American Composers Orchestra has announced the names of the six composers who will be participating in the 28th Annual Underwood New Music Readings on May 23 and 24, 2019 at NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theater (35 West 4th Street): Rodrigo Castro, Chen Yihan, inti figgis-vizueta, Jack Hughes, Jihyun Kim, and Aaron Israel Levin. The first day of Readings, an open rehearsal, is Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 10:30am; the second day of Readings is Friday, May 24, 2019 at 7:30pm during which the new works will be polished and performed in their entirety. ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel directs the Readings; Ludovic Morlot, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony, will conduct.
The six composers were selected from over 200 submissions and represent a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds and sound worlds. Three commission opportunities will be available to this year’s participants: the Underwood Commission and Audience Choice awards both offer the chance to write a new work for ACO while the Consortium for Emerging Composers winner will receive a commission to write a new work to be performed by ACO, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony (Los Angeles). Each composer participating in the Underwood New Music Readings receives rehearsals, a reading, and a digital recording of the composer’s work. Feedback sessions with guest conductor Ludovic Morlot, ACO principal players, mentor composers, and ACO’s directors provide artistic, technical, and conceptual assistance. This year’s mentor composers are Tania León, Anthony Cheung, and ACO Artistic Director, Derek Bermel. In addition, the Readings offer a Career Development Workshop for composers, students, or anyone interested in exploring the business and realities of being a professional composer on Friday, May 24, from 10am to 3pm. These talks present topics ranging from copyright and commission agreements to music preparation, from promotion to fundraising.