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ACO's Second Digital Album
Emerging Composers Vol. 1

World Premiere Live Recordings by Kati Agócs, Michael Gatonska,
Fang Man, Clint Needham &
Gregory Spears

Emerging Composers Series Vol. 1

Release Date: February 14, 2012.
Available on iTunes, Amazon,  InstantEncore
and more

ACO has just released its second download-only album, Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1, featuring live world premiere recordings by five composers, all of whom have been featured in ACO's New Music Readings and Emerging Composers Programs. The album joins ACO's other download-only album, Playing It UNsafe, released last year, and 20 other recordings in the orchestra's discography. ACO commissioned or premiered each of the new works between 2006 and 2009. The release makes exciting new works by these rising-stars available world-wide for the first time.

Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 includes music by Kati Agocs, Michael Gatonska, Fang Man, Clint Needham, and Gregory Spears. Gregory Spears's Finishing was first developed as part of ACO's Readings and Lab at University of Pennsylvania in 2007 -- a sublime work that uses dog whistles (yes, you can hear them!) and old tape recorders within the orchestra. Kati Agocs deftly strings together a series of exquisite, intimate sonorities in her ACO-commissioned Pearls. Clint Needham's Chamber Symphony explores themes of personal and universal transformation; the composition was the result of his winning ACO's prestigious Underwood commission. Fang Man, also an alumna of the Underwood program, combines clarinet soloist (ACO's own Creative Advisor, Derek Bermel) and electronic techniques (performed by the composer and Alexis Baskind) with melodies from Chinese opera in Resurrection. Michael Gatonska, another Underwood commissionee, uses the ever-shifting configurations of birds in flight as the organizing principal behind his After the Wings of Migratory Birds, creating music that migrates through space with dynamic energy. Four of the five works on this album are ACO commissions.

Creating opportunities for emerging composers is central to the mission of American Composers Orchestra, which seeks to be the leading research and development laboratory for American composers, orchestras and the wider cultural community. All too often it is the case that up-and-coming composers are excluded from professional orchestra programs, as better-known music is programmed. Yet, writing for orchestra remains one of the supreme challenges and rewards for most composers. The instrumental possibilities, the timbral nuances, the dynamic range, and the raw energy of dozens of talented instrumentalists unified in their musical execution is still, even in the 21st century, a singular and powerful sound experience. It is what has drawn these fine young composers to the orchestra, and it is the opportunity to see and hear what these composers might do with these possibilities that has drawn ACO to them.

For 20 consecutive years the orchestra has offered New Music Readings (first as the Whitaker New Music Readings, and now as the Underwood Readings) that have become one of this country's most coveted opportunities for emerging composers. Readings give emerging composers the opportunity to work with an orchestra singular in its commitment to the development of the American composer, and to hear their work performed by some of the country's most outstanding contemporary music instrumentalists. Composers also benefit from critical feedback and mentoring from conductor, players, and senior composers. ACO has brought its New Music Readings to composers around the country through touring and residency programs, and its national network, EarShot, that assists and advises other orchestras in mounting their own Readings. ACO commissions a lot of new music, well over 200 works to date, much of it from young composers -- often their very first professional commission.

More About the Composers:
Kati Agocs:
Michael Gatonska:
Fang Man:
Clint Needham:
Gregory Spears:

Preview or buy it now at InstantEncore...

ACO’s recording initiative is made possible with the support of
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Booth Ferris Foundation.

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