On Friday, August 15, SPAC and The Philadelphia Orchestra will present the New York premiere of composer Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women. A multimedia tour de force which made headlines around the globe at its China premiere this spring, Nu Shu is an exploration – through film and music -- of an ancient Chinese language secretly created by women in the remote province of Hunan, China, and passed through generations of mothers and daughters by reading, writing and singing.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Orchestra for the performance and principal harpist Elizabeth Hainen is the featured soloist.

    John Williams' Film Night has become one of the most eagerly-anticipated evenings of the Tanglewood season. Here we speak with Mr. Williams about this year's Film Night, taking place Saturday, August 2nd, and about the new bust of Leonard Bernstein by Penelope Jencks which was commissioned for Tanglewood by Mr. Williams.


    Founded by Lee Elman and the late Albert Fuller, the Aston Magna Music Festival, now under the musical direction of Daniel Stepner, is America’s oldest annual summer festival devoted to music performed on period instruments.

  Cuban-American drummer, composer, and bandleader Dafnis Prieto and his globally inspired Si o Si Quartet will perform their mix of Afro-Cuban jazz at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday at 8pm.

Prieto will give an one-hour talk/demonstration on Saturday from 1 to 2pm at the Tracy Memorial Village Hall in Chatham as part of the village’s Summerfest event.

Classically trained in Cuba, his revolutionary drumming techniques has had a powerful impact on the Latin and jazz music scene, locally and internationally. He is a recipient of various awards, including the 2011 MacArthur Fellowship Award.

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we focus on the PA Humanities Council and The Music of Irving Berlin; Specifically, how Berlin's music reflected the cultural climate of the time. Joining we welcome Phillip Atteberry - English & Music History Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh. And part of the Pennsylvania Council’s Commonwealth Speaker Program.

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.

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.

Sarah LaDuke

  The Graduate Vocal Arts Program at The Bard College Conservatory of Music is a unique master of music program in vocal performance. Conceived, designed and led by renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw.

The Fisher Center at Bard College is presenting two one-act operas performed by the Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts program singers on March 14 and 16th. One of the operas, Payne Hollow by Shawn Jaeger, is a world premiere, and the other is Benjamin Britten’s beloved The Turn of the Screw.

    A pioneer in the use of computers in performance, beginning in the late 1970s, Neil Rolnick’s music has been performed around the world, and appears on 16 CD’s.

Though much of Rolnick’s work connects music and technology, his music has always been highly melodic and accessible. Whether working with electronic sounds, chamber ensembles, orchestra, improvisation, or multimedia, his music has been characterized by critics as “sophisticated,” “hummable and engaging,” and as having “good senses of showmanship and humor.”

From 1981-2013 Rolnick was a Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was founding director of the iEAR Studios.

Since 2005 Neil Rolnick has written three large-scale works for piano and computer. On Tuesday, February 18th – a concert at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall will feature the upstate premiere of the third of these pieces - "Dynamic RAM & Concert Grand", commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for Bang On A Can All-Stars pianist Vicky Chow.

The evening will also include the previous two works, each played by the pianist who commissioned it. Kathleen Supove will play "Digits" (2005) and Bob Gluck will play "Faith" (2009). Rolnick will perform the computer part for all three pieces.