Albany Symphony makes Carnegie debut tonight

Sequenza 21 readers will doubtless already know that the Albany Symphony is, in orchestral terms, the “mouse that roared.” They’ve long had an extraordinary commitment to contemporary music and their standard of playing is the envy of many regional orchestras. And on the right night and with the right repertoire, they’re in the same “weight class” as some of the top big-budget orchestras.

Tonight, Albany SO gets a chance to show their mettle on one of the most prestigious stages on earth. They make their Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Spring for Music festival. The first half of the program is a set of contemporary pieces based on spirituals, by a wide-ranging list of composers, including George Tsontakis, John Harbison, and Bun-Ching Lam. The second half of the program is sure to be a crowd-pleaser: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

There’s going to be a strong Albany contingent on hand to cheer on their local band, but native New Yorkers are more than welcome too. With ticket prices reduced to $25 in honor of Spring for Music, it’s an excellent opportunity to hear a compelling program of American music played by an under-heralded ensemble.