2017 American Music Festival Line Up Announced!

The Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities, technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC is the heart of the American Music Festival. 

The Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities, technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC is the heart of the American Music Festival. 

This is music you more than hear—this is music you feel! 

The American Music Festival is a bold, five-day festival of innovative works of the best new orchestral music today: Experience thrilling new works by living American composers and cross-genre artists and witness for yourself how the Albany Symphony and Grammy-winning Maestro David Alan Miller are reshaping the nation’s musical future! 

Inspired by the bicentennial of the great Erie Canal and the power of waterways to connect and inspire people across the land, highlights of this year’s Water Music Festival includes:

  •  Five days of concerts, recitals, interactive experiences, special events, and artistic happenings across Troy including performances by the renowned Albany Symphony and their raucous, progressive Dogs of Desire ensemble.
  • More than 30 new and recent works by 24 American composers, including 14 stunning world premieres.
  • Experiencing Troy as a unique cultural destination through performances at the legendary Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Tiffany glass adorned St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the state-of-the-art Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).
  • Exploring the intimate relationship between music, technology, humankind’s deep dependence on water, and Troy’s rich heritage as a canal community.

What You Can Expect

 The American Music Festival is a national destination festival celebrating contemporary American music. For an entire week, EMPAC at RPI and downtown Troy become a magnet for acclaimed composers, music enthusiasts from across the country, and the culturally curious.

The American Music Festival kicks off on Wednesday, May 31 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall with a noon Recital by Albany Symphony musicians Eric Berlin and Greg Spiridopoulos.

Thursday, June 1st

Before attending the Composers Masterclass with award-winning composer Reena Esmail on Thursday afternoon, be sure to explore EMPAC—the heart of the American Music Festival, where the arts, sciences, and cutting-edge technological developments interact with and influence each other as they use the same facilities, share technology, and breathe the same air.  Then, get an insider’s look at the wild and waggish world of the Albany Symphony’s most eclectic group of musicians at an exclusive Dogs of Desire Open Rehearsal.

After dinner, watch and listen as works from the next generation of American composers come to life for the first time at the Albany Symphony’s “Composer to Center Stage” Reading Session.

Friday, June 2nd

Concerts begin on Friday night with a riveting performance by the Dogs of Desire, the Albany Symphony’s new music ensemble performing works by Saad Haddad, Viet Cuong, David Biedenbender, and David Mallamud.  Immediately following the concert, you are invited to an exciting post-concert performance with Shankar Tucker and Reena Esmail.

Saturday, June 3rd

After enjoying a delicious breakfast at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market on Saturday, you will be thrilled by a performance presented by the Argus String Quartet at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, a Tribute to Woody Guthrie at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church by American master composer Michael Daugherty, an exciting new music recital by Sandbox Percussion and the Albany Symphony’s signature festival concert at EMPAC.  After the signature festival concert, guitarist and composer, Andrew McKenna Lee will perform curated recital of original works for guitar and percussion.

Sunday, June 4th

Following a piano recital of works by Gershwin, Joplin, and more, The Water Music NY Erie Canal Bicentennial project will be “launched” with a preview concert of new commissions by emerging composers who have partnered with artists in towns along the great waterway…. 

2017 American Music Festival Passes Now On-sale!

The 2017 American Music Festival Pass is your passport to explore every Festival event, including open rehearsals and special events.  Charge by phone at 518.694.3300.


Event Sponsors

Additional support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY/ New York State's Division of Tourism as a part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards.

Additional support provided by Market NY through I LOVE NY/ New York State's Division of Tourism as a part of the Regional Economic Development Council awards.