American Composers Orchestra presents Composer Spotlights on Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Programs

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 3pm ET &

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 3pm ET


Plus Listening Party with Derek Bermel and Special Guests John Adams, Laurie Anderson, Eugene Moye, and Melinda Wagner on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 6pm ET


Registration and Information: www.americancomposers.org/performances-events

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) presents two online Composer Spotlights events for the Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program at 3pm ET on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 and Wednesday, July 7, 2021, streaming live on YouTube and Facebook. On Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 6pm, ACO will host an online Listening Party via Zoom with ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel and special guest composers John Adams, Laurie Anderson, Eugene Moye, and Melinda Wagner. Advance registration is required for the Listening Party; advance registration is recommended for the Composer Spotlights. General admission for all the events is free, with donation options available.


Central to its values of diversity, disruption, and discovery, ACO partners each year with orchestras nationwide through its EarShot program (formerly the New Music Readings), which has identified and championed some of the most important rising compositional voices in the orchestral field since its founding in 1991. To deepen the creative community around this work, the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program (formerly the Women Composers Readings and Commissions Program), an initiative of the League of American Orchestras in partnership with ACO, has commissioned three EarShot alumni each year to write a new orchestral work that is premiered by participating orchestras across the country. The panels on June 23 and July 7 highlight eight composers whose pieces have been recently premiered, or will soon premiere, as part of the program. Get to know each artist, hear recordings of their music, and catch an inside look into the relationships they have built with the orchestras that will premiere their works.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 3pm ET Moderators: Melissa Ngan, President & CEO, American Composers Orchestra & Alecia Lawyer, Founder, Artistic Director & Principal Oboe, ROCO

Composers, Works & Partner Orchestras: Leanna Primiani, 1001, ROCO Hilary Purrington, Harp of Nerves, Philadelphia Orchestra Andrea Reinkemeyer, Water Sings Fire, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Wang Jie, Symphony No. 1, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 3pm ET Moderators: Melissa Ngan, President & CEO, American Composers Orchestra & Meghan Martineau, Vice President, Artistic Planning, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Composers, Works & Partner Orchestras: Julia Adolphe, Underneath the Sheen, New York Philharmonic Cindy Cox, Transfigurations of Grief, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Stacy Garrop, The Battle for the Ballot, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Niloufar Iravani, The Seven Valleys, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra

On Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 6pm, ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel hosts an hour-long Listening Party of live archival recordings made from ACO performances in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium from 1985-2012, with special guests John Adams, Laurie Anderson, Eugene Moye, and Melinda Wagner. Registrants will listen to previously unheard audio recordings of the following works, along with commentary and history by Bermel and the special guests:

  • David Diamond’s Symphony No. 9. Conducted by Leonard Bernstein (November 17, 1985)

  • Hannibal Lokumbe’s African Portraits. Conducted by Paul Lustig Dunkel, ACO Co-Founder. (October 11, 1990)

  • Earl Kim’s Violin Concerto with soloist Itzhak Perlman. Conducted by Paul Lustig Dunkel, ACO Co-Founder. (February 10, 1991)

  • Melinda Wagner’s Falling Angels. Conducted by Paul Lustig Dunkel, ACO Co-Founder. (October 29, 1995)

  • Derek Bermel’s Voices with Bermel on Clarinet. Conducted by Tan Dun (May 24, 1998)

  • Laurie Anderson’s Songs for A E. Conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, ACO Co-Founder & Conductor Laureate (February 27, 2000)

  • Frank Zappa’s Autumn Fall. Conducted by Steven Sloane (March 2, 2003)

  • John Adams’ My Father Knew Charles Ives Conducted by John Adams (April 27, 2007)

  • Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 9. Conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, ACO Co-Founder & Conductor Laureate (January 31, 2012)

Full recordings will be made available to donors who give $250+ to this event. Recording links will be password-protected, hosted online, and available for on-demand streaming through August 31, 2021.

About American Composers Orchestra

Founded in 1977, 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. More information about American Composers Orchestra and resources about American orchestral composers is available online at www.americancomposers.org.

About the League of American Orchestras

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 1,800 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.


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