ALBANY — Music Director David Alan Miller and the musicians of the Albania Symphony announce the 2022 American Music Festival: TrailBlaze NY, a month-long celebration, running from June 2nd to July 3rd, of new music in the Capital Region and Upper Hudson Valley. The Symphony welcomes people to join them for an intensive week of performances featuring the leading and emerging voices of our generation in Troy and Cohoes, and then hit the trail 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 tour of free concerts designed to spotlight the beauty, history and diversity of the region. The Empire State Trail, completed in 2020, connects Manhattan north to Canada and Albany west to Buffalo. In that spirit, the Albany Symphony is harnessing its role as pioneers of contemporary music to bring people together at celebration.
“The Albany Symphony and I are excited and proud to present our 2022 American Music Festival: TrailBlaze NY, a celebration of New York State’s glorious new Empire State Trail. Taking inspiration from our past celebrations of New York State history, Water Music NY, and Sing Out, NY, we wanted to amplify the amazing story of the incredible 750-mile walking and cycling trail that now connects all residents of New York State to one another,” Miller said. “Each weekend will focus on different communities, with a day of music and celebration followed by a free Albany Symphony orchestra performance. It’s so much more than music—we’ll be partnering with communities on all sorts of events, from historic kayak trips to yoga on the trail to a sunset chamber music happening at Olana National Historic Site, and percussion pop-up and chamber music performances . It will be an absolutely unforgettable month of sights, sounds and experiences highlighting our region.”
TrailBlaze NY is supported in part by New York State through a Market New York grant from I LOVE NY, the state’s Division of Tourism, through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, and the New York State Council on the Arts, 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 wall-to-wall week of new music in Troy and Cohoes, including performances by the Albany Symphony at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and the Dogs of Desire, the Symphony’s new-art chamber music group, at the historic Cohoes Music Hall. Both groups are led by Maestro Miller.
“The Troy and Cohoes week of the Festival will culminate on Saturday, June 4th, in a magnificent evening of absolutely incredible recent orchestral music. Pulitzer Prizewinner John Corigliano’s dazzling new Saxophone Concerto, ‘Triathlon,’ features astounding virtuoso and old friend of the Symphony Timothy McCallister, who will play a different member of the sax family—soprano, alto, and baritone—in each movement of the work. We are also deeply honored allowed that the legendary John Williams has 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 Steven Stucky’s luminous ‘Radical Light’ round out this engaging program,” Miller said.
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 features recitals by Cheng and the quartet Sandbox Percussion, special chamber music performances, and more. (See complete schedule below.)
After Troy and Cohoes, the Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller and local musical guests hit the trail to present free outdoor concerts and events in Schuylerville at Hudson Crossing Park, in Hudson at Basilica Hudson with a special wind quintet sunset concert the following day at Olana National Historic Site, in Schenectady at Mohawk Harbor, in Albany at Jennings Landing, and in Amsterdam at Riverlink Park. Each stop features a daytime schedule of health and wellness events on and around the Empire State Trail, hiking and cycling opportunities, free activities for kids, craft food and drink selections by local vendors and more, tailored to celebrate the bountiful offerings of each community.
At 7:30 pm at each stop, the Albanian Symphony will present a program featuring new music and summertime favorites including music by John Williams and John Philip Sousa, plus a folk-song sing-along. Many of the stops will feature a post-concert fireworks display.
“TrailBlaze NY is a unique opportunity for people from all over the Northeastern US and Canada to discover some of the most extraordinary towns in New York State and the glorious nature that surrounds them,” Miller said. “I hope all our friends and supporters will also join us to celebrate New York State in all its wonder and natural beauty, as well as our resilient communities and the things that connect us and bring us together, all the trails we explore, real and imagined.”
To learn more about TrailBlaze NY, please visit here.