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Albany, New York

Albany Arts: Art Scene in Albany

As the capital of New York State, Albany boasts a rich economic, military and legislative history. Albany also features prominent performing arts companies, well- appointed theatrical venues and diverse museums. The Palace Theatre, an elaborate downtown movie house built in 1931, serves as the city’s pre-eminent performance space, while the nearby Egg Theater focuses on more alternative musical and dance fare. The Albany Institute of History & Art, an arts and educational center celebrating the region’s written history and indigineous visual art, is also a major draw here.

Albany Arts Information

  • albany.com—The Official Guide to Albany includes an events calendar and arts listings
  • TheHiddenCity.com—Cool website that covers Albany’s vibrant underground arts scene
  • Metroland—An alternative weekly paper with arts and entertainment coverage.

Art Museums

Albany Institute of History & Art

Albany Institute of History & Art

The Albany Institute of History and Art (AIHA) specializes in art and artifacts chronicling the post-colonial history of the Hudson Valley. The Institute’s holdings include much more than fine art, with many household items such as furniture, metalwork, glass and ceramic ware, clothing and textiles, creating an accurate rendering of early life in and around Albany. Most of the items in the collection were owned or crafted by …more…

Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum

One of the public faces of the New York State Historical Association, the Fenimore concerns itself mostly with the collection and preservation of American Indian, folk, and fine art; it also has some 60,000 examples of early photography by the Cooperstown-based firm Smith and Telfer, who regularly photographed the goings-on in Cooperstown over more than a century. The museum’s fine art collection is weighted toward Hudson River School painters, …more…

The Hyde Collection

The Hyde Collection

Named after its founders, dedicated art collectors Louis and Charlotte Hyde, the Hyde Collection is comprised mostly of works acquired by that couple over five decades. The Hyde House (the former residence of the Hydes) opened to the public in 1963 as per a trust dedicating the property and collection to the community of Glen Falls, NY. In 1984 it was included on …more…

Theater

Adirondack Theatre Festival

Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY)

(June 26 – July 28, 2012) A professional, not-for-profit summer theater located in Glens Falls, NY, the Adirondack Theatre Festival annually presents a six-week season of shows for an audience of more than 6,000, employing professional artists from New York City and across the country. A typical summer season includes three mainstage productions and a new play/musical workshop, as well as a late-night slot for cabaret shows and more adventurous productions. The festival prides itself on producing shows that are never more than five years old, thereby offering upstate audiences recent hits from NYC as well as the latest works of established and emerging writers. ...more...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Capital Repertory Theatre

Capital Rep is the only member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) within 14 counties of the Upper Hudson-Mohawk Valley. Among its many community-based initiatives, the company is committed to ensuring that every student in the region experiences live theatre before high school graduation.

Recent seasons at Capital Rep have embraced shows ranging from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, David …more…

Park Playhouse

Park Playhouse

Park Playhouse has been producing free, outdoor summer shows at the Lakehouse in Albany’s Washington Park since it began in 1989. By the early ’90s, the Playhouse was already attracting large audiences, and the City of Albany transformed the hillside opposite the Lakehouse stage into a stepped amphitheatre that allowed comfortable seating for more than 2,000 people.

Recent productions have …more…

Classical Music

Albany Pro Musica

Albany Pro Musica

As the premier choral group in the Capital area, Albany Pro Musica performs a wide range of choral literature, from Baroque to newly commissioned pieces. The group began in 1981 and today, boasts 65 regular members with up to 150 singers for its expanded Masterworks concerts.

Under the leadership of director David Griggs-Janower, the group also strives to discover and perform hidden gems of the choral tradition including rarely heard works …more…

Albany Symphony

Albany Symphony

Recognized as one of the finest American orchestras operating today, the Albany Symphony performs under the baton of David Alan Miller and performs a wide spectrum of classics and modern classics each season. Founded in the early dark days of the Great Depression by John Carabella, the ensemble has seen a number of illustrious leaders pass over its podium, and through them and through the fine artistry of its …more…

Glens Falls Symphony

Glens Falls Symphony

Performing in the recently renovated Glens Falls High School Auditorium, the Glens Falls Symphony presents classical masterworks with agility and artistry under the direction of Maestro Charles Peltz. From its humble beginnings as a volunteer community orchestra, the ensemble became a fully professional orchestra in 1985. Today, the group boasts over 50 musicians and a rapidly growing subscriber base. …more…

Opera

gliglass

Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, NY)

(July 7 – August 25, 2012) Formerly known as Glimmerglass Opera, the Festival is a summer opera company in upstate New York dedicated to consistently producing operas familiar (Bizet’s Carmen) and obscure (Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot) alike, as well as one American musical theater production per season. Founded in 1975, Glimmerglass is arguably the best off-season option in America for opera, with works by a staggering variety of composers, from Handel to Britten, from Mozart to Carlisle Floyd. ...more...

Lake George Opera at Saratoga

Lake George Opera at Saratoga

Lake George Opera at Saratoga presents an annual summer festival of three fully staged operas and operettas. The company was founded as Lake George Opera in 1962; its first performances took place at Diamond Point on the shores of Lake George, and the company later moved to the nearby town of Queensbury. Since 1998, its home base has been the …more…

Jazz

spac

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

(June) Founded in 1978, Freihofer’s Jazz Festival was originally known as the Newport Jazz Festival Saratoga, and is informally known as the Saratoga Jazz Festival.  Held in Saratoga Springs over one weekend in late June, the festival presents a full lineup at each of two separate locations on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Over the past three decades it has presented the most popular jazz artists of the …more…

The Van Dyck

The Van Dyck

The restored Van Dyck building in the historic Stockade Neighborhood now hosts The Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge, a classic restaurant with a focus on live music. The listening room upstairs at Van Dyck has been lauded by listeners and players alike as one of the finest to be found. The restaurant has expanded its music offerings to include folk …more…

Multi-Arts Festivals

Belleayre Music Festival

Belleayre Music Festival

The Belleayre Music Festival is one of the major musical events of the summer in Upstate New York. It takes place at the well-known Belleayre Ski Resort, less than an hour’s drive south of Albany, in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The festival has one concert per week through July and August, and goes into early September. The programming reflects a wide diversity of musical styles, every year …more…

Maverick Concerts

Maverick Concerts

(June – September) Maverick Concerts is America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival. With its rustic 1916 concert hall and idyllic surroundings, Maverick Concerts is the perfect location for great chamber music, and has played host to some surprisingly historic moments in music. For instance, John Cage’s most famous – and infamous – piece, “4’33”” received its premiere at Maverick in 1952, with a young David Tudor at the piano. …more…

Woodstock Fringe Festival

Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theatre & Song

(July – August)

Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theatre & Song Information

Public Transportation: Poor
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Performance schedule varies
Ticket Prices: $25; Children 12 and under $10.

Venues

EMPAC

EMPAC (Troy, NY)

EMPAC Information

Public Transportation: Good (a 2-minute walk from CDTA bus 90 at Sage Avenue/11th Street and a 6-minute walk from bus 80 at 6th Avenue/Federal Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Programming includes adventurous programming in music, performance, media, theater, and much more. Performance schedules vary
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary, but usually range from Free–$18.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Springs, NY)

(June-August) Located in the heart of Spa State Park, outside of Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is a magnet venue for a number of world-class performance organizations, with summer residencies including the New York City Ballet (NYCB) and Philadelphia Orchestra. Its calendar features productions in all of the performing arts, including opera, dance, chamber and symphonic music, jazz and pop music. ...more...

The Egg

The Egg

Albany’s premiere performing arts venue, the Egg, is also arguably its most distinctive architectural statement. The Egg is part sculpture, part architecture; large and concrete, between a disc and a sphere, with a supporting stem running six stories into the ground.

Designed by Wendel Harrison, the building began construction in 1966 and was finished in 1978. The Egg contains two theaters, designed along the contours …more…

Art Museums

Albany Institute of History & Art

Albany Institute of History & Art

The Albany Institute of History and Art (AIHA) specializes in art and artifacts chronicling the post-colonial history of the Hudson Valley. The Institute’s holdings include much more than fine art, with many household items such as furniture, metalwork, glass and ceramic ware, clothing and textiles, creating an accurate rendering of early life in and around Albany. Most of the items in the collection were owned or crafted by …more…

Fenimore Art Museum

Fenimore Art Museum

One of the public faces of the New York State Historical Association, the Fenimore concerns itself mostly with the collection and preservation of American Indian, folk, and fine art; it also has some 60,000 examples of early photography by the Cooperstown-based firm Smith and Telfer, who regularly photographed the goings-on in Cooperstown over more than a century. The museum’s fine art collection is weighted toward Hudson River School painters, …more…

The Hyde Collection

The Hyde Collection

Named after its founders, dedicated art collectors Louis and Charlotte Hyde, the Hyde Collection is comprised mostly of works acquired by that couple over five decades. The Hyde House (the former residence of the Hydes) opened to the public in 1963 as per a trust dedicating the property and collection to the community of Glen Falls, NY. In 1984 it was included on …more…

Theater

Adirondack Theatre Festival

Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY)

(June 26 – July 28, 2012) A professional, not-for-profit summer theater located in Glens Falls, NY, the Adirondack Theatre Festival annually presents a six-week season of shows for an audience of more than 6,000, employing professional artists from New York City and across the country. A typical summer season includes three mainstage productions and a new play/musical workshop, as well as a late-night slot for cabaret shows and more adventurous productions. The festival prides itself on producing shows that are never more than five years old, thereby offering upstate audiences recent hits from NYC as well as the latest works of established and emerging writers. ...more...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Capital Repertory Theatre

Capital Rep is the only member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) within 14 counties of the Upper Hudson-Mohawk Valley. Among its many community-based initiatives, the company is committed to ensuring that every student in the region experiences live theatre before high school graduation.

Recent seasons at Capital Rep have embraced shows ranging from Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, David …more…

Park Playhouse

Park Playhouse

Park Playhouse has been producing free, outdoor summer shows at the Lakehouse in Albany’s Washington Park since it began in 1989. By the early ’90s, the Playhouse was already attracting large audiences, and the City of Albany transformed the hillside opposite the Lakehouse stage into a stepped amphitheatre that allowed comfortable seating for more than 2,000 people.

Recent productions have …more…

Classical Music

Albany Pro Musica

Albany Pro Musica

As the premier choral group in the Capital area, Albany Pro Musica performs a wide range of choral literature, from Baroque to newly commissioned pieces. The group began in 1981 and today, boasts 65 regular members with up to 150 singers for its expanded Masterworks concerts.

Under the leadership of director David Griggs-Janower, the group also strives to discover and perform hidden gems of the choral tradition including rarely heard works …more…

Albany Symphony

Albany Symphony

Recognized as one of the finest American orchestras operating today, the Albany Symphony performs under the baton of David Alan Miller and performs a wide spectrum of classics and modern classics each season. Founded in the early dark days of the Great Depression by John Carabella, the ensemble has seen a number of illustrious leaders pass over its podium, and through them and through the fine artistry of its …more…

Glens Falls Symphony

Glens Falls Symphony

Performing in the recently renovated Glens Falls High School Auditorium, the Glens Falls Symphony presents classical masterworks with agility and artistry under the direction of Maestro Charles Peltz. From its humble beginnings as a volunteer community orchestra, the ensemble became a fully professional orchestra in 1985. Today, the group boasts over 50 musicians and a rapidly growing subscriber base. …more…

Opera

gliglass

Glimmerglass Festival (Cooperstown, NY)

(July 7 – August 25, 2012) Formerly known as Glimmerglass Opera, the Festival is a summer opera company in upstate New York dedicated to consistently producing operas familiar (Bizet’s Carmen) and obscure (Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot) alike, as well as one American musical theater production per season. Founded in 1975, Glimmerglass is arguably the best off-season option in America for opera, with works by a staggering variety of composers, from Handel to Britten, from Mozart to Carlisle Floyd. ...more...

Lake George Opera at Saratoga

Lake George Opera at Saratoga

Lake George Opera at Saratoga presents an annual summer festival of three fully staged operas and operettas. The company was founded as Lake George Opera in 1962; its first performances took place at Diamond Point on the shores of Lake George, and the company later moved to the nearby town of Queensbury. Since 1998, its home base has been the …more…

Jazz

spac

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

(June) Founded in 1978, Freihofer’s Jazz Festival was originally known as the Newport Jazz Festival Saratoga, and is informally known as the Saratoga Jazz Festival.  Held in Saratoga Springs over one weekend in late June, the festival presents a full lineup at each of two separate locations on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Over the past three decades it has presented the most popular jazz artists of the …more…

The Van Dyck

The Van Dyck

The restored Van Dyck building in the historic Stockade Neighborhood now hosts The Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge, a classic restaurant with a focus on live music. The listening room upstairs at Van Dyck has been lauded by listeners and players alike as one of the finest to be found. The restaurant has expanded its music offerings to include folk …more…

Multi-Arts Festivals

Belleayre Music Festival

Belleayre Music Festival

The Belleayre Music Festival is one of the major musical events of the summer in Upstate New York. It takes place at the well-known Belleayre Ski Resort, less than an hour’s drive south of Albany, in the heart of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The festival has one concert per week through July and August, and goes into early September. The programming reflects a wide diversity of musical styles, every year …more…

Maverick Concerts

Maverick Concerts

(June – September) Maverick Concerts is America’s oldest continuous summer chamber music festival. With its rustic 1916 concert hall and idyllic surroundings, Maverick Concerts is the perfect location for great chamber music, and has played host to some surprisingly historic moments in music. For instance, John Cage’s most famous – and infamous – piece, “4’33”” received its premiere at Maverick in 1952, with a young David Tudor at the piano. …more…

Woodstock Fringe Festival

Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theatre & Song

(July – August)

Woodstock Fringe Festival of Theatre & Song Information

Public Transportation: Poor
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Performance schedule varies
Ticket Prices: $25; Children 12 and under $10.

Venues

EMPAC

EMPAC (Troy, NY)

EMPAC Information

Public Transportation: Good (a 2-minute walk from CDTA bus 90 at Sage Avenue/11th Street and a 6-minute walk from bus 80 at 6th Avenue/Federal Street)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: Programming includes adventurous programming in music, performance, media, theater, and much more. Performance schedules vary
Ticket Prices: Ticket prices vary, but usually range from Free–$18.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Springs, NY)

(June-August) Located in the heart of Spa State Park, outside of Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is a magnet venue for a number of world-class performance organizations, with summer residencies including the New York City Ballet (NYCB) and Philadelphia Orchestra. Its calendar features productions in all of the performing arts, including opera, dance, chamber and symphonic music, jazz and pop music. ...more...

The Egg

The Egg

Albany’s premiere performing arts venue, the Egg, is also arguably its most distinctive architectural statement. The Egg is part sculpture, part architecture; large and concrete, between a disc and a sphere, with a supporting stem running six stories into the ground.

Designed by Wendel Harrison, the building began construction in 1966 and was finished in 1978. The Egg contains two theaters, designed along the contours …more…