American Composers Orchestra
The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is an American orchestra administratively based in New York City, specialising in contemporary American music. The ACO gives concerts at various concert venues in New York City, including:
- Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
- The DiMenna Center
- The Mannes School of Music
- Winter Garden at Brookfield Place
- Miller Theater at Columbia University
The ACO is solely dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers, the only such orchestra in the world. To date, ACO has performed music by over 500 American composers, including over 100 world premieres and new commissions. In the 1990s, the ACO added new initiatives such as the Underwood New Music Readings, for young composers to hear their works rehearsed and recorded, and the 'Sonidos de las Américas' festival, focused on Latin-American music. Robert Beaser was the ACO's composer-in-residence from 1988 to 1993, then had the title of artistic adviser through January 2001, at which time he took the title of artistic director. Beaser now has the title of artistic director laureate of the ACO. Derek Bermel was the ACO's composer-in-residence from 2006 to 2009, and is now the ACO's artistic director.
Francis Thorne, Dennis Russell Davies, Paul Lustig Dunkel and Nicolas Roussakis co-founded the ACO in 1975. The ACO gave its first performance on 7 February 1977 at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Davies served as the ACO's founding music director from 1977 to 2002, and now has the title of conductor laureate with the ACO. In November 2000, Steven Sloane was named the ACO's new music director, effective with the 2002-2003 season. The appointment was unusual in that Sloane had not conducted the ACO prior to his appointment. Sloane's first conducting appearance with the ACO was in March 2002, and his ACO tenure began in November 2002. He held the post through 2006. In 2010, George Manahan became music director of ACO.
ACO has received a number of honours from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, and ASCAP, for its programming. ACO also received the inaugural METLife Award for Excellence in Audience Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, and New World Records.
- Allan Kozinn (2012-05-25). "Composing a More Useful Future". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- Anthony Tommasini (2002-04-17). "True to His Mission, Davies Bows Out With Orchestra". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- Anthony Tommasini (2000-11-04). "American Composers Names a Music Director". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
- Allan Kozinn (2002-11-01). "New Man for New Music: A Debut for an International Commuter". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
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