American Composers Orchestra
"American Composers Orchestra has brought to the city a repertory of music of our time which leaves all the major American orchestras far behind." - The New York Times
"If orchestras are more accommodating to living composers today, ACO can rightfully claim at least some of the credit." - Time Out New York
"the organization exists to upend the status quo with symphonic magnitude"
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A brilliant and unpretentious showcase for music in the new millennium." - The Guardian
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, middle school through college composer education programs, and emerging composer development programs to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
ACO identifies and develops talent, performs established composers, champions those who are lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting gender, ethnic, geographic, stylistic, and age diversity. To date, ACO has performed music by 800 American composers, including over 350 world premieres and newly commissioned works. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, InstantEncore.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.
EarShot – in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA and American Composers Forum – enables ACO and partner orchestras across the country to identify talented young composers. With guidance from ACO, partner orchestras – such as the Detroit Symphony, the Sarasota (FL) Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra – undertake readings, residencies, performances and composer-development programs that speak directly to their communities and leverage local resources. ACO itself holds annual readings in New York with a multi-performance commission awarded to the most promising participant through the Creating a New Orchestra Audience platform.
For nearly two decades, ACO has brought composers and musical teaching artists into New York City public schools through Sonic Spark (formerly known as Music Factory). Sonic Spark aims to leverage composition as a platform for creativity, and creativity as a platform for achievement in all areas of student’s life. Students in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, work directly with professional composers to create and perform original music. ACO also offers the intensive Compose Yourself! seminars, during which high school and college composers participate in hands-on composition classes, culminating in a performance of student compositions played by ACO’s professional musicians.
More information about American Composers Orchestra and resources about American orchestral composers are is available online at www.americancomposers.org.
Photo by Yvonne Albinowski