Albany’s own group brings home Grammy

Alycia Bacon, Staff Writer


The 56th annual Grammy award ceremony premiered on Sunday, January 26th, and during the four long event, the Albany Symphony Orchestra  took home the award for best classical instrumental solo.

Music director David Allan Miller of Delmar lead the orchestra in playing John Corigliano‘s Conjurer. The concerto was recorded live at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The solo was conducted by Miller and played by Dame Evelyn Glennie.

The orchestra has previously been labeled “one of the country’s great orchestras” by the American Record Guide.

“I was shocked and amazed and delighted. It’s just so exciting,” said Miller in a press release from the Albany Symphony Orchestra.

During Miller’s acceptance speech he thanked composer John Corigliano for his contributions to American music, soloist Glennie for her beautiful performance and ASO musicians, stating that “the best music of our time deserves its place in the center of our repertoire.”

Corigliano is an American composer from New York City. His scores have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, Grawemeyer Award, four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award. His music has been played by orchestras all over the country. Corigliano even has a musical group named after him.

In taking home the Grammy last weekend, the ASO beat other well known and funded groups like the New York Philharmonic. Unlike the latter, the ASO musicians are part-time. In the past they have struggled with funding, but they hope this win will help increase support for the orchestra.

The ASO was originally founded in 1930 by professor John F. Carabella from Rome, Italy. Carabella relocated to Cohoes, NY in 1915 and started the Peoples Orchestra of Albany. Carbella was inspired to bring his orchestra during the Great Depression.

In 1992, Miller joined ASO as the musical director and head conductor. Miller has previously worked for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

From a humble beginning, the Albany Symphony Orchestra has grown to be the one of  Capital Region’s most respected musical groups.

Under the leadership of Miller, several outreach programs have become available such as Adopt-a-School, Sunday Symphonies and Tiny Tots. It is the ASO’s mission to “implement a comprehensive, community-wide education program that puts music, its creation and performance, into everyone’s hands, including children, adults, seniors and people with special needs.”

More information about the Albany Symphony Orchestra can be found on their website,


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