ALBANY — Music Director David Alan Miller and the musicians of the Albany Symphony are set to deck the halls of the Palace Theatre on back-to-back weekends with joyous sounds of the season.
It all begins Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m., as Miller and the Symphony musicians will be joined by a sleigh full of talented local friends for the return of the Capital District’s beloved holiday spectacular, The Magic of Christmas. The program includes a cavalcade of festive favorites with guest appearances including singers from the Capital District Youth Chorale and the Macedonia Baptist Church Choir, dancers from Myers Ballet School and the Boland School of Irish Dance, and—because we’ve all been extra good this year—an appearance from Santa Claus.
“After performing our beloved Magic of Christmas concert virtually last year, we are thrilled to welcome families back to the Palace Theatre,” Miller said. “This is one of our absolute favorite
events of the year, showcasing so many talented local friends and young people. It’s pure JOY!
Don’t miss it!”
On Saturday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace and streaming live online, the festivities continue with a special treat: Your chance to hear favorite selections from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker with the orchestra at centerstage. Enjoy a perfect view as Miller and the musicians perform the most memorable moments of one of the most beloved pieces of music ever written. The concert also includes Richard Strauss’ dynamic Don Juan, and two gems from late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse: his Bassoon Concerto featuring guest soloist Peter Kolkay, and Heimdall’s Trumpet featuring Albany Symphony Principal Trumpet Eric Berlin.
“The Nutcracker fills our hearts with the warm glow of the spirit of the holidays. This is a rare chance to hear some of Tchaikovsky’s most glorious music in its gorgeous full orchestra version. We’ve paired it with two breathtakingly virtuosic concertos by Christopher Rouse, featuring amazing soloists Peter Kolkay and our own Eric Berlin. And Strauss’ Don Juan is a favorite of mine, one of the most beautiful tone-poems of all times. Whether joining us at the Palace or watching from home, this program has something for everyone,” Miller said.
Tickets to both The Magic of Christmas and The Nutcracker start at just $20. Livestream access is also available for The Nutcracker. Order at 518-694-3300 or albanysymphony.com
In accordance with local guidelines and in coordination with our partner venues, the Albany Symphony has adopted health and safety protocols for the wellbeing of all patrons, musicians, and staff. Patrons will be required to present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the event. (Adults will also need to show a matching ID.) Patrons will be required to wear masks while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. These measures are being implemented for the safety of our patrons and may be extended or amended at any time if guidance or regulations change. Visit albanysymphony.com/covid for details.
The Albany Symphony celebrates our living musical heritage through its adventurous programming, commissioning and recording of new work, and broad community engagement beyond the concert hall.
Recognized as one of the American’s most innovative and creative orchestras, the two-time Grammy Award-winning Albany Symphony is renowned for virtuosic performances featuring classic orchestral favorites, lesser-heard masterworks, and a diverse array of new music from leading and emerging voices of today. The Symphony has received more ASCAP Awards than any other orchestra in America, as well as several Grammy Award nominations, including the orchestra’s most recent win in 2021.
Led by Music Director David Alan Miller, now in his 30th year, the Symphony presents a core classical series throughout the region, each featuring a world-premiere or recent composition; a multi-day American Music Festival that celebrates established and emerging living composers; performances by its cutting-edge new music chamber ensemble, the Dogs of Desire; and a family series and holiday concerts in collaboration with youth performing arts groups. The Albany Symphony’s award-winning education programs serve all ages, from Tiny Tots concerts to library talks and pre-concert Classical Conversations. Symphony in Our Schools brings musicians into classrooms for interactive music education, and Literacy-through-Songwriting, its in-school composer residency program, empowers youth to tackle issues of diversity and self-expression through songwriting, storytelling, improvisation, and teamwork.
Founded in 1930 in New York’s Capital Region, the Albany Symphony serves a diverse regional audience covering more than seven counties and parts of three states. In addition to an eight-concert subscription season, an annual multi-day American Music Festival including performances by the orchestra’s genre-bending ensemble Dogs of Desire, and a host of education and community outreach events, the Albany Symphony regularly serves as an ambassador for new music and Upstate innovation beyond the Capital Region. The Symphony is the only organization to have made multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall’s invitational Spring for Music festival, and past special Symphony initiatives include 2017’s Water Music NY tour, which drew nearly 25,000 people to concert events in seven towns along the historic Erie Canal. In each of the canal towns, the Symphony commissioned emerging composers to collaborate with local arts organizations to create a new orchestral piece to express each town’s unique heritage.