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American Composers Orchestra Announces Next Composer To Composer Talk With Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Kerwin Young

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The talk takes place on Wednesday, December 2 at 5pm ET.

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) presents its next Composer to Composer Talk online on Wednesday, December 2 at 5pm ET, with composers Chen Yi, Zhou Long, and Kerwin Young. The talk will be live-streamed and available for on-demand viewing for seven days. Tickets are free; registration is highly encouraged. Registrants will receive links to recordings of featured works in advance of the event.

The Composer to Composer series features major American composers in conversation with each other about their work and leading a creative life. The intergenerational discussions begin by exploring a single orchestral piece, with one composer interviewing the other(s). Attendees will gain insight into the work's genesis, sound, influence on the American orchestral canon, and will be invited to ask questions of the artists.

ACO's inaugural Composer to Composer Talk with George Lewis, Courtney Bryan and Damon Holzborn, which was live-streamed on November 18, is now available for on-demand viewing for one week. Tune in at:

On December 2, Kerwin Young discusses Chen Yi and Zhou Long's co-composed work Symphony Humen 1839 with them. Symphony Humen 1839 was commissioned and premiered by the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in 2009, conducted by Guangzhou Symphony's Music Director Long Yu.

The Symphony is intended to commemorate the public burning of over 1000 tons of opium in June 1839 in Humen, Guangdong. The opium had been seized from British traders and was piled by the Pearl River and set alight, in an attempt to ban the formidable - and illegal - trading of opium by the British in Qing Dynasty China (1636-1912). The event was to prompt Britain to declare war on China - a conflict now known as the First Opium War (1839-42).

Symphony Humen 1839 won First Prize in the Sixteenth Chinese National Composition Competition for Symphonic Works, sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 2012. The Naxos recording, performed by the New Zealand Symphony and conducted by Darrell Ang, was nominated for a 2016 Grammy.

Volume One of ACO's Composer to Composer Talks runs through January 27, 2021. Future talks include William Bolcom and Gabriela Lena Frank (January 13); and John Corigliano and Mason Bates (January 27). Volume Two, to be announced in January 2021, will include composers Missy Mazzoli and Meredith Monk, among others.

These conversations will be archived by Oral History of American Music (OHAM) within Yale University's Irving S. Gilmore Music Library.

Upcoming Composer to Composer Talks:

January 13, 2021 at 5pm ET: William Bolcom's Symphony No. 9

with William Bolcom and Gabriela Lena Frank

Tickets & Information:

Gabriela Lena Frank talks with William Bolcom about his Symphony No. 9, from 2012, of which Bolcom writes, "Today our greatest enemy is our inability to listen to each other, which seems to worsen with time. All we hear now is shouting, and nobody is listening because the din is so great. Yet there is a 'still, small voice' that refuses to disappear...I pin my hope on that voice. I search for it daily in life and in music - and possibly the 'Ninth Symphony' is a search for that soft sound."

January 27, 2021 at 5pm ET: John Corigliano's Circus Maximus (Symphony No. 3 for Large Wind Ensemble)

With John Corigliano and Mason Bates

Tickets & Information:

Mason Bates talks with John Corigliano about Corigliano's work Circus Maximus (Symphony No. 3 for Large Wind Ensemble) from 2004. Corigliano writes of the piece, "The Circus Maximus of ancient Rome was the largest arena in the world. 300,000 spectators were entertained by chariot races, hunts, and battles. The Roman need for grander and wilder amusement grew as its empire declined. The parallels between the high decadence of Rome and our present time are obvious. Entertainment dominates our reality, and ever-more-extreme 'reality' shows dominate our entertainment."

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