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Underwood New Music Readings








ACO's 20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Working Rehearsal:
10:00am-1:00pm
Friday, June 3, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 3

Run-throughs:
7:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 4
Miller Theatre
at Columbia University
116th & Broadway, NYC
FREE and open to the public

Professional Development Workshop for Composers:
10:00AM-2:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
register here for the workshop

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ACO's Jazz  Readings: June 5-6

concert schedule

support aco

 
































ACO's 20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Working Rehearsal:
10:00am-1:00pm
Friday, June 3, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 3

Run-throughs:
7:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 4
Miller Theatre
at Columbia University
116th & Broadway, NYC
FREE and open to the public

Professional Development Workshop for Composers:
10:00AM-2:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
register here for the workshop

home

ACO's Jazz  Readings: June 5-6

concert schedule

support aco

 































ACO's 20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Working Rehearsal:
10:00am-1:00pm
Friday, June 3, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 3

Run-throughs:
7:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 4
Miller Theatre
at Columbia University
116th & Broadway, NYC
FREE and open to the public

Professional Development Workshop for Composers:
10:00AM-2:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
register here for the workshop

home

ACO's Jazz  Readings: June 5-6

concert schedule

support aco

 

































ACO's 20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Working Rehearsal:
10:00am-1:00pm
Friday, June 3, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 3

Run-throughs:
7:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 4
Miller Theatre
at Columbia University
116th & Broadway, NYC
FREE and open to the public

Professional Development Workshop for Composers:
10:00AM-2:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
register here for the workshop

home

ACO's Jazz  Readings: June 5-6

concert schedule

support aco

 




























ACO's 20th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Working Rehearsal:
10:00am-1:00pm
Friday, June 3, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 3

Run-throughs:
7:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
reserve free tickets for June 4
Miller Theatre
at Columbia University
116th & Broadway, NYC
FREE and open to the public

Professional Development Workshop for Composers:
10:00AM-2:30PM
Saturday, June 4, 2011
register here for the workshop

home

ACO's Jazz  Readings: June 5-6

concert schedule

support aco

 
























ACO's 20th Underwood
New Music Readings

Fri., June 3 & Sat., June 4
Miller Theatre at Columbia University, NYC

Come hear the rising stars of the composition world as they show their stuff and compete for a $15,000 commission.

ACO is pleased to announce the six  winners of its 20th annual Underwood New Music Readings. The Readings are one of the country’s most coveted honors for up-and-coming artists. This year, the Readings will be held on Friday, June 3 at 10am and Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway, NYC) and, as always, are free and open to the public. Six of the nation’s most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers have been selected from more than 100 submissions received from around the country. This year’s winners are Janet Jieru Chen, Michael Djupstrom, Jordan Kuspa, Kohei Muklai, Narong Prangcharoen, Kate Soper, representing a broad range of sound worlds and life experiences.

The Readings are under the direction of ACO Artistic Director Robert Beaser. Music Director George Manahan will conduct; mentor composers are Derek Bermel, ACO’s Creative Advisor, Robert Beaser, ACO's Artistic Director, Augusta Read Thomas, and Paul Chihara. The conductors, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO serve as liaisons and provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the Reading sessions. Following the Readings, one of the young composers will receive a $15,000 commission to write a new work to be performed by ACO.

The audience will play a role as as well with the Audience Choice Award. Audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite work of the evening, awarding the winner a commission to compose an original ringtone. This ringtone will be available for free to everyone who voiced their opinion. In addition, composers, conductors, and orchestra members will be blogging about their Readings experience on NewMusicBox and SoundAdvice, and Jeremy Robins, filmmaker, will be on hand to record a video diary of the Readings.

In conjunction with the readings ACO is offering a Professional Development Workshop to composers in the community. The session takes place on June 4 from 10am-2:30pm and will cover topics ranging from copyright and contract negotiations to fundraising and score engraving. Space is limited to 20 people and requires a 15 dollar registration fee. Click here to register for the seminar.

DOTS

Janet Jieru Chen: Beyond Distance

 
listen to an excerpt from Chen's Summer Echoes in the Valley, perf. Borealis String Quartet

Janet ChenJanet Jieru Chen (b. 1980) A native of Taiwan, Janet Jieru Chen holds degrees from Taipei National University of the Arts, and has received scholarships to such music festivals as the International Music Courses in Darmstadt, the Composers Conference at Wellesley, and the Banff Summer Arts Festival. Her works have been performed by the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, the Orchestre National de Lorraine and the Banff Chamber Ensemble. Chen has also won awards from the National Council for Cultural Affairs of Taiwan. Composer Krzysztof Penderecki described her music as “original, no copying and truly Asian.” Currently the administrative director of the Canada-Taiwan Music and Arts Exchange and artistic director of the Asian Young Musicians’ Connection, Janet is also a doctoral student at Duke University where she’s a pupil of Stephen Jaffe.

Of her work Beyond Distance, Janet says, “My idea was to transform the image of distance in its different aspects. My title refers not only to physical distance, but also aspects of mental distance. The third and sixth movements express physical distance, while the other movements involve my emotions of distance between memories, reality and illusion, existing, vanishing and beyond. When I finished composing it, I realized this piece suggests freedom without distances, that is, overcoming boundaries of distance.”

DOTS

Michael Djupstrom: Scene et Pas de deux
www.michaeldjupstrom.com

 
listen to an excerpt from Djupstrom's Walimai
perf. Brian Sacawa, sax. and Michael Djupstrom, pno.

Michael DjupstromMichael Djupstrom (b. 1980) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and began music studies at the age of eight. He studied composition at the University of Michigan, where he received undergraduate and graduate degrees. Other training included fellowships at the Tanglewood and Brevard Music Centers, the Aspen Music Festival, as well as studies in Paris with composer Betsy Jolas. In 2009 Djupstrom entered the Curtis institute of Music as a composition student of Jennifer Higdon and Richard Danielpour. In 2007, he was a participant in the ACO/Penn Presents New Music Readings and Lab completion. Djupstrom has also been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, American Composers Forum and ASCAP and BMI foundations. Michael currently lives in Philadelphia where he teaches piano at Settlement Music School and courses in music theory and orchestration for Boston University’s online music programs.

Michael says of his Scène et Pas de deux, ‘’ Scène is a general designation for any situation in which some kind of narrative is unfolding..the pas de deux is more specific: a part of the ballet choreographed for only two dancers…Although my pas de deux is freely written and emerges directly from the preceding music, its passionate lyrical character still sets it sharply apart from the highly rhythmic music that makes up the rest of the work.”

DOTS

Jordan Kuspa: Iterations
www.musicians/yale.edu/jordankuspa

 
listen to an excerpt from Kuspa's Lemonade Battery

Jordan KuspaJordan Kuspa (b. 1985) has been praised in the New York Times for his music that’s “animated and melodically opulent” and “consistently alive and inspired.” Jordan was the winner of the 2010 ISCM–League of Composers Competition and the 2007 Robert Avalon Young Composers Competition. He was also co-founder and Artistic Director of the Sonus Chamber Music Society, an organization that presented an interactive concert series in the Houston museum district. Educational and community outreach, in schools, churches, and hospitals, was a central component of each of these programs. Kuspa has continued his community engagement work in schools across Connecticut, with programs that have included musical collaborations with students in writing, drama, and filmmaking. Jordan is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Yale School of Music, where he has studied with Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Ingram Marshall, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Iterations opens with a blast from the four horns, sounding a jagged, syncopated motive that will become the basis of much of the musical material,” says Jordan. The juxtaposition of these jagged motives with lyrical passages, dissonant orchestral eruptions, and triumphant chorales is at the heart of Iterations.

DOTS

Mukai Kôhei: Mugen
www.geocities.jp/almusmusa/

 
listen to an excerpt from Kôhei's Ikaruga
perf. Peabody Camerata

Mukai KoheiMukai Kôhei (b. 1966) has studied composition at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied composition with Nicholas Maw. He received his doctoral degree in Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he studied composition with Chen Yi, James Mobberley and Paul Rudy. Kôhei’s works have been performed at the Mannes Contemporary Music Festival and he was a featured composer on the Chicago Symphony’s 2003 “Music Now” series. He is a winner of the JoAnn Falletta International Composition Competition, and the Exhibition of Japanese Composition, ASCAP Raymond Hubbel, Peabody Camerata, and Japan Society Contemporary Music prizes. Mukai is currently researching advanced tonal systems and traditional Japanese music. The genre of Japanese Noh drama that deals with dreams, illusions and phantasms is called Mugen.

Mukai’s Megun is an orchestral depiction of the surreal world where dreams and nightmares dwell and where the boundaries of reality and unreality are not clearly defined. His orchestration references the timbres of the Japanese shakuhachi and gongs, but rather than attempting to recreate the sounds of these instruments, Mukai explores a surreal world of sound.

DOTS

Narong Prangcharoen: Pubbanimitta
www.narongmusic.com

 
listen to an excerpt from Prangcharoen's Phenomenon
perf. Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic cond. Andeas Baumgartner

Narong PrangcharoenNarong Prangcharoen (b. 1973) studied with Chen Yi and received his doctoral degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City. Prangcharoen’s music has been called “absolutely captivating” by the Chicago Sun Times and has been performed in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S. His works have been heard at the Beijing Modern Music, MoMA Music and Grant Park Festivals, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and at the Library of Congress. Narong is the winner of the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Competition and Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Competition Prizes, and the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award. He is currently teaching at the Community Music and Dance Academy of the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri in Kansas City. Narong is the founder of the Thailand Composition Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2007, the Thai government named Prangcharoen a Contemporary National Artist and awarded him the Silapathorn Award.

Of his work Pubbanimitta, Narong says, “In Pali, Pubbanimitta can be translated as foreboding. It’s inspired by the climate changes around the world and the natural disasters it’s caused. The piece uses folk-like material to portray the Earth’s atmosphere and, later on, more complex textures depicting the climate changes and natural disasters.”

DOTS

Kate Soper: Entre Les Calanques
www.katesoper.com

 
watch an excerpt from Soper's What the Words Say
perf. Kate Soper and Erin Lesser

Kate SoperKate Soper (b. 1981) is a New York City-based composer and performer with a diverse background and interests. Her music has been described as “exquisitely quirky” by the New York Times and has been widely performed. Kate received her Bachelors of Music from Rice University and is currently a DMA candidate at Columbia University, where her teachers have included Fred Lerdahl, Mario Davidovksy, Tristan Murail, and Fabien Lévy. She has received awards and commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Fromm Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Tanglewood Music Center and others. Soper’s current compositional interests include the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the transformation of visceral gestures in and out of time, and the potential of the human voice to communicate abstractly (or not). Kate is Managing Director and vocalist for Wet Ink, a new music ensemble dedicated to uncompromising performances of adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries.

Kate talks about Entre Les Calanques, ”A calanque is like an inlet, a land mass that juts out into a body of water. Frequent hikes among these formations in Southern France gave rise to a strange phenomenological effect: I was often flattened by a vertigo-inducing view of dizzying cliffs and waves that would seem to freeze into a two-dimensional collage of careening lines the more I stared. Entre les Calanques is, in part, an attempt to record this pull and push of space and the simultaneous perceptions of rushing movement and static tableau. More abstractly, it is an orchestral exercise in growth—upwards and downwards, outwards and inwards—and collapse.”

DOTS

George Manahan, Conductor

George ManahanGeorge Manahan, currently the Music Director of New York City Opera, has had an unusually wide-ranging career, embracing everything from opera to the concert stage, the traditional to the contemporary. His most recent appearance with ACO was in February 2009 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. Mr. Manahan led a concert of world premieres, which included the much-praised multimedia works BREAKDOWN! by Margaret Brouwer and Kasumi, Rand Steiger’s Cryosphere, and Fang Man’s Resurrection. In 2006, he workshopped and led performances of music by emerging composers Anna Clyne, Fang Man, Robert Gates, and Paul Richards during ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings. In addition to his work with ACO, in fall 2010, he furthers his commitment to working with young musicians by joining the Manhattan School of Music faculty as Director of Orchestral Studies.

At New York City Opera, Mr. Manahan helped envision the organization’s groundbreaking VOX program, a series of workshops and readings that have provided unique opportunities for numerous composers to hear their new concepts realized, and introduced audiences to exciting new compositional voices. Manahan’s passion for the music of our time was ignited in 1980 when he was chosen as the Exxon Arts Endowment Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony. He made his mark on the opera world in his debut with the Santa Fe Opera, conducting the American premiere of Arnold Schoenberg’s Von Heute Auf Morgen. His wide-ranging recording activities include the premiere recording of Steve Reich’s Tehillim for ECM; recordings of Edward Thomas’s Desire Under the Elms, which was nominated for a Grammy; Joe Jackson’s Will Power; and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His enthusiasm for contemporary music continues today; he has conducted numerous world premieres, including Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, David Lang’s Modern Painters, and the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner. In 2009, Mr. Manahan conducted the sold-out world premiere of Ask Your Mama! at Carnegie Hall.

Manahan has conducted the symphonies of Atlanta, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Columbus, and New Jersey, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music symphonies, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and at Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Music Festival. He appears regularly with the opera companies of Santa Fe and Portland, and Glimmerglass Opera. He has led the opera companies of Seattle, Chicago, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opera National du Paris, Teatro de Communale de Bologna, the Bergen Festival (Norway), the Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), and Minnesota Opera, where he served as principal conductor. As music director of the Richmond Symphony (VA) for twelve years, where he also appeared as piano soloist, he was honored four times by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his commitment to 20th century music. motivic/melodic material, undergoing various transformations and extensions.”

DOTS

Tickets & Info

ACO performs at Columbia University's Miller Theatre Friday, June 3, 10am-1:00pm and Saturday, June 4, 2011, 7:30pm.
 
Miller Theatre is located at 116th Street and Broadway.

The readings are free and open to the public. No ticket is required.

Support for the Underwood New Music Readings comes from Mr. Paul Underwood, Fromm Music Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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