The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has announced that works by seven composers have been selected for the 2015 Underwood New Music Readings which will take place on Wednesday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City. The seven works, which were chosen from over 200 submissions received from around the country, are:
Yuanyuan Kay He (b. 1985): Passeig de Grácia
David Hertzberg (b. 1990): Spectre of the Spheres
David “Clay” Mettens (b. 1990): Sleeping I am carried…
Polina Nazaykinskaya (b. 1987): Nature’s Book of Life
Jules Pegram (b. 1991): Shadows of the Studio
Igor Santos (b. 1985): play, pivot
Carl Schimmel (b. 1975): Two Variations on Ascent into the Empyrean
Now in their 24th year, these readings, which are open to the public free of charge (though reservations are strongly recommended), give audiences a chance to look behind the scenes at the process involved in bringing brand new, stylistically diverse orchestral music to life. The first day of readings—a working rehearsal—will be presented from 10am to 1pm on Wednesday, May 6; the second day of readings will take place on Thursday evening, May 7, at 7:30pm, during which all selected pieces will be polished and performed in their entirety. ACO’s Artistic Director Derek Bermel directs the readings; George Manahan conducts. Mentor-composers are Gabriela Lena Frank and Kevin Puts.
Each composer participating in the Underwood New Music Readings receives rehearsal time, a full reading, and a digital recording of his or her work. Review and feedback sessions with ACO principal players, mentor-composers, guest conductors, and industry representatives provide crucial artistic, technical, and conceptual assistance. In addition, one of the seven composers will be selected to receive a $15,000 commission for a new piece to be performed by ACO during an upcoming season. The world premiere of 2013 Underwood Commission winner A.J. McCaffrey’s new work for ACO, Motormouth, was featured on ACO’s season opening Orchestra Underground concert on November 21, 2014 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. The winner of the 2014 Underwood Commission, Andy Akiho, is composing a new piece that will premiere in October 2015 as part of ACO’s SONiC festival.
In addition to the readings, there will also be a series of career development seminars on Thursday, May 7 from 10am-4:00pm at the DiMenna Center for composers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about the business of being a composer. Workshop topics include intellectual property, copyright law and commissioning agreements, publicity and promotion, engraving and self-publishing, support and fundraising for composers, plus new developments with record labels. The cost for the seminar is $30, which includes lunch. Seating for the seminars is limited; reservations can be made on Eventbrite.
(—from the press release)