‘Ambitious’ Festival Planned for ASO Maestro

The Albany Symphony plans to conclude David Alan Miller’s 25th anniversary season with an “ambitious” arrangement for this year’s American Music Festival.

The American Music Festival includes more than 15 concerts and events between Wednesday, May 31 and Sunday, June 4.

The 2017 American Music Festival will be the our most ambitious and exciting festival yet,” said Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director David Alan Miller. “It will celebrate the uniqueness of our Capital Region as the gateway to the Erie Canal, as we prepare to kick off the Erie Canal Bicentennial with our magnificent orchestral barge trip from Albany to Buffalo during the first week of July. Even more, it will celebrate the magnificent diversity and richness of living American composers and their music through a myriad of extraordinary and diverse concerts and related activities. We hope our friends and music lovers everywhere will join us for lots of the events to experience the incredible breadth of contemporary musical art being created today. It’s so much fun to just hang out with us and with all our amazing featured creative artists all weekend long.

This year’s festival, “Water Music,” will include more than 40 new works, including compositions by 2016 Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty, Christopher Theofanidis, Reena Esmail, Viet Cuong, Saad Haddad, and winners of the “Composer to Center Stage Reading Session” call-for-scores competition.

Many of the works amplify the festival’s theme, which celebrates the waters that surround us, and advance the ASO’s mission of giving voice to innovative new works, with a particular emphasis on young and emerging composers. Viet Cuong’s newly commissioned work, which will be premiered by the ASO’s new music ensemble, Dogs of Desire, is a programmatic concerto for the percussion quartet inspired by the limitless power of wind, water, and sun, and the technologies that are transforming the way communities generate sustainable energy. Cuong’s premiere is part of the ASO’s continuing partnership with GE Renewable Energy to explore the ways in which the arts, business, and technology can intersect and influence each other.

In addition to the Dogs of Desire performance on Friday, June 2 and the full orchestra’s signature festival concert on Saturday, June 3, Festival highlights include 16 world premiere performances, “This Land Sings,” a song-cycle by Michael Daugherty inspired by the life and times of Woody Guthrie, a recital by Sandbox Percussion, and the Argus Quartet, performing works by Christopher Theofanidis and Sleeping Giant’s Rob Honstein and Chris Cerrone. T

The festival will also feature a special preview concert of seven newly commissioned works for “Water Music NY,” the orchestra’s seven-day barge tour and cross-cultural celebration of the bicentennial of New York’s Erie Canal to take place from July 2 to July 8 across New York state. Community events beyond the concert hall include a guided River Walk with the Rensselaer County Historical Society, and a curated poetry reading at Troy Kitchen.

For information, including how to purchase tickets and festival passes to the American Music Festival, visit albanysymphony.com or call the Albany Symphony Box Office at (518) 694-3300.

This article was originally published by The Spot 518. is property of Spotlight Newspapers in Albany, N.Y., and appears as a special to NYS Music. TheSpot518 and NYS Music work in partnership to provide readers with in-depth coverage on the local music scene in the Capital District and New York state, respectively. For more, visit TheSpot518.com.

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