American Music Festival: The Adventure Begins!

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DAY ONE: THURSDAY MAY 31, 2018

The American Music Festival kicked off yesterday at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), a stunning 21st century concert hall and performing arts center situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.   EMPAC is much more than a concert hall.  It is 220,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility with 4 equally unique venues where the arts, sciences, and technology meet under one roof and breathe the same air.  EMPAC also provides research space for complex artworks and research and is a perfect venue for the American Music Festival.

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FESTIVAL TIP: When you arrive at EMPAC, take the elevator to the 7th Floor and enjoy a stunning view of Downtown Troy and the Hudson River.  The view is awe-inspiring and absolutely breath-taking. 

 

 

DAY ONE: THE NEXT GENERATION

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Composers are at the heart of the American Music Festival.  At any given moment you could be standing next to an award-winning composer or the next Leonard Bernstein. 

New to the festival this year is the Orchestrating the 21st Century Orchestra Workshop for emerging student composers. 

Twelve student composers from colleges and conservatories across the country were selected to participate in a one-week intensive workshop with acclaimed composer and Yale Professor, Christopher Theofanidis.  Yesterday morning the students gathered in Studio Beta for one of many scheduled sessions designed to help them develop their craft and grow as composers.

 Evelyn's Cafe was bustling with activity as the composers began implementing what they learned into their newest work. 

Evelyn's Cafe was bustling with activity as the composers began implementing what they learned into their newest work. 

 Composer Annika Socolofsky was taking care of business in Evelyn's Cafe before her first rehearsal with the Dogs of Desire. 

Composer Annika Socolofsky was taking care of business in Evelyn's Cafe before her first rehearsal with the Dogs of Desire. 

DAY ONE: FROM THE COMPOSERS IMAGINATION TO THE SCORE

What does it take to make it to the concert hall?  Dedication, commitment, careful study, and an openness to learn from the best.  A simple tweak or change in orchestration can dramatically transform a new work into a crowd-pleaser.  Master classes are incredible learning opportunities for students and the curious listener.  A record number of composers watched as Composer-educator, Christopher Theofanidis helped First Draughts composers Baldwin Giang, Natalie Dietterich, and Patrick O'Malley prepare for the first professional reading of their newest work. 

DAY ONE: FINAL PREPARATIONS

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The American Music Festival is jam packed with over 15 performances and events throughout Troy.  That's roughly 900 minutes of music.  Rehearsals started on Tuesday afternoon and will continue through the weekend.  Yesterday, Festival Pass holders, sponsors, and students from Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in Poughkeepsie were invited to an Open Rehearsal of the Dogs of Desire. 

Students from Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School watched as their teacher, acclaimed powerhouse soprano, Nancy Allen Lundy, rehearsed "Dracula" by David Del Tredici.

After the rehearsal, Nancy Allen Lundy came out, greeted her students, and sat with them as the Albany Symphony rehearsed three world premiere pieces by Annika Socolofsky, Derrick Spiva, and Carlos Simon.

One of the benefits of performing new music is you get to work directly with the composer.  David Del Tredici stopped by the Dogs of Desire rehearsal yesterday to work with David Alan Miller and Nancy Alan Lundy.  Tomorrow night the Dogs of Desire will perform Del Tredici's ghoulish melodram, "Dracula."

The Dogs of Desire is an incredibly flexible ensemble that explores new sounds from traditional and not so traditional instruments. Tonight, the Dogs will perform using an aeoliphone (wind machine) and a theremin. 

FIRST DRAUGHTS COMPOSER READING SESSION

The first day ended with First Draughts Composer Reading Session, a new event that pairs local craft beer and spirits with readings of new works by emerging composers.  Baldwin Giang, Natalie Dietterich, and Patrick O'Malley were selected from a pool of 90 applicants to have their newest work read by the David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.  After tasting Brown's Krush Golden Lager, Wolf Hollow's Amber Ale and District 6 IPA, and a new tequila from One With Life in Saratoga, patrons got an inside look at how a new piece comes to life for the very first time.

FIRST DRAUGHTS: WHEN HAPPY HOUR MEETS SYMPHONY

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Have you ever wondered how a new work makes it to the concert hall, or how a new beer makes it to your glass?  Get an insiders look at the creative process and watch as three emerging composers, Baldwin Giang, Natalie Dietterich, and Patrick O'Malley have their newest worksread and rehearsed by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.  Savor the experience with a private beer tasting from Brown's Brewing Company in Troy, Wolf Hollow Brewing Company in Glenville, and an exclusive tasting of a new Tequila from One With Life Distillery in Saratoga.  

EVENT DETAILS: THIS THURSDAY, MAY 31 at 7:00PM | EMPAC CONCERT HALL | 44 8TH STREET, TROY, NY 12180 | FREE NO TICKET REQUIRED | FREE TASTING

WHATS ON STAGE: 

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NATALIE DIETTERICH | Aeolian Dust

Dietterich writes music that mines patterns and is often tangential to social issues. Her music is inspired by musical and non-musical concepts alike and is visceral in nature. 

The idea of aeolian, or atmospheric, dust could be considered an analog to the passage of time within a world where unrelated events coexist and have the potential to become something bigger than itself, or perhaps simply occupy a space together with nothing to bridge them but the moment in which they occur.

BALDWIN GIANG | To Remember is Always Forgetting

Giang explores acoustic and electroacoustic mediums and his music aims to empower communities and inspires wonder. 

To remember is always forgetting is inspired by the rich space between sound and the music of memory.  The piece is structured around six harmonies derived from Ravel's Bolero, evoking a vague memory while causing the listener to stumble upon something different.

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PATRICK O'MALLEY | Rest and Restless

O' Malley composes works that explore the musical interplay between emotion, color,  and landscape, seeking to find balance between past influences and new ideas.

Rest and Restless is an "emotional landscape."  The music slowly alternates, pendulum-like, from low angstbroodings to brighter hopes without letting either mood "win" over the other.

WHATS ON TAP:

Drink local and taste three local beers and a new Tequila from Saratoga.   

Here is a list of what is on tap. 

BROWN'S BREWING COMPANY- TROY

Krüsh Kölsch is nimble and very easy to drink. Cold conditioned and fermented using a blend of lager and ale yeast, this beer's complex flavors finish clean and refreshing, beckoning you to keep going. 

WOLF HOLLOW BREWING COMPANY- GLENVILLE

Wolf Hollow Amber is the flagship beer of WHBC because it is crafted after the unique character of West Glenville. The toasted notes and the warm reddish hue of this beer invite you in while the crisp dry-hop keeps you reaching for another. This american amber ale has fans in both craft beer enthusiasts and seekers of easy drinking refreshment.

DISTRICT 6 IPA is a clean and drinkable West coast style American India Pale Ale that is brewed to be light in color, dry-hopped for a big floral aroma, and just bitter enough to remind you that you’re holding an IPA. In a market flooded with IPA, this one is brewed to stand out with its rich malt profile and bright dry-hop.

ONE WITH LIFE ORGANIC TEQUILA- SARATOGA

One with Life Organic Tequila is hand crafted from sustainably grown and farmed Blue Agave by Tequila Las Americas, a third generation family owned agave farm and distillery. Each agave plant is harvested for OWL at the height of ripeness, and then roasted in a clay oven adhering to traditional tequila production practices. 

5 MUST SEE CONCERTS AT THE AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL

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This weekend, the Albany Symphony will transform Downtown Troy into a magnet for acclaimed composers and the culturally curious.  The festival schedule is jam packed with thrilling performances in spaces throughout Troy.  You will hear over 30 new works by 18 American composers, including 14 world premieres.   

HERE IS A LIST OF 5 MUST-SEE CONCERTS!

I. VIRTUOSIC PIANO MUSIC | THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 2 AT 9:30AM | TROY SAVINGS BANK MUSIC HALL | 30 2nd Street, Troy, NY - $15 // FREE w/Festival Pass

Start your morning off right with a buzzing and buoyant piano concert, a perfect accompaniment to your Saturday morning routine.  Before the concert, stop by the Troy Riverfront Farmers Market and enjoy a farm fresh breakfast.

The Music:  Three lively and incredibly difficult piano works by American composer, David Del Tredici.  Del Tredici's music is fresh, daring, and simply magical.

The Artist: A Virtuousic pianist,  "energetic...refreshing and alive", Marc Peloquin is a champion of works by David Del Tredici.

II. THREE POWERHOUSE SOPRANOS | THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 2 AT 12:00PM | ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH | 58 3RD STREET, TROY, NY- $15 // FREE W/ FESTIVAL PASS

Gaze in wonder at the beautiful windows of the Tiffany-adorned St. Paul's Episcopal Church and enjoy a kaleidoscopic afternoon of stunning contemporary vocal music.

The Music: A curated performance that celebrates modern voices in American. Program features works by John Cage, the late Pauline Oliveros, and Albany Symphony favorite, John Harbison.

The Artists: Three powerhouse sopranos- Lucy Dhegrae, curator of Resonant Bodies Festival in NYC,  Lucy Fitz Gibbon and the "enthralling" (Opera News) Nancy Allen Lundy..

III. A SUMMER EVENING WITH YARN/WIRE | THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 2 AT 3:00PM | EMPAC STUDIO | 44 8TH STREET, TROY, NY- $15 // FREE W/FESTIVAL PASS

Grab a bite to eat at one of the 70+ restaurants in Downtown Troy, then make your way up the hill to EMPAC, a state-of-the-art concert hall on the campus of RPI for YARN/WIRE.

The Music: Yarn/Wire returns to EMPAC for the first time since 2014 to perform Music for a Summer Evening by George Crumb and Zosha Di Castri's Tachitipo.

The Artist: Described by The New York Times as "mesmerizing" and "devoted to new repertoire" by The Guardian, Yarn/Wire is a percussion and piano quartet that slips effortlessly between classic repertoire and adventurous modern works.

IV. A BLENDING OF CULTURES | THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 2 AT 7:30PM | EMPAC CONCERT HALL | 44 8TH STREET, TROY, NY- $15-$60 // FREE WITH FESTIVAL PASS

 Left to Right: Saili Oak, Hindustani vocalist & Reena Esmail, Composer & 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist.

Left to Right: Saili Oak, Hindustani vocalist & Reena Esmail, Composer & 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist.

Situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,  EMPAC overlooks Downtown Troy.  Before the main stage performance, be sure to take in the breathe-taking views of the sunset from the 7th floor. 

The Music: The American Music Festival gives voice to beautiful music that would otherwise never be heard.  The Albany Symphony's main stage program includes three world premieres, including Meri Sakhi ki Avaaz, a Concerto for Hindustani vocalist and orchestra by Reena Esmail.

The Artists: 2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Reena Esmail, composes music that connects the great musical traditions of India and the West.  Reena and Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak have been working together to create beautiful music that bridges Hindustani classical music to the 21st century orchestra.

V. A FANFARE TO JOAN TOWER | THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 3 AT 1PM | TROY SAVINGS BANK MUSIC HALL | 30 2ND ST, TROY, NY- $15 // FREE W/FESTIVAL PASS

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#TroyDoesSundayBetter! Brunch with friends in  Downtown Troy or take a peaceful stroll along the Hudson River. Then, celebrate Joan Tower's 80th Birthday at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. 

The music:  The American Music Festival celebrates the extraordinary music of GRAMMY® award-winning composer Joan Tower.  Program features favorite works by  Joan Tower, including a new arrangement of "Fanfare for the Uncommon Women No. 6,"  "DNA" for percussion Quintet, and two world premiere performances by students of Joan Tower.

The Artists: The festival fanfare includes the acclaimed Jasper Quartet, Carol Wincenc, pianist Blair McMillen, and the Empire State Youth Orchestra Percussion Ensemble.

Thank you to the following festival sponsors for their generous support.

ON THE ROAD: OUT & ABOUT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

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DAY 3: OUT & ABOUT

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On Thursday, after an amazing evening at the Kennedy Center, groups of musicians and patrons ventured out into the city to explore Washington, D.C.  Musicians were spotted along the National Mall and at the National Gallery of Art. Did you know that the National Gallery of Art is home to "Ginevra de' Benci" the only painting by Leonardo Da Vinci on public display in the Americas?

 

DAY 3: A TRUE NATIONAL TREASURE

On Thursday morning, members of the Albany Symphony's Springtime In D.C. tour group enjoyed a private tour of the Library of Congress.  Did you know that the original Library of Congress was destroyed by the British during the War of 1812?  The library was restored in 1815 when the Library purchased President Thomas Jefferson's personal library, which contained over 6,487 books.  

With the help of Congressman Paul Tonko's office, we were able to access the Music Division at the Library of Congress.  The collection holds over 20.5 million items from the last 1000 years of Western music history.

What do Brahms, Aaron Copland, David Del Tredici, and Joan Tower have in common?

We were delighted to see the original manuscript of Brahms' Violin Concerto in D with handwritten edits by Brahms.  The music librarians also researched our season and pulled the original manuscript of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and Aaron Copland's personal copy of The Lobster Quadrille from An Alice Symphony by David Del Tredici.   Del Tredici and Copland were great friends.  Del Tredici would frequently send copies of his latest work to Copland for suggestions.  On this score, you can see Copland's suggested revisions. Also on display was an original score by Albany favorite Joan Tower.

DAY 3: SPRINGTIME IN D.C.

After lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill- Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding, and Theodore Roosevelt's  favorite D.C. restaurant- we strolled around D.C. and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather.  Albany Symphony development director, Geoff Miller, took a group of patrons to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, while executive director, Anna Kuwabara, led a group of patrons to the National Portrait Gallery.  We all caught spring fever when we saw the tulips on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol.  While D.C. is known for its cherry blossoms, nothing compares to the tulips in Albany's Washington Park.

DAY 3: DOGS OF DESIRE AT BLIND WHINO

The Dogs of Desire moved into their temporary home in Southwest D.C. for their final rehearsal before their D.C. debut at Blind Whino, a hip alternative arts space. Sleeping Giant composers, Chris Cerrone and Timo Andres attended the rehearsal, while David Alan Miller and vocalist Theo Bleckmann polished the program.

DAY 3: OFF THE LEASH IN SOUTHWEST D.C.

The Dogs of Desire were off the leash at their Washington, D.C. debut at SHIFT.  The 18-member new music ensemble is the Albany Symphony's resident new music ensemble and the R&D arm of the orchestra.  This was evident on Thursday night as they took the stage at Blind Whino, a re imagined church and alternative arts space in Southwest D.C.    If you have not experienced the Dogs of Desire be sure to purchase your ticket to their performance at the American Music Festival on Friday, June 1, 2018.

 

ON THE ROAD: Visits, Pop-ups and more!

ON THE ROAD:  Visits, Pop-ups and more!

Yesterday began with Clarice Assad visiting 7th and 8th grade students at KIPP Charter School in Northeast Washington, D.C.   Her visit was part of the Albany Symphony's SHIFT residency program that showcased the orchestras Literacy Through Songwriting Workshop: Songwriter Idol. Yesterday morning's visit was the last rehearsal before the students debut on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.

Young Voices of Troy Tell The Tale of the Erie Canal at the Albany Symphony

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Albany, NY-   The Albany Symphony, under the direction of GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller, presents a reprise of The Mighty Erie Canal, an Albany Symphony commission by composer Dorothy Chang, hailed as “evocative and kaleidoscopic” (Seattle Times), on Saturday, March 10, 7:30PM at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY.  At the center of the performance is a 160-voice All City Elementary School Choir from the Troy City School District.

Commissioned as part of the Albany Symphony’s highly regarded composer-educator residency program, The Mighty Erie Canal is a children’s operetta based on the story of the Erie Canal and is the result of a two-year collaboration with students from George Washington and Poestenkill Elementary Schools in Averill Park and their teacher, Martha Bove.  Today, more than a decade after its premiere, 4th and 5th grade students from all five public elementary schools in Troy and members of the Troy Middle School’s 6th Grade Choir will revisit the work to celebrate the Erie Canal’s bicentennial and the orchestra’s upcoming Kennedy Center debut at SHIFT: Festival of American Orchestras.

Approached by the orchestra in October, Rhonda Hermance, a 33-year veteran music teacher who dedicated her entire career to teaching in Troy, quickly embraced the opportunity for her students and began recruiting her colleagues to participate. Hermance amassed a choir of over 160 young and diverse voices from every neighborhood in Troy.  When asked about the importance of this project to her students, Hermance said:  “The Albany Symphony is providing a wonderful opportunity to the Troy students to experience music performance and musicianship. Students are meeting the professional challenge and are practicing to be their best.” Hermance, who also served as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera Company’s Creating Opera Program from 1998-2001 is scheduled to retire at the end of this school year.

The Albany Symphony has a strong long-standing relationship with the Troy City School District.  David Alan Miller describes the relationship with the Troy City School District as “a powerful and important relationship.  Our musicians have been active in the community for more than a decade through the Albany Symphony’s Adopt-a-School program, but the true heroes are the dedicated music teachers like Rhonda Hermance, who go above and beyond to make performance and learning opportunities like this possible. 

With approximately 4,300 students, Troy is one of the largest districts in the Capital Region and provides a broad array of educational experiences. Troy Superintendent, John Carmello said, “Many school districts throughout the country have been forced to cut their music education programs due to inadequate funding. While the Troy City School District is no stranger to such challenges, we are proud to be able to continue to offer a variety of programs in all eight of our buildings, Grades K-12. We feel that music education is essential to a well-rounded academic experience as it provides students with opportunities for creative expression and collaboration, and is known to improve overall academic performance. It is an honor for Ms. Hermance to be given such a prestigious opportunity to work with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and I thank her for her dedication to our students on this project and throughout her career at Troy City Schools.”

This concert program will also feature Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi, which was recently released by NAXOS Records, Michael Torke’s Three Manhattan Bridges, and Still/Rapid by Joan Tower.

Tickets for the Albany Symphony performance can be purchased by calling 518.694.3300, online at www.albanysymphony.com, or by visiting the Albany Symphony Box Office at 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, NY 12207.

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.

For more information, visit albanysymphony.com.

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. 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 a champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. He and the orchestra have twice appeared in "Spring For Music” at Carnegie Hall. Other accolades include the 2003 Ditson Conductor’s Award, the 2001 ASCAP Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming and ASCAP’s first-ever Leonard Bernstein Award for Outstanding Educational Programming.  In July, 2017, he and the Albany Symphony commemorated the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal with “Water Music NY,” a week-long orchestral barge journey from Albany to Buffalo, NY, performing seven major collaborative works for orchestra and collaborating arts groups in seven Canal-side communities. 

In demand as a guest conductor, Mr. Miller has worked with most of America’s major orchestras, including the orchestras of Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. In addition, he has appeared frequently throughout Europe, Australia and the Far East as guest conductor. 

Mr. Miller received his Grammy Award in January 2014 for his recording of John Corigliano's "Conjurer," with the Albany Symphony and Dame Evelyn Glennie. His extensive discography includes over 30 commercial recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, London/Decca, Naxos, and Albany Records of works by Todd Levin with the London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Daugherty, Kamran Ince, Michael Torke, Christopher Rouse, Luis Tinoco John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Roy Harris, Morton Gould, Peter Mennin, and Vincent Persichetti.

A native of Los Angeles, David Alan Miller is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, and The Juilliard School. Prior to his appointment in Albany, Mr. Miller was Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director of the New York Youth Symphony.

About The Performing Arts Department of The Troy City School District

A small urban school district with approximately 4,300 students, we have programs housed in eight buildings. Troy has achieved remarkable progress in recent years. Our school improvement efforts have not only raised expectations, but also resulted in measurable changes across the district. The district’s public schools continue to serve as a vital part of the city of Troy’s revitalization.

Troy is one of the largest school districts in the Capital Region. The personalized nature of being a small city school district empowers students to excel in an environment that encourages and supports lifelong learning. The school district has recently instituted a number of policies to elevate academic achievement.

The Performing Arts Department of The Troy City School District is dedicated to providing all students in Grades K-12 with a high quality music education. This includes incorporating and supporting the National and State Arts Standards while supporting creativity, communication skills, teamwork and self-discipline through diverse performing arts and musical experiences.

About Dorothy Chang

Described as "evocative and kaleidoscopic” (Seattle Times) the music of composer Dorothy Chang often reflects the eclectic mix of musical influences from her youth, ranging from popular and folk music to elements of traditional Chinese music.  Many of her works are inspired by place, time, memory and personal histories.

Dorothy’s catalog includes over seventy works for solo, chamber and large ensembles as well as collaborations involving theatre, dance and video.  Her interest in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration has led to projects including a radio play adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s White Wines for four vocalists and speaking percussionist, several mixed chamber ensemble works for Chinese and Western instruments, and most recently, a collaboration with choreographer Yukichi Hattori and four other composers in the large-scale True North Symphonic Ballet premiered in 2017 by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

 Her music has been featured in concerts and festivals across North America and abroad, with performances by the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, as well as by chamber ensembles including eighth blackbird, the Nu:BC Collective, the Smith Quartet, Soundstreams, the Chicago Saxophone Quartet, Collage New Music and Music from China, among others.

Awards and honours that Dorothy has received include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the International Alliance for Women in Music, Mu Phi Epsilon, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Meet the Composer and the Jacob Druckman Orchestra Prize from the Aspen Music Festival. She has received commissions from the Canada Council of the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Barlow Endowment, Chamber Music America, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. For the 2003-04 and 2005-08 seasons, Dorothy held a Music Alive composer residency with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.   In 2008 she was awarded the inaugural commission  from the Women's Philharmonic Commissioning Project of Meet the Composer for a new orchestral work, Strange Air, which was premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music by  Marin Alsop and the festival orchestra.

Born in Winfield, Illinois, Dorothy began her music studies on piano at age six and began composing at the age of fourteen. She received degrees in composition from the University of Michigan (B.M., M.M.) and the Indiana University School of Music (D.M). She has served on the music faculty at Indiana State University and since 2003 has been a Professor of Music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  Upcoming projects include a new double concerto for erhu (Chinese fiddle) and piano, which will be premiered in 2018 by the Piano-Erhu Project and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

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:

http://www.albanysymphony.com/adults/

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: http://www.albanysymphony.com/thefestival/

CELEBRATE HANUKKAH WITH THESE THREE WORKS.

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

 

ERNEST BLOCh- AVODATH HAKODESH

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


STEVE REICH- TEHILLIM

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


GEorGE FRIDERIC HANDEL- SEE, THE CONQU'RING HERO COMES!

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

A LASTING MUSICAL LEGACY: HEINRICH MEDICUS TO BE HONORED BY THE ALBANY SYMPHONY

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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 www.albanysymphony.com, 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 GeoffM@AlbanySymphony.com.

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 albanysymphony.com.


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
JustinC@AlbanySymphony.com
(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.

MADE IN NEW YORK: ADVENTUROUS UPSTATE ORCHESTRA RELEASES NEW ALBUM ON INTERNATIONAL LABEL

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. 

TAKE A LISTEN!