american music festival

Sleeping Giant

May 14, 2015

  The Dogs of Desire are Albany Symphony’s new music chamber ensemble. They are playing a concert tomorrow night at 7:30pm that features Theo Bleckmann; created by the orchestra’s resident composer’s collective, “Sleeping Giant,” featuring arrangements of songs by composers from Charles Ives to Kate Bush, plus new works by the six members of “Sleeping Giant.”

Through New Music USA’s “Music Alive,” the Albany Symphony has teamed up with Sleeping Giant. The composers have been in residence for nine cumulative weeks of activity during the 2014-2015 season in Albany. In the last few years, Sleeping Giant has experimented with modern-day re-workings of historical musical narratives and languages, and in the first stage of their residency with Albany they shared a multi-faceted retelling of Mozart’s Requiem as part of Albany Symphony’s subscription concert series.

We are joined by two composers from Sleeping Giant - Robert Honstein and Timo Andres.

Theo Bleckmann

May 14, 2015
Susie Knoll


  The Dogs of Desire is the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s eighteen-member chamber ensemble. They perform all-new music from some of America’s most creative up-and-coming living composers. At this year’s American Music Festival, The Dogs, as they are often affectionately called, will perform a Cabaret evening with Theo Bleckmann and Sleeping Giant. We’ll be joined by members of Sleeping Giant later, right now we are joined by jazz singer and new music composer, the Grammy Award nominated Theo Bleckmann.

The American Music Festival concert he’ll perform in tomorrow night features arrangements of songs by composers from Charles Ives to Kate Bush, plus great new works by the six members of Sleeping Giant.


  Saturday’s American Music Festival Orchestra Concert is a “Migrations” program that focuses on the traditions surrounding American History and features Michael Daugherty’s Trail Of Tears Concerto with Amy Porter on flute.

Grammy award winning composer Michael Daugherty is one of the most commissioned, performed, and recorded composers on the American concert music scene today. His music is rich with cultural allusions and bears the stamp of classic modernism, with colliding tonalities and blocks of sound; at the same time, his melodies can be eloquent and stirring.

      Andrea Reinkemeyer  is a free-lance composer and an Assistant Professor of Music at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She will be presenting the world premiere of her latest work: NaamJai (Liquid Heart) for Orchestra at the grand finale of this weekend’s event - the Festival Orchestra Concert, taking place on Saturday night, May 16th at 7:30 in EMPAC’s Concert Hall.

Also premiering a new work is composer Clint Needham who currently serves as Composer-in-Residence/Assistant Professor of Music at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. He is also the Andrew W. Mellon Composer/Educator-in-Residence at The Albany Symphony. The new work that the ASO is premiering is entitled We Are All From Somewhere Else

  The role of a development director is vitally important to an organization like the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The ASO’s Development Director, Rachel Jason, is here to tell us about her duties. When Rachel isn’t here with us at EMPAC – she is working to develop and implement a strategic plan to raise vital funds for the ASO in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. Rachel is chiefly responsible for bringing in revenue streams to the orchestra from grants, donations, special events.

David Alan Miller also joins the conversation.


  The Albany Symphony American Music Festival’s Reading Session will take place tonight at 7:30pm in the Concert Hall at EMPAC.

The Reading Session is a one-of-a-kind sneak peek into the world of music today, as up-and-coming composers -- chosen from a competitive national selection process -- have their works played by an orchestra early in the piece’s development.

Composers will receive feedback from Maestro David Alan Miller and the audience as well as from orchestra members who will weigh in on their work.

The composers are: Justin Ralls who composed Tree Ride, Michael Lee who composed Amped and Baljinder Sekon, the composer of Civil Variations.

  David Alan Miller has established a reputation as one of the leading American conductors of his generation. As Music Director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra -- a position he has held since 1992 -- he has proven himself a creative and compelling orchestra builder.

Through exploration of unusual repertoire, educational programming, community outreach and recording initiatives, he has reaffirmed the Albany Symphony’s reputation as the nation’s leading champion of American symphonic music and one of its most innovative orchestras.

He joins us to talk about this year's American Music Festival at EMPAC.

  It’s an exciting time for food and drink in Troy, NY and either of our next two guests would provide a great bite and beverage before or after an American Music Festival Event.

Lucas Confectionery in Downtown Troy wine bar that also features craft beer, coffee drinks, cheeses, small plates, confections and desserts. Their setting pays tribute to the building’s confectionery history, using reclamation materials to create a design inspired by the industrial era of the City of Troy. The Grocery offers a wide range of quality cured meats and artisan cheeses. Craft beer, wine by the glass, baked goods, snacks, pasta, and local sauces are also available, along with daily household items. Both Lucas Confectionery and The Grocery are owned by Vic Christopher and Heather LaVine.

  They join us along with Kelly Brown, Greg Stacy, and Paul Minbiole from Brown’s Brewing in Troy. They have been brewing and serving dependable Ales & Lagers from the Hudson Valley since 1993.

Dogs of Desire

May 15, 2014


  A unique, outrageously inventive, one of a kind musical-theatrical experience! From burlesque to motorcycles, from ghost stories to karaoke, a Dogs of Desire concert is a multimedia extravaganza you’ll never forget. Classical chamber ensemble meets rock band - the Albany Symphony’s unique, 18-member Dogs go where no classical ensemble has ever gone before.


  The Arts Center of the Capital Region engages people in the creative experience – they are the region’s preeminent proponent of the arts and creative education, expression, and appreciation through classes, camps, exhibits, and presentations.

This past Monday night, The Arts Center hosted a screening of the 2004 documentary - Touch the Sound: A Sound Journey with Evelyn Glennie, as part of the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival.

Christopher Marblo is the President of The Arts Center of the Capital Region and he joins us now to tell us what is new and upcoming.