Practice! Practice Practice!
Yesterday, David Alan Miller and the musicians of the Albany Symphony arrived at EMPAC in Troy to begin 3 full packed days of rehearsals in preparation for the 2019 American Music Festival. After countless hours of practice time spent “woodshedding” their individual parts, David and 70 musicians will spend upwards of 32 hours together rehearsing 24 new pieces, which includes 21 world premiere performances. It takes an incredible amount of skill, time, and energy to bring a new work to life for the first time. But, the intrepid musicians of the Albany Symphony are always up for the challenge and eager to bring the new piece from the composer’s imagination and into the concert hall.
When an orchestra performs a world premiere David and the orchestra can work side by side with the composer to interpret and prepare the piece, an opportunity that is not available when an orchestra performs a classical masterpiece. Yesterday, composer Andre Myers took a “red eye” flight from L.A.X. to Albany just in time to make the first rehearsal of his hip-hop infused piece, inspired by Frederick Douglass.
Among the nearly two-dozen premieres are two unique works that cross artistic disciplines. Actor/Director and Upstate New York native, Karen Christina Jones rehearsed If You Can Prove That I Should Set You Free by composer Rachel Peters. The work is inspired by six of Alice Duer Miller’s satirical poems from Women Are People! Hudson-based dancers also took to the stage to assemble Transfigured, by Viet Cuong. Transfigured is a collaboration with choreographer Adam Weinert and is inspired by the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Photo Credit: Eric Berlin