Albany, NY- The Albany Symphony returns to the stage, bringing the Capital Region a new season of thrilling musical adventure, led by GRAMMY® award-winning conductor, David Alan Miller. The season begins on Saturday, October 13 at the Palace Theatre with a concert & gala program featuring the orchestral premiere of Re(new)al by the “wildly inventive” (The New York Times) composer, Viet Cuong. Re(new)al is the first of eleven world premieres to be performed this season. The performance also features the Albany Symphony debut of “powerhouse violinist” (Portland Press-Herald) Stefan Jackiw, performing Brahms’ magnificent Violin Concerto, and closes with operatic selections from Verdi’s Forza Del Destino, Bizet’s Carmen, and Wagner’s iconic Ride of the Valkyries.
Co-commissioned by the Albany Symphony and GE Renewable Energy and premiered by the 18- member Dogs of Desire and Sandbox Percussion at the 2017 American Music Festival in Troy, NY, Re(new)al is a percussion quartet concerto inspired by the power of renewable energy and the elements of wind, sun, and water. The sleeper hit of the 2017 American Music Festival, Re(new)al has also been performed by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles, giving the commission reach beyond the Capital Region. The Albany Symphony will premiere a new version of Re(new)al for full symphony orchestra with Sandbox Percussion.
“Viet Cuong in one of the most exciting young composers to have emerged on the scene recently, and the Albany Symphony and I are proud to have collaborated with him on the creation of Re(new)al. It was such a hit at our American Music Festival, not only because of its beautiful musical content, but also because of the wildly exciting choreographic elements of the four solo percussionists, that I wanted to bring it to our entire public. So, I asked Viet to create a full-orchestra version, which he has now done,” said David Alan Miller. “The piece is an absolute visual and aural tour-de-force, and I am thrilled to open our season with it.”
Viet Cuong is currently completing his Doctorate in Composition at Princeton University, and also attended the Curtis Institute of Music. His music is widely performed. Re(new)al is composed of three continuous movements. The first movement, inspired by hydro power, transforms tuned wine glasses into hand bells, while the second movement features compressed air canisters and transforms each percussionist into the blade of a spinning wind turbine. The third and final movement uses traditional metallic percussion instruments to reflect the brilliance of sunlight and the transcendent power of solar energy.
When asked about the piece composer Viet Cuong said: “Working with GE, David Alan Miller, the Dogs of Desire, and Sandbox Percussion on the original version of Re(new)al was one of the most rewarding musical experiences I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m incredibly excited to bring this new adaptation to life—now with over four times the number of performers! In the original chamber version, I wanted the ensemble to have the power of a full orchestra; now with a 70-person orchestra to work with, expansiveness is a given and my goal with the new adaptation is to create a sense of intimacy that will immediately draw every listener in.”
Considered one of the most refined and elegant violinists performing today, the program’s featured artist,Stefan Jackiw has played with most of America’s major orchestras and has concertized around the world. Born in 1985 to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, he began playing the violin at the age of four. “I have wanted to bring the great young American violinist, Stefan Jackiw, to the Symphony for a very long time, and being able to feature both Stefan and the brilliant performers of Sandbox Percussion on the same opening night program is a dream come true” said David Alan Miller. Jackiw holds a Bachelor Degree from Harvard University, an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory and in 2002 was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Immediately following the performance, patrons are invited to support the Albany Symphony at its opening night gala, A Night in Valhalla, which will take place on the stage of the Palace Theatre and feature a Karaoke lounge, sumptuous food and drink by Mazzone catering and a silent auction. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the mission of the Albany Symphony, specifically its education and community engagement programs.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Albany Symphony Box Office: 518.694.3300, Monday through Friday, 10:00AM to 5:00PM or online at AlbanySymphony.com. Concert tickets start at $19. Gala tickets are sold separately and can be purchased online or by phone for $175.