January 8, 2024
5 min read

6 Composers Selected for ACO EarShot Readings with ACO

EarShotReading: ACO

June 13–14, 2024

Participating Composers: Samuel Torres, Malachi Brown, Sofía Scheps, Anuj Bhutani, Madeline Merwin, Eunsung Kim*
Mentor Composers: Marcos Balter, Curtis Stewart, Niloufar Nourbakhsh

About the Composers

Samuel Torres has performed, arranged, produced, and/or recorded with the “who’s who” of the jazz, Latin pop and the salsa world, including such luminaries as Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin, Don Byron, Richard Bona, Lila Downs, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Angelique Kidjo, Marc Anthony, Rubén Blades, Fonseca, Andrés Cepeda, Thalía, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony, and his country’s own international superstar, Shakira. 

He has been featured as a composer and soloist with classical orchestras such as Berlin Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Bogotá Philharmonic, Medellín Philharmonic, Delaware University Orchestra, Berklee Composition Orchestra,  Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, and the Cali Philharmonic.

Torres won the Latin Grammy Award for the Best Classical Record with his album Regreso, a concerto for congas and symphony orchestra in 2019. He is a three-time recipient of the New Jazz Works Grant by Chamber Music America. Torres received second place at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Hand Percussion Competition in 2000. In 2023, he earned his master’s degree in classical composition from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, where he was honored with the Nicolas Flagello Award for his outstanding achievements as a composer.

Malachi Brown (he/him) is a cellist and composer born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He has studied music composition and cello performance at Old Dominion University and Ithaca College. He is an advocate for collaboration between art mediums and is always eager to tackle a new project if it means adding his own touch. Malachi has composed for the concert stage, animation, and film thus far in his career. He incorporates many combinations of styles in his music but is always rooted in a type of neo-romantic sound. “My goal is to write exactly what I hear in my head, and it’s quite a journey every time.”

Since 2020, Malachi has composed for four films, and has won multiple awards for And Don’t Forget I Love You which has premiered at five film festivals, taking home awards at three of them. Awards include: Official Selection at the Oxford Film Festival, Official Selection at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, and the Programmer’s Selection at the Huntington Beach Cultural Cinema Showcase, with a signed certificate of Top Choice Documentary Short by the Mayor of Huntington Beach. Malachi is working on two films projected to release in early 2024, one of them being an animated short, The Candylady. In addition to composing and performing cello, Malachi also acts in theatre and film. He’s currently in a Berthold Brecht play and has a web series role for later this year. He has also discovered scriptwriting, accompanying his blossoming skill in filmmaking. He currently resides in New York City.

Sofía Scheps is Uruguayan composer, graduated from the School of Music of the University of the Republic (Uruguay), where she is currently an assistant professor to the chairs of Composition and Orchestration, at the Theory and Composition Department.  

From 2015 to 2017, she studied and completed a masters degree in Sound Art, at the University of Barcelona. She works in the frontiers of experimental, electroacoustic music, mixed media, chamber music, and sound art.

From 2019, together with other three proffessors of the School of Music (Alejandro Barbot, Vladimir Guichef and Gonzalo Pérez) they estabilsh the improvisation group “Pileta Libre”, a platform for empirical instrumental research, which experiences a wide variety of instrumental combinations and a wide palette of levels of determination prior to the specific sound action.

She has premiered several works in international concerts and festivals in Uruguay (Núcleo Música Nueva concerts, Monteaudio festival, Festival EXIT), Argentina (ECo: Composition Residency – UNQ – Teatro Cervantes; JIME), Chile (Universidad de la Serena), Paraguay (Movimiento Pu Joa), México (Muslab), USA (MATA Festival, Look and Listen Festival), Canada (Oak Bay New Music Festival), Spain (Festival Zeppelin and Festival Mixtur – Barcelona; Festival Insonora – Madrid; Día Internacional del Arte - Girona), Switzerland (Ars Forum Wallis) and Germany (Ensemble Aventure, Earport – Duisburg, Opening Festival Trier). 

In 2023 she was selected by Music at the Anthology Festival (MATA Festival, NY) as Composer in Residence, with a piece commissioned by Found Sound Nation, to be premiered on June 3rd, 2023. In 2022 the Philharmonic Orchestra of Montevideo commissioned and premiered her piece “Demografía Acústica:    %” (“Acoustic Demography:    %”), on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. This piece tries to reflect acoustically the percentege of women present at the orchestra, in the moment of performance. In 2020 her piece “Vengo de Lejos IV” for Voice, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello and Piano was awarded the Pauline Oliveros Prize at the international call internacional “Search for New Music Competition” of the International Alliance for Women in Music. On the same year, the piece “Tertulia de los pájaros mecánicos” for Flute, Violin and Piano is awarded a mention in the composition contest of the Ensamble Dínamo3 (Argentina). In 2019, the electroacoustic piece “Virtualidad Real” is selected and is one of the two winning pieces in the "2020 Call for Works Sound Spaces", organized by Hertzbreakerz / Ars Nova Malmö Sound Spaces 2020 (Malmö, Sweden). Also in 2019 the piece  “A Cántaros: boceto de Composición para una Instalación Sonora”, (collaboration creation with Juanita Fernández), is selected in call for Grand Prize of Contemporary Art of the French Alliance (Uruguay). In 2018, the electroacoustic piece “Tenés un Acúfeno” is selected in the call "4th Ars Electrónica Forum Wallis 2018" (Switzerland). In 2017, she was selected in the call of the "Patchtax Duo" (USA), and composed the piece "Mientras tejo para Matilde", for Saxophone, Viola and Electronic. In 2015, her piece “Órbitas”, for Oboe or duet of Oboes, obtained the Second Prize at the National Music Awards of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Uruguay). In the same year, the piece received recognition from the OBOESUR ensemble and the Universidad de la Serena "for its contribution to Latin American literature for oboe." In addition, she devotes part of her time to sound design and composition of original music for cinema, television series and theatre plays.

Anuj Bhutani is a quickly emerging composer/performer whose music often features visceral grooves; ethereal, meditative spaces; a combination of acoustic instruments and electronics, and a strong sense of narrative in a genre-fluid space. Since 2020, he’s won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Chamber Music America’s Classical Commissioning Grant, 1st prize in Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble’s Emerging Composer Competition, Verdigris Ensemble’s ION Composer Competition, Warren County Summer Music School’s Promising Young Composer Competition, Blank House Media’s Recording Competition, Nief-Norf International Call for Scores, 3rd prize in the American Prize in Choral Composition and The Choral Project's Composition Competition, and was a Finalist for the Bowdoin College Marion Brown Prize, and in the VOCES8 and Red Note Composition Competitions. He’s been selected for ACO Earshot, NewAm Composer’s Lab, Banff Centre’s Evolution: Classical, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s New Music Workshop at Yale School of Music, Albany Symphony’s Orchestrating for the 21st Century Workshop, RED NOTE Festival Composition Workshop, residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute, ACA (2x), the IRCAM Forum, multiple SCI conferences, SEAMUS conference, Impulse New Music Festival, Nick Photinos’ “1:2:1” program, the Hear Now Festival, and New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. His work has been commissioned or performed by Ashley Bathgate, Raleigh Civic Symphony, Metropolis Ensemble, Extended Music Collective, Verdant Vibes, Allen Philharmonic, Andrew Tholl of Wild Up, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Lauren Cauley Kalal of Switch~ ensemble, Inversion Ensemble (after winning the Happy Composer Commissioning Project), Daisy Press, the William Paterson University Percussion Ensemble, and more. 

He is currently pursuing his master’s degree at USC with Andrew Norman and completed his bachelor’s degree in composition at University of North Texas. His previous teachers have included Ted Hearne, Joseph Klein, Andrew May, Sungji Hong, Drew Schnurr, and UNT Composer-in-Residence Bruce Broughton. He also holds a BA in Psychology from UT Austin.

Madeline Merwin (b. 1998) is an American composer and professor specializing in contemporary classical music composition and multimedia music projects. She enjoys working with dance, film, and theater as well as in traditional classical concert settings, and strives to blend classical music with pop/rock groove influences.

Madeline is the winner of the 2018-19 American Prize in Composition, awarded for her dance/film/electroacoustic musical work Ceilings Made of Glass. She has received commissions from prominent organizations such as the Nashville Ballet, Wright State University, and X-Contemporary Dance Ensemble, and has completed many other collaborations both domestically and throughout Europe. She is an alumna of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam erasmus program (2019), the Filmscoring Academy of Europe Summer Program (2020), and the European-American Musical Alliance summer music festival (2022). In addition to her performance work, Madeline is passionate about advocating for accessibility of classical music for modern audiences. She was selected as an official TEDtalk presenter in 2018, and completed a TEDtalk on the socioeconomic barriers facing the classical music industry today. Madeline completed an undergraduate thesis dissertation on the political motivations behind the delineation of opera and musical theater genres, and plans to pursue her interest in researching socioeconomic pressures in the music industry alongside her composition endeavors.

Madeline is currently completing a residency fellowship at the University of Michigan to compose a full-length ballet with Eisenhower Dance Detroit, and is also an adjunct professor of music theory and aural skills at Henry Ford College. Before receiving her Master of Music degree in Composition at the University of Michigan in 2023, Madeline received her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music in 2021, and graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy with a major in Composition in 2017. In her free time, Madeline enjoys listening to TrueCrime podcasts and spending way too much money on candles.

Eunsung Kim* is a German based Korean composer. Kim earned his Bachelor’s degree in composition at Seoul National University under Tae Bong Chung. He went on to earn his Master and Konzertexamen’s degree from Music University of Franz Liszt Weimar, where he studied under Michael Obst und Ulrich Kreppein.

Among his recent distinctions appear awards in some of the high profile competitions, such as the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University Competition, Weimarar frühjahrstage für zeitgenössische Musik Competition, Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition, among others. And he was awarded the 2015 Thuringia Composition Prize. His Works had been performed by Academy Ensemble Musikfabrik, Ensemble recherche, International Ensemble Modern Academy, Loh-Sondershausen Orchester, KBS Orchestra, Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha, Ensemble of Staatskapelle Weimar, Aris Quartett and Quartet Tokyo-Berlin.

*Participation by Eunsung Kim is made possible through an exchange program between ACO's EarShot and the Korean National Symphony Orchestra’s Composers’ Atelier program. One composer selected through Atelier is featured in ACO's EarShot Readings, while one composer selected through ACO's EarShot Readings will be featured in KNSO's Composers' Atelier program.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.