The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has announced the seven composers who will participate in its 19th annual Underwood New Music Readings. This year’s composers, who were selected from an applicant pool of over one hundred, are: Matti Kovler, Hannah Lash, Eric Lindsay, Tamar Muskal, Ricardo Romaneiro, Christopher Stark, and Xi Wang. The readings will be held on Friday, May 21 at 10am and Saturday, May 22, 2010 at 8pm at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre and, as always, are free and open to the public, giving audiences a chance to look behind-the-scenes at the rehearsal process involved in bringing a new orchestral piece to life.
The seven works that will be read during the two days are:
Matti Kovler: Unsung Serenade Hannah Lash: Furthermore Eric Lindsay: Samba Koocho Hairy Boocho Tamar Muskal: Water Colors Ricardo Romaneiro: Sombras Christopher Stark: Ignatian Exercises Xi Wang: Symphony No. 1
One of the composers, to be determined, as well as other people involved with the process (musicians in the orchestra, conductors, etc.) will blog about the process for NewMusicBox. Following the readings, one of the composers will receive a $15,000 commission to write a new work to be performed by ACO. ACO’s 2009 winner, Wang Jie, won the top prize with her work Symphony No. 1. Her newly commissioned work, Episodes from the Other Sky, will be premiered by ACO at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on October 15, 2010.
The 2010 readings are under the direction of ACO’s Artistic Director, composer Robert Beaser, and this year will be led by ACO Music Director Designate George Manahan (who begins his tenure with the orchestra in the fall of 2010), and guest conductor José Serebrier. Mentor composers are Derek Bermel and George Tsontakis. The conductors, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the sessions. In addition to the readings, the composer participants will take part in workshops and one-on-one sessions with industry professionals on Friday and Saturday.
Since participating in ACO’s readings, composers have held important residencies and had many works commissioned, premiered, and performed by the country’s prominent symphony orchestras. To date, more than 100 composers have participated in the ACO’s New Music Readings, including Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, Melinda Wagner, Augusta Read Thomas, Randall Woolf, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Derek Bermel, who is now ACO’s Creative Advisor.(—Culled from the press release)