american music festival

  The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival is week-long festival of new and innovative music by some of the biggest names in orchestral music today. Audiences will hear thrilling new works by living American composers as David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony give life to their music for the first time.  

This year’s festival presents 5 days of concerts, and 35 new and recent works by 33 American Composers, including world premieres commissioned by the Albany Symphony and GE Renewable Energy.

Maestro David Alan Miller join us with a preview.

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.

www.michaeldaugherty.net

  

  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.

UpstateNYer / WIkipedia

    

  On May 8, 1814, Emma Hart Willard opened the doors to the school that now bears her name under the bold belief that girls deserved the same quality education afforded their brothers. Emma Willard School celebrated their Bicentennial last weekend with more than 1,400 guests on their Troy campus.

Emma Hart Willard was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame last year for her efforts in the support of women’s education. Today, her school has approximately 8,000 living alumnae around the globe including NY Senator Kirstin Gillibrand and Academy Award winner Jane Fonda. The school also counts among its graduates, women’s right advocate and former Emma Hart Willard pupil, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Here to tell us more about the school’s history and future are Trudy Hall - the 16th head of Emma Willard School and president of the board of trustees of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools and Trudy Hanmer - the Associate Head Emerita at Emma Willard School. She is also a history instructor, college counselor, and author of the recently released Wrought with Steadfast Will: A History of Emma Willard School.

Joan Tower

May 15, 2014

    

  Composer Joan Tower, began writing music in 1956 at the age of 18. Orchestras around the world have played her works. She is currently Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, where she has taught since 1972.

Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. She has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.

She also has worked with amazing soloists, including: Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, John Browning and Dame Evelyn Glennie who will be performing Tower’s Strike Zones for Percussion and Orchestra for Saturday night’s festival concert.

  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 read by an orchestra for the first time.

This year’s composers have been selected from a nationwide call for scores. In addition to feedback from Maestro David Alan Miller and the audience, Mentor Composer Joan Tower and orchestra members will weigh in on their work. The program includes Michael-Thomas Foumai's Nataraja; Evan Fein’s Newton’s Clock and Tucker Fuller’s It Moves Us Not.

  We broadcast today from EMPAC which is, of course, part of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Our next guest, Dr. Mary Simoni was named dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in October 2011. Previously she served as associate dean for research and community engagement and professor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan.

Last year Simoni published a book that serves as a guide for musicians and composers learning to use algorithms to create music, a field in which she is an expert. Simoni is an accomplished pianist and has performed at EMPAC several times since joining the Rensselaer faculty. She also sits on the EMPAC steering committee and she joins us this morning.

    

  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.

After nearly two years without an executive director, the Albany Symphony Orchestra has hired Lawrence Fried, a longtime arts administrator who last served that same role for Opera in the Heights in Houston. Fried, whose first day was last Monday, fills a position that has been empty since August 2012.

We welcome David Alan Miller and Lawrence Fried to the show to tell us all about their American Music Feistval.

    Brown’s has been crafting dependable ales & lagers in the Northern Hudson Valley since 1993. From their 19th Century warehouse brewery on the Eastern shore of the mighty Hudson River, they brew a bountiful variety of well-made traditional styles with a sense of pride and dutiful conviction.

Joining us now to discuss Brown’s, their growth and amazing food and drink, we welcome co-owner Kelly Brown and Brown’s VP Gregg Stacy.

    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, serving people of all ages, abilities, and economic and cultural backgrounds.

The Arts Center of the Capital Region is a private, not-for-profit corporation that began life as the Rensselaer County Council for the Arts in 1962. In its early years, it was located in a brownstone mansion on Troy’s Washington Park. Art classes were offered for the first time there in 1965, with the mansion‚ converted ballroom and formal dining rooms serving as an art gallery.

Orion Weiss

May 28, 2013

    The Albany Symphony will welcome American pianist, Orion Weiss, who marks his third performance with the orchestra as the centerpiece of their American Music Festival Orchestra Concert on Saturday night at 7:30 PM.

Weiss joins the orchestra for Christopher Rouse's "Seeing," an extraordinary piano concerto commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for Emmanuel Ax in 1999. "Seeing" is a powerful, poignant statement on the nature of mental illness.

One of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, Orion Weiss has performed with most of America's major orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic.

    The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival’s Reading Sessions offer a one-of-a-kind sneak peek into the world of music today as up-and-coming composers from a competitive national selection process have their works read by an orchestra for the very first time.

Two of this year’s composers are William Gardiner and Katherine Balch

Ted Hearne

May 28, 2013

    This Friday at 10pm, The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival will host R WE WHO R WE - an ongoing collaboration by composer-performers Ted Hearne and Philip White. A tribute and commentary to both classic and ephemeral artists of the pop landscape, R WE WHO R WE uses pop music like graffiti uses public space, exploiting the tension between theft and tribute.

Composer, conductor, and performer Ted Hearne joins us. He attended Manhattan School of Music and Yale School of Music, and has studied with Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Ezra Laderman, David Lang, Nils Vigeland and Julia Wolfe.

    The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, named a National Historic Landmark in 1989, is in use over 100 days a year. Since it opened its doors in 1875, the Hall has hosted performances by numerous world-renowned artists, including Marion Anderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Pete Seeger, Ella Fitzgerald, Isaac Stern, Yo-Yo Ma, Vladimir Horowitz, Yehudi Menuhin, and Arthur Rubenstein, among many others.

Another regular tenant is the Albany Symphony Orchestra. The hall is known far and wide for the perfect acoustics of the second floor performing space. We welcome their Executive Director, JonElbaum.

    RPI has a strong program and deep history of music and arts education. In addition to being the home of EMPAC - where we sit today - their School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences provides an imaginative and distinctive approach to Rensselaer’s 200-year old founding mission "to apply science to the common purposes of life." Alan - RPI also has numerous music, dance, and arts clubs - including but not limited to - ballroom dance, street dance, choir, a cappella, improv comedy, sketch comedy, orchestra, pep band, graphic design and public speaking!

Dogs of Desire

May 28, 2013

    The Dogs of Desire is the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s groundbreaking, eighteen-member, chamber ensemble. The ensemble performs all-new music from some of America’s most creative up-and-coming living composers. Since 1994, the Dogs have commissioned well over 100 new works from emerging American composers, gaining a national reputation among young composers as a proving ground for emerging talent.

    We begin our broadcast from the Albany Symphony's American Music Festival by speaking with David Alan Miller.

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.

The Albany Symphony's first CEO and Executive Director, Brian Ritter, joins us to talk about the integration of artistic and financial planning to ensure exciting, compelling, and inspiring concerts and programs; aggressively growing the orchestra’s audience and donor base; and the improving of all business functions of the institution.

A festival highlight is the American Music Festival Orchestra Concert on Saturday night at 7:30, featuring violinist Cho-Liang Lin will perform Joan Tower’s Violin Concerto. We welcome Lin to the show and he plays part of the piece for us.

 

Victoire fuses new age, rock and classical idioms. The members of Victiore are Missy Mazzoli, founder, composer and keyboard player; violinist Olivia De Prato, clarinetist Eileen Mack, keyboardist Lorna Krier, and bassist Eleonore Oppenheim and we welcome them to our broadcast.

One of the highlights of the 4-day American Music Festival is the orchestra’s genre-crossing new music ensemble, Dogs of Desire. We welcome vocalist, Alexandra Sweeton, and clarinetist, Susan Martula.

We welcome Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Aaron Jay Kernis. He'll be part of the ASO’s Composer to Center Stage initiative, which continues a commitment to advancing new music. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program is in its third year of a three-year collaboration between the ASO and several nationally acclaimed and emerging composers.

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