Top 5 New Music Picks of 2016

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At the heart of the Albany Symphony's mission is a deep-seated commitment to performing and recording new music by living American composers. Under the leadership of David Alan Miller, this unwavering commitment to new orchestral music has earned the Albany Symphony national recognition from ASCAP, NPR Music, the American Record Guide, and the National Recording Academy. 

Celebrate 2016 and the New year with David Alan Miller's Top 5 New Music Picks of 2016.


LOREN LOIACONO: "SLEEP FURIOUSLY"

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
— Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures
Loren Loiacono's music has been lauded by the New York Times as "plush, elusive" and "Alluring."  Loiacono is a contemporary of the late Steven Stucky.

Loren Loiacono's music has been lauded by the New York Times as "plush, elusive" and "Alluring."  Loiacono is a contemporary of the late Steven Stucky.

Commissioned by the Albany Symphony and premiered at the 2016 American Music Festival, "Sleep Furiously" is inspired by the grammatically correct but seemingly nonsensical text by linguist Noam Chomsky.  While the sentence was designed to illustrate the independence of grammar and meaning, this hasn't deterred linguists and writers from trying to give functional or poetic meaning to the sentence.   Loiacono's work is a celebration of the balance between literal and figurative meaning, order and chaos, and coherence and nonsense.  


reena esmail: "aria"

Esmail holds a bachelors degree in composition from The Juilliard School, and a masters 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.

Esmail holds a bachelors degree in composition from The Juilliard School, and a masters 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.

Reena Esmail is an inspired Indian-American composer most interested in exploring the unique resultant sounds of Western and Hindusani classical music. "Aria" is Esmail's third and largest piece in this style and her first attempt to incorporate a Hindustani classical musician into a composed work.    The aim of the work is not to create music that sounds "fused," but rather create a work that builds on the convergent values and principles from both cultures and musical traditions. 

Premiered in 2009 by Meena Shivaram and the Yale Philharmonia, "Aria" was given new life by the Albany Symphony on September 24, 2016 at the Palace Theatre.  On June 3, 2017 the Albany Symphony will premiere Reena Esmail's newest work, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.


andrew norman: "play" (revised, 2016)

Andrew Norman is a member of the Sleeping Giant Composer Collective.  In 2015 and 2016, Andrew Norman served as composer in residence at the Albany Symphony with Sleeping Giant and contibuted to the premiere of Mozart's Requiem Reimagined.

Andrew Norman is a member of the Sleeping Giant Composer Collective.  In 2015 and 2016, Andrew Norman served as composer in residence at the Albany Symphony with Sleeping Giant and contibuted to the premiere of Mozart's Requiem Reimagined.

Andrew Norman is a brilliant composer who draws on an eclectic mix of sounds from both avant-garde and classical traditions.  "Play" is a cycle of works that has been composed and rewritten several times over the past 5 years.  The body of work explores the "blurring boundaries of reality in the internet age."   Since its world premiere  by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the piece has earned national acclaim having won the prestigious 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.   The most recent 2016 revision was premiered in by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 28, 2016. 


AARON JAY KERNIS: FLUTE CONCERTO

Aaron Jay Kernis is winner of the coveted 2012 Nemmers Prize and 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and one of the youngest composers ever awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  In 2015, the Albany Symphony recorded and released 3 Flavors with pianist Andrew Russo.

Aaron Jay Kernis is winner of the coveted 2012 Nemmers Prize and 2002 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and one of the youngest composers ever awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  In 2015, the Albany Symphony recorded and released 3 Flavors with pianist Andrew Russo.

Premiered by the Detroit Symphony and concert flutist Marina Piccinini, this new work was composed for Piccinini and is inspired by the "beauty and elagance of her playing."

The work is composed in two halves.  Movements I. Portrait and III. Pavan are darker movements, while Movement II. Patorale-Barcarolle and IV. Taran Tulla  are lighter and shorter.   The first movement is a musical portrait of the flute, while the remaining movements are inspired by three separate but connected dances.   The final movement is described by Kernis as a "virtuoso romp,"influenced by the flutist and classic rock legend Ian Anderson.


michael torke: "Concertinos"

Michael Torke  has been "hailed as a "vitally inventive composer"  by the Financial Times.  Michael Torke has a long standing relationship with David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.  During Miller's inaugural season, the Albany Symphony premiered Michael Torke's Saxophone Concerto. 

Michael Torke  has been "hailed as a "vitally inventive composer"  by the Financial Times.  Michael Torke has a long standing relationship with David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony.  During Miller's inaugural season, the Albany Symphony premiered Michael Torke's Saxophone Concerto. 

Commissioned by the Albany Symphony shortly after the premiere and release of "Three Manhattan Bridges,"  Concertinos is a collection of small concertos for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon, each of no more than 10 minutes in length.  The discipline to miniaturize a concerto into concise expressions allows the music to come out "fresh and youthful, and both melodic and exuberant." 

Concertinos will be premiered by the Albany Symphony on March 4th at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.