Albany Symphony’s New Season Celebrating Women Kicks Off October 19th
The Albany Symphony will return to the stage for the grand opening of its new season on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Palace Theatre in downtown Albany with a gallery of works that includes Maurice Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, Bernstein’s Suite from the Academy Award-winning film “On the Waterfront,” and “Phenomenal Women”, an inspiring musical portrait of powerhouse women by composer Valerie Coleman.
This program is the first of 20 unique concerts, each curated by GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor David Alan Miller, featuring phenomenal women in music, encounters with thrilling new music, and masterworks that have withstood the test of time.
Building upon Sing Out! New York, the orchestra’s 2019 American Music Festival, which celebrated the State’s leading role as a champion for equal rights, “our season gives audiences the opportunity to experience scintillating music by leading women composers as well as performances by some of the best women musicians of today,” said music director David Alan Miller. “Sing Out! New York celebrated the transformative voices of women’s suffrage through the creative work of some amazing women composers. This season and for many seasons to come, it is important for the orchestra and our audiences to experience and recognize the contributions women have made and continue to make to the music world.”
Highlights of the season include eight new or recent works by leading women composers: Joan Tower, Dalit Warshaw, Clara Schumann, Valerie Coleman, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Reena Esmail, Clarice Assad and the world premiere of a work by Loren Loiacono. JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, will return to the Albany Symphony to conduct Dame Ethel Smyth’s Concerto for Horn and Violin with the Albany Symphony’s concertmaster, Jill Levy. The Albany Symphony will also premiere a new work by American Music Festival composer-educator, Christopher Theofanidis and reprise performances of music by Andre Myers and the late Steven Stucky. Albany Symphony’s principal trumpeter, Eric Berlin, will perform and record Christopher Rouse’s Heimdall’s Trumpet. Rouse, who recently passed away in September, regularly collaborated with David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony. In 2016, Christopher Rouse, Talise Trevigne, and David Alan Miller were nominated for a GRAMMY® in the Best Solo Vocal Album category.
The centerpiece of the new season is the orchestra’s two-day festival honoring the 200th birthday of Clara Schumann. “Clara Schumann was an absolutely unique figure in the world of 19th-century music,” said Miller. “She was a remarkable person – one of the century’s greatest piano virtuosi, a brilliant composer, astute businessperson, and dedicated wife and mother to her eight children. But, like many 19th century women, Clara’s contributions were often overshadowed by her husband’s artistic achievements.” Miller continued. “Listeners will have a rare opportunity to hear almost every work Clara Schumann composed and get to experience the breadth of her artistic genius firsthand.” The weekend Festival at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall includes performances of Clara’s and Robert’s piano concertos, performed by 14-year old piano virtuoso, Harmony Zhu. Also on Saturday and Sunday, graduate students of Bard College Conservatory will perform chamber and piano works as well as songs composed by Clara and Robert Schumann.
Anna Kuwabara, executive director, said: “The season reflects the Albany Symphony’s longstanding commitment not only to championing the music and composers of our time but also to enriching and celebrating the people of our region. The superb orchestral performances are a springboard for our collaborations with the community, exploration of social issues, and connecting the past to our lives today.”
The 2019-2020 season also features many beloved classics and iconic works, including Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony, and Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz. Prokofiev’s romantic classic, Romeo & Juliet on Valentine’s Day at Proctors in Schenectady, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. In May, David Alan Miller, Kevin Cole, and two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning soprano, Sylvia McNair will team up to explore Gershwin’s works from the 1920’s written for and arranged by iconic bandleader and the “King of Jazz,” Paul Whiteman, whose personal music archive is housed at Williams College.
The orchestra will bring many great solo artists to the Capital Region during its new season. Soprano Talise Trevigne and Albany Pro Musica return to the Albany Symphony stage, while the GRAMMY®-nominated quintet Imani Winds, pianist Shai Wosner, theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck, Jacek Muzyk, horn, and the Brasil Guitar Duo will make their Albany Symphony debuts.
The 2019-2020 season concludes with a fitting finale, the annual American Music Festival. Described by I CARE IF YOU LISTEN as an “intimate and far-reaching… wholly immersive experience” the American Music Festival transforms Downtown Troy into an international center for new music with 12 innovative concerts and artistic happenings featuring the Albany Symphony, Dogs of Desire, Aizuri Quartet, Sandbox Percussion, Clarice Assad, and the Brasil Guitar Duo.
This season, concerts will be held at the Palace Theatre, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Proctors in Schenectady, and EMPAC Rensselaer. For more information visit AlbanySymphony.com.