Now encompassing all of the American Composers Orchestra’s composer advancement initiatives, EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through EarShot Readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today.

EarShot Readings, operated in partnership with the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras, provide composers with professional working experiences with orchestras from every region of the country. ACO hosts EarShot Readings with its own orchestra in New York City each season, in addition to designing EarShot Readings with partner orchestras across the United States and around the world. Selected by open call with no fee or age limit, participant composers:

  • Workshop a new score with a professional orchestra
  • Build relationships and receive feedback from mentor composers, conductors, and performers throughout the process
  • Receive an archival audio recording of their work, a resource which is often cost-prohibitive without the program, that can be used for future study and limited promotion (less than 3 minutes)
  • Join in sequenced professional development prior to the readings including workshops covering score preparation, publishing, copyright, agreements, and more
  • Receive training in public speaking to enhance teaching skills and participate in ACO’s NYC-based K-12 educational programs, building an essential skill set towards successful future residencies with orchestras and the communities they serve.

Over the last 35 years, EarShot Readings have advanced the careers of more than 360 composers. Alumni include some of the most visible artists in the field: Jessie Montgomery, Carlos Simon, Courtney Bryan, Jennifer Higdon, and more. Over half of EarShot composers report that they have received a commission or performance as a direct result of EarShot Readings. Orchestras around the globe have commissioned and performed hundreds of works by ACO alumni. To learn more about applying to EarShot as a composer or partnering with the program to host a reading, use the links below.