Recognized as one of the most vibrant cultural organizations in the New York Capital Region, the Albany Symphony Orchestra (ASO) enjoys a national reputation for its adventuresome programing. The Orchestra serves an audience of more than 150,000 people within a 75-mile radius that spans seven counties and parts of three states, and reaches thousands more through its extensive recording program.
The Albany Symphony has a very clear higher purpose, which is captured in its mission statement: The Albany Symphony Orchestra celebrates our living musical heritage. Through brilliant live performances, innovative educational programming, and engaging cultural events, the ASO enriches a broad and diverse regional community. By creating, recording, and disseminating the music of our time, the Albany Symphony is establishing an enduring artistic legacy that is reshaping the nation’s musical future.
The 2016-17 season celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Music Director David Alan Miller, long a champion of the American symphonic repertoire. The season includes seven concerts at the Palace Theatre in Albany and three concert pairs across the Hudson River at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Additional offerings include concert previews at the Albany Public Library; Next-Gen post-concert gatherings; hour-long Sunday Symphonies for families and children; and a wide range of education and outreach programs for audiences of all ages. The orchestra’s concerts are broadcast on public radio. The ASO has an extensive discography and continues to record regularly. The ASO’s recording of John Corigliano's Conjurer won a coveted GRAMMY Award in 2014.
More than a decade ago, the Albany Symphony and David Alan Miller launched an American Music Festival, initially a weekend celebration featuring new and innovative programming by living American composers. The Festival has grown in numbers of concerts, open rehearsals, and special events. The Festival features the Albany Symphony and the Dogs of Desire, an 18-member new music ensemble that has commissioned and premiered more than 200 works to date. The Festival is quickly becoming an annual destination for adventurous audiences and musical collaborators from near and far. The 2017 Festival will coincide with the centennial celebration of the Erie Canal.
In 2011, the Albany Symphony was invited to participate in the inaugural season of Spring for Music, a Festival of North American Orchestras that took place at Carnegie Hall. In 2013, the Albany Symphony was the only orchestra to appear for a second year at the festival. In 2018, the ASO has been invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center as part of a new festival of North American Orchestras called SHIFT.
The Albany Symphony has received more ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming than any other orchestra in America, 26 to date, including the John S. Edwards Awards for Strongest Commitment to New American Music in 2013 and 2014.
The Albany Symphony has an annual operating budget of $2.5 million. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors of 36, and has an administrative staff of 10.
The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Albany Symphony and reports to the Board of Directors through its Chairman. In collaboration with the Music Director and the Board, the Executive Director develops and implements strategic and operating plans to ensure that the Albany Symphony fulfills its mission and achieves its goals for artistic excellence, financial sustainability, and community engagement.
The Executive Director is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the Orchestra’s operations, including: planning; budgeting and financial management; marketing; audience development; fundraising; concert production; artistic administration; public relations; orchestra relations and collective bargaining negotiations; electronic media; educational programs; and advocacy.
The Executive Director ensures that the Albany Symphony achieves or exceeds its goals for earned and contributed income. S/he takes a leadership role in fundraising and devotes significant time and energy to the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors, including individuals, business and corporations, foundations, and government agencies. S/he provides guidance and support to the fundraising efforts of the Board.
The Executive Director recruits, supervises, motivates, and leads a high-caliber professional staff. S/he maintains positive and productive relationships with the Orchestra’s venues, including the Palace Theatre and the Troy Music Hall. S/he ensures that all shared services agreements achieve optimal benefit for all participants. S/he establishes a workplace that encourages teamwork, collaboration, and communication. S/he fosters an environment that allows the Music Director and musicians of the orchestra to do their best work.
The Executive Director represents the Albany Symphony throughout the community, the state, and the region. S/he is an articulate spokesperson for the Orchestra and its unique place in the musical landscape of the Hudson Valley region. S/he actively seeks opportunities for partnerships and collaborations that engage the broader community.