Ten years ago, I learned that the city of New Albany was breaking ground for a performing arts hall. As a resident artist living in the community, I was ecstatic! I knew I wanted to be involved in some way and I vividly remember telling John “this hall is going to need an orchestra.”
An orchestra is a living organism of sound that is used for theater, opera, ballet, and to accompany headliners. It is the “hub” of any great hall. I dreamed that this orchestra would reflect the friendliness of the community, and its spirit for collaboration and service. I wanted the model to be such that students could be mentored by professionals in the field, and a place where community musicians could continue their craft after their day job ended. I wanted a feeling of comradery and family, of community outreach and service, and of course a high level of artistry and performance. It was a no-brainer to invite Luis Biava, one of the most musical and loveable people on the planet, to conduct the orchestra. Luis and I called on a lot of favors from our friends and colleagues in those early years. So many people stepped up to help us breathe life into this organization! We are forever grateful for those gestures. We started out with just twenty-five musicians of the New Albany Symphony Orchestra emerging from the wings of the stage with smiles on their faces to perform for a sparse, but enthusiastic audience of mostly family and close friends.
More than 50 concerts on the McCoy stage, 4 new commissions, 25 nationally recognized guest artists, 12 in-school performances, and 20 student-concerto winners later, we have grown to a powerhouse of 100+ musicians coming in from every suburb in the city, performing to sold-out halls, and with nationally recognized guest artists.
As we began planning the 10th anniversary season, the quote by Arthur O’Shaughnessy “We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams,” struck a chord. It is the quote featured in our season artwork this year by Kirsten Swanson Bowen - a forever friend of the New Albany Symphony and our very first Artist-In-Residence. The musicians, volunteers, board, donors, and patrons of this organization dreamed, and we dreamed BIG. Every year we got bigger and better. It wasn’t easy, and to those of you who played a part, THANK YOU. We are grateful to be part of this vibrant arts community and we welcome you to our 10th anniversary season. Please sit back and ENJOY! We are already dreaming about the future…
Executive Director & Founder
The New Albany Symphony Orchestra (NASO) is a community orchestra comprised of over 120 community, student, and professional musicians from all over the Columbus metro area who come together four times a year to present concerts from the professional classical repertoire in the beautiful Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in the heart of New Albany. NASO was designed by its founders to be a true community orchestra, in which students are mentored by professional musicians, talented community musicians have a stage on which to perform, and professional musicians have an additional outlet for their craft.
Founded in 2007 by New Albany resident and violist Heather Garner and founding conductor Luis Biava, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary Season this year!
A strong component of the New Albany Symphony Orchestra’s mission is music education, and our commitment to even the youngest student musician in the orchestra is that he or she will perform on at least one piece per concert. The orchestra offers free master classes, a sensory-friendly series for our friends in the autism and dementia/Alzheimer’s communities, and a student concerto competition, in which talented young people from all over the state compete to win the opportunity to perform a concerto on stage in front of a live audience. Additionally, the orchestra collaborates with many area arts organizations and schools to keep ticket prices low – even offering free tickets to our underserved partners – to ensure that the art of classical music remains accessible to the people of New Albany and our surrounding areas.
We have many volunteer opportunities and welcome new faces! This year we are planning our first ever “Wine Soiree” on September 30th, the annual Gift Basket Fundraiser December 16th and 17th and the Kentucky Derby Gala May 5th, 2018. We are also excited to present the Independence Day 5K race on July 4th that benefits NASO and local non-profit arts organizations. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact email@example.com.
The New Albany Symphony Orchestra has a modest annual budget, funded by government grants, corporate sponsorships, private donations, and ticket sales. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts!
Luis Gabriel Biava is currently Music Director of the New Albany Symphony, an orchestra that performs a wide variety of concerts for the community, presenting the major repertoire, commissions, and a young artist’s competition. Mr. Biava has worked with Jon Kimura Parker, David Finckel, Chee Yun, Soovin Kim, and Karen Gomyo, and he conducted Hilary Hahn and David Finckel to celebrate the orchestra’s fifth anniversary.
This year, Mr. Biava conducted and played with the Bogota Philharmonic for two weeks in subscription concerts. In 2012, he conducted Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Mozart’s Adagio and Rondo for violin. He also guest conducted the Clermont Symphony in a concert commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Biava was cover conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra for their final concert in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2011, he was re-engaged by the Guatemala National Symphony, and he performed the Beethoven Triple and conducted Strauss’ Don Juan.
Mr. Biava’s educational endeavors include the School of Orchestral Studies in Saratoga Springs—a program for young musicians that mirrors the repertoire of the Philadelphia Orchestra during the three weeks of their residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. He was also invited to conduct the Advanced String Orchestra in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He recently conducted at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music conducting workshop with Mark Gibson and Gustav Meier. In 2010, he conducted performances of Puccini’s La boheme in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He also has conducted The Marriage of Figaro and repeated performances of La boheme with Opera Libera; an opera company founded in honor of the late John Douglas, famed opera director at Temple University. In the summer of 2008, he conducted performances of Salieri’s Prima la musica, poi le parole, and Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Biava is principal cello of Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO), artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Dublin (CMSD), and Camarata. He is also music director of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. He is active as a soloist in the standard repertory and new works, and he is also very involved as a chamber musician, having played the complete cycles of the string quartets of Beethoven and Brahms. Mr. Biava is currently performing the complete piano trios of Beethoven and Mozart, with contemporary works by Carter, Higdon, Augusta Read Thomas, Bernstein, and Pärt.
Mr. Biava’s family represents four generations of musicians. His first cello studies were with his uncle, Miguel Uribe, in his native Colombia, where he performs regularly with the Biava-Uribe Trio. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received a bachelor’s degree in performance, and he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Leonard Rose. He also studied with Oliver Edel, Samuel Mayes, Gabor Rejto, and Elsa Hilger. Additionally, Mr. Biava has studied conducting with Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School, Hancock, Maine; and with his father, who is conductor-in-residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra and conducting professor at Temple University. He attended the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin, and also served as principal cellist.