American Composers Orchestra - Innovating Right Before Your Ears

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artists & advisors
Robert Beaser
Steven Sloane 
Dennis Russell Davies
Derek Bermel
Alvin Singleton

Anthony Davis

Tod Machover




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concert schedule
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American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995























home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995























home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995























home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995























home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995























home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995




















home
concert schedule
aco mission & history
top

American Composers Orchestra
240 West 35th Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10001-2506
Tel 212 977 8495
Fax 212 977 8995

ACO
Artists & Advisors

Steven Sloane,
principal guest conductor

Principal Guest Conductor Steven Sloane Steven Sloane Steven Sloane is one of the most adventurous conductors to have emerged in recent years. Through his work across Europe and in America, Sloane has won acclaim for his compelling programming, theatrical flair, and impressive technique. His passion for unusual repertoire, interest in eclectic juxtapositions of music of divergent eras and styles, commitment to contemporary works, and willingness to challenge convention have established Sloane as a bold champion of the future of concert music.

Born in Los Angeles in 1958, Steven Sloane studied viola, musicology and conducting at UCLA, and continued conducting studies with Eugene Ormandy, Franco Ferrara and Gary Bertini. In 1981, he emigrated to Israel, where he worked extensively with Israeli orchestras and opera companies. In 1988, Steven Sloane was offered the position of Principal Resident Conductor at Frankfurt Opera, a position he held until 1992. He has been a regular guest conductor with the New York City Opera since 1990. From 1992 to 1994, he served as Music Director of the Long Beach Opera.

Maestro Sloane made his Carnegie Hall debut with American Composers Orchestra in March 2002, succeeding ACO co-founder Dennis Russell Davies. He is currently General Music Director of the City of Bochum Symphony (Germany), where he just celebrated his tenth anniversary season. He has also served as Opera and Orchestra Music Director of the Spoleto Festival (United States), where performances included the American premiere of Heiner Goebbels's Surrogate Cities, and England's Opera North where, during his tenure, the company received three nominations for National Theater Awards. With the Bochum Symphony, he has offered such eclectic programming as Monteverdi Meets Maderna and Jean Cocteau and his Paris, earning the prestigious German Publishers Award for Best Programming of the Year.

Among the many contemporary composers whose works he has performed are American composers Michael Daugherty, Joan Tower, Steve Reich, John Adams, Michael Gordon, Lisa Bielawa, Tan Dun, Christopher Rouse, Wynton Marsalis, John Corigliano, Frank Zappa, Stewart Wallace and Danny Elfman. He has also championed many of America's early New England School composers, including George Whitefield Chadwick, John Knowles Paine, and Edward MacDowell, as well as leading European composers of today such as Luciano Berio, Mauricio Kagel, and Wolfgang Rihm. He has commissioned more than twenty Israeli composers, including Gil Shohat, Noam Sheriff, Sergiu Natra, and Tzvi Avni. Maestro Sloane's orchestral engagements include the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Berlin, Munich, and Bavarian Radio orchestras, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo Naples, City of Birmingham Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonia and the Toyko Metropolitan Orchestra. Recently, he made his debut at the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera.

Robert Beaser,
artistic director

Artistic Director Robert Beaser Robert Beaser has emerged as one of the most accomplished creative musicians of his generation. Since 1982, when the New York Times wrote that he possessed a "lyrical gift comparable to that of the late Samuel Barber," his music has won international acclaim for its balance between dramatic sweep and architectural clarity. The Baltimore Sun writes "Beaser is one of this country's huge composing talents, with a gift for vocal writing that is perhaps unequaled." His opera The Food of Love, with a libretto by Terrence McNally, is part of the Central Park trilogy, which opened to worldwide critical accolades at Glimmerglass and New York City Opera. Televised nationally on PBS Great Performances, it received an Emmy nomination in 2000.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Beaser studied literature, political philosophy and music at Yale College in 1976. He went on to earn his Master of Music, M.M.A. and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music. From 1978-1990 he served as co-Music Director and Conductor of the chamber ensemble Musical Elements at the 92nd Street Y, bringing premieres of over two hundred works to Manhattan. From 1988-1993 he was the Meet the Composer/Composer-in-Residence with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and has since served as the ACO's artistic advisor until January 2001, when he assumed the role of Artistic Director. Since 1993, he has been Professor and Chairman of the Composition Department at the Juilliard School in New York.

Beaser's compositions have earned him numerous awards and honors. In 1977 he became the youngest composer to win the Prix de Rome from the American Academy in Rome. In 1986, Beaser's widely heard Mountain Songs was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Contemporary Composition. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Charles Ives Scholarship, an ASCAP Composers Award, a Nonesuch Commission Award and a Barlow Commission. In 1995 the American Academy of Arts and Letters honoured him with their lifetime achievement award, the Academy Award in music.

Beaser has received major commissions from the New York Philharmonic (150th Anniversary Commission), the Chicago Symphony (Centennial Commission), the Saint Louis Symphony, The American Composers Orchestra, The Baltimore Symphony and Dawn Upshaw, The Minnesota Orchestra, Chanticleer, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass, and WNET/Great Performances among others. Recent major orchestral performances have come from the Chicago, Saint Louis and Baltimore Symphonies, The Minnesota Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Dutch Radio Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic with James Galway. His music has been performed, recorded and commissioned by artists such as Leonard Slatkin, Richard Stoltzman, Eliot Fisk, James Galway, Lauren Flanigan, Dawn Upshaw, David Zinman, Dennis Russel Davies, Renée Fleming, Lukas Foss, Paul Sperry, Stewart Robertson, and Big Bird. His principal recorded works include The Seven Deadly Sins, Chorale Variations, and Piano Concerto (London/Argo), The Heavenly Feast (Milken Archives), Song of the Bells (New World Records), Notes on a Southern Sky (EMI-Electrola), Mountain Songs (Musicmasters, Koch, Gajo, Siemens, HM Records Venezuela), and Landscape With Bells (Innova).

Dennis Russell Davies,
conductor laureate

Conductor Laureate Dennis Russell Davies Recognized for his command of both traditional and contemporary music, Dennis Russell Davies, who is considered at the forefront of the orchestral and operatic worlds, is sought out by orchestras, composers and artists alike for his imaginative collaborations, and is regarded as an innovative force in classical music. A frequent guest conductor with major orchestras and opera companies worldwide, Mr. Davies is Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Bruckner Orchester Linz, and Chief Conductor of the Linz Opera. He is also Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and is the Conductor Laureate of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Davies has served as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and Beethovenhalle Orchestra, and as Music Director of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart State Opera, Bonn Opera, and the Cabrillo Music Festival (Santa Cruz, CA); he also was Principal Conductor/Classical Music Program Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Throughout his extensive career, Mr. Davies has been the music director/conductor for major opera productions in venues as varied as Bayreuth, Chicago, Paris, Houston, Lisbon and at the Metropolitan Opera. Dennis Russell Davies was born in Toledo, Ohio, and graduated from The Juilliard School where he studied piano with Lonny Epstein and Sasha Gorodnitski, and conducting with Jean Morel and Jorge Mester.

Derek Bermel,
creative advisor

Creative Advisor Derek Bermel Described by the Toronto Star as an "eclectic with wide open ears" and by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as "one of America's finest young composers", composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity. Bermel's works draw from a rich variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, blues, folk, and gospel. Hands-on experience with music of cultures around the world has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language.

After having served as 2006-09 Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Bermel has become Creative Advisor for the orchestra. Bermel has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, and Saint Louis Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri String Quartet, Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Jazz Xchange (U.K.), Figura (Denmark), violinist Midori, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianists Christopher Taylor and Andy Russo, among others. His many awards include the Alpert Award in the Arts, the Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, the Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center, the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lili Boulanger Award, commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri.

Last season Bermel performed as soloist alongside Wynton Marsalis in his Migration Series, a work commissioned by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and ACO. He also appeared as clarinet soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in conductor/composer John Adams' Gnarly Buttons, and as soloist in his own concerto Voices at the Beijing Modern Music Festival. The Philharmonia Orchestra in also produced an all-Bermel concert as part of its Music of Today series at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Highlights during this season include the Pittsburgh Symphony's premiere of The Good Life for chorus and orchestra, and a return to Carnegie Hall for two premieres: a Koussevitzky Commission for ACO conducted by Maestro Dennis Russell Davies, and as soloist in the world premiere of Fang Man's clarinet concerto.

Beginning in Fall 2009 Bermel will serve as composer-in-residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Voices, A recently released disc of his orchestral music on the BMOPsound label, was hailed as "magnificent" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bermel's music is published by Peermusic (Americas & Asia) and Faber Music (Europe/Australia).

Alvin Singleton,
artistic advisor, improvisation

Artistic Advisor Improvisation Alvin Singleton Born in Brooklyn, New York, Alvin Singleton attended New York University and Yale. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia Nationale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. After working for more than a decade in Europe, Singleton returned to the United States to become Composer-in-Residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (1985-88). He subsequently served as Resident Composer at Spelman College in Atlanta (1988-91), and was the 1996-1997 UNISYS Composer-in-Residence with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he served as a Visiting Professor of Composition at the Yale University School of Music. He has been awarded the Kranischsteiner Musikpreis by the City of Darmstadt, Germany, twice the Musikprotokoll Kompositionpreis by the Austrian Radio, the Mayor's Fellowship in the Arts Award by the City of Atlanta, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Singleton has composed music for the theater, orchestra, solo instruments, and a variety of chamber ensembles. His compositions have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Boston, Pittsburgh, Houston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Oregon, Baltimore, Syracuse, Louisville, and Florida, the American Composers Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, l'Orchestre de Paris, das Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker and also the Kronos Quartet, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Nash Ensemble of London, the Asko Ensemble of Amsterdam, Ensemble des 20. Jahrhunderts of Vienna, the London Sinfonietta, Trio Basso of Cologne, and das Bremer Tanztheater.

Anthony Davis,
artistic advisor, improvisation

Artistic Advisor Improvisation Anthony Davis In April 1993, Davis made his Broadway debut, composing the music for Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, directed by George C. Wolfe. His music is also heard in Kushner's companion piece, Perestroika, which opened on Broadway in November 1993. As a composer, Davis is best known for his operas. X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which played to sold-out houses at its premiere at the New York City Opera in 1986, was the first of a new American genre: opera on a contemporary political subject. The recording of X was released on the Gramavision label in August 1992 and received a Grammy Nomination for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" in February 1993. Davis's second opera, Under the Double Moon, a science fiction opera with an original libretto by Deborah Atherton, premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 1989. His third opera, Tania, with a libretto by Michael-John LaChiusa and based on the abduction of Patricia Hearst, premiered at the American Music Theater Festival in June 1992. A fourth opera, Amistad premiered at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in November 1997. Set to a libretto by poet Thulani Davis, the librettist of X, Amistad was staged by George C. Wolfe. Reacting to two of Davis's orchestral works, Maps (Violin Concerto) and Notes from the Underground, Michael Walsh said in Time Magazine: "Imagine Ellington's lush, massed sonorities propelled by Bartók's vigorous whiplash rhythms and overlaid with the seductive percussive haze of the Balinese gamelan orchestra..." Recordings of Davis's music may be heard on the Rykodisc (Gramavision) and Music and Arts labels. His music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer, Inc.

Tod Machover,
music technology advisor

Technology Advisor Tod Machover Tod Machover was recently called "America's most wired composer" by The Los Angeles Times. He is head of the Media Lab's Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group. An influential composer, he has been praised for creating music that breaks traditional artistic and cultural boundaries; his music has been performed and commissioned by some of the world's most important performers and ensembles. In 1995, he received a "Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres," one of France's highest cultural honors, and in 1998 he was awarded the first DigiGlobe Prize from the German government. He has composed five operas and is the inventor of Hyperinstruments, a technology that uses smart computers to augment virtuosity. Hyperinstruments have been used by performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, Prince, and Peter Gabriel. Machover is also the creator of the Toy Symphony, an international music performance and education project. His research group is currently examining ways to use music in therapy for emotionally and physically challenged individuals.

His newest opera, Death and the Powers, to premiere in Monte-Carlo 2009, is being developed by an extraordinary creative team of international artists, designers, writers, and theatrical luminaries, as well as by an interdisciplinary team of Media Lab graduate and undergraduate students. Scored for a small ensemble of specially designed Hyperinstruments, Powers will feature a robotic, animatronic stage—the first of its kind—that will gradually "come alive" as the opera's main character. Machover, who was formerly director of musical research at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM institute in Paris, received both his BA and MA from the Juilliard School in New York. American Composers Orchestra premiered Machover's Sparkler in October 2001. Mr. Machover currently serves as Music Technology Advisor to ACO, overseeing the multi-year Orchestra Technology Initiative.




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