“The Albany Symphony Orchestra’s annual American Music Festival, which begins today and runs through Sunday, is different from previous years,” writes Geraldine Freedman in Wednesday’s (6/9) Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY). “ ‘It’s an amazing first experience post-pandemic and all events are free,’… said music director David Alan Miller. The four-day event kicks off with composer Christopher Theofanidis giving a composers’ workshop to 10 to 12 student composers about their compositions that the orchestra will later perform on Sunday…. On Friday, the Dogs of Desire [will perform works by] Jack Frerer, Bobby Ge, Tom Morrison, Kerwin Young, and … Carolyn Yarnell and Ted Hearne…. On Saturday the orchestra takes over. The size of the group will be about 45 members…. Two guitarists from the L.A. Guitar Quartet … will perform Clarice Assad’s double guitar concerto called ‘Folk Tales.’ Also on the bill is Nina Shekhar’s world premiere of ‘Above the Fray’ [and] Alexis Lamb’s world premiere of ‘Serotiny.’ … Theofanidis and Molly Joyce collaborated in the world premiere of a re-working of Joyce’s songs…. On June 12, Lamb will lead a family activity at the Pine Hollow Arboretum.” Festival concerts will be offered in-person for subscribers and as free livestreams on the orchestra’s website.