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