The Albany Symphony Highlights New York Capital Region as a Hub for Artistic Excellence and New Music on the National Stage

Albany, NY [January 15, 2018] – The Albany Symphony has been selected by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts as one of four American orchestras nationwide to perform in SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras.  In addition to the Kennedy Center concert on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the Festival will also showcase Albany Symphony’s new music ensemble the Dogs of Desire at an alternative arts venue called The Blind Whino, and the Symphony’s signature education program, Song Writer Idol on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.


Co-presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington Performing Arts, SHIFT is a week-long national spotlight that celebrates the evolving contributions and extraordinary artistry of 21st century orchestras like the Albany Symphony.  When asked about the orchestras invitation, Music Director David Alan Miller replied, “The Albany Symphony and I are very proud to be one of only four orchestras selected nationally to participate in the "SHIFT" Festival in our nation's capital.  This festival is unique because it celebrates not only our unique orchestral programming, but a rich panoply of our creative work.  We will be featured in three different events showcasing the variety of our unique education, new music, and thematic programming.  I believe it is a great tribute to the quality and uniqueness of the Albany Symphony that we have been invited to participate, and hope all our friends will join us for this exciting adventure.”

The Albany Symphony’s Kennedy Center debut will feature a collection of contemporary works that explores the history of upstate New York through the lens of bodies of water that surround and connect communities. Two of the works, Three Manhattan Bridges by Michael Torke and Dorothy Chang’s The Mighty Erie Canal were commissioned and premiered by the Albany Symphony.  The Albany Symphony will be joined by guest soloists, Joyce Yang on piano and tubist Carol Jantsch. Chang’s The Mighty Erie Canal will feature a mass choir from D.C. area elementary schools.

Executive Director Anna Kuwabara said: “The Albany Symphony has a rich heritage of championing the music of our time. To bring an incredible program that has New York roots to the nation’s capital is truly exciting. We are proud to represent the Capital Region on the national stage and extremely grateful to those individuals and sponsors who have helped to make this trip possible. We’d appreciate anyone who has friends and family in the D.C. area getting out the word about our April 11 concert.  Also, I hope anyone interested in being an Albany Symphony groupie or just visiting DC with us, will sign up for a “Springtime in DC with the Albany Symphony” travel package to support the orchestra and this project.”

SHIFT gives the Albany Symphony a unique opportunity to serve as cultural ambassador for Albany. Discover Albany, Albany County’s official tourism promotion agency will join forces with the Symphony to promote the cultural and community assets of the region.


"Discover Albany is excited to partner with the Albany Symphony to introduce potential new clients and contacts in Washington, D.C. to Albany. We are excited about the opportunity of traveling with the Symphony to D.C., helping promote the SHIFT Festival, and getting the chance to meet face-to-face with meeting professionals in the D.C. area to talk up Albany," said Michele Vennard, President and CEO of Discover Albany. "We know Albany is a great destination for conferences and conventions, thanks in part to wonderful institutions like the Albany Symphony, and we're looking forward to introducing its capabilities to a brand-new new audience.” 

Tickets to the Albany Symphony’s concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. are $25 and can be purchased online at Information on the “Springtime in D.C. with the Albany Symphony” travel packages, which include concert tickets, bus transportation to/from Washington, D.C. on Brown Motor Coach, hotel accommodations, insider tours, is available at or 518-465-4755, ext. 144. Capital Region audiences can also join the celebration at a preview performance of the Washington D.C. program on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Palace Theatre.