Joann Falletta Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra EarShot New Music Readings

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
EarShot New Music Readings

January 28-29, 2020 Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (Buffalo, NY)

Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201

Open Sessions:
January 28, 2020 – 10am – 12:30pm
January 29, 2020 – 7pm 

Featuring composers:
Vincent Calianno, The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson
Sid Richardson, Door to the River
SiHyun Uhm, Ladybug in the Room
Sakari Vanderveer, The Castle Upon Crystal Shores


American Composers Orchestra seeks to identify and celebrate emerging American composers through its EarShot program.

Drawing from a national network of advisors and advocates, EarShot works with orchestras around the country to identify and support promising composers in the early stages of their careers. Orchestras have relied on EarShot to identify and connect with composers consistent with their artistic vision, and to advise the orchestra on commissions, competitions, and program design. Managed by the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), EarShot is a partnership between the ACO, League of American Orchestras, American Composers Forum, and New Music USA. Over the past 10 years EarShot has initiated dozens of composer/orchestra/conductor relationships across the country offering opportunities to more than 100 composers. In 2016, ACO launched a composer archive of past EarShot compositions now in the orchestral repertoire.

This year, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra participant composers will work closely with mentor composers Robert Beaser, Chen Yi, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, as well as conductor Bradley Thachuk.

Selected Composers

Vincent Calianno (Buffalo, NY)

Vincent Calianno (he/him) is an award-winning composer for the concert hall, film and new media. His music is inspired by the renegade eloquence of the American vernacular, “blurring the boundaries between fine art and popular culture” (VICE). Calianno’s works have been commissioned and performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, the JACK Quartet, the Nouveau Classical Project, Tactus, Ossia, and Artifact. Season highlights include the Thalea String Quartet premiere of A History of the String Quartet in its Natural Habitat in March 2019 in Austin, Texas, and A Painted Devil, a new work for dance the Artifact Dance Project. Currently, Calianno is working completing a new opera Chiaroscuro, a new multimedia work for Two Trains.

Calianno holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Illinois and New York University . His principal teachers have included John Luther Adams, Lewis Nielson, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Zack Browning, Mark Suozzo and Livingston Gearhart. Photo credit: Vincent Calianno

About The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson

The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson is a set of four proverbs (aphorisms, cautionary tales, apothegms) for orchestra. 

Conceptually, the germ of the piece comes from a dream I had some time ago: In my dream, a terminally ill Michael Jackson commissions an architect to construct a large mausoleum with gardens and galleries within its complex labyrinthine interior. 

Throughout the space were facts, aphorisms, memories and glosses on life written by Michael Jackson himself.  These cryptic proverbs, were to be engraved on the floors, ceilings, furniture, or hidden within the landscape as a gift for his daughter upon his death.  His intent was to leave behind a sanctuary of teachings and paternal advice to help her navigate through her life after his death.

I found this image both beautiful and unavoidable: What were these arcane specimens of wisdom and caution that Michael Jackson felt so compelled to leave behind?  What kind of man leaves behind such a grotesquely monumental and megalomaniacal space for reflection upon such intimate words? 

My piece focuses on four, of hypothetically many, imagined proverbs left behind by an imagined Michael Jackson.  

In the end, this piece neither celebrates nor lampoons the real Michael Jackson’s public persona or music, but nonetheless reflects upon the gifts, experiences, and wisdom we leave behind to our loved ones when we are laid in the earth.


Sid Richardson (Belmont, MA)

Composer Sid Richardson (he/him) writes concert music that imbues modern idioms with emotional grit and cerebral wit. His work explores the intersections of music and literature, drawing inspiration from the works of such writers as Beckett, Catullus, Chaucer, Garréta, Longfellow, Keats, Proust, Rimbaud, and Mackey, to create a style that focuses on harmony and timbre. Preexisting texts are used to create a metaphorical resonance with the source material in pieces that weave literary elements into their formal, rhythmic, and harmonic structures. Sid has collaborated on projects with artists such as Alsarah & the Nubatones, Amarcord, Branford Marsalis, Bill Seaman, Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Conrad Tao, The Da Capo Chamber Players, Del Sol Quartet, Deviant Septet, Durham Medical Orchestra, Heimat Quartet, Sinfonia Salt Lake, and yMusic. Sid earned a PhD in Composition at Duke University, where he was mentored by John Supko and Stephen Jaffe. He also holds degrees from Boston Conservatory and Tufts University. 

Sid has participated in artist residencies at Crosstown Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and The Hermitage Artist Retreat. In 2017, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Sid a Charles Ives Scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2018 Hermitage Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School. In the summer of 2019, Sid was the Elliott Carter Memorial Composition Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Active as a music educator, he is on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Photo Credit: Erica Snoza, SnoStudios Photography

About Door to the River

Door to the River is a painting by Willem de Kooning held by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. Throughout his career de Kooning oscillated between abstract and figurative paintings, which drew on a variety of sources ranging from Cubism to commercial design. Door to the River dates from 1960, around the time that de Kooning began spending more time outside of the city on Eastern Long Island. He never learned to drive a car, but he enjoyed sitting in the passenger seat observing the landscapes as they sped by. Describing his works from this period, de Kooning said: “They’re emotions, most of them. Most of them are landscapes and highways and sensations of that, outside the city—with the feeling of going to the city or coming from it.” 

Door to the River reflects these sensations of movement and transit with broad brush strokes made with housepainter’s brushes. Yellow, pink, brown, white and blue colors form a rectangular shape in the middle of the canvas, which resembles a doorway. The otherworldliness of the painting inspired this work for orchestra, in which bold opening gestures give way to a floating middle passage. Door to the River reflects my continued interest in the intersections of music and other art forms such as painting and literature, which I believe can inform and enhance a piece of music’s structure and meaning.


SiHyun Uhm (Seoul, Korea)

SiHyun Uhm (she/her) is a composer, pianist, multimedia producer currently based in Rochester, NY. She is a Composer Fellow with Nashville Symphony Composer Lab, Universal Artists Festival, Daegu MBC Orchestra, Intimacy of Creativity, Red Note Workshop, has received prizes from Pyeong Chang Olympic Celebration, Howard Hanson Orchestral Prize, Louis Lane Prize, Leopold Auer, Future Symphony, NY Composers’ Circle, Next Notes, National YoungArts, Golden Key Festival, Avalon, MTNA, and CBS National Youth Competition. Her distinctive and interactive musical style is recognizable to audiences, and since the release of her first album in 2017, the listenership of her music has continued to grow. She always strives to write music that connects audiences with herself as a way of communication. Notable performances and recitals have taken place in Graz Hall in Vienna, YEORO, Hong Kong City Hall, Walnut Hill School, the New England Conservatory, Houston Museum District, Hatch Hall, Perigee Hall, Seoul Art Center, and more. She has attended Bowdoin, Brevard, Golden Key, Curtis, and NEC Contemporary Festivals.

She is currently attending the Eastman School of Music in NY, studying with Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Vincent Lenti. She graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts in MA, where she studied composition with Whitman Brown and piano with Mana Tokuno from New England Conservatory. SiHyun was born in Seoul, Korea, where she went to Yewon School.

About Ladybug in the Room

The piece is based on a personal story when a ladybug got into my room in the early fall. It is a story that hasn’t ended as the ladybug lives in my room for the winter. 

The piece captures the story as a snapshot, like a storybook. Ladybug crazily flying around the room up and down, crawling on a floor, hiding in a place which personally frustrates me as a character in the story, trying to catch the ladybug, and missing it – there are lots of things happening and these are all portrayed in the piece. Along with the storyline, there are motific elements that are used throughout the piece and it portrays dots on a ladybug. Sometimes the motif appears as staccatos like small dots and sometimes as combined long altered lines. 

I wish the piece personally connects to you, letting you think back on memories of your childhood or special times as you had. (The ending depicts the ladybug getting captured in a bottle.)


Sakari Vanderveer (Redlands, CA)

Sakari Dixon Vanderveer’s (she/her) compositions are primarily inspired by a desire to write music for those around her. While earning her BM in Composition at the University of Redlands, Sakari’s relationships with her colleagues developed into commissions from Spencer Baldwin, Kelsey Broersma, and years later, the PHAZE Ensemble. Her studies with Kira Blumberg and Anthony Suter enabled her to engage with the music community not just as a composer and performer but also an advocate for contemporary music. In recent years, Sakari has continued to study primarily with Reena Esmail. Named a Sounds Promising Young Composer of the Salastina Music Society for the 2018-2019 season, Sakari composed the piano quintet Obsidian, rippled in moonlight, gleams for their annual Sounds Local program under the mentorship of Derrick Spiva, Jr. Additionally, Salastina has commissioned her to write for their Sounds Festive: The Four Seasons x 2 program in December 2019.

As a teacher of orchestral strings, working with youth also remains a driving inspiration behind much of her work. In May 2019, “The Enigma of the Twilight Stallion” was premiered by MÚSICA!, an El Sistema program in San Jacinto, CA. This multi-level orchestral piece will receive its European premiere by El Sistema Greece in 2020. Sakari’s desire is that giving children from all walks of life access to contemporary music and composition will provide them with a better appreciation and understanding of concert music – new and old – so that they can cherish it and engage in it throughout their lives.

About The Castle Upon Crystal Shores

In my downtime, I love to read for enjoyment. More often than not, I gravitate towards nonfiction, like essays, informational texts, and self-help books. (I happen to be a sucker for those!) But once in a while, I’ll indulge in a novel or two. I generally prefer realistic fiction since I often have a hard time taking to most fantasy or science fiction. I was like that even as a kid. Yet, music is often what takes me to otherworldly places most instantaneously.

As with many of my recent works, writing The Castle Upon Crystal Shores was that experience for me. I began to picture a kingdom built upon honor and integrity. When outside forces attempt to deceive them and capture their illustrious stronghold and its enchanting lands, the kingdom opposes this evil with heroic dignity and is ultimately unshaken.

Sesiones de lecturas de obras contemporáneas para orquesta
Enero 28-29, 2019  Orquesta Filarmónica de Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)

Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle
Buffalo, NY 14201

Sesiones abiertas:
Enero 28, 2020 – 10am – 12:30pm
Enero 29, 2020 – 7pm 

Con compositores:
Vincent Calianno, The Facts and Dreams of the World According to Michael Jackson
Sid Richardson, Door to the River
SiHyun Uhm, Ladybug in the Room
Sakari Vanderveer, The Castle Upon Crystal Shores


La Orquesta de Compositores Americanos o OCA (The American Composers Orchestra/ ACO) busca identificar y apoyar a compositores americanos a través de su programa EarShot. Esta edición de Earshot consistirá en una residencia en la ciudad de Aguascalientes para seis compositores seleccionados, quienes escucharán por primera vez lecturas profesionales de la obra que hayan presentado en su solicitud. La Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes realizará las lecturas y los compositores podrán enriquecer su obra a través de intercambios con miembros de la orquesta y con un panel de reconocidos compositores a lo largo de tres días. 

Recurriendo a una red nacional de asesores y mediadores, EarShot trabaja conjuntamente con orquestas en todo Estados Unidos para identificar y apoyar a compositores en el inicio de sus carreras. Diversas orquestas han confiado en Earshot para identificar y crear vínculos con compositores que sean consistentes con su visión artística, y para asesorar a la orquesta en cuanto a comisiones, competencias y diseño de programación. Administrado por La Orquesta de Compositores Americanos, Earshot es una asociación entre la OCA, la Liga de Orquestas Americanas (The League of American Orchestras), el Foro de Compositores Americanos (The American Composers Forum), y Nueva Musica de Estados Unidos (New Music USA). Esta es la primera edición de Earshot en colaboración con una orquesta mexicana.

En los últimos diez años, Earshot ha iniciado docenas de relaciones entre compositores, orquestas y directores en todo Estados Unidos, abriendo oportunidades a más de cien compositores. En 2016, ACO lanzó un archivo de compositores de ediciones pasadas de Earshot que son ahora parte del repertorio orquestal.

Este año, los compositores participantes en la residencia con la Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes trabajarán de cerca con los compositores mentores Robert Beaser, Chen Yi, y Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, así como con el director artístico de la Orquesta, Bradley Thachuk.