American Composers Orchestra (ACO), founded in 1977, is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With a commitment to diversity, disruption, and discovery, ACO produces concerts, middle school through college composer education programs, and composer advancement programs to foster a community of creators, audiences, performers, collaborators, and funders.

ACO identifies and develops talent, performs established composers, champions those who are lesser-known and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting gender, racial, ethnic, geographic, stylistic, and age diversity.


Whether honed through public school classrooms, conservatory training, oral traditions, new media, popular forms, or sacred spaces, we support artistry in all its forms and create generative spaces for creators to develop beautiful work that is an authentic expression of their practice.


We nurture the practice of creativity on and off the stage as a joyful space of possibility. We are committed to cultivating the new through playful curiosity and iterating our practices through inquiry.


We believe in the transformative power of collective creativity. We create experiences that foster connections, unlocking the creative spirit within us all. To support a thriving ecosystem for American orchestral music as a living art form, we activate a national community of composers, performers, arts leaders, funders, educators, and listeners.

Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism

ACO expands the definition of American orchestral music to ensure a vibrant and inclusive future. We are committed to removing barriers to participation and advancing the representation of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, styles, and aesthetics. We envision a future where orchestral stages celebrate the rich musical traditions that have always been at the heart of the Americas and the many people who call these continents home.