Be Part of 10 New Works

2023-24 Commission Club

Learn More

March 12th at Carnegie Hall

America in Weimar: On the Margins

Learn More & Get Tickets

May 12th-19th at Perelman Arts Center

An American Soldier

Learn More & Get Tickets







Who we are. The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is a national discovery and development pipeline for new orchestral music, focused on bringing the full spectrum of American music to orchestral stages, providing a gateway to the orchestral composition & performance process, and amplifying the expressive power of orchestral music to enable a vibrant future for all Americans. We've made incredible strides over the past 4+ decades, and we are just getting started.

What we do. For composers of all experience levels, we offer an end-to-end composition accelerator to get you from idea to performance in partnership with orchestras nationwide. For orchestral commissioners, we offer a comprehensive suite of resources and relationships to realize your artistic vision. For students and educators, we offer an array of programs and resources designed to nurture creativity through music composition and improvisation. For our country, we bring new works into the world that represent the American experience through the imagination of today’s composers.

Meet ACO

Founded in 1977 by a collective of fearless musicians based in NYC, the American Composers Orchestra expands the definition of American orchestral music to ensure a vibrant and inclusive future. Over more than 40 years committed to artistry, creativity, community, and equity, ACO has blossomed into a national institution that cultivates and develops the careers of living composers, providing a direct pipeline to meaningful partnerships with orchestras across the country.

Composer Advancement

For over 40 years, ACO has discovered and developed the careers of composers whose work expands the definition of American orchestral music. Our national EarShot composer advancement initiatives are the nation’s first ongoing, systemic program for building relationships between composers and orchestras through Readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development.

Performances and Events

Join us for electrifying performances featuring world premiere works by artists whose creativity knows no bounds. The American Composers Orchestra performs at Carnegie Hall, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and the Apollo Theater.​

Educational Programs

For 30 years, ACO has positioned music composition as a gateway to creative thinking, problem solving, and self-expression. Our long-term Sonic Spark residencies nurture the imagination through creative rituals and play, cultivating personal, social, and academic growth. Sonic Spark serves students at all levels of experience, including those who have never played an instrument before, are learning to write music for the first time, or are on track to develop high level careers in the field.

Featured Composers

Paula Matthusen

Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations.

Joel Thompson

Emmy award-winning composer Joel Thompson is a composer, pianist, conductor, and educator from Atlanta.

Tomas Piere Serrate

Tomas Peire Serrate was born in Barcelona. He studied piano at the Sant Cugat del Vallès conservatory, where he grew up, and History at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.