Albany Symphony Celebrates 25 Years of Adventurous Music-Making Under David Alan Miller's Leadership

Opening Night Concert features masterworks by Ravel and Sibelius, plus a new work for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra.

Albany, NY -  On September 24th, the Albany Symphony will kick off David Alan Miller’s 25th Anniversary Season at the Palace Theatre, celebrating the Grammy® award-winning Conductor’s leadership and the orchestra’s world-class musicians.  Miller, recipient of over 25 ASCAP Awards for adventurous and innovative programming, the 2003 Ditson Conductor’s Award, and a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation and a champion of American symphonic music.  Miller’s commitment to giving voice to new works by living American composers will be celebrated on September 24, 2016 at 7:00PM with the Capital Region debut performance of “Aria” for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Award winner, Reena Esmail.  The piece is Esmail’s most ambitious work, incorporating a Hindustani classical soloist alongside a western orchestra. Of “Aria,” composer Esmail writes: "I love to create spaces where Indian and Western musicians can make music together, each working from their own tradition and training to engage in a beautiful dialogue between these two incredible musical cultures."

The Opening Night performance will also feature internationally acclaimed pianist Natasha Paremski performing, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, a three movement concerto inspired by partly by the jazz music Ravel encountered during his 1928 American concert tour; and a centennial performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5, originally composed in 1915 and revised first in 1916. Immediately following the performance, patrons are invited to support the Albany Symphony at the Opening Night Gala.

“I am so honored to have had the privilege of working with the extraordinary musicians of the Albany Symphony for the past quarter-century,” said Maestro Miller. “I wanted this season to be a celebration of our achievements, but even more, a chance for us to look boldly to the future by featuring the great composers of tomorrow, like Reena Esmail.  Also, I want to share some of my absolutely favorite pieces with our passionate Capital Region public, pieces like Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony and the glorious Ravel Concerto that simply take my breath away with their countless beauties.”    

Tickets to the concert start at $19, and can be purchased by calling the Albany Symphony Box Office at (518) 694-3300 or online at albanysymphony.com.  Concert & Gala Packages are also available, starting at $200.

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 ten months from September 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 the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras.

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.

About Reena Esmail

Indian-American composer Reena Esmail enjoys working in both the Western and Hindustani (North Indian) classical music idioms.

Esmail holds a bachelor’s degree in composition from The Juilliard School, and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. Her primary teachers have included Susan Botti, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis and Martin Bresnick, Christopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. She has won numerous awards, including the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (and subsequent publication of a work by C.F. Peters) and two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. She is currently in the post-residential period of her doctoral degree at the Yale School of Music.

Esmail was a recipient of a Fulbright-Nehru grant for the 2011-2012 year and lived in New Delhi, India, where she was affiliated with the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts at Delhi University, and studied Hindustani vocal music with Gaurav Mazumdar. She was selected as a 2011 INK Fellow to speak about her work at the INK Conference (in association with TED) in Jaipur, with additional engagements in Chennai, Delhi and Goa.

About Natasha Paremski

"Comparisons with Argerich should not be given lightly, but Paremski is so clearly of the same temperament and technique that it is unavoidable here." — American Record Guide

With her consistently striking and dynamic performances, pianist Natasha Paremski reveals astounding virtuosity and voracious interpretive abilities. She continues to generate excitement from all corners as she wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and flawless technique.

Born in Moscow, Natasha moved to the United-States at the age of 8 and became a US citizen shortly thereafter. She is now based in New York.

Natasha was awarded several very prestigious artist prizes at a very young age, including the Gilmore Young Artists prize in 2006 at the age of 18, the Prix Montblanc in 2007, the Orpheum Stiftung Prize in Switzerland. In September 2010, she was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year.

About Saili Oak

A finalist on the popular reality TV series Zee Marathi SaReGaMaPa, Saili is a senior disciple of Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a leading vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. She has established her own identity with enriched talent in classical, as well as, semi-classical music.

aili has been learning music since the age of 3 years and has given performances at music festivals all over India and abroad. Some of her memorable performances include the Summer Sounds festival at the Hollywood bowl, Vedic Heritage in New York, Beyond Borders concert at the University of Maine to name a few. Her performances have been appreciated for her meticulous architecture of 'khayal', her systematic and well-crafted raga exploration and laudable command over the 'laya'.Saili has several albums and singles to her credit including the two tracks she recently recorded for Trevor Hall's album 'Kala'.

Having won the All India Classical music competition at the young age of 17, Saili regularly performs at the All India Radio. She was also conferred the Ministry of Culture's Scholarship for Hindustani music. She has graduated in Hindustani music from the Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal. Saili has been awarded the prestigious Pt.Jasraj Yuva award, Pt Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva award, Gaanwardhan Award.

For media inquiries, contact:

Justin Cook

Albany Symphony

Marketing & Patron Services Manager

justinc@AlbanySymphony.com

(518) 465-4755 

Looking Forward to Concert No. 1 by Paul Lamar

Looking Forward Preview Series

By Paul Lamar

What better way to start the Albany Symphony season this year than with a celebration of David Alan Miller’s 25th year as music director! When you look at the program for the September 24 concert, you might wonder how the pieces fit together. How did David decide to put these three works together? In a conventional sense there is usually a curtain raiser of some sort, followed by a concerto, and---after intermission---a blockbuster symphony. To that extent this program is conventional. But the questions remain: which curtain raiser, which concerto, and which symphony? Check out David on YouTube in a six-minute segment called “David Alan Miller talks about the art of programming.” Fascinating.

Reena Esmail is featured in numerous YouTube videos. Visit the brief choral piece called “Tuttarana,” performed by the Mount Holyoke Glee Club, for a sense of what her music (both Western and Hindustani based) sounds like. And you might want to stop by Opalka Gallery, The Sage Colleges, 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, for an art show by Siona Benjamin called “Beyond Borders.” As William Jaeger notes in his positive Times Union review of August 28, “(Benjamin’s) influences as a Jewish woman growing up in mostly Hindu and Muslim India, and her further influences resettling to a contemporary United States, are naturally complicated. Gladly complicated.” The show opens on September 8 and runs through October 9.

In addition to bringing new composers before the Capital Region public, Maestro Miller frequently introduces us to soloists with whom we may not be familiar. I didn’t know Natasha Paremski’s name before seeing it on the program, but after watching her YouTube performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, with Andrew Litton (the new conductor of the New York City Ballet, by the way), I can’t wait to see her in the Ravel. This year she is concertizing at least 40 times throughout the world. In September alone she will be in California with the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, in Mississippi with the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, and, after Albany, in Ontario, with the Rach 3. Catch her on YouTube in recital and with orchestra, and listen to “Conversations with Natasha Paremski,” six minutes of personal reflection. Also, check out her website: natashaparemski.com

Sibelius! One of the beauties of looking at a performance on YouTube is the camera work; that is, you not only hear the music, but you get to see, up close, exactly who is making the music. Is that the sound of an oboe or an English horn? How do strings play pizzicato? What does a brass mute look like? Watch a movement of the Symphony No. 5, and check out Sibelius’s orchestration. In particular, observe the way he layers sound in the last four or five minutes of the symphony as the camera zooms in on each section. (I’m thinking of the Leonard Bernstein performance with the Vienna Philharmonic. Spectacular.)

OPENING NIGHT: RAVEL & SIBELIUS

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This Fall at the Albany Symphony

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The Albany Symphony's 2016.17 season is right around the corner.  This year we will be celebrating 25 years of electrifying music under the leadership of David Alan Miller.

Here is a little preview of what you will hear and see this fall at the Albany Symphony.

Tickets are on-sale now through the box office. Call 518.694.3300.


Opening Night Concert & Gala // September 24, 2016 at the Palace Theatre

Natasha Paremski will make her Albany Symphony debut performing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G.   Hailed by critics as fierce and virtuosic, you can expect a striking and dynamic performance.  Also on the program is Sibelius' noble 5th Symphony and "Aria" for Hindustani Soprano and Orchestra by Two-time ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Reena Esmail.

Natasha Paremski Plays Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3, Andrew Litton conducting Bergen Philharmonic September 4, 2015 Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway

Roscoe: An American Grand Opera // October 15, 2016 at the Palace Theatre

The radiant voice of Opera Superstar, Deborah Voigt is matched by Evan Mack's rich compositional technique, and the tragic, yet comic story of Roscoe by Pulitzer price-winning author, William Kennedy.  

Premiered this summer at the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY, the Albany Symphony will give new life to Evan Mack's Opera and William Kennedy's  political drama at the Palace Theatre, just steps from the fictional home of Roscoe, the motor of Albany's political machine. 


Sunday Symphonies For Families 

World Series of Music with Coach Dave // October 16, 2016 at the Palace Theatre

Join Coach Dave and the World Champion Albany Symphony for an afternoon of HITS by Tchaikovsky, Benjamin Britten, John Phillip Sousa and more!  See the Albany Symphony is action as you are introduced to the instruments of the orchestra and the important roles on the team. You'll be left singing "Take Me Out to the Symphony!"


Peer Gynt // October 22 and 23, 2016 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Edvard Grieg is a leading Romantic era composer from Norway. While Norway may not be considered a classical music powerhouse, like Italy, Austria, or Germany, Greig was prolific and revered by audiences world-wide.  Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 is Grieg's most famous work.  Since its premiere, Peer Gynt's iconic melodies have been integrated into pop culture.  Grieg's timeless melodies, "Morning Mood" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" were made popular to general audiences by Bugs Bunny, The Who, and the hit TV show The Simpsons.

Hear Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 performed LIVE by the Albany Symphony alongside the Donna Diana Overture (Theme Music for Sgt. Preston of the Yukon), Tchaikovsky's beloved Francesca da Rimini and an Oboe Concerto by American master composer, Christopher Rouse.

ALBANY SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES JERRY AND GERRY GOLUB AS HONORARY CHAIRS FOR 2016 OPENING NIGHT GALA

2016 Opening Night Gala to Take Place on Saturday, September 24

The Albany Symphony today announced that Jerel and Geraldine Golub have graciously agreed to serve as Honorary Chairs for this year’s Opening Night Gala, which will take place on Saturday, September 24 at the Palace Theatre immediately following the 7:00 pm scheduled concert.  Jerry and Gerry Golub have been strong supporters of the Albany Symphony for many years, and their enthusiasm and support has truly helped to mold the Albany Symphony into what it is today.  

“Gerry and I are very excited to have been asked to serve as this year’s Honorary Chairs of the Opening Night Gala," said Jerry Golub. “It’s our pleasure to be involved in such a remarkable organization, especially as we celebrate David Alan Miller’s 25 amazing years as Music Director. We are tremendously proud to support the unique and talented musicians of the Albany Symphony.” 

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Jerry and Gerry for a long time, and I am delighted that they’ve agreed to serve as Honorary Chairs of the 2016 Opening Night Gala,” said Maestro David Alan Miller. “I look forward to celebrating this joyous occasion with them come September, and I hope that all friends of the arts will join us for a night of merriment, music, and most importantly, the incredible talent that makes our symphony so extraordinary.”

The 2016 Opening Night Gala will take place at the dazzling Palace Theatre immediately following the concert performance featuring pieces by Ravel and Sibelius. Patrons are invited to join this celebratory black-tie affair and can purchase tickets at this link or by visiting the Palace Theatre box office on weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

 

"Simple Songs with an Important Message"

 After a fabulous evening of good feeling culminating with the Songs of the Rolling Earth concert, we woke to some really sad news. The nation is in mourning. The mass shooting in Orlando cast a dark shadow on our psyche. Perpetrated by the few, provided with freedom and liberty yet choosing to forsake that gift, to the detriment of many. Indeed, we have lost many good people. Individuals like us, or maybe not. But they were enjoying life, an evening of lightness, not knowing it would be their last. They were friends, lovers, parents, siblings, sons and daughters. Special people, creative people, productive people. People I would have most likely never have known in life. But now, now I want to know everything there is to know about them as a way of honoring their legacy.

This year's American Music Festival's theme was "Earth," yet a subtext could easily have been "inclusion," for there was much depth, dimension and variety. The full spectrum of the American musical landscape was represented - classical, experimental, jazz, electronic, world music, etc. I admit, I can't relate to it all. And that's ok: you don't have to feel like you must like everything, but keep an open mind and you will be pleasantly surprised. I know that works for me. "Simple Songs," Aaron Jay Kernis' composition - a compilation of texts on spirituality drawn from Western and Eastern traditions, took on added significance in light of today's events.

The piece, an abstraction about the common threads that unite us as spiritual beings, turned palpable, real, and relevant. Reflecting on the crystal clear vocals of Talise Trevigne: "Blessed are the man and that woman who have grown beyond their greed and have put an end to their hatred," the message is arrestingly poignant. Even in mans' darkest hours, music is a constant. It has the capacity to reflect, comfort and lift spirits. Inevitably, a formal compositional response will address this discordant period in our collective consciousness. Now is not the time, but I fervently believe that musical events like the 2016 American Music Festival are powerful forces for positive social change, and are worthy of our support.

Dr. Arthur Falk of Slingerlands, NY

Albany Symphony Patron

ALBANY SYMPHONY TO PERFORM AT 2018 SHIFT: A FESTIVAL OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS

Albany Symphony is one of four American orchestras selected to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and showcase recent works by Tower, Daugherty, Torke and more.

Albany, NY -  The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts has announced that the Albany Symphony has been selected to participate in the second Annual SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras, taking place at the Kennedy Center and other locations around Washington D.C. from April 9-15, 2018.

SHIFT shines a weeklong spotlight on North American orchestras of all sizes, and celebrates their vitality, identity, and extraordinary artistry by creating an immersive festival experience in the nation’s capital.

The Albany Symphony is one of four orchestras chosen from a pool of applicants from across the country- each of which will offer a Kennedy Center Concert Hall performance and a city-wide residency. For their Kennedy Center debut on April 11, 2018, the Albany Symphony will feature tuba soloist Carol Jantsch and pianist Joyce Yang on a program of works by Joan Tower, Michael Daugherty, Dorothy Chang and Michael Torke.

As part of the SHIFT Festival residency, the Albany Symphony’s 16-member new music ensemble, Dogs of Desire, will collaborate with Theo Bleckmann and the six composers of Sleeping Giant on a full-evening “lieder-abend,” and bring its treasured composer residency program to D.C. area middle schools.

Co-Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, the festival’s title, SHIFT, recognizes the dynamic, evolving work of orchestras in the 21st century and expresses a commitment to shifting pre-conceived notions about orchestras.  

In announcing the Albany Symphony’s selection, David Alan Miller commented: “The Albany Symphony and I are deeply honored to represent the Capital Region in the nation’s capital at the 2018 SHIFT Festival. We are particularly excited to have the opportunity to showcase not only the unique programming of the full orchestra, but also our one-of-a-kind new music ensemble, “Dogs of Desire,” and our very special community outreach and engagement activities.  We hope all of our Capital Region friends will journey with us to the Festival to celebrate our community, its uniqueness, and the rivers that surround and connect us to each other and to the larger world.”

The festival’s presence in Washington also provides an opportunity for orchestras to interact with elected representatives in order to educate members of Congress about the value of the arts and orchestras in particular. The League of American Orchestras will partner with SHIFT to facilitate engagements on Capitol Hill and conversations about the impact and value that the arts and orchestras can provide to their communities. 

Generous support of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras is provided through a matching grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support is provided by Daniel R. Lewis.

April 11, 2018, at 8 p.m., Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Albany Symphony

“The River Flows Through Us”

David Alan Miller, conductor

Joyce Yang, piano

Carol Jantsch, tuba

 

JOAN TOWER                               Still/Rapids

                                                      Joyce Yang, piano

 

MICHAEL DAUGHERTY              Reflections on the Mississippi, Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra

                                                     Carol Jantsch, tuba

DOROTHY CHANG                      The Grand Erie Canal

                                                      with local D.C. public school choruses

MICHAEL TORKE                          Three Manhattan Bridges

                                                       Joyce Yang, piano

The program explores the history of upstate New York through the lens of bodies of water that surround and connect communities. Three of the featured works were commissioned and premiered by the Albany Symphony: Michael Torke’s major new work for piano and orchestra, Three Manhattan Bridges, an homage to Torke’s adopted city, its diversity and multicultural richness; Joan Tower’s Still/Rapids, a reworking of her earlier meditation on water, Rapids, into a full piano concerto (Tower turns 80 in 2018); and Dorothy Chang’s delightful mini-oratorio for children’s chorus and orchestra, The Grand Erie Canal. Chang’s homage to the building of the Erie Canal, for fifth-grade chorus and orchestra, grew out of an extensive arts-in-education school program she created as part of an Albany Symphony residency.

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 the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras.

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.

About The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy. Under the leadership of Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the nine theaters and stages of the nation’s busiest performing arts facility attract audiences and visitors totaling 3 million people annually; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 40 million more.

Opening its doors on September 8, 1971, the Center presents the greatest performances of music, dance, and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliates, the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, the Center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in more than 300 theatrical productions and dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

Each year, millions of people nationwide take part in innovative, inclusive, and effective education programs initiated by the Center, including school- and community-based residencies and consultancies; age-appropriate performances and events for young people; career development for young actors, dancers, singers, and instrumentalists; and professional learning opportunities for teachers, teaching artists, and school administrators. These programs have become models for communities across the country. The Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child program works with selected local school districts and seeks to provide a comprehensive arts education to children K-8. The Center also has been at the forefront of making the performing arts accessible to persons with disabilities, highlighted by the work accomplished with its affiliate, VSA.

As part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone outreach program, the Center stages more than 400 free performances of music, dance, and theater by artists from throughout the world each year on the Center’s main stages, and every evening at 6 p.m. on the Millennium Stage. The Rubenstein Arts Access Program expands the Center’s efforts to make the arts accessible to children, young adults, and to people who have little or limited ability to attend and enjoy the performing arts, enabling audiences to engage in more ways, at more times, and in more places than ever before.

About Washington Performing Arts

Since 1965, Washington Performing Arts has had a foundational role in the arts in our nation’s capital, creating profound opportunities that connect community and artists, in both education and performance. Through live events in nine venues that span the D.C. metropolitan area, the careers of emerging artists are launched and nurtured, and established artists return to develop closer relationships with Washington Performing Arts audiences and creative partners.


As one of the leading presenters in the nation, Washington Performing Arts embraces a broad spectrum of the performing arts, including classical music, jazz, gospel, contemporary dance and music, international music and art forms, and new work.  Dynamic education programs in the public schools and beyond are hallmarks of Washington Performing Arts, as are the Embassy Adoption Program and two resident gospel choirs.

Washington Performing Arts has been honored for its work at the intersection of arts presenting and education. The organization has received Mayor's Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education (2015) and Excellence in Service to the Arts (2012) and was honored by President Barack Obama with a 2012 National Medal of Arts (becoming only the fourth D.C.-based arts group and the first arts presenter of its kind to be so honored).

Funding Credits

Generous support of SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras is provided through a matching grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support is provided by Daniel R. Lewis.

SHIFT Collaborators

SHIFT is presented in cooperation with the League of American Orchestras.

Social Media

Use #SHIFTmusic for social media related to SHIFT.

For media inquiries, contact:

Justin Cook

Albany Symphony

Marketing & Patron Services Manager

JustinC@AlbanySymphony.com

(518) 465-4755 x141

 

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Composer To Center Stage

Composer to Center Stage Reading Session

June 9, 2015 at 7:30PM // EMPAC
David Alan Miller, Conductor

Discover the next generation of your composers as Kai-Young Chan, Matthew Browne, and Liliya Ugay, three of the best young composers, have new works read for the first time by David Alan Miller and the entire Albany Symphony.  

As part of the Composer To Center Stage Reading Session, David Alan Miller and the orchestra will spend 40 minutes rehearsing, then reading through each of the three composers pieces.    At the end of  the evening, the audience is invited onstage for a fascinating discussion about each piece, while the composers recieve valuable feedback from some of the biggest names in orchestral music today.

2016 Composer To Center Stage National Winners

Kai-Young Chan Seeking, Searching

Seeking, Searching is inspired by the lyric poem Sheng Sheng Man by Song Dynasty Chinese poet Li Ching-Chao (1084–1155). The melodic materials are crafted in way so that the lyrics could be sung with Cantonese, a Chinese language with much resemblance to the language of the time during which the poem was composed.

The music unfolds rhapsodically and follows the form of the poem, with two main sections. The opening motif is reiterated in changing harmonic and textural contexts as a binding force. The emotional charge is gradually built up and released according to the text and paintings of bird songs, rain, and flying remnant petals can be heard through the music, finally arriving at the most emotionally-intense section filled with chromaticism brought about by heterophonic counterpoint, typical in folk Chinese music, expressing the aching melancholy of the vain of searching for a lost loved one.

Seeking, Searching, Poem by Li Ching-Chao; Translation by the composer

Instrumentation & Timing: Approximately 8 minutes

1 piccolo, 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba, timpani, percussion (triangle, crotales, glockenspiel, vibraphone, tubular bells, bass drum), piano, harp, strings

Matthew Browne: Farthest South

This piece is one of a planned series of tone poems titled Cabinet of Curiosities, inspired by fantastical tales of curious natural specimens, archeological artifacts, and unique artworks that may or may not have any basis in reality.

The term farthest south refers to the most southerly latitudes reached by explorers during the so-called “Heroic Age” of Antarctic Exploration prior to the conquest of the South Pole in 1911. Ernest Shackleton’s “Nimrod Expedition” of 1907-09 reached a latitude of 88° 23' S. This was, by far, the farthest south reached at that time. What is largely unknown about this expedition, however, is the unusual encounter made by Shackleton and his company. While traversing atop Beardmore Glacier, a monumental discovery by the Nimrod Expedition (which sits at approximately 83° S, farthest south at that time), they came into view of an awesome sight; an expansive and glorious field of curious glass structures, between four and fifteen feet in height. They were immaculate, crystalline, impeccably smooth, and laid out with meticulous and symmetrical coordination, reminiscent of the quiet solemnity of a cemetery. When the sunlight rose above the surrounding mountain ranges and hit these fantastic monuments, a brilliant diffusive gleam of light filled the glacial valley, and illuminated everything it touched with the brightest white light imaginable. Even more curious is that the arduous Antarctic weather seemed to have no erosive effect on the cleanliness of these structures, and that analysis shows that they have been sitting like this, unblemished, for the past 4,000 years. It is still unknown who built or arranged them.

It seems that a change is needed in the farthest south record book.

Farthest South Instrumentation & Timing Approximately: 8 minutes

1 piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 1 English horn, 3 clarinets in Bb (3rd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassons, 1 contrabassoon, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba, timpani, percussion (marimba, crotales, glass wind chimes, cymbal, tam-tam, vibraphone, bass drum), harp, celesta, strings

Liliya Ugay: Oblivion

 

It has been almost six years since I left my home (in Uzbekistan) for the life full of professional opportunities in the United States. It has been already almost four years since the last time I visited home. In Fall of 2015 I learnt that my next visit home is currently impossible to foresee because of big risk of not being able to return to the U.S., since my country’s laws has recently changed. This situation adds towards my feelings of the desperate longing and nostalgia towards certain people, places and memories, which sometimes evokes in me such painful sentiments that I often have to suppress them. In my Oblivion I “take the road back in time” until it brings me to the dearest memory, thinking of which I cannot bear and, therefore, attempt to destroy. This memory resembles as the only “true melody” in this piece (unlike the themes that were derived as a result of pitch permutations), which appears in prominent flute solo near the last section of the piece; the melody is a fragment from the solo flute piece I composed long time ago as a child. Everything that precedes it contributes to the idea of the approaching, the imminence, which I expressed through applying different compositional techniques on the same four-pitch motive. This creates a kaleidoscope of various small musical ideas, which I use for shaping my piece into the musical narrative to provoke a strong emotional response from the listener.

Oblivion Instrumentation and Timing: Approximately 10 minutes

2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat (2nd doubles on E-flat), 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in B-flat, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba, timpani, percussion (tubular bells, maracas, cymbal, vibraphone, glockenspiel, bass drum, tam-tam), piano/celeste, harp, strings

ALBANY SYMPHONY’S INNOVATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL SWEEPS INTO TROY FROM JUNE 8 TO 12


The Festival’s nature theme is “Songs of the Rolling Earth;” featured composers include Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Stucky, and Clarice Assad

Troy, NY -  In June 2016, the Albany Symphony will close its 86th Season with a five-day celebration of new music and emerging composers during its flagship American Music Festival. For more than a decade, the American Music Festival has grown, under the baton of Music Director David Alan Miller, into a multifaceted event exploding with creativity, showcasing the Capital Region as a national destination for emerging art. This year’s Festival, “Songs of the Rolling Earth,” will include works by Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Stucky, Clarice Assad, Jessie Montgomery, Loren Loiacono, members of the composer’s collective, Sleeping Giant, and the 13 graduate composers of Yale School of Music, as well as the winners of a call-for-scores competition. Many of the works amplify the Festival’s theme which explores humankind’s place in the natural world and across our global ecosystems. Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring, the program’s centerpiece, is a haunting memorial to Pittsburgh environmentalist Rachel Carson’s eponymous work on the harm of chemical pollutants. American soprano Talise Trevigne will sing in Aaron Jay Kernis’ song-cycle, Simple Songs.

The Festival includes more than 15 concerts and events between Wednesday, June 8 and Sunday, June 12. In addition to the full orchestra’s signature performance on June 11 and Dogs of Desire performance on June 10, Festival highlights include a piano duo concert featuring two of the world’s greatest new music pianists, Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillan; the Living Earth Show, an electro-acoustic chamber duo; and Tigue Percussion, a phenomenal art-rock ensemble performing original compositions by members of the Sleeping Giant composers collective. All thirteen graduate student composers from the Yale University School of Music will join the Symphony for “Songs of the Earth”, a one-of-a-kind song project curated by Aaron Jay Kernis and featuring four young vocalists. Community events beyond the concert hall include a nature walk with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, a Tiffany Tour of Troy, and “Living Poets Musical Theatre”.

In announcing the Festival, Maestro Miller commented: The 2016 American Music Festival is, by far, the most comprehensive and multifaceted Festival we’ve ever assembled.  We are immensely proud of our role as a champion of the very best American composers and their music, which the Festival celebrates in unique ways. We hope all our friends will not only come hear all the exceptional programs we’re offering, but also come “hang out” before and after events with the myriad brilliant composers young and old who will be spending the week with us. We are particularly excited about all the new works we’ll be premiering, including a very exciting collaboration with GE Renewables, which has commissioned a new wind-inspired piece by Clarice Assad for our Dogs of Desire concert, and our collaboration with the 13 graduate student composers of the Yale School of Music.    

Tickets for the American Music Festival are on sale now and can be purchased through the Albany Symphony Box Office:  (518) 694-3300, Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm or online at www.albanysymphony.com.  Performances take place in Troy, NY at EMPAC Concert Hall, on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

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 the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras. 

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. 


About Aaron Jay Kernis:
Winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, 1998 Pulitzer Prize, and 2011 Nemmers Award, Aaron Jay Kernis is one of America’s most honored composers. His music appears prominently on concert programs worldwide, and he has been commissioned by America’s preeminent performing organizations and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, Walt Disney Company, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Sharon Isbin. Recent and upcoming commissions include works for the San Antonio Symphony, a violin concerto for James Ehnes, a cello concerto for Joshua Roman, a viola concerto for Paul Neubauer, and a flute concerto for Marina Piccinini, along with his third string quartet for the Jasper Quartet, all with international consortiums of commissioners. 
 
His works have been recorded on Virgin, Dorian, Arabesque, Phoenix, Argo, Signum, Cedille, and many other labels. His newest release appears on Naxos and features pianist Andrew Russo, violinist James Ehnes, and the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller’s direction. 


About Steven Stucky:
Steven Stucky (1949–2016) was one of America’s most highly regarded and frequently performed contemporary composers. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for his Second Concerto for Orchestra, he was a trustee of the American Academy in Rome, a director of New Music USA, a board member of the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, besides being active as a conductor, writer, lecturer, and teacher. As he told the Aspen Times in 2013, “I don’t think music teaches about mundane, everyday life. It teaches us what it is to be a human being. I’m trying to do the exact thing Verdi or Mendelssohn did – open up that spiritual space where we can all be fully ourselves.”

At 21 years, Stucky’s relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic is the longest on record between a composer and an American orchestra. Consequently, as the Los Angeles Times notes, he “proved indispensable to the L.A. Philharmonic’s rise,” and to the “new music ascendancy nationally and internationally” of the West Coast itself. His association with the orchestra dated from 1988, when André Previn appointed him Composer-in-Residence. Later, as its Consulting Composer for New Music, he worked closely with Esa-Pekka Salonen on contemporary programming, the awarding of commissions, and programming for nontraditional audiences, besides founding the orchestra’s Composer Fellowship Program for high school-aged composers. Among a host of other prominent orchestral residencies, Stucky hosted the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed “Hear & Now” pre-concert programs for several seasons, introducing important works and premieres to Philharmonic audiences.


About Clarice Assad:
Brazilian-American Clarice Assad is a Grammy-nominated composer, pianist, and vocalist of musical depth and ability.  Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a serious triple threat", Assad is equally comfortable as a performer and band leader.  Her music is vibrant, diverse, soulful, colorful. Carefully crafted textures permeate her musical world, which embraces a wide variety of styles, including her own original concepts.  

World premieres for the 2016–17 season include The Saci-Pererê, written for Marc Teicholz and commissioned by the Harris Foundation, Z SONATA, commissioned by the Ocean Reef Music Festival for Opus One, ELEMENTOS, commissioned by SOLI ensemble, Sephardic Suite, commissioned by Cedille Records for the Cavatina duo and the Avalon String Quartet to be premiered at the Ravinia Festival.  
 
Assad’s music has also been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Fundação OSESP,  Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the New Chamber Orchestra, Concordia Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, the Harris Foundation, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, the BRAVO! Music Festival, La Jolla Music Festival, among others.  Her works has been recorded and performed by some of  the most prominent soloists and conductors today, including Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Yo-Yo Ma, Mike Marshall, the Turtle Island String Quartet, LA Guitar Quartet, Anne-Marie McDermott, Eugenia Zuckerman, Ida Kavafian, Chanticleer, among others.  Her music has been performed by internationally acclaimed orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Queensland Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo, led by some of today’s most exciting conductors such as  Marin Alsop, David Alan Miller, Alondra de la Parra and Christoph Eschenbach. 

About Talise Trevigne:
American soprano Talise Trevigne begins the 2015-16 season as Pamina The Magic Flute at Hawaii Opera Theatre, before making her role debut as Cio-Cio-San Madama Butterfly at North Carolina Opera. She continues to Birmingham Opera to appear in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice.  She returns to Fort Worth Opera to create the role of Clara JFK in David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s world premiere; later the artist joins Albany Symphony to sing Kernis’ Love Songs and during the summer, she sings the title role Iris at Bard Music Festival.

Last season, Talise Trevigne made role debuts as Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’sDead Man Walking with Opera Parallele in San Francisco, and as Ophelia Hamlet at Fort Worth Opera. She joined Opera Lafayette for a recording and performances of the rarely-heard L’Epreuve Villageoise,  and appeared in concert in programmes of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915  with the Florida Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the UK.

 

For media inquiries, contact:
Justin Cook
Albany Symphony
Marketing & Patron Services Manager
justinc@palacealbany.com
(518) 465-4755 x24

 

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A Special Note From David Alan Miller

Dear Friends,

I’m so excited to welcome you to our annual American Music Festival, which celebrates our nation’s best living composers and embraces the entire spectrum of new American concert music. It is a privilege once again to make use of the magnificent spaces of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s EMPAC, our region’s epicenter for innovative arts and media. I invite you to explore this unique venue before and between our expansive series of Festival events, which offers something for every listener to love.

This year’s Festival, “Songs of the Rolling Earth,” explores humankind’s place in the natural world and across our global ecosystems. The work of each participating composer, artist, and community partner is infused with this common theme, culminating in our full Symphony performance on Saturday. Steven Stucky’s Silent Spring, the program’s centerpiece, is a haunting memorial to Pittsburgh environmentalist Rachel Carson’s eponymous work on the harm of chemical pollutants. Stucky guides the listener through sea (‘The Sea Around Us’), earth (‘The Lost Woods’), river (‘Rivers of Death’) and air (‘Silent Spring’) in the evolving sections of this arresting one-movement work. Also featured on the program is Aaron Jay Kernis’ radiant song-cycle, Simple Songs, featuring our fellow Grammy nominee, soprano Talise Trevigne, and two world-premiere works by Loren Loiacono and Jessie Montgomery, our 2015-16 Composer Educator.

The Symphony’s cutting edge chamber ensemble, Dogs of Desire, will be in full force with the performance of three world-premiere compositions by Clarice Assad, Conor Brown, and Rob Honstein. Clarice has harnessed the power of wind through a collaboration with GE Renewables, creating a piece inspired by her journey into the clouds atop a wind turbine. I hope you’ll join us for two remarkable opportunities to enjoy these tremendous new pieces at our Thursday open rehearsal and Friday’s Dogs concert! Stay with us after the show to see Clarice with her four-piece ensemble, “Off the Cliff”, presenting an exciting repertoire of classical, jazz, avant-garde, Brazilian and world music.

More Festival highlights include a piano duo concert featuring two of the world’s greatest new music pianists, Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillan; the Living Earth Show, an electro-acoustic chamber duo; and Tigue Percussion, a phenomenal art-rock ensemble performing original compositions by members of the Sleeping Giant composer collective. We’ll also welcome all thirteen graduate student composers from Yale University for “Songs of the Earth”, a one-of-a-kind song project curated by Aaron Jay Kernis, featuring four brilliant young vocalists. Then, journey with us beyond the walls of the concert hall between these remarkable events for a nature walk with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, a Tiffany Tour of Troy, or a bite at the Troy Farmer’s Market.

It is an honor to bring this multifaceted festival experience to you, our bold and sophisticated Albany Symphony audience. I hope you’ll take part in our next great adventure by subscribing to our 2016-17 season, which you can find on page # of this program book. To all of you who attend our concerts and support us in so many ways, thank you – YOU make our music possible.

Warm Regards,

David Alan Miller, Music Director

Albany Symphony Embarks On Monumental Journey with Mahler's 2nd Symphony

The Albany Symphony and Music Director David Alan Miller will present Gustav Mahler’s youthful masterpiece, the Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” at the Palace Theater in Albany on May 14, 2016.  This major work from the late Romantic Period is scored for an enormous orchestra including off-stage brass and percussion, chorus, and two vocal soloists.   The Albany Symphony will be joined by the acclaimed voices of Albany Pro Musica, 120-members strong, under the direction of Jose Daniel Flores, as well as Met Opera Diva Lucille Beer and rising soprano, Angela Vallone. 

Composed between 1888 and 1894, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony began as a single-movement symphonic poem called Totenfeier (Funeral Rites) that eventually evolved into a monumental five-movement symphony culminating in an ecstatic vision of resurrection.  

Considered by many to be the apex of high Romantic symphonic virtuosity, Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony is a monumental undertaking for any orchestra. With over 200 musicians on stage, this performance will be the Albany symphony’s largest production in several years.  Music Director Miller says:  “It is a great privilege for the musicians of the Albany Symphony and me to be able to bring this major masterpiece to our Capital Region audience, and to share the stage with our great friends, Albany Pro Musica.  This piece, more than any other, made me want to become a conductor when I was 15 years old. Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony is one of the most overpowering, life-affirming works of art I know. If you don’t already know it, it may change your life.”  

Generous funding for this concert is provided in part by Steven Einhorn, Eileen LaCorte of LaCorte Companies, Thomas Marusak of Comfortex, Daniel P. Nolan of Hugh Johnson Advisors, Barry Richman & Pearl Grant Richman, and Edward Swyer of The Swyer Companies.

Learn more about Mahler's Resurrection Symphony online with NPR Music

Learn more about Mahler's Resurrection Symphony online with NPR Music

 

Evelyn Glennie Returns To The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Dame Evelyn Glennie, recipient of over 80 international awards to date, last joined the Albany Symphony for its performance and recording of John Corigliano’s Conjurer for solo percussion and orchestra, winning the 2014 Grammy® Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.  Glennie is the featured soloist for the Albany Symphony’s concerts on Saturday, April 16th at 7:30PM and Sunday, April 17th at 3:00PM, where she will perform Michael Daugherty’s Dreamachine with the orchestra.

The percussion concerto is divided into four movements, each featuring a different solo percussion instrument, and is inspired by the intersection between man and machine. Of Dreamachine, composer Daugherty writes: “The concerto is a tribute to the imagination of inventors who dream about new machines, both real and surreal.”

The April concerts will also feature Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, a suite of brief, French Baroque-styled movements composed in the wake of World War I; Haydn’s monumental Symphony No. 103, “Drumroll”, opening with its eponymous solo timpani drumroll; and Derek Bermel’s Mar de Setembro, a series of five song-poems inspired by the Portugese writer Eugenio de Andrade. Both Dreamachine and Mar de Setembro will be recorded during the Saturday performance, completing two discs in-progress by the Albany Symphony comprised entirely of new and recent works by Daughtery and Bermel, respectively. 

Tickets to the concerts start at $19, and can be purchased by calling the Albany Symphony Box Office at (518) 694-3300 or online at albanysymphony.com

 

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