American Composers Orchestra Appoints Yim As President
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Edward Yim as president of ACO, effective February 21, 2017. Yim succeeds Michael Geller, who held the position from 1996-2016.
Edward Yim is vice president for artistic planning for the New York Philharmonic. As the senior staff director in charge of programming, he has collaborated across the organization to create and maintain the organization's artistic profile by initiating long-term project development, engaging guest conductors and soloists, and coordinating repertoire for a year-round schedule of concerts in New York, international touring, and media activities. He has also worked closely on the New York Philharmonic's partnership with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Previously, Yim was senior vice president and director of the Conductor and Instrumentalists Division at IMG Artists and served as director of artistic planning for both New York City Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. In Los Angeles, working with a wide range of musical genres including classical, jazz, world, and popular music, he created programming for over 200 concerts per season for the Los Angeles Philharmonic both at Walt Disney Concert Hall (where he was involved in planning the inaugural seasons) and at the Hollywood Bowl.
"I couldn't be happier to welcome Ed Yim to ACO," said ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel. "For years he has devoted his talents and energy to serving American music and the composers who write it. Ed's integrity, sophistication, intellect, and vision align beautifully with the orchestra's unique mission, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to working together."
"We are thrilled to welcome Ed Yim as the next president of American Composers Orchestra," said Frederick Wertheim, ACO's Board Chairman. "Ed is a long-standing orchestra industry professional with vast experience in artistic planning and other related arts management activities. As a well-connected and respected leader, he impressed our search committee with the articulation of a solid vision for ACO and the field of contemporary American music and composers. ACO will benefit enormously from Ed's expertise, skills, and creativity as we move forward with achieving our organizational, financial, and artistic goals this year and in the future."
Edward Yim is a graduate of the League of American Orchestra's Management Fellowship Program. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he holds an AB in Government from Harvard College and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. He has served on the boards of New Music USA and the International Contemporary Ensemble, and also consults to Music Accord, a consortium of presenters which commissions contemporary chamber music for American artists.
As ACO president, Yim will serve as chief executive officer of American Composers Orchestra, reporting to the board of directors through the chairman. He will be responsible for all aspects of ACO's operations, including a leadership role in fundraising. He will also work in close partnership with Bermel and ACO Music Director George Manahan in evaluating existing activities and designing new programs that achieve and advance ACO's mission.
"I am excited and honored to serve as the new president of ACO," Yim said. "Composers are my heroes - ultimately everything we do in music depends on their innovation, authenticity and passion. The chance to dedicate myself - alongside the talented board, staff and musicians - to these artists is a dream. Together, we will honor the legacy of American music and, even more importantly, serve as an incubator and advocate for today's voices. I am thrilled by this opportunity to champion American composers striving to write vital, original work for the 21st century."
Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. ACO makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new American orchestral music its central purpose. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today's brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. ACO also serves as an incubator of ideas, research, and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music. ACO programs seek to innovate and experiment, educate students and the public, and open the orchestra to diverse new influences and audiences.
To date, ACO has performed music by 800 American composers, including 350 world premieres and newly commissioned works. Among the orchestra's innovative programs have been SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a nine-day citywide festival in New York of music by more than 100 composers age 40 and under; Sonidos de las Américas, six annual festivals devoted to Latin American composers and their music; Coming to America, a program immersing audiences in the ongoing evolution of American music through the work of immigrant composers; Orchestra Tech, a long-term initiative to integrate new digital technologies in the symphony orchestra; Improvise!, a festival devoted to the exploration of improvisation and the orchestra; coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe, a new laboratory for the research and development of experimental new works for orchestra; and Orchestra Underground, ACO's entrepreneurial cutting-edge orchestral ensemble that embraces new technology, eclectic instruments, influences, and spatial orientation of the orchestra, new experiments in the concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinary collaborations.
Composer development has been at the core of ACO's mission since its founding. In addition to its annual Underwood New Music Readings and Commission, ACO also provides a range of additional educational and professional development activities, including composer residencies and fellowships. In 2008, ACO launched EarShot, a multi-institutional network that assists orchestras around the country in mounting new music readings. Recent and upcoming Earshot programs have included the Detroit, Berkeley, La Jolla, Nashville, Memphis, Columbus, Colorado, San Diego Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information visit www.EarShotnetwork.org. The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, launched in 2010, supports jazz artists who desire to write for the symphony.
Among the honors ACO has received are special awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra's outstanding contribution to American music. ACO is the 2015 recipient of the Champion of New Music Award given by American Composers Forum. ASCAP has awarded its annual prize for adventurous programming to ACO 36 times, singling out ACO as "the orchestra that has done the most for American music in the United States." ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, InstantEncore.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. ACO's digital albums include Playing It UNsafe (March 2011), Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 (February 2012), Orchestra Underground: X10D (June 2012), Orchestra Underground: Tech & Techno (July 2014), and SONiC Double Live (July 2016), a collection of premiere performances from its groundbreaking SONiC: Sounds of a New Century festival. ACO has also released Orchestra Underground: A-V, a groundbreaking album of multimedia works available for free streaming at www.vimeo.com/channels/orchestraunderground. More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at www.americancomposers.org.