American Composers Orchestra Continues EarShot Professional Development Online Sessions
American Composers Orchestra Continues 2022 EarShot Professional Development Online Sessions
February 9 through April 6, 2022
Free and Open to the Public
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) continues its free, EarShot Professional Development Sessions online this spring, with a series of seven programs, all free and open to the public. Presented in partnership with the American Composers Forum, ACO’s virtual Professional Development Sessions have reached over 1,100 participants since spring 2020. Topics to be explored include creative collaboration, self-publishing for composers, fundraising, and orchestral commissions and contracting.
In Creating Meaningful Creative Relationships, featuring New Music Gathering (February 9 at 3pm ET), ACO President and CEO Melissa Ngan and New Music Gathering organizers Lainie Fefferman and Mary Kouyoumdjian discuss practical approaches to collaboration in new music and how to nurture those creative relationships. In The Gainfully Employed Composer (February 23 at 3pm ET), Ngan and composer Dan Visconti present a practical guide to self-publishing for composers. Ngan and philanthropy expert Yolanda F. Johnson discuss topics related to fundraising tailored to ensembles and other artist-led performing groups in Fundraising for Ensembles (March 2 at 3pm ET). Ngan, entertainment attorney Ari Solotoff, and Director of Artistic Planning and Operations for the Richmond Symphony Jennifer Arnold discusses the basics of contracts and procedures for new orchestral commissions and commissioning consortia, focusing on the composer’s perspective, in Commissioning and Consortia Contracts 101 (March 9 at 3pm ET). ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel explores the basics of orchestration in Tricks of the Trade (March 16 at 3pm ET). Composer Aaron Jay Kernis presents the basics of etiquette as a composer working with an orchestra in Orchestra Etiquette (March 23 at 3pm ET). Arts consultant Joseph H. Kluger, ACO President Melissa Ngan, and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Elena Dubinets present the basics of orchestra unions in Orchestra Unions 101 (April 6 at 4pm ET).
This expanded series is made possible through a first-time, multi-year commitment from the Steven R. Gerber Trust in support of EarShot this season.
Upcoming ACO’s EarShot Professional Development Sessions:
Creating Meaningful Creative Relationships, featuring New Music Gathering Panelists: Melissa Ngan, Lainie Fefferman, Mary Kouyoumdjian
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 3pm ET
ACO President Melissa Ngan joins New Music Gathering organizers Lainie Fefferman and Mary Kouyoumdjian to discuss the impact of collaboration and how music-makers can cultivate and nurture meaningful relationships with fellow artists.
Melissa Ngan cultivates personal and organizational growth through creative acts and collaborative practices. She has over fifteen years of experience in civic practice-based program design; arts administration; diversity, equity, and inclusion practices; professional development and entrepreneurship in the arts; and as a professional flutist. Composer Lainie Fefferman’s most recent commissions have been from Tenth Intervention, So Percussion, Make Music NY, Experiments in Opera, ETHEL, Kathleen Supové, TILT Brass, James Moore, Eleonore Oppenheim, JACK Quartet, and Dither. Fefferman is the founder and co-director of Exapno, a New Music Community Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Mary Kouyoumdjian is a composer with projects ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic palette that draws on her heritage, interest in music as documentary, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.
The Gainfully Employed Composer Panelists: Melissa Ngan, Dan Visconti
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 3pm ET
Composer Dan Visconti joins ACO President Melissa Ngan to cover the nuts-and-bolts of the self-employed composer's back office, ranging from the best equipment and paper to use to best practices for maximizing passive income through sales and rentals.
Composer Dan Visconti is updating the role of the classical musician for the 21st century as he creates new projects in collaboration with the community. For his ongoing initiatives to address social issues through music by reimagining the arts as a form of cultural and civic service, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the conference’s thirtieth anniversary.
Fundraising for Ensembles Panelists: Melissa Ngan, Yolanda F. Johnson
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 3pm ET
Soprano and philanthropy expert Yolanda F. Johnson joins ACO President Melissa Ngan to give advice and tactics to bolster fundraising for small-to-medium ensembles.
Yolanda F. Johnson has had an outstanding career as a performing artist and philanthropist; as a composer, as an educator, and as a supporter of the arts and women’s equity. In addition to her life as an artist, she is also a current International Advisory Board member of and the former Representative for the Foundation for Post-Conflict Development to the United Nations, a member of the board of directors of the Hudson River Museum, Special Advisor to the American Composers Orchestra, board of directors of PowHer NY, board of directors of the Lehman College Art Gallery and is the first African American President of Women In Development, New York. Johnson is also the Founder and President of YFJ Consulting, LLC and Founder of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC)® and Allies in Action Membership Network™.
Commissioning and Consortia Contracts 101 Panelists: Melissa Ngan, Ari Solotoff, Jennifer Arnold
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 3pm ET
ACO President Melissa Ngan, entertainment attorney Ari Solotoff, and Director of Artistic Planning and Operations for the Richmond Symphony Jennifer Arnold answer questions regarding commissioning and consortia contracts for orchestral composers.
Trained as a classical musician, Ari Solotoff is the Founder and Managing Attorney of Solotoff Law Group, PLLC, where he focuses his law practice on serving clients in entertainment and intellectual property law, as well as related areas of business and nonprofit law practice. He represents leading musicians, composers, artists, literary authors, and other creative entrepreneurs from Portland, Maine, one of New England’s hottest destinations for music, creativity, and the arts.
Jennifer Arnold is a native of North Royalton, Ohio. She was a violist in the Oregon Symphony for fifteen years. She holds a large teaching studio in Portland, OR, is former State Chapter President of the American String Teachers Association, and is a faculty member at the Sphinx Performance Academy. Arnold was the first Sphinx Diversity Fellow for the Sphinx Organization. She is Director of Artistic Planning and Operations for the Richmond Symphony.
Tricks of the Trade
Presenter: Derek Bermel
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 3pm ET
ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel explores the basics of orchestration through the lens of composer Steven R. Gerber’s NewMusicBox article “Orchestration: Composers Reveal Tricks of the Trade.” Useful for composers new and experienced with orchestration, Bermel explores the staples of orchestration with various score examples.
Twice Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has become recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series, via ACO’s concert season, SONiC Festival, Earshot Readings, and Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute. His honors include the Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, Herb Alpert Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Presenter: Aaron Jay Kernis
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 3pm ET
Composer Aaron Jay Kernis presents the basics of effective communication and between composers and orchestras, discusses the general form of rehearsals with orchestras, and answers questions from the attendees.
Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-Award winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis draws artistic inspiration from a vast and often surprising palette of sources, among them the limitless color spectrum and immense emotional tangle of the orchestra, cantorial music in its beauty and dark intensity, the roiling drama of world events, and the energy and drive of jazz and popular music. All are woven into the tapestry of a musical language of rich lyric splendor, vivid poetic imagery, and fierce instrumental brilliance, and he has been praised for his “fearless originality [and] powerful voice” (The New York Times).
Orchestra Unions 101
Panelists: Melissa Ngan, Joseph Kluger, Elena Dubinets
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 4pm ET
Arts consultant Joseph H. Kluger, ACO President Melissa Ngan, and Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Elena Dubinets present the basics of orchestra unions and answer attendee questions about common aspects of union agreements, and how they impact the creation of new work.
Joseph H. Kluger, a Principal of WolfBrown, has over 30 years of experience as an arts and culture executive and consultant in strategic planning, organizational collaboration, facilities development, governance, executive coaching, executive compensation and succession planning projects for nonprofit museums, theaters, opera companies, symphony orchestras, performing arts centers, and arts education institutions.
A high-profile artistic leader and music scholar, Elena Dubinets was appointed Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from September 2021, having previously held top artistic planning positions at the Atlanta and Seattle symphony orchestras. In 2018 she was named one of Musical America’s Professionals of the Year. Serving the wider music community, she has held appointments on the Recording Academy Board of Directors and as Chair of the City of Seattle Music Commission.
More information about American Composers Orchestra and resources about American orchestral composers is available online at www.americancomposers.org.