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12th Annual

Whitaker New Music Readings

Monday, April 7, 2003
9:30am - 1:00pm and 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Aaron Davis Hall
on the campus of the City College of New York, at 135th Street and Convent Avenue in Manhattan

Steven Sloane, music director & conductor
Robert Beaser, artistic director
Jeffrey Milarsky & Scott Yoo, guest conductors
Chen Yi, Joseph Schwantner, Steven Stucky, mentor composers

JUDE WEIRMEIR: Buried Secrets
PAUL RUDY: Symphonie Pastorale
SALLY LAMB: The Coincidence of Being
LANSING D. McLOSKEY: Requiem, ver.s.001x

Admission is free. Reservations Required. Call (212) 977-8495 x207 or make a reservation online for the Readings

ACO Selects Nation's Top Emerging Composers for 12th Annual Whitaker New Music Readings

American Composers Orchestra announces the winners of what has become one of this country's most coveted opportunities for emerging composers, its twelfth annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions. This event, made possible by a grant from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, will be held on Monday, April 7th from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Aaron Davis Hall. The Readings provide an invaluable opportunity for up-and-coming composers to experience a full orchestral rendering of their work, receive the reactions of other composers and performers, and obtain a professional quality tape to assist in their advancement.

Eight of the nation's most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers were selected out hundreds of submissions received from around the country. This season's winners are Jude Weirmeir, David Stovall, Paul Rudy, Martin Kennedy, Matthew Fuerst, Manly Romero, Sally Lamb, and Lansing D. McLoskey.

One of these composers will receive the ACO's Whitaker Commission, a $15,000 commission to write a new work to be performed by ACO at Carnegie Hall. Last year's winner, Lisa Bielawa won the top prize at the American Composers Orchestra's annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions with her work, Roam. Ms. Bielawa's work impressed ACO's judges with its "high sense of drama and contrast." Her work was called "gripping, evocative...highly effective," and praised for its "wonderful shape from beginning to end." Ms. Bielawa is now at work on her Whitaker-commissioned piece, entitled The Right Weather to be performed by ACO as part of a new concert series it will launch in 2004. In March, 2003 ACO gave the world premieres of three Whitaker-commissioned works at Carnegie Hall: Brian Robison's In Search of the Miraculous, Dan Coleman's L'alma respira, and Hsueh-Yung Shen's Autumn Fall. Each of these three composers was selected amongst hundreds of submissions received for the reading sessions in previous years. Paul Yeon Lee, who won the 2001 prize with his evocative work Phoenix, praised for its "beautiful lyricism blended with dramatic, energetic, and rhythmic driving sections," is at work on his commission, scheduled for performance during the 2004-05 season.

To date, the Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions have offered a vital resource to the industry by providing essential career development opportunities to over 50 composers, including such award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Derek Bermel, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Sebastian Currier, Pierre Jalbert, Randall Woolf, Jennifer Higdon, and Augusta Read Thomas. Since participating in ACO's readings, these composers have held important residencies and had scores of works commissioned, premiered, and performed by many of the country's prominent symphony orchestras. ACO has placed particular emphasis on its role in helping to launch composers careers, including many of today's top composers, such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwantner, both of whom received Pulitzer Prizes for ACO commissions; and Robert Beaser, Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, and Tobias Picker, whom the orchestra championed when they were beginning their careers.

The reading sessions are under the direction of ACO Music Director Steven Sloane, Artistic Director Robert Beaser, and guest conductors Jeffrey Milarsky and Scott Yoo. Mentor composers for this year's reading sessions are Chen Yi, Joseph Schwantner, and Steven Stucky. The conductors, mentor composers and principal players from ACO who serve as liaisons, provide critical feedback to the each of the participants during and after the reading sessions.

Composer-Participants & Works to be Performed

Jude Weirmeir: Buried Secrets
Jude WeirmeirJude Weirmeir was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1970, and is now studying with Chinary Ung, toward a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of California, San Diego. Previously he studied at the University of Texas at Austin and Arizona State University. He has participated in symposiums with the Festival-Institute at Round-Top with Chinary Ung and Harvey Sollberger, the Ernest Bloch Composer's Symposium with George Crumb, and the Center for American Music with John Harbison, John Corigliano, and George Rochberg. In 2001 Mr. Weirmeir received the Thomas Nee Commission, performed by the La Jolla Symphony at UCSD. In 2000 he won first prize in the North Coast Chamber Ensemble Competition, and in 1999, first prize in the 17th ALEA III International Composer's Competition with Fragments of Prometheus Unbound, a work for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble. Other compositions have been performed by Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Duo 46, Ensemble Green, North/South Consonance, and the California EAR Unit. Jude Weirmeir has been called a composer with "major chops." His Buried Secrets was found to be "beguiling," "delicate, rich, and colorful," with a "a wonderful mastery of orchestral color."

Paul Rudy: Symphonie Pastorale
Paul RudyPaul Rudy was born in South Bend, Indiana in 1962. He is Assistant Professor of Composition and Director of the Inter-media/Music Production and Computer Technology Center at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri, Kansas City. From 1995-2001 he was the composition technologist at the Aspen Music Festival and School where he directed the Amplified Music Performance Series. He is the 2002 winner of the EMS Electroacoustic Music Prize (Stockholm) along with other awards and honors from the Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, the Fulbright Foundation, Meet The Composer, the National Music Teachers Association, and the Missouri Music Teachers Association. Commissions include Meet The Composer USA, Music From China, New York University New Music Ensemble, Kansas City Chorale, newEar, the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, and the Missouri Music Teachers Association. Mr. Rudy's Symphonie Pastorale is "simply but elegantly laid-out," with a "deft and very effective attention to fine details and color."

Martin Kennedy: Juvenilia

Martin KennedyBorn in Wakefield, England in 1978, Martin Kennedy moved to America as a child and began his compositional career at the age of 10, writing songs and incidental music for his local community theater in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While studying piano at the University of Alabama, he began composing music, winning six state awards from the Music Teacher's National Association and one national award in 1995 for his Prelude for Clarinet and Piano. Mr. Kennedy completed his undergraduate and Masters Degree at the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied composition under Don Freund, David Dzubay, Samuel Adler, Claude Baker, and Sydney Hodkinson, and piano with Jeremy Denk and Evelyne Brancart. Mr. Kennedy's music has been performed at concerts in Japan, Italy, Poland, Brazil, and the United States, including performances by the Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, the Polish National Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Kennedy's has been called "an outstanding talent." His Juvenilia "opens with quite a bang;" it is "energetic and expertly calculated."

Matthew Fuerst: Portrait
Matthew Fuerst began piano lessons at the age of seven, making his orchestral debut at thirteen. In 1992, Mr. Fuerst enrolled at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he began composition lessons. Mr. Fuerst's Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was commissioned by Interlochen, and premiered by the composer on an NPR broadcast in 1993. In 1995, he enrolled at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied piano with Alan Feinberg, and composition with David Liptak, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Sydney Hodkinson, and Augusta Read Thomas. After graduating in 1999, Mr. Fuerst spent the summer in Paris at La Schola Cantorum, studying with Samuel Adler. He entered The Juilliard School in 1999, studying with Robert Beaser. In 2001, Mr. Fuerst was a co-winner of Juilliard's Palmer-Dixon Prize. Performances of Mr. Fuerst's music in concert have been heard at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Miller Theater in New York City, as well as other concert halls in Montreal, Paris, Pennsylvania. Mr. Fuerst is currently in his second year of the DMA program at The Juilliard School. Mr. Fuerst has been called, a "very promising" composer with a "fierce sense of conviction."

Manly Romero: Merengue
Manly Romero was born in San Francisco in 1966. His music is predominantly concerned with spirituality, self-knowledge, and with his paternal roots in Mexico and Spain. His new orchestral work Merengue, along with a zarzuela de bolsillo entitled Los Dos Amigos, and other recent works show an increasing interest in the incorporation of rhythmic constructs and melodic idioms from Latin American song forms, while retaining a fully-developed harmonic language. Mr. Romero served as associate artist with the San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music and Concerts for Kids programs, has received commissions and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Meet The Composer, and the American Music Center. Romero's one-act, Lewis Carroll-based opera Dreaming of Wonderland was presented as part of New York City Opera's Showcasing American Composers series in May 2001. Mr. Romero is currently pursuing doctoral studies in composition and researching the various histories of Latin American song forms at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Merengue was highly-regarded by ACO's judges, who called it "lively, rhythmic and punchy."

Sally Lamb: The Coincidence of Being
Sally LambSally Lamb was born in 1966. Ms. Lamb was awarded the 2001 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has received awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Meet-the-Composer, and ASCAP. She was a winner in the Women's Philharmonic Reading Sessions (1997) and is the recipient of the Brian M. Israel Prize (Society for New Music, 1993). Her works have been performed by the Ariadne String Quartet, Cornell University Wind Ensemble, Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, Eastman Wind Orchestra, the Society for New Music, Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, North/South Consonance, the June in Buffalo festival and at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Lamb has served on the faculty at Ithaca College, Syracuse University and as composer-in-residence at elementary schools in Syracuse and Ithaca, NY. She received a BFA in 1990 from the California Institute of the Arts where she studied with Mel Powell. She was awarded an MFA in 1995 and a DMA in 1998 from Cornell University, studying with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra. Lamb is currently a lecturer at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she lives with her husband and son. Ms. Lamb is "a composer who could well become one of the important orchestral voices in the rising generation of American composers." The Coincidence of Being is "convincing and evocative."

Lansing D. McLoskey: Requiem, ver.s.001x
Lansing D. McLoskeyLansing McLoskey's music has been performed across the U.S. and in nine other countries crossing four continents. Among his numerous awards are the Omaha Symphony International Composition Competition, the Kenneth Davenport National Competition for Orchestral Works, Charles Ives Center Orchestral Competition, SCI/ASCAP National Student Composition Competition, and the Lee Ettelson Composers Award. He has received grants & commissions from the N.E.A., Barlow Endowment, American Academy of Arts & Letters, ASCAP, MATA, American-Scandinavian Foundation, and has written for such ensembles as The Hilliard Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, and The New Millennium Ensemble. McLoskey holds a Ph.D. from Harvard, with additional studies at USC, UCSB, and The Royal Danish Academy of Music. He currently teaches at Longy School of Music. Mr. McLoskey has been called "a major talent" and "a deep thinker with a great ear." His Requiem, ver.s.001x is "distinctive, fascinating, and compelling."

David Stovall: Let it Fall
David Stovall received his BA in violin performance from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently studying composition at the Yale School of Music. As a student of both the violin and composition his teachers have included Ernest Pereira, Vincent Fritelli, Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, Martin Bresnick, and Joseph Schwantner. David currently divides his time between the electric guitar, composition, teaching, and collaborating on multimedia projects with other Yale artists. Future plans include close contact with dance, electronics, film, and theatre scoring, and exploring the potential of the electric guitar in a classical context. David Stovall is a composer with a "rich musical imagination" with "an excellent ear for orchestration and a sure grasp of stylish, post-minimalist aesthetic." His Let it Fall is "strong, driving and musical."

Reservations and Info
The Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions take place on Monday, April 7, 2003, from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm, and 2:30 - 5:00 pm, at Aaron Davis Hall on the campus of the City College of New York, at 135th Street and Convent Avenue in Manhattan. The Reading Sessions are open to the public at no charge, but reservations are required. For reservations or further information, please call (212) 977-8495, ext. 207 or email ACO.

About ACO
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. [find out more...]


Lead support for the Whitaker New Music Readings comes from The Helen F. Whitaker Fund.


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