American Composers Orchestra Partners with Berkeley, Detroit, La Jolla Symphonies & NY Phil in 2013-14


American Composers Orchestra (ACO) continues its mission to be a catalyst for new American orchestral music while providing invaluable opportunities for composers through four EarShot partnerships during the 2013-2014 season. Calls for submissions for EarShot Readings with three of the orchestras are now open - Berkeley Symphony (Readings on February 2-3 & May 4-5, 2014, submission deadline August 30), Detroit Symphony (Readings on March 9-10, 2014, submission deadline October 11), and the New York Philharmonic (Readings on June 3, concerts on June 5-7, 2014, submission deadline December 2) as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL. Also as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, ACO continues its ownUnderwood New Music Readings for the 23rd year in New York at the DiMenna Center (June 6-7, 2014, submission deadline December 2). Composers have already been selected for the La Jolla Symphony Readings, which take place on September 19 and 20, 2013.

EarShot, a nationwide network of new music readings and composer-development programs, is the nation's first ongoing, systematic program for identifying emerging orchestral composers, which provides professional-level working experience with orchestras from every region of the country and increases awareness of these composers and access to their music throughout the industry. EarShot is a partnership of American Composers Orchestra, American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras. To date, more than three dozen composers have been selected for New Music Readings with orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Pioneer Valley Symphony (MA), New York Youth Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony.

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus
September 19 & 20, 2013. Mandeville Auditorium at UC San Diego, CA.

As part of Earshot, the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will host the final Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) Readings on September 19 and 20, 2013 at UCSD's Mandeville Auditorium, led by Music Director Steven Schick. The featured composers are Alan Chan, Tobin Chodos, Michael Dessen, Daniel Marschak, and Miya Masaoka. The mentor composers for the La Jolla Symphony Readings are Rand Steiger (UCSD), Anne LeBaron(California Institute of the Arts), and Anthony Davis (UCSD). The Readings will include a working rehearsal on September 19, and a run-through performance of the composers' pieces on September 20 at 7pm, which is free and open to the public.

Berkeley Symphony: EarShot Under Construction
February 2-3 & May 4-5, 2014. The Osher Studio, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA
Submission Deadline: August 30, 2013

Berkeley Symphony, Joana Carneiro, music director, in cooperation with EarShot, will present its 2014 Under Construction Reading Series in February and May 2014. Three emerging composers will be selected to participate from a national candidate pool. Each will compose a new 10-minute work for orchestra, and have the opportunity to have the new piece workshopped, rehearsed, and read by Berkeley Symphony, in two, free and open-to-the-public reading sessions on February 2 and May 4, 2014 at The Osher Studio.

Composers will receive artistic and career guidance from the Symphony artistic staff, orchestra musicians, and renowned mentor-composers Edmund Campion and Robert Beaser, to further develop their professional skills. Composers selected will be responsible for delivering score and parts and attending both session dates with the Berkeley Symphony, and will receive a recording of their work for archival and study purposes. Travel and accommodations will be provided. Applications and submitted works for the Berkeley Symphony Readings are due by August 30, 2013. For submission procedures and guidelines, see

Hailed as "the Bay Area's most adventurous orchestra" by the Contra Costa Times, Berkeley Symphony has established a reputation for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classical European repertoire. It has been recognized with an Adventurous Programming Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in eight of the past ten seasons.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra: New Music Readings for African American Composers
March 9-10, 2014. Orchestra Hall, Detroit, MI.
Submission Deadline: October 11, 2013

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, music director, and EarShot will hold its DSO New Music Readings in conjunction with the DSO's "Classical Roots" celebration March 9-10, 2014, in Detroit, MI at Orchestra Hall. The Readings will provide up to four emerging African-American composers the opportunity to work closely with the nationally acclaimed DSO under the baton of music director Leonard Slatkin.

Composers will be selected for the readings on a competitive basis. The experience will include feedback from DSO musicians, Maestro Slatkin, and mentor composers Bright Sheng, Gabriela Lena Frank, Derek Bermel, and Carman Moore. In addition, professional development workshops with leading professionals in the field will be offered. Composers selected will be responsible for delivering professional-quality score and parts, and will receive a recording of their work for archival and study purposes. Travel and accommodations will be provided. Submissions are due by October 11, 2013. For submission procedures and guidelines, see

The internationally acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in December 2012, is known for trailblazing performances, visionary maestros, collaborations with the world's foremost musical artists, and an unwavering commitment to Detroit. Esteemed conductor Leonard Slatkin, called "America's Music Director" by the Los Angeles Times, became the 12th Music Director of the DSO in 2008. The DSO's performance schedule includes Classical, Pops, Jazz, Young People's, Neighborhood concerts, and collaborations with chart-topping musicians from Smokey Robinson to Kid Rock. A commitment to broadcast innovation began in 1922 when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, one of America's most acoustically perfect concert halls, the DSO actively pursues a mission to impact and serve the community through music. DSO has a special commitment to honoring African-American contributions to classical music, hosting "Classical Roots" for the last 34 years.

New York Philharmonic EarShot New Music Readings
June 3, 2014. Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC.
Submission Deadline: December 2, 2013

Submissions are now being accepted for the New York Philharmonic EarShot New Music Readings to be held in conjunction with the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL on June 3, 2014, in New York, NY. The Readings will provide up to six emerging composers the opportunity to work closely with the internationally acclaimed New York Philharmonic under the baton of music director Alan Gilbert. Composers will be selected for the Readings on a competitive basis, and the experience will include feedback from principal New York Philharmonic musicians, Maestro Gilbert, composer/conductorMatthias Pintscher, and mentor composers Christopher Rouse, Steven Mackey, Robert Beaser, and Derek Bermel. Three of the emerging composers' works will be selected to be performed as part of the New York Philharmonic's subscription concerts on June 5, 6, and 7, 2014. Travel and accommodations will be provided. Submissions are due by December 2, 2013. For submission procedures and guidelines,

ACO: Underwood New Music Readings
June 6 & 7, 2014. DiMenna Center for the Performing Arts, NYC
Submission Deadline: December 2, 2013

American Composers Orchestra will hold its 23rd Annual Underwood New Music Readings for emerging composers on June 6 and 7, at the DiMenna Center. In what has become a rite of passage for aspiring orchestral composers, up to eight composers from throughout the United States will be selected to receive a reading of a new work, and one composer will be selected to receive a $15,000 commission for a work to be performed by ACO during an upcoming season. Each participating composer receives rehearsal, reading, and a digital recording of his or her work. Review and feedback sessions with ACO principal players, mentor-composers, guest conductors, and industry representatives provide crucial artistic, technical, and conceptual assistance. To date, more than 100 composers have participated in the New Music Readings, including such award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Derek Bermel, Randall Woolf, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Sebastian Currier, and Jennifer Higdon. This year, the Readings are part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

The proceedings are open to the public free of charge. The first day of Readings, a working rehearsal, will be presented from 10am to 12:30pm on Friday, June 6; the second day of Readings will take place on Saturday evening, June 7, at 7:30pm, when all selected pieces will be polished and performed in their entirety. ACO's artistic director, Derek Bermel, directs the readings. The deadline for composers interested in applying to the Underwood New Music Readings is December 2, 2013. For submission procedures and guidelines, see

Entering its 37th season, 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.

To date, ACO has performed music by 700 American composers, including nearly 300 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 Earshot programs have included the Nashville, Memphis, Colorado, San Diego Symphonies, the New York Youth Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information visit

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. ASCAP has awarded its annual prize for adventurous programming to ACO 35 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,, and iTunes. ACO's digital albums include Playing It UNsafe(March 2011), Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 (February 2012), and the orchestra's latest release, Orchestra Underground: X10D (June 2012), an album featuring unusual and extended solo instruments with the orchestra. More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at

The American Composers Forum is committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development. By linking communities with composers and performers, the Forum fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons. For more information, go to

Founded in 1942, and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League of American Orchestras leads, encourages, and supports America's orchestras while communicating to the public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. The League's vision is to be a transformative and unifying force for the orchestra field-a catalyst for understanding and innovation, a place for conversations that matter, and a champion for orchestras. More information can be found at

On November 8, 2011 a merger was completed between two eminent champions of new music in the United States, the American Music Center and Meet The Composer. The result is an exciting new organization that will serve music-makers and their audiences in the twenty-first century. Its mission is to increase opportunities for composers, performers and audiences by fostering the creation, dissemination, and enjoyment of new American music, both nationally and internationally. New Music USA places special emphasis on broadening the public community for the music and musicians they serve. New Music USA will maintain all core programming of AMC and MTC. More information can be found at