23rd Annual Underwood New Music Readings

On June 6 and 7, American Composers Orchestra will hold its 23rd annual Underwood New Music Readings conducted by Music Director George Manahan at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Seven emerging composers were chosen from an international pool of more than 400 applicants from seven countries and 37 states ranging in age from 9 to 84. ACO’s Readings include two public events – a working rehearsal on June 6 at 10am, and a run-through performance on June 7 at 7:30pm. Both events are free and open to the public, giving audiences a chance to look behind the scenes at the process involved in bringing brand new orchestral music to life. The 23rd Annual Underwood New Music Readings are under the direction of ACO’s Artistic Director, composer Derek Bermel, with ACO’s Artistic Director Laureate Robert Beaser, Olly Wilson,and Julia Wolfe as mentor composers.

The conductors, mentor composers, and principal players from ACO provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the sessions, which will be professionally recorded. One composer from the Underwood New Music Readings will be chosen to receive a $15,000 commission to write a new piece for ACO, to be premiered during the orchestra’s 2015-2016 season. In addition, on both June 6 and 7, audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces, and the composer chosen as the “Audience Choice” winner will be commissioned to compose an original mobile phone ringtone. The ringtone will be available free of charge to everyone who voted.

The Underwood New Music Readings also offer composers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about the business of being a composer a Career Development Seminar on Saturday, June 7 from 10am-4pm at the DiMenna Center. These invaluable talks, led by leaders in the industry, provide information ranging from copyright and commission agreements, to music preparation, to promotion, and fundraising.

The workshops are a practical guide for any composer wishing to gain a better understanding of these critical aspects to success as a composer today. Previously only available to participants in the Readings, ACO has made a limited number of spaces available to aspiring composers from the community for a small registration fee.

The cost for the Seminar is $25, which includes lunch. Reservations required.

Topics Include:

Copyright and Commissioning Basics – C. Katherine Baron, Esq., Alter & Kendrick, LLP
Be Prepared: Introduction to professional score and parts production
Bill Holab, Principal, Bill Holab Music Services, president
Support Structures for Composers
John Nuechterlein, President and CEO, American Composers Forum & Ed Harsh, President and CEO, New Music USA
Publicity and Promotion– Christina Jensen, Principal, Christina Jensen PR and others from New York Philharmonic Staff to be determined
Reality Check: The Real Way Orchestra Programming Gets Done (and how to get in on it)– guest composers and administrators panel discussion moderated by Frank J. Oteri, composer advocate and senior editor, NewMusicBox

nyphil_biennial_logo1_black,sm (1)This event is part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, a Musical Playground of the Here and Now.

Support for the Underwood New Music Readings comes from Paul Underwood, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation and the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. The project also receives public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.