Albany Pro Musica

The Albany Pro Musica Story

Albany Pro Musica was founded in 1981 by University at Albany Distinguished Professor Dr. David Griggs-Janower, who created a community chorus capable of performing at a professional level. He remained the group’s Artistic Director until his passing in August 2013. After an extensive national search, Dr. José Daniel Flores-Caraballo succeeded Griggs-Janower as Artistic and Executive Director in August 2014. Dr. Flores-Caraballo came to Albany Pro Musica with an ambitious vision to build upon the group’s impressive and cherished legacy and elevate APM to be among the best choirs in the nation.

APM 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 APM collaborated with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and composer Michael Torke to record the opera Strawberry Fields for mass distribution. The group has toured nationally and internationally, including to France in honor of the 60th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach, and to the Czech Republic, Spain, and Ireland.

Albany Pro Musica has commissioned numerous works from American composers and performed local and regional premieres of masterpieces such as Bristow’s Oratorio of Daniel and Handel’s Oratorio of Esther. Under the composer-in-residence program launched by Dr. Flores-Caraballo, APM has expanded the group’s library of commissioned works, sponsoring new compositions by celebrated local, national, and international composers including Steven Murray, Donald McCullough, Ola Gjeilo, and Bradley Ellingboe. APM is frequently invited to sing at high-profile events such as gubernatorial inaugurations, civic celebrations, and on stage with visiting artists, including Judy Collins, Kenny Rogers, and Andrea Bocelli. APM continues to introduce local audiences to challenging and bold choral repertoire, including Frank Martin’s a cappella Mass for Double Choir, the New York State premiere of Requiem by Raymond Torres, entire concerts devoted to musical theater, innovative programs including art forms such as visual arts and dance, and a powerful multimedia presentation of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

In an innovative response to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns, APM presented an entirely virtual concert series during the 2020-21 season. Read more about our virtual season, and watch excerpts from each of our four virtual concerts, in our 40th Anniversary Season Annual Report.