13 Emerging Composers Selected for June 2014 Readings and Performances by NY Philharmonic & American Composers Orchestra

Photos of 13 emerging composers

Top row (left to right): Andrew McManus (photo by Chelsea Ross), Andy Akiho (photo by Aestheticize Media), Harry Stafylakis (photo by David Adamcyk), Jared Miller (photo by Terry Lim), Jesse Jones, and Julia Adolphe (photo by Jonathan Adolphe); bottom row (left to right): Kyle Peter Rotolo (photo by Jay Eagleson), Max Grafe (photo by Harrison Linsey), Melody Eötvös, Robert Honstein (photo by Ferrari Photography), Wang A-Mao, Wang Lu, and William Dougherty (photo by Cathy Pyle).

The New York Philharmonic and American Composers Orchestra, in collaboration with ACO’s EarShot: the National Orchestra Composition Discovery Network, have announced the selection of 13 emerging composers whose original scores for orchestra have been chosen for readings and performances by the Philharmonic and ACO. They were selected from an international pool of more than 400 applicants from 37 states and 7 additional countries and ranging in age from 9 to 84.

Three works will be selected to receive premieres on public concerts with the New York Philharmonic as part of the inaugural NY Phil Biennial: one work on June 5 and the second on June 7 will be conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, and the third work will be featured on the June 6 program conducted by Matthias Pintscher. The three works will be selected following a private reading of six works by the Philharmonic on June 3.

On June 6 and 7, the American Composers Orchestra will hold its 23rd annual Underwood New Music Readings conducted by Music Director George Manahan at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, also as part of the inaugural NY Phil Biennial. The Underwood Readings will feature new, stylistically diverse music from seven composers at the early stages of their careers. ACO’s readings include two public events: a working rehearsal on June 6 at 10 a.m.; and a run-through on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public, giving audiences a chance to look behind the scenes at the process involved in bringing brand new orchestral music to life. One composer from the Underwood New Music Readings will be chosen to receive a $15,000 commission to write a new piece for ACO, to be premiered during the orchestra’s 2015-2016 season.

The composers selected to participate in the New York Philharmonic EarShot Readings and their works are:

Julia Adolphe (b. 1988): Dark Sand, Sifting Light
William Dougherty (b. 1988): Into Focus
Max Grafe (b. 1988): Bismuth: Variations for Orchestra
Jesse Jones (b. 1978): …innumerable stars, scattered in clusters
Andrew McManus (b. 1985): Strobe
Wang Lu (b. 1982): Scenes from the Bosco Sacro

Alan Gilbert will meet with each of the participating composers, taking part in feedback meetings along with Philharmonic musicians and mentor composers and working individually with the composers whose works are selected. The mentor composers for the New York Philharmonic EarShot Readings are Christopher Rouse, Steve Mackey, Derek Bermel, Robert Beaser, and Matthias Pintscher. (Rouse, Pintscher, and Mackey will additionally all have works of their own performed as part of the NY Phil Biennial.)

The New York Philharmonic Readings are organized in partnership with EarShot, a program of the American Composers Orchestra in collaboration with the American Composers Forum, League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. EarShot helps orchestras around the country to identify and support promising composers in the early stages of their careers. EarShot advises organizations on the programs that would best suit their composer needs–from new music readings to composer residencies and competitions–and assists with planning, identifying composers through its extensive nationwide calls, and program design and execution. (More information is available on the EarShot website.)

The composers chosen for ACO’s 23rd Underwood New Music Readings and their works are:

Andy Akiho (b. 1979): Tarnished Mirrors
Melody Eötvös (b. 1984): Beetles, Dragons, and Dreamers
Robert Honstein (b. 1980): Rise
Jared Miller (b. 1988): Contrasted Perspectives – Two Surrealist Portraits
Kyle Peter Rotolo (b. 1986): Apophis
Harry Stafylakis (b. 1982): Brittle Fracture
Wang A-Mao (b. 1986): Characters in Theatre

Since 1991 ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings have provided experience for emerging composers while serving as a resource to the music field by identifying a new generation of American composers. To date, more than 130 composers have participated in the readings, including Melinda Wagner, Pierre Jalbert, Augusta Read Thomas, Randall Woolf, Jennifer Higdon, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Sebastian Currier, and Kate Soper.

The 23rd Annual Underwood New Music Readings are under the direction of ACO’s Artistic Director Derek Bermel and will be conducted by ACO Music Director George Manahan, with ACO’s Artistic Director Laureate Robert Beaser, Olly Wilson, and Julia Wolfe as mentor composers. The conductors, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the sessions, which will be professionally recorded. In addition to one of the composers from the readings being chosen to receive a commission to be premiered during the 2015-2016 season, audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces, and the composer chosen as the “Audience Choice” winner will be commissioned to compose an original mobile phone ringtone. The ringtone will be available free of charge to everyone who voted.

The Underwood New Music Readings will also offer composers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about the business of being a composer a career development seminar on Saturday, June 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the DiMenna Center. Workshop topics include Intellectual Property and Copyright Law, Engraving and Self-Publishing, Support and Fundraising for Composers, and Publicity and Promotion. The cost for the Seminar is $25, which includes lunch. Reservations for the readings and the seminar can be made on the ACO website.

(from the press release)

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