Four Composers Selected for EarShot/Colorado Symphony Readings

Compositions by four emerging composers—Yotam Haber, Angel Lam, Jeremy Podgursky, and Tim Sullivan—will be featured by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in their first-ever new music readings on July 16-17, 2009 at Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall. The readings, which are free and open to the public on the second day, will be under the direction of conductors Delta David Gier and Fergus Macleod. The four works that will be read were selected from a national call for scores that yielded 180 submissions and were chosen under the auspices of EarShot, the recently created National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network which had previously coordinated a series of new music readings by the Memphis Symphony in May 2009.

The four composers will receive advice from mentor composers such American Composers Orchestra’s Artistic Director Robert Beaser, Derek Bermel, and Roberto Sierra, as well as critiques from the conductors and musicians, all of which serve to advance professional development.

All four of the new works are characterized by strong conceptual influences. Yotam Haber’s Forward Ornament utilizes Baroque vocabulary, particularly ornamentation, to illuminate the values of writer Italo Calvino—lightness, quickness, visibility, exactitude, multiplicity, and consistency. In Search of Seasons, by Angel Lam, explores the passing of the seasons in relation to memory and the need for human connection during periods of change. Jeremy Podgursky’s our bliss, it comes in waves utilizes conflict between diametrically opposed forces, such as solid and liquid, body and spirit, diatonic and pentatonic harmonies. Similarly, Tim Sullivan’s Polychrome explores the tension between musical colors, as two separate “shades” are transformed, as through a prism.

As part of the effort to increase awareness of these emerging composers, EarShot has invited them to participate in ACO’s SoundAdvice blog and other online social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. To provide a variety of perspectives on the Readings, the conductors, mentor composers, staff, and orchestra musicians will also be contributing to the blog. International audiences wishing to keep up with the thoughts of the Denver new music experience are being invited to visit the blog or use Twitter by searching on the tag #ESCOread and follow ACO@AmerCompOrch.

EarShot is coordinated by the American Composers Orchestra, in collaboration with the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, the League of American Orchestras, and Meet The Composer.(—culled from the press release)