Be Inspired: Nurture Your Musical Soul

The Capital Region’s rich depth of arts offerings provides audiences with many venues where international artists perform at incomparable prices. Here are some of the choices available in classical music, jazz and dance.


• The Grammy Award-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra opens its 88th season on Oct. 14 with a “Galactic Gala” that celebrates “Hollywood Favorites: Star Wars & More” along with the world premiere of a new piece from Loren Loiacono and violinist Simone Porter in Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s lush “Violin Concerto.” The next concert on Nov. 18 will feature music by Dukas, Del Tredici and Stravinsky. (518) 694-3300;

• The Empire State Youth Orchestra’s members are high schoolers, but the sounds they produce will amaze. Under music director Helen Cha-Pyo in her final season, they’ll perform a new work on Nov. 4 from Peter Schickele of PDQ Bach fame and a Prokofiev symphony. (518) 273-0038;

• Music director Charles Peltz leads a vibrant Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra Sept. 24 in a program by Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy. On Nov. 5, pianist Andrew Li joins them for selections by Mozart and Sibelius. (518) 793-1348;

• Schenectady Symphony Orchestra under music director Charles Schneider celebrates its 84th season Oct. 22 with music by Smetana, Borodin, Enescu and Respighi. (518) 346-6204;

• On Oct. 1 at Schenectady County Community College, check out the Capital Region Wind Ensemble, whose members are area music professionals under director Brett Wery, in music inspired by rivers. (518) 381-1231.


• The deBlasiis Music Series, in its 85th year, has two concerts in the intimate auditorium at the Hyde Collection: Oct. 15 (Adirondack Guitar Quartet) and Nov. 12 (Duo Marchand with lute, harp and vocals). (518) 636-5975;

• The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy has the newest and most exotic music around. Four concerts are scheduled: Sept. 22 (Yarn/Wire with music by Enno Poppe), Oct. 20 (Actress + Toxe), Nov. 9 (Iranian drummer Ali Moini) and Nov. 17 (Laura Luna). The building itself is worth the trip. (518) 276-3921;

• First United Methodist Church in Schenectady celebrates its 40th season, opening Oct. 1 with the knock-out Harmonic Brass of Munich. (518) 374-4403;

• Friends of Chamber Music at Troy’s Emma Willard School hosts the early music group Harmonious Blacksmith on Sept. 23 and the Walden Chamber Players on Nov. 26. (518) 833-1874;

• Musicians of Ma’alwyck often combine rarely performed works with the familiar. On Oct. 7, they pay homage to World War I soldiers in “To a Soldier” with diaries being read and classical music from the period performed. (814) 441-0852;

• The Saratoga Chamber Players present a kids’ concert Oct. 28 at Caffè Lena with children’s tales set to music for violin, flute and cello. The next day at Filene Hall, they’ll perform more serious music by Beethoven, Dvorak and Weinberg. (518) 583-0022;;

• The Schenectady County Community College presents music for two pianos and voice on Sept. 26 and music for brass ensemble on Oct. 25 with the Brass Abbey quintet. (518) 381-1231.

• The Troy Chromatic Concert Series opens its 121st season Oct. 6 with violinist Tessa Lark, who will perform a foot-stamping bluegrass medley. On Nov. 11, pianist Emile Naoumoff returns after 28 years with a program of Faure, Ravel, Bach and Tchaikovsky. (518) 273-0038;

• The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has its own prestigious series that includes flamenco guitarist Paco Pena on Oct. 22 and So Percussion on Nov. 15, a percussion quartet that explores all manner of sounds from percussion instruments. (518) 273-0038;

• Union College Concert Series, in its 46th year, hosts many of the world’s greatest artists. The Takacs Quartet of Hungary opens Oct. 8, followed on Oct. 15 by the Quatuor Mosaiques of Austria. On November 5, it’s the return of British sensation pianist Benjamin Grosvenor; British pianist Paul Lewis Nov. 12 and the Modigliani Quartet of France on Nov. 19. (518) 388-6080;

• The University at Albany presents Nobuntu, an all-female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe on their first U.S. tour, on Oct. 29. It’ll also use traditional instruments and perform some dance. (518) 442-3997;

• Westminster Presbyterian Church Concert Series opens Oct. 1 with Stefan Kiessling, organist from Bach’s old church in Leipzig, Germany. Capitol Chamber Artists present a Baroque concert on Oct. 21, and on Nov. 18, it’s the early music trio Ensemble Chaconne from Boston. (518) 436-8544;

• Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College presents the Parker String Quartet Oct. 7, followed by Ensemble Connect Oct. 20 in a program of Bernstein, Mazzoli and Copland. Members of the ensemble were and are part of a joint program with Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School. Oct. 28 features Skidmore piano professor Pola Baytelman and flutist Carol Wincenc performs Nov. 4 as part of the annual flute festival. (518) 580-5321;


• Albany Pro Musica, under director Jose Daniel Flores-Caraballo, presents music of Beethoven and composer-in-residence Ola Gjello on Oct. 29. (518) 346-6204;

• Burnt Hills Oratorio Society, under director William Jon Gray, presents Haydn on Oct. 22. (518) 416-4060;

• Octavo Singers opens Nov.19 with Beethoven and Hummel under director Curtis Funk. (518) 253-7088;


• A Place for Jazz’s fall lineup features the Grammy-nominated Latin jazz group William “Chembo” Corniel Quintet on Sept. 22. Vocalist Jackie Ryan and pianist Shelly Berg open Oct. 6 and the Jeff Siegel Sextet opens Oct. 20, which includes the African trumpeter Feya Faku featured on the sextet’s latest album, “King of Xhosa.” The Don Byron Quartet wraps up the series on Nov. 3. (518) 393-4011;

• The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall presents famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on Oct. 7. The next weekend, Oct. 14, the Glenn Miller Orchestra will play. (518) 273-0038;


• The Egg’s dance series opens Sept. 30 with Tango Fire from Buenos Aires, followed on Oct. 20 with the Collage Dance Collective of Memphis. (518) 475-1845;

• The University at Albany features the all-male repertory company of 10 Hairy Legs on Oct. 12. Raphael Xavier, a Philadelphia-based hip-hop alum of Rennie Harris’ Puremovement, brings his Point of Interest dancers on Nov. 7. (518) 442-3997;



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