Eligibility & Guidelines
- Applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or non-citizen lawfully and permanently residing, or studying full-time, in the United States.
- There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.
- Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration. Works that have been previously submitted to ACO for consideration may not be resubmitted.
- Composers selected to participate in prior ACO Underwood/Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions are ineligible.
- Only works that will not have been performed or read by a professional orchestra nor received a public performance in the New York metropolitan area prior to the reading date are eligible.
- Do not submit recordings.
- Only works completed after January 1, 2012, will be considered.
- Compositions must be less than 15 minutes in length. A portion or movement from a longer work may also be considered.
- Instrumentation should not exceed the ACO’s standard symphonic complement: winds at 3,3,3,3; brass at 4,3,3,1; harp, keyboard, timpani plus 3 percussion, and strings (10, 8, 6, 6, 4). Standard orchestral doublings are permitted (piccolo, alto flute; english horn; e-flat clarinet, bass clarinet; contrabassoon; piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn). Works with instrumentation that exceed the above limitation will be considered only with advance approval.
- Works employing electronics, MIDI, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement in combination with the above instrumental forces will be considered. (See special requirements below.)
- Works requiring soloists will not be considered.
- The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criterion. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer’s work. The additional background and educational information is for eligibility and documentation purposes; these materials are not considered in the general review of scores.
- Emerging American composers who have applied for (but not participated) previously in the Underwood New Music Reading are eligible and must submit a new and complete application, including score and all required background information.
- Incomplete, illegible, or late applications will not be considered.
- Composers will be notified Late January 2017.
- Composers must attend reading sessions, feedback meetings and professional development workshops in New York, NY June 21-23, 2017.
- Composers must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association. Materials for the first reading session must be delivered no later than 5:00 PM, April 17, 2017.
- Composers agree to: submit photos and sound clips for web use and a short biography for media purposes; to participate in blogging and social media to be videotaped/recorded for archival and promotional purposes; and to have their music recorded for archival and study purposes.
How to Apply
Before submitting an application, carefully review the eligibility & submission guidelines above. A complete submission must include the following:
- A completed online submission form. If you wish to submit hard copies for consideration, please call 212-977-8495 ext. 201 to obtain the application form and instructions.
- You will be asked to upload the following information:
- An orchestral score, in PDF format, clearly labeled with the composer’s name and title of the work on the cover page.
- A current resume, in PDF format, including educational background, major teachers, awards, and professional affiliations.
- A list of works, in PDF format, including title, year composed, instrumentation, duration, and performance history.
- One letter of recommendation from an established composer or other music professional, attesting to the applicant’s accomplishments and potential as an orchestral composer. The recommendation must be on letterhead and must include a signature. Recommendations may be scanned and uploaded to your application in PDF format, or sent directly to ACO by email (see below) or postal mail to Underwood New Music Readings, American Composers Orchestra, 244 West 54th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10019-5515.
- For works with electronics, MIDI, and/or digital technologies: include a one-page statement, in PDF format, describing the rationale for its use, as well as any pertinent production requirements and technical specifications.
- There is no application fee.
- The application process must be completed by 11:59 pm (Eastern Standard Time), December 12, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered.
For questions or further information:
call: 212-977-8495 ext. 202