American Composers Orchestra has announced two commission awards for emerging composers Paul Novak and Dai Wei. They were chosen from the six participants in ACO’s 29th Underwood New Music Readings. Amidst concerns of the spread of COVID-19, and at the request of the City College of New York, the Readings on March 12 and 13, 2020 were closed to the public and open only to orchestra musicians, composers, and staff. In the press release announcing these two new commissions, ACO President Ed Yim reflected, “We were, of course, gratified that ACO was able to complete this year’s Underwood New Music Readings just before this period of self-isolation had to begin. And now, to be able to look towards the future with this announcement—to a time when we can gather again and make music for audiences—is uplifting.”
Paul Novak (b. 1998) will receive the 2020 Underwood Commission to compose a new work that will be performed by ACO in a future season. Dai Wei (b. 1989) will receive the CANOA (Composing a New Orchestra Audience) Consortium for Emerging Composers Commission, a new initiative which was created as a way to involve more orchestras in supporting emerging composers and as a way to meet the challenge of going beyond the first performance of a work. The CANOA Consortium Commission is funded with the generous support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. The consortium commission partners and performance season dates will be announced at a later time.
More information about the two commissioned composers and the ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings is available on the ACO website.