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Albany Symphony Orchestra announces 'reimagined' 2020-2021 season

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The coronavirus pandemic has brought new levels of stress as people learn how to cope with restricted activities and a life that looks vastly different from a year ago. Music has been known to decrease anxiety, improve a person's mood and quality of sleep as well as reduce pain and blood pressure, according to John Hopkins.

If the sounds of classical music soothe, the Albany Symphony Orchestra has put together a 2020-2021 virtual season for their subscribers and donors to enjoy the works of composers like Ludwig van Beethoven and Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The last few months have been dedicated to "reimagining" the 2020-2021 season, says Music Director, David Alan Miller. Events are scheduled to begin virtually at the end of October. Live events at the concert hall may resume in the spring pending additional guidance from the state, Miller says.

Over the summer the Albany Symphony Orchestra presented Hot with Mustard. The program featured pre-recorded original compositions from 10 musicians performed by the Dogs of Desire. The pieces were debuted each week and are still available for viewing through the orchestra's website.

Miller says the orchestra learned a lot putting 'Hot with Mustard' together. He says those in attendance were excited to be a part of the experience. It also gave the orchestra time to work on its virtual and social media presence, which Miller says had been lacking.

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent state shutdown has been particularly difficult for musicians. Not only financially but mentally, Miller says. Musicians have struggled with not being able to perform. Miller says the orchestra is determined to keep all their musicians employed through the end of the year.

While it is designed to adapt to our current world, it is every bit as beautiful, passionate, and life-affirming as any season we have ever presented, bringing you glorious music past and present. When we developed our original 2020/2021 season, we planned a season that celebrated composers whose artistry reflected their triumph over adversity. Our newly reimagined season continues along those lines and is an affirmation of creativity.  We will continue to trace heroic journeys by great composers of the past and by a very diverse group of the most exciting composers of our own time.  I’m particularly thrilled by the many gorgeous new and recent works we’ll be introducing this season.

David Alan Miller

The new season has brought back a level of excitement to orchestra staff and musicians. "The fact that we're able to have our musicians come back together and play together is something that, I think, we're all very excited about, that's very important to us," says Miller.

Concerts can be viewed by subscribers or through a donation. For more information visit the Albany Symphony Orchestra's website or call the Box Office at 518-694-3300.

2020-2021 REIMAGINED SEASON PROGRAMS

  • October 24, 2020, Michael Daugherty, This Land Sings: Inspired by the Life and Times of Woody Guthrie             
  • November 14, 2020, Claude Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun Andre Myers, New Commission Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 4 (chamber orchestra version)    
  • December 12, 2020, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Creatures of Prometheus, Overture and Finale & Ludwig Van Beethoven, Symphony No. 1   
  • January 9, 2021, Jessie Montgomery, Banner Jean Sibelius, Andante Festivo Caroline Shaw, Entr’acte George Walker, Lyric for Strings Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Serenade for Strings
  • February 13, 2021, Sir William Walton, Facade, New Commission Johannes Brahms, Serenade No. 1 (original version)  
  • March 13, 2021, Ottorino Respighi, Trittico Botticelliano Carlos Bandera, New Commission Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 3 (chamber orchestra version)   
  • April 24, 2021, Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 46  George Tsontakis, Violin Concerto No. 2, New Commission Franz Schubert, Symphony No. 5   
  • American Music Festival:  June 12, 2021, Nina Shekhar, New Commission Clarice Assad, Folk Tales, Double Guitar Concerto’ Brasil Guitar DuoMolly Joyce/Theofanidis, Songs Alexis Lamb, New Commission

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