Brent Michael Davids, “Last of James Fenimore Cooper,” with Albany Symphony Orchestra

On Sunday, June 9, 2024 at Freedom Square, Brent Michael Davids will be performing his composition as part of the Sanctuary’s Freedom Festival in collaboration with the American Music Festival, with a string quartet from Albany Symphony Orchestra.

“Last of James Fenimore Cooper” for string orchestra and narrator (this recording is the string quartet version). Miro Quartet, Brent Michael Davids. Copyright ©2001, Brent Michael Davids. All Rights Reserved.

Brent Michael Davids (Mohican/Munsee-Lenape) is an internationally celebrated composer, and a music warrior for Native equity and parity, especially in concert music where there is little Indigenous influence. Davids is co-director of the Lenape Center in Manhattan and is enrolled in the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. Davids places Native voices front and center. He co-founded the renowned Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP) with the Grand Canyon Music Festival, championing Indigenous youth to compose their own music. He uses Indigenous instruments, including handmade quartz flutes, and pens performable notations that are themselves visual works of art.

His composer career spans nearly five decades, with myriad awards and commissions. In 2022, the Venice Biennale Musica featured the choral works of Davids, premiering a newly commissioned work. In 2015, the prestigious Indian Summer Festival awarded Davids its “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Davids holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University and Arizona State University respectively, trained at Redford’s Sundance Institute, and apprenticed with film composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love). He has garnered the Distinguished Alumni Awards from both of the universities he attended.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra is a supporting partner on our NEA Our Town Sanctuary Eco Art Trail project.

Their American Music Festival is a weekend-long festival of innovative concerts, new music, and artistic happenings around Troy, NY. The Festival traditionally takes place on the first weekend in June in historic Troy, and comes to North Central for the first time in collaboration with the Sanctuary’s Freedom Festival on June 9 @ 4pm, 2024.

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