dewitt Clinton successfully traveled through the twin locks in Lockport, carrying a barrel of water from Lake Erie that he would later ceremoniously pour into the Atlantic at New York City's harbor in commemoration of the opening of the canal. 

The city of Lockport continues to harbor historical significance. In 1860, the first ever northern Civil War regimen was organized in Lockport after a saloon owner learned of President Lincoln's call for volunteers.  

Lockport's "Flight of Five" Locks are still the last set of locks from the original canal built in 1817. 

Come join the Albany Symphony, in celebration of the Erie Canal's Bicentennial, on July 8 at the Historic "Flight of Five" Locks, featuring resident composer David Mallamud and his new work, Spitoonia on the Erie. 

Handel and The Water Music Suite

Handel and The Water Music Suite

On November 19, 2016, The Albany Symphony first performed Handel's Water Music Suite at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. On July 17, Water Music will be 300 years old. July 2nd through the 8th, The Albany Symphony will once again perform this timeless suite on their WaterMusicNY Tour, celebrating the bicentennial of The Erie Canal.

A Centennial and a Bicentennial: Women's Suffrage and the Erie Canal

A Centennial and a Bicentennial: Women's Suffrage and the Erie Canal

The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House will commemorate the centennial of Women's Suffrage in conjunction with Erie Canal celebrations in July in their Votetilla Celebration.