Composer Michael Gatonska has been named the winner of the American Composers Orchestra’s 2005 Underwood Emerging Composers Commission, bringing him a $15,000 commission for a work to be premiered by American Composers Orchestra. Selected from among ten finalists, Gatonska won the top prize with his work An Expedition Aboard the Third Mind.
Gatonska has studied composition with Krzystof Penderecki, Marek Stachowski, and Zbigniew Bujarski at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland, and with Elias Tanenbaum at the Manhattan School of Music. His compositions have been awarded two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, two Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute awards, the 2005 Pacific Symphony Composer Competition, and the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award in 1999. Now residing in Hartford, Connecticut, he is currently at work on a commission from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Carlos Rivera was awarded an honorable mention after the reading session for his work Popol-vuh, Four Mayan Dance Scenes for Orchestra. A composer and guitarist of Cuban and Guatemalan descent, Rivera is currently pursuing a doctorate at the USC Thornton School of Music.
Kristin Kuster, winner of the 2004 New Music Readings, is writing her commissioned work, Myrrha, for premiere by ACO at Carnegie Hall on May 3, 2006. In all, 20 young and emerging composers have been commissioned by ACO as a result of their participation in the New Music Readings.