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American Music Festival 2016: Songs of the Rolling Earth

The American Music Festival: 35 new works, 19 world premieres, 32 composers -in-residence.


The Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival, the capstone of our season, turns New York State’s Capital Region into a destination location for new music. The 2016 Festival will feature 32 composers, including Aaron Jay Kernis,  the six composers of the Sleeping Giant collective, the winners of a national call-for-scores competition, 13 graduate composers from the Yale School of Music, local elementary student artists from our Literacy-through-Songwriting composer partnership programs, and world-class guest performers. During the week-long Festival in June 2016, the Albany Symphony will perform 35 new and recent works, including 19 world premieres. The 2016 Festival’s theme — Songs of the Rolling Earth — explores our natural and created environments and how they connect the world’s peoples. The events of the 2016 American Music Festival, held in traditional and alternative venues across Troy, NY, will include:

FULL ORCHESTRA CONCERT: The catalyst for the Festival’s theme is Steven Stucky’s “Silent Spring,” inspired by works by Rachel Carson. The Symphony will perform and record “Silent Spring” and Aaron J. Kernis’s “Simple Songs,” both for Albany Records. Furthering the Festival’s theme of environmentalism, the Symphony will premiere “Caught by the Wind,” a new work by Jessie Montgomery and “Phantom Limbs” by Loren Loiacono.

DOGS OF DESIRE: The Albany Symphony’s 18-member new music ensemble, which explores the world of pop culture through creation of new multi-media compositions, will present newly commissioned works by Conor Brown, Clarice Assad, and Robert Honstein as well as recent works by Ted Hearne, Jacob Cooper, and David Mallamud.

SONG PROJECT – “SONGS OF THE EARTH”: The Symphony will commission the 13 graduate composing students at the Yale School of Music to write new works for singers and mixed instrumental ensembles that reflect the Festival’s theme of environmentalism. Curated by Aaron Jay Kernis, Yale composers include Krists Auznieks, Matthew Bridgham, Natalie Diettrich, Katherine Balch, Ehtna Braun, Hilary Purrington, Benjamin Wallace, Tiange Zhou, Brian Heim, Dylan Mattingly, Molly Joyce, Michael Gilbertson, and Liliya Ugay.

“COMPOSER TO CENTER STAGE” READING SESSION: Following a national call-for-scores competition, Michael Browne, Liliya Ugay, and Kai-Young Chan will join the Albany Symphony in a rehearsal, reading and recording of their winning pieces.

COMPOSER-EDUCATOR RESIDENCY – “YOUNG VOICES OF ALBANY”:  our year-long in-school composing/improvisation workshop led by Jessie Montgomery at the Albany City School District, will present its culminating performance of an oratorio that touches on diversity within collaborating elementary schools.

Resident Ensemble, “Off the Cliff”: Clarice Assad and her 4-member ensemble, “Off the Cliff,” will play music of the Americas, from Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico and more.

Resident Ensemble, “The Living Earth Show”: This young new music duo from San Francisco will perform a program of multimedia pieces by Samuel Adams, Adrian Knight, Anna Meredith, and Sleeping Giant.

Resident Ensemble, “Tigue”: Percussion trio Tigue will perform works by resident composer Robert Honstein and other members of the Sleeping Giant Composers Collective.

Resident Ensemble, “Gosling-McMillan Piano Duo”: The powerhouse pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillan will perform works by Sleeping Giant, John Adams, and Joan Tower.

Start and End Dates



Troy, New York

Project Created By

Albany, New York
The Albany Symphony Orchestra celebrates our living musical heritage. Through brilliant live performances, innovative educational programming, and engaging cultural events, the ASO enriches a broad and diverse regional community. By creating, recording, and disseminating the music of our time, the Albany Symphony is establishing an enduring artistic legacy that is reshaping the nation’s musical future.…

In Collaboration With

Chicago , Illinois
New York, New York
Los Angeles, California


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