The Albany Symphony Orchestra unveiled its new season lineup Wednesday at the Palace Theatre.
"In the Capital Region we've broken our subscription records for another third year in a row, and you can imagine that that's bucking the national trend of orchestras and other arts organizations." Albany Symphony Board Chair Marisa Eisemann at Wednesday's Palace Theatre says the orchestra is pulling out all the stops toward making the 2017-2018 concert season one of its most memorable.
Music Director David Alan Miller says the symphony's lineup marking his 25th anniversary with the orchestra includes several festivals and special concerts, including a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and a tour of stops along the Erie Canal, including one in Little Falls and another in Lockport. "We will once again be in these two great concert venues here at the beautiful Palace Theatre and across the river at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. We'll also be doing family concerts up in Saratoga and at other venues throughout the region. And obviously our Great American Music Festival will happen again at EMPAC at RPI, so we're very fortunate and really excited to be able to have such unbelievably great concert venues. You know, I go around the country guest-conducting and I see so many communities that have rally inadequate concert facilities, and here we have such a bounty of great, great concert venues in which we can perform, and so we love that about the region. Our upcoming season is a very exciting one, and it's actually building of course, on the last few seasons, but as you know we now have this quite extensive and I think multi-faceted American Music Festival, which is the culminating event of every season, and we'll of course be finishing the season with the American Music Festival again, in the beginning of June, next spring."
Miller says every concert is a one-of-a-kind special event.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is inviting city residents to experience the orchestra this year. "It's truly incredible, and I hope that we all really appreciate what we have here in the Capital Region, and, I am a subscriber because this is something that is important to support. It's also important for my husband and I to have a date night, and when we can't use those tickets, and it's why I encourage subscriptions, they make great gifts."
It is sometimes said the composer, conductor, orchestra and audience become one during the performance. Miller speaks from his perspective. "It's funny. When you're actually performing, I mean, you get very deeply involved in the performance, but we're all doing our part to serve the composer. So I don't normally think that 'I'm leading these people' or 'I hope they're following me' or, it's really more about, you know, I'm trying to stay really focused on 'what does the composer need me to do to realize his or her piece as fully as possible,' and I think my colleagues in the orchestra are thinking the same thing. So we all have our roles. My role is a little bit more managerial because I'm not making actual sound, and their role is much more, you know, concrete, in that the trumpet has to come in at such a point and play a B flat. But I think that we view our roles very similarly. To me it's a little bit like Flaubert, it's like the best conductors are like the unseen hand, you're guiding and directing, but the musicians shouldn't feel like you're a dictator or you're the president — they should feel like you're just one of the pieces that's helping to bring about a great performance."
- The Albany Symphony Orchestra opens its 2017-2018 season in October.