American Composers Orchestra's EarShot CoLABoratory Program

American Composers Orchestra Relaunches EarShot CoLABoratory Fellowship Program


2022-2023 Fellows: inti figgis-vizueta, Trevor New, Yvette Janine Jackson, and Mendi & Keith Obadike


Jackson and figgis-vizueta’s New Pieces to be Premiered at Season Opening Concert


The Natural Order Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 7:30pm Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall | 57th St. and 7th Ave. | NYC Tickets: www.carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge 212.247.7800, or the Carnegie Hall Box Office


More information about EarShot CoLABoratory

New York, NY – American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has relaunched its EarShot CoLABoratory fellowship program, which previously ran from 2007-2016. This season’s Fellows are inti figgis-vizueta, Trevor New, Yvette Janine Jackson, and Mendi & Keith Obadike. EarShot CoLABoratory Fellows participate in collaborative sessions with ACO musicians to workshop musical ideas and facilitate co-learning, and also engage in ACO’s artistic curation, and educational initiatives, and community-focused programming. Jackson and figgis-vizueta’s new pieces will be premiered by ACO at the orchestra’s season opening concert, The Natural Order, at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 7:30pm.

EarShot CoLABoratory advances the work of composers whose work is experimental or rooted in musical traditions underrepresented in orchestral repertoire. The program addresses systemic barriers within orchestral commissioning, providing a gateway to the field and a generative environment for composers from diverse musical backgrounds to create definition-expanding work for orchestra. Lead funding support for EarShot CoLABoratory is generously provided by the TD Charitable Foundation, with additional support from Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting.

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of the TD Ready Commitment, a global initiative that helps level the playing field for those who need it most. A large piece of this initiative is to drive change by bringing communities together. As such, TD Charitable Foundation seeks to amplify diverse voices in arts and culture by supporting opportunities for emerging artists and professionals facing barriers to the sector.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the American Composers Orchestra for the re-launch of the EarShot CoLABoratory Fellowships,” says Akash Mahajan, VP, Senior Regional Giving Manager. “We are committed to art and culture initiatives that reflect new, under-represented and diverse talent. CoLABoratory creates a new paradigm within orchestral commissioning structures that enables artists to develop direct and relevant experience with orchestras.”

About the 2022-2023 EarShot CoLABoratory Fellows and their Work:

inti figgis-vizueta writes magically real musics through the lens of personal identities, braiding a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with direct Andean and Irish heritage and a deep connection to the land. Inti was a featured composer in ACO’s 2019 Underwood New Music Readings in 2019 (now known as Earshot Readings). Her Seven Sides of Fire, written for the Attacca Quartet and ACO, explores the current wildfire crisis through the lens of American Indigenous fire ecology and traditions.

Yvette Janine Jackson is a composer of electroacoustic, chamber, and orchestral musics for concert, theater, and installation.  Building on her experience as a theatrical sound designer, she blends various forms into her own aesthetic of narrative soundscape composition, radio opera, and improvisation.  Her works often draw from history to examine relevant social issues. She participated in ACO’s Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute EarShot Readings with Naples Philharmonic in 2016. Her work Hello, Tomorrow! for orchestra and electronics builds on her previous electroacoustic radio operas and invites listeners to draw upon their own experiences to construct a narrative. The piece takes its title from George Lefferts’ story that was adapted for the radio drama series Dimension X and X Minus One in the 1950s, and is a response to reading Naomi Oreskes’ and Eric M. Conway’s The Collapse of Western Civilization.

Trevor New is an electro acoustic violist and composer who creates innovative originals, intuitive and scored soundscapes that evoke a cinematic journey. In October 2021, ACO and New premiered Cohere 1, an orchestral work written for decentralized simultaneous telematic performance. His piece, Cohere Touch, will be a new work for orchestra and augmented reality system “The Hub,” a custom-built, server-based system that can support in-person and virtual interactivity.

Mendi + Keith Obadike are a married Igbo Nigerian American couple whose work has been recognized for innovations in directed sound and listening, engagement with the cultures of the African Diaspora, and expansion of the field of sound art. Mendi + Keith make music, art, and literature. They have exhibited and performed at The New Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. They are creating a meditative piece, Dream Train, inspired by the mythology of the train in African American music and visual art, which will feature ACO musicians and three actors. Rooted in African Indigenous dream temples and the “energy” music of the 60s, Dream Train invites participants to dream together collectively as a form of social intervention.

Read more about the 2022-2023 EarShot CoLABoratory Fellows >

ACO is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers, with a commitment to diversity, disruption, and discovery. This season’s slate of performances includes eight premieres of new works by American composers, as well as the re-launch of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory workshop program; the continuation of ACO’s national EarShot Readings program for emerging composers with orchestras across the country; and its Sonic Spark Education program reaching at least 500 students in New York City schools.

Now encompassing all of ACO’s composer advancement initiatives, EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through orchestral readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today. Read more about ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory program >

American Composers Orchestra – 2022-2023 Upcoming Schedule

2022 Gala & Inaugural Creative Catalyst Awards

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 6pm

Bryant Park Grill | 25 W. 40th St. | New York, NY

Tickets & Information: www.americancomposers.org/events/2022-creative-catalyst-awards-gala

Creative Catalyst Award Honorees:

Denise Young, artist and SFJAZZ Board Chair

John Adams, composer and conductor

The Natural Order

Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 7:30pm

Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall | 57th St. and 7th Ave. | New York, NY

Information: www.americancomposers.org/events/the-natural-order

Tickets: www.carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge 212.247.7800, or the Carnegie Hall Box Office

Mei-Ann Chen, conductor

Jeffrey Zeigler, cello

Attacca Quartet

Sandbox Percussion

inti figgis-vizueta: Seven Sides of Fire (World Premiere, ACO Commission)

Mark Adamo: Last Year: Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra (New York Premiere, Co-commissioned by ACO, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and ROCO)

Yvette Janine Jackson: Hello Tomorrow! (World Premiere, Co-commissioned by ACO and Carnegie Hall)

Viet Cuong: re(new)al for chamber orchestra and percussion quartet (New York Premiere)

Modern Yesterdays

Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 7:30pm

Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall | 57th St. and 7th Ave. | New York, NY

Information: www.americancomposers.org/events/modern-yesterdays

Tickets: www.carnegiehall.org, CarnegieCharge 212.247.7800, or the Carnegie Hall Box Office

Daniela Candillari, conductor

Kaki King, guitar

Ellen Reid: Floodplain (New York Premiere, Co-commissioned by ACO, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and RTÉ National Symphony)

George E. Lewis: New Work (World Premiere, ACO Commission)

Jihyun Noel Kim: The Yellow House (New York Premiere, Co-commissioned by ACO, American Youth Symphony and Alabama Symphony Orchestra)

Kaki King: Modern Yesterdays (orchestrated by DJ Sparr; World Premiere of Orchestrations by Kaki King and D.J. Sparr, ACO Commission)

ACO EarShot Readings

Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10:30am – Working Rehearsal

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 7:30pm – Public Reading

Mannes School of Music’s Tishman Auditorium | 63 Fifth Avenue | New York, NY

Tickets & Information: www.americancomposers.org/events/acos-earshot-in-nyc

Tito Muñoz, conductor

Audiences are invited to experience a working rehearsal and the full read through of works by six composers. One composer will be selected to receive a $15,000 commission for a new work to be performed by ACO in a future season. ACO Readings composers have gone on to win every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, Guggenheim, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Rome Prizes.

The Next Festival of Emerging Artists EarShot Workshop

Thursday, June 8, 2023, at 7pm

Location TBA

Tickets & Information: www.americancomposers.org/events/earshot-the-next-festival-of-emerging-artists

Peter Askim, conductor

The Next Festival of Emerging Artists for early-career artists is dedicated to the music of our time, fostering collaborative relationships, and creating 360°artists. It was founded in 2013 by composer, conductor and bassist Peter Askim. These Earshot Workshops will foster collaborative relationships in a peer-to-peer setting, offering the opportunity for emerging composers to gain in-depth experience writing for and working with string orchestra musicians.

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 composer advancement 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, racial, 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.

Now encompassing all of ACO’s composer advancement initiatives, EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through orchestral readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today. Serving over 350 composers since inception, ACO Readings in NYC began in 1991, and since 2008, national Readings have been offered in partnership with orchestras across the country in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, and American Composers Forum. Readings composers have gone on to win every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Rome Prizes.

ACO has received numerous awards for its work, including those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded ACO its annual prize for adventurous programming 35 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Audience Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. Read more: www.americancomposers.org

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Lead support for EarShot CoLABoratory is generously provided by the TD Charitable Foundation.

EarShot is a program of American Composers Orchestra completed in partnership with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. The program is made possible with lead support from Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, Mellon Foundation, the TD Charitable Foundation and Fromm Foundation, additional support is provided by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the League of American Orchestras with support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Public funds are provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

The commission of Seven Sides of Fire by inti Figgis Vizueta is made possible with the support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Seven Sides of Fire was workshopped as part of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory, generously funded by the TD Charitable Foundation.

The commission and premiere of Hello, Tomorrow! by Yvette Janine Jackson has been made possible with the support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. Hello, Tomorrow! is being workshopped as part of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory, generously funded by the TD Charitable Foundation.

Cohere Touch by Trevor New has been made possible with the support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting,and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Cohere Touch is being workshopped as part of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory, generously funded by the TD Charitable Foundation.

Dream Train by Mendi & Keith Obadike has been made possible with the support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. Dream Train is being workshopped as part of ACO’s EarShot CoLABoratory, generously funded by the TD Charitable Foundation.

American Composers Orchestra

Derek Bermel, Artistic Director | Melissa Ngan, President and CEO

Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor Laureate | George Manahan, Music Director Emeritus

Robert Beaser, Artistic Director Laureate

494 8th Avenue, Suite 503 | New York, NY 10001

Phone: 212.977.8495 | Web: www.americancomposers.org

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