Capital District Sights, Sounds and Attractions

The 2017 Bach Cello Suites Workshop location is a bucolic retreat and conference center Uploaded Image: /uploads/images/IMG_3547.pngin the Capital District of New York.  The Dominican Retreat and Conference Center offers comfortable single rooms, large and small gathering spaces, a leafy courtyard, ample parking and free wi-fi. The BCSW provides free transport for participants coming to the Workshop via the Albany airport, bus and train stations in Albany or Schenectady.  If you plan to attend with a companion with whom you share a room, we suggest that you register as a commuter and we will help you find nearby lodgings at your own cost.


The area:

The Capital District of New York is rich in history, tradition, and culture. This region’s history runs long and deep, from the Iroquois Nation to French explorers, Dutch traders, English settlers and successive waves of immigrants from Europe and beyond, all of whom left their mark on this fascinating area.

Bach Cello Suites Workshop encourages you to explore the region. You will likely find that you are unable to resist the temptation of sampling just a bit of what the area has to offer. Here’s a starter list of suggestions. Enjoy!


Schenectady, on the banks of the Mohawk River, is birthplace of the General Electric Company. The “Electric City,” is home to Union College, the oldest planned college campus in the nation. The Stockade Historic District, named after the stockade fence that originally protected the settlement, features dozens of well-preserved 18th and 19th-century Dutch and English homes. The first commercial television station in the nation, WRGB, took to the air in Schenectady in 1940. On a musical note, Schenectady is home to the Schenectady Symphony which plays its concerts in the grand Proctors Theater.

Schenectady Historical Society:

Edison Tech Center:

Proctor’s Theater:

Schenectady Symphony Orchestra:

The Stockade Association:

Iroquois Indian Museum:

Union College:



Home territory of pre-Revolutionary Dutch Patroons, Troy - “The Collar City”- situated at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers was an early American industrial boom town strategically situated at a key way-point in the inland waterway trade between the Great Lakes and New York City. Today Troy, the birthplace of  “Uncle Sam” Wilson, is a vibrant small city that is home to colleges, a resurgent dining scene, bookstores, antiques shops, gorgeous 19th century architecture, and so much more. On a musical note, Troy boasts the acoustically stunning 1875 Troy Saving Bank Music Hall.

Russell Sage College:

Downtown Troy Business Improvement District:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute:

Rensselaer County Historical Society:

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall:

Oakwood Cemetery:

RiverSpark Hudson-Mohawk Heritage Area:



On the Hudson River, Albany is the Capital City of New York State. Albany is the oldest continuous European settlement in the original 13 colonies. The first European settlers were Dutch merchants who established a fort around 1614. Much history was made, and continues to be made, here. Albany today is and a major hub of government, healthcare, higher education and high-tech innovation. On a musical note, Albany is home to the 2014 Grammy Award-winning Albany Symphony Orchestra, which plays its concerts in the beautifully restored Palace Theater.

Downtown Albany Business Improvement District:

Albany Symphony Orchestra:

New York State Museum:

Albany Institue of Art and History:

Albany Visitors and Convention Bureau:

Shaker Heritage Society of Albany:

Underground Railroad History Project:


Saratoga Springs

The Spa City,” Saratoga Springs, 30 minutes north, is best known for its world-famous thoroughbred racing track (the oldest continuously operating sporting venue in the United States) and its charming walkable downtown. On a musical note, Saratoga Springs is renowned as the bucolic summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and New York City Ballet, all at the leafy Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC):

Saratoga Race Course:

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation:

Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau:


The Berkshires

Just 45 minutes east are the rolling green Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Once a leafy and tranquil summer retreat for the moneyed barons of Boston and New York the region has evolved into a bucolic cornucopia of cultural offerings for all, including world-class dance, theater and music venues, located in picture perfect New England towns. On a musical note, nothing defines music in nature quite like Tanglewood, the idyllic summer home of the revered Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Berkshire Visitors Bureau:

Tanglewood/Boston Symphony Orchestra:

Berkshire Historical Society:


The Adirondacks/Lake Champlain

Less than an hour north is the Adirondack Park, a six-million acre paradise of mountains, lakes and wilderness dotted with picturesque small towns  and villages including Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council:

Lake Champlain Visitor Center:

NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation: