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Students, Faculty + Alumni

YSM composers highlighted in Albany Symphony's American Music Festival

The Yale School of Music is playing a significant role in the Albany Symphony Orchestra's American Music Festival. This year's festival, "Songs of the Rolling Earth," features a slew of YSM faculty, students, and alumni, including Aaron Jay Kernis, Loren Loiacono ’12 MM, composers collective Sleeping Giant, and all 13 graduate students in the YSM composition studio.

On June 11, the orchestra will perform Simple Songs by YSM composition faculty member Aaron Jay Kernis. A mystical work for soprano and chamber orchestra, Simple Songs sets the texts of famed composer Hildegard von Bingen, Japanese writer Ryokan, and Rumi. The concert will also feature the world premiere of Loren Loiacono's Sleeping Furiously. Members of Sleeping Giant, the six-member composers collective comprised of all YSM alumni, will be featured on no less than five of the festival's events. Music of Jacob Cooper and Ted Hearne can be heard on "Dogs of Desire," a concert designed to explore American pop culture; the pair will also present a masterclass prior to the concert where they will share insights into the world of composition. The art-rock ensemble, Tigue Percussion, will perform Index of Possibility by Robert Honstein. Works by the group as a whole can be heard on the concerts "The Living Earth Show," and "To Walk With Giants."

Also featured in the festival is Songs of the Earth, a 13-part song cycle written in collaboration by the entire composition studio of YSM and curated by Aaron Jay Kernis. The work's title reflects the festival's theme, exploring connections to the natural world through the poetry set by each composer. The performance will be conducted by David Alan Miller, and features a 9-member chamber ensemble comprised of musicians of the Albany Symphony alongside four talented young vocalists. Contributing composers and members of the YSM composition studio are: Krists Auznieks, Katherine Balch, Ethan Braun, Matthew Bridgham, Natalie Diettrich, Michael Gilbertson, Brian Heim, Molly Joyce, Dylan Mattingly, Hilary Purrington, Liliya Ugay, Benjamin Wallace, and Tiange Zhou.

The Albany Symphony says that the uniqueness of the project "lies not only in the creation of stunning new art songs by some of the most exciting composers of tomorrow, but also in the collaboration between these young composers and the Albany Symphony’s musicians."

The American Music Festival takes place from June 8 - 12 in Troy, New York.