Albany Pro Musica was founded in 1981 by distinguished University at Albany professor Dr. David Griggs-Janower who succeeded in creating a community chorus capable of performing at a professional level. He remained the group’s Artistic Director until he passed away in August 2013. After an extensive national search, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo succeeded Griggs-Janower as Artistic and Executive Director.
The Albany Pro Musica core group comprises 65 auditioned volunteer singers from several counties and states. For large choral/orchestral masterworks, the group expands to some 125 singers, the Albany Pro Musica Masterworks chorus.
The group has made numerous recordings and was one of only 16 choruses selected for inclusion on the 2005 National Public Radio (NPR) CD “Christmas Around the Country.” In 2004 Albany Pro Musica collaborated with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and Composer Michael Torke to record the opera “Strawberry Fields” for mass distribution.
Albany Pro Musica has commissioned eight works from American composers and premiered masterpieces such as Bristow’s “Oratorio of Daniel” and Handel’s “Oratorio of Esther.” Albany Pro Musica performances have aired many times on local radio and NPR. As the premier chorus in the region, Albany Pro Musica has been recruited to sing at many high profile events such as gubernatorial inaugurations and on stage with Judy Collins, Kenny Rogers and Andrea Bocelli.
During the first year of Flores-Caraballo’s artistic leadership, APM continued as a leader in the Capital Region choral scene. Works such as the impressive Frank Martin Mass for Double Chorus a Capella; an innovative Christmas program with diverse music from around the world; a revolutionary new version of Mozart’s Requiem commissioned to the Sleeping Giant composers group of NYC by the Albany Symphony; the NYS premiere of the Requiem by Raymond Torres; and APM’s first appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) are some of the programs that brought an appreciative audience to packed concert halls during Flores-Caraballo’s first season.