ALBANY — John Williams, a celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the return of a Grammy Award-winning duo are just some of the highlights of what the Albany Symphony has planned for its 2020-21 season.
The Albany Symphony unveiled its upcoming season promising a dozen new or recent works by leading voices in American concert music in a statement today, Wednesday, Jan. 15. The season also includes the work of Beethoven, Béla Bartók and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The symphony’s season starts with Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Palace Theatre.
“The new season celebrates composers whose artistry and creativity reflect their triumph over adversity.” said Albany Symphony Music Director David Alan Miller. “Inspired by the inextinguishable spirit of Beethoven, our season traces heroic journeys, especially for those who, like Bartok and Rachmaninoff, struggled to find a sense of place or belonging in a changing world, and others who overcame seemingly insurmountable adversity to create great art.”
The highlights of the upcoming season, however, include the North American premiere of John Williams’ “Scherzo” for piano and orchestra next June. The evening also reunites Miller with Dame Evelyn Glennie as the symphony performs and records a new percussion concerto by Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince. Glennine and Miller earned a Grammy Award together in 2014. It is all a part of the American Music Festival’s “Drums Along the Hudson,” to be performed at EMPAC on the Rensselaer campus on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
William’s North American premiere follows a tribute to the Academy Award-winning composer in May. Williams, who has earned five Academy Awards in his storied career, is best known for composing the musical scores to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and many more popular movies. His most recent nomination earned him 52 for his career, making him the most nominated living person in Oscar history. The tribute is a return engagement for the Albany Symphony, which performed a similar show last year. “A Salute to John Williams” is to take place on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at the Palace Theatre.
The centerpiece of the new season is an ambitious recreation of Beethoven’s 1808 “mega-concert” at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 and 13, which is just days before his 250th birthday.
“We wanted to do something unique to honor Beethoven’s legacy,” said Miller.