ALBANY — The Albany Symphony recently announced the release of its newest recording, featuring the orchestral works of internationally acclaimed composer Christopher Theofanidis.
Released on the Albany Records label, the album also features violin soloist Chee-Yun and viola soloist Richard O’Neill on breathtaking performances in “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” and “Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra;” highlighting, also, the brilliant musicians of the Albany Symphony.
“This release is particularly meaningful to me,” said Theofanidis, “since it is the first recording of both of these pieces, which date back 12 and18 years. Both works were very important for me personally. I just couldn’t be happier with the way these recordings turned out.”
The performances are led by Grammy Award-winning Conductor David Alan Miller during two separate performances. The Concerto for Violin was recorded on June 4, 2017 at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, NY. The Concerto for Viola was recorded on January 8, 2018 at the legendary Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
“Christopher Theofanidis is one of our greatest living American Composers,” said Miller. “He is a true orchestral master, who writes in the most idiomatic way for all the instruments, allowing them not only to sing, but to shimmer and glow in a way no one else can. His music is always deeply felt and expressed, and has a gorgeous lyricism reminiscent of of the great Samuel Barber. The Albany Symphony and I have been honored to have had a long relationship with him.”
The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was written for Sarah Chang and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Theofanidis revised the piece in 2017. The first movement grows out of a strongly romantic sensibility, in which the soloist struggles against her environment. The second movement was composed after the birth of Theofanidis’ daughter, Isabella, and its primary melody was written for her. The final movement is short and fast, with wildly virtuosic twists and turns.
“I feel honored and humbled to have been given a chance to work with the great composer Christopher Theofanidis, fantastic Tonmeister Silas Brown, brilliant conductor David Alan Miller, and the wonderful musicians of the Albany Symphony,” said violinist Chee-Yun. “Learning this concerto from the composer himself and then further exploring the piece with Maestro Miller, who has a special affinity with modern music, was an incredible experience for me.”