Albany Symphony Announces 2022 American Music Festival
ALBANY— music director David Alan Miller and the musicians of Albany Symphony announce the American Music Festival 2022: TrailBlaze NY, a month-long celebration, June 2-July 3, of new music in the Capital Region and Upper Hudson Valley. The Symphony Orchestra invites people to join them for an intensive week of performances featuring the leading and emerging voices of our generation in Troy and Cohoes, then take to the track with Miller and the musicians as the orchestra presents free performances in Schuylerville, Kingston, Hudson, Schenectady, Albany and Amsterdam. TrailBlaze NY is the Albany Symphony’s latest regional free concert tour designed to highlight the region’s beauty, history and diversity. The Empire State Trail, completed in 2020, connects Manhattan in northern Canada and Albany in western Buffalo. With this in mind, the Albany Symphony is harnessing its role as a pioneer in contemporary music to bring people together in celebration.
“The Albany Symphony and I are thrilled and proud to present our 2022 American Music Festival: TrailBlaze NY, a celebration of New York State’s glorious new Empire State Trail. Drawing inspiration from our past celebrations of New York State history, Water Music NY, and Sing, NY, we wanted to amplify the incredible story of the incredible 750-mile walking and biking trail that now connects all New York State residents to one another,” Miller said. “Each weekend will focus on different communities, with a day of music and celebration followed by a free performance by the Albany Symphony Orchestra. It’s so much more than music – we’ll partner with communities for all kinds of events, from historic kayaking trips to yoga on the trail to sunset chamber music at Olana National Historic Site. , and percussion and chamber music performances . It will be an absolutely unforgettable month of sights, sounds and experiences showcasing our region.
TrailBlaze NY is supported in part by New York State through a New York Marketplace grant from I LOVE NY, the state’s tourism division, through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and the Council of the Arts in New York State, with vital additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and corporate and individual donors from across the region.
The festival kicks off with a week of new music in Troy and Cohoes, including performances by the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the Dogs of Desire, the new-art chamber music group of the Symphony Orchestra, at the historic Cohoes Music Hall. Both groups are led by Maestro Miller.
“The Festival’s Troy and Cohoes week will end on Saturday June 4 with a magnificent evening of absolutely incredible recent orchestral music. Pulitzer Prize winner John Corigliano’s dazzling new saxophone concerto, “Triathlon, features amazing virtuoso and old friend of the symphony orchestra Timothy McAllister, who will play a different member of the saxophone family—soprano, alto and baritone—in each movement of the work. We are also deeply honored that the legendary John Williams has allowed us to give the American premiere of his new ‘Prelude and Scherzo‘ for piano and orchestra with my dear friend Gloria Cheng as soloist. A fabulous new work by Gabriella Smith, ‘Field Guide’, celebrating birdsong, and the luminous ‘Radical Light’ by Steven Stucky complete this captivating program,” said Miller.
In addition to the Albany Symphony concert, the Dogs of Desire will present a program of five world premieres inspired by the Empire State Trail. The week also includes recitals by Cheng and the Sandbox Percussion Quartet, special chamber music performances, and more. (See full schedule below.)
After Troy and Cohoes, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller and local musical guests took to the track to present free concerts and outdoor events in Schuylerville at Hudson Crossing Park, in Hudson at the Hudson Basilica with a concert Wind Quintet sunset special the next day at Olana National Historic Site, Schenectady at Mohawk Harbor, Albany at Jennings Landing and Amsterdam at Riverlink Park. Each stop offers a daytime schedule of health and wellness events on and around the Empire State Trail, hiking and biking opportunities, free kids’ activities, food and beverage selections handcrafted by local vendors and more, tailored to celebrate the bountiful offerings of each community.
At 7:30 p.m., at each stop, the Albany Symphony Orchestra will present a program featuring new music and summer favorites, including music by John Williams and John Philip Sousa, as well as a folk song. Many stops will include a fireworks display after the concert.
“TrailBlaze NY is a unique opportunity for people from across the Northeastern United States and Canada to experience some of New York State’s most extraordinary cities and the beautiful nature that surrounds them,” Miller said. “I hope all of our friends and supporters will also join us in celebrating New York State in all its wonder and natural beauty, as well as our resilient communities and the things that connect and bring us together, all trails that we explore, real and imagined.”
To learn more about TrailBlaze NY, please visit here.