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 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.

Shervin Lainez

  Duncan Sheik will be performing in our region on April 10th at 7pm at the Drury Performing Arts Center at Drury High School in North Adams, MA. The concert was scheduled by students in the Performing Arts Management class at the school.

After breaking through in the late '90s with his Top 20 single "Barely Breathing", Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a breather from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. His focus was on albums that broke with pop music conventions and, additionally, theatrical musicals like Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him 2 Tony awards and a Grammy.

  Sleeping Giant is a collective of six Brooklyn-based composers that prizes vitality and diversity over a rigid aesthetic. They are in a nine cumulative week residency with The Albany Symphony and have teamed up with The Albany Symphony and Albany Pro Musica for two concerts this weekend billed as Requiem Re-Imagined and being performed at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

The concerts present Mozart’s Requiem in unique and traditional performances. Sleeping Giant gives Mozart’s famously unfinished Requiem Mass a 21st century makeover.

Here to tell us more are Christopher Cerrone (one of the Sleeping Giants composers), Daniel Fish the show’s director, and David Alan Miller – conductor and music director of the ASO.

Christopher Kadish Photography


  This week, Grammy Award-winning Music Director David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony announced the orchestra’s 2015-2016 season; presenting a mix of cutting-edge classical and traditional live symphonic performances.

This weekend, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall hosts a pair of Albany Symphony concerts which will feature solo performances from Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Tubist, Carol Jantsch.

Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Tuba Concerto and Reflections on the Mississippi composed by Michael Daugherty, both will spotlight Jantsch’s solo triumphs. The concert’s repertoire will conclude with a passionate performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 by the Albany Symphony.

Albany Symphony Maestro David Alan Miller, Principal Tubist, Carol Jantsch, from the Philadelphia Orchestra, and composer Michael Daugherty join us.

  Another classic way to celebrate the holiday season is with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. There will be two chances to see and hear the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

Corelli’s celebratory Christmas Concerto carries with it charm and cheer and Albany Symphony veteran composer Michael Torke brings a world premiere cello concerto to the table, complemented by Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.1 and Stravinsky’s enticing Pulcinella Suite.

To tell us more we welcome Albany Symphony Orchestra maestro, David Alan Miller and afore mentioned composer, Michael Torke.

      Leonard Bernstein stood at the epicenter of twentieth-century American musical life. His creative gifts knew no boundaries as he moved easily from the podium, to the piano, to television with his nationally celebrated Young People’s Concerts, which introduced an entire generation to the joy of classical music.

In Leonard Bernstein, a new biography by Allen Shawn, the breadth of Bernstein’s musical composition is explored, through the spectacular range of music he composed—from West Side Story to Kaddish to A Quiet Place and beyond—and through his intensely public role as an internationally celebrated conductor.

    Gabriel Kahane is a composer/musician/singer/songwriter who divides his time between the club and the concert hall. He has been commissioned by, among others, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. His musical, February House was produced by The Public in New York City.

His latest album, The Ambassador, is a meditation on the underbelly of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses. We spoke with Gabriel Kahane about the album recently.