Underwood Readings – 6/22 & 6/23

We proudly announce the 26th edition of ACO’s annual roundup of the country’s brightest young and emerging composers.

Sessions will take place under the baton of Music Director George Manahan with an open rehearsal on June 22, 2017 and a recorded reading on June 23. Both are free and open to the public.

This year, six of the nation’s most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers have been selected from over 250 submissions received from around the country. The selected composers – James Diaz, Nick DiBerardino, Martin Kennedy, Hilary Purrington, Alexander Timofeev, and Yucong (Zoe) Wang  – represent a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds and sound worlds. They will receive a reading of a new work and one composer will be selected to receive a $15,000 commission for a new piece to be performed by ACO during an upcoming season.

JAMES DIAZ   From infinity
bio & program notes  |  composer spotlight

NICK DIBERARDINO   Mercury-Redstone 3
bio & program notes  |  composer spotlight

MARTIN KENNEDY   Siren, blind
bio & program notes  composer spotlight

HILARY PURRINGTON   Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky
bio & program notes  |  composer spotlight

ALEXANDER TIMOFEEV   Fantasme for Orchestra
bio & program notes  |  composer spotlight

YUCONG (ZOE) WANG    Blackbird, Movement II. Aggregation
bio & program notes  |  composer spotlight

The Readings are led by ACO Artistic Director, Derek Bermel. Mentor composers Libby LarsenDavid Rakowski and Trevor Weston will be on hand throughout the readings.

  • Register here for the free open rehearsal on Thursday, June 22 (10 AM – 1 PM) – SPACES STILL AVAILABLE
  • Run-through performance on Friday, June 23 (7:30 – 10:30 PM ) – SOLD OUT

Both events are at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Tickets are free but registration is required.

Career Development Workshop
In addition, composers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about the business of being a composer is invited to attend a free Career Development Workshop on Friday, June 23 from 11 AM-4:30 PM at Cary Hall, DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Workshops include talks on Intellectual Property, Copyright Law and Commissioning Agreements; a panel discussion on career strategy with some of the most successful young composers working today; and a panel discussion on programming with major music presenters. 
read full details  SOLD OUT

The Underwood Readings are the core of ACO’s ongoing professional training programs for emerging American composers. At the readings, composers will meet with ACO artistic staff, orchestra members, the conductor and mentor composers. Members of ACO’s composer advisory panel and guest composers participate in preliminary reviews of scores, provide critical commentary and feedback, post-reading evaluations and selection of the composer to receive the commission award.

The readings include two sessions with the orchestra, a working rehearsal and a run-through performance. The performances are professionally recorded, and each composer is given a high-quality audio recording to be used for archival, study and portfolio purposes. Composers also participate in a series of professional development workshops covering such topics as promotion, score preparation and publishing, copyright and commissioning agreements, and other career essentials. Transportation and meals are provided for all participants.

The Underwood New Music Readings are part of EarShot, the national orchestral composition discovery network. EarShot activities include new music readings and other composer development programs with orchestras around the country. EarShot is coordinated by ACO in collaboration with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA (formerly American Music Center and Meet The Composer).

Lead support for the Underwood New Music Readings comes from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Underwood.
Support of readings also comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Fromm Music Foundation. Additional funding provided by the League of American Orchestras with support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Open Rehearsal
June 22, 2017
10 AM

DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 W 37th St.
New York, NY 10018



Run-Through Performance
June 23, 2017
7:30 PM

DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 W 37th St.
New York, NY 10018