ALBANY — David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony secured a Grammy Award for Christopher Theofanidis’ “Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra,” with Music Director David Alan Miller and Violist Richard O’Neill in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category.
The Albany Symphony world premiere was recorded on Jan. 8, 2018 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and released by Albany Records.
“It’s not every day that a viola concerto gets recognized, but this is arguably the finest concerto for the instrument written in many years,” said Music Director David Alan Miller.
The Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra was originally written for Kim Kashkashian who sent Theofanidis a collection of Navajo poems that were wildly different in character but had in common a supernatural sense of nature and an extremely evocative vocabulary. Each of the four movements is serious in sentiment, in turns foreboding and volatile, melancholic and questioning, lyrical and dramatic. Theofanidis wrote this work during the tragedy and turmoil of 9/11, starting the piece before and finishing it afterward, and was influenced by being in midtown Manhattan that day.
Previously, the Albany Symphony recording of John Corigliano’s Conjurer with percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie won the 2013 Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo. Founded in 1930 in New York’s Capital Region, the Albany Symphony serves a diverse regional audience covering more than seven counties and parts of three states. It is led by David Alan Miller, who celebrates his 26th season as music director.
Theofanidis’ music has been performed by many of the world’s leading performing arts organizations, from the London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic to the San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the American Ballet Theatre. He is currently on the faculties of Yale University and the Aspen Music Festival.
The 63rd GRAMMY award ceremony was held on Jan. 31 and aired on the CBS network.