ALBANY — The Albany Symphony is to welcome a Sunday Symphony audience to the Palace Theatre for the first time in two years on Sunday, March 20, and Music Director David Alan Miller is expected to return to costume.
The two-time Grammy Award-winning conductor is perhaps known to the public more for his penchant for theatrics than his accolades among the music world. In addition to establishing a career based on promoting contemporary orchestral music, he has taken on the mission of sharing the music with everyone.
“We are a community asset or a community good, and to fulfill that mission we need to be serving our full community,” said Robert Pape, Director of Development and Marketing at Albany Symphony. “My mission is not to raise money, and my mission is not to sell tickets. My mission is to share the experience of orchestral music with the Capital Region.”
The symphony has what Pape shared as an IDEA task force. The name serves as an acronym that incorporates inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Albany has embodied that effort through education programs and community engagement. Sunday Symphony is another one of those endeavors.
Sunday’s concert is unlike the symphony’s other performances. The Sunday matinee opens to a general admission audience where a place in the room costs only $10. It also strips down the misconception that orchestral music is for starched-collar socialites. The showcase runs an hour long, with Miller forgoing his colorful socks for a costume more likely to capture attention from the children in the audience. This year’s theme promises to bring one of classical music’s most beloved composers back in front of a live audience.
The show is set to propel Ludwig van Beethoven over 200 years into the 21st century by means of a time machine just before the reveal of his biggest symphony ever. Kids and families of all ages will help the great composer, portrayed by Albany’s maestro, as he prepares for the “premiere” of his latest symphony through an exploration of his fun and familiar music.
“It is David Alan Miller’s 30th anniversary and we’ve been doing a lot to celebrate that this year,” said Pape. “A lot of the programming has a particular connection to David. He programmed a lot of his favorite works and [invited] a lot of his favorite, great collaborators. And I think the same is true about Beethoven.
“When it comes to the Beethoven Back to the Future program, it could have been Cowboy Dave or any one of his cast of portrayals over the years. But at the heart of programming that engages youth and embraces his overall mission of making this music available and accessible to audiences… I don’t think you can do anyone better.”
For the health and safety of all patrons, proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test will be required for all patrons, including children. Rapid tests will be accepted. See full Health and Safety Protocols at albanysymphony.com/covid.
Tickets are $10 each and are available at 518-694-3300 and AlbanySymphony.com. Doors open at 2 p.m..
Free and discounted tickets are available for organizations supporting underserved students, youth or families through the symphony’s Nielsen Associates Student Access Program. For more information, contact Jae Gayle, Director of Education & Community Engagement at 518-465-4755, ext. 151.
or email [email protected]