Read President & CEO Vanessa Reed’s acceptance speech here.
The American Composers Forum (ACF) and New Music USA will jointly receive the League of American Orchestras’ highest honor, the Gold Baton, the League announced today. ACF President and CEO Vanessa Rose and New Music USA President and CEO Vanessa Reed will accept the awards on behalf of their respective organizations at the League’s online Conference Finale on Friday, June 12, from 1:00-2:30pm EDT.
“Living composers keep our artform alive, relevant, and inspiring,” said Jesse Rosen, the League of American Orchestras President and CEO. “The unparalleled work of both the American Composers Forum—fostering music creators, performers, advocates, and new music listeners—and New Music USA— fostering connections and offering resources to the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music—has contributed deeply to this unprecedented age of creativity and transformative orchestral experiences. Indispensable to composers and orchestras alike, the American Composers Forum and New Music USA are valued, longtime partners of the League and I’m delighted to honor them with the Gold Baton.”
New Music USA President and CEO Vanessa Reed added, “We’re honored to receive this award for our longstanding support of living composers at the heart of orchestral life. The positive impact of extended residencies on composers, players and audiences is now widely recognized. As we build on this work, our Amplifying Voices program will prioritize composers who have not yet had access to these opportunities and we look forward to partnering with orchestras and Black led music organizations who share our belief in a more just and equitable future.”
For more than 40 years, American Composers Forum (ACF) has supported an ecosystem of creators through engaging events and programs such as ACF | CREATE, an evolution of the Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund), which has seeded many new works and advanced careers since 1979. ACF continues to support creators throughout their musical journeys with commissioning programs, fellowships, partnerships (including Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra and the League), convenings, and, since 1982, the Innova Recordings label.
New Music USA, through its groundbreaking Orchestra Residency Program launched in 1982 and the Music Alive Residency Program, launched in 1999 in partnership with the League, has been a steadfast partner to composers and orchestras. NewMusicBox has been the go-to platform for the essential conversations and dialogue about music and musicians today.
Given annually since 1948 for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, the Gold Baton recognizes individuals and institutions whose far-reaching contributions to the field serve to champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country.
Previous Gold Baton recipients include, among many others, Leonard Bernstein (1959); Pierre Boulez (2000); Aaron Copland (1978); new music patron Betty Freeman (1987); Yo-Yo Ma (2018); Ann Hobson Pilot (2017); Beverly Sills (1980); and Joan Tower (2019). Find the full list of Gold Baton recipients on the League’s website.
About the Gold Baton recipients
The American Composers Forum (ACF) cultivates an ecosystem where living music creators, and their music, are vibrant and integral to human culture. Founded in 1973 by composers Libby Larsen and Stephen Paulus as the Minnesota Composers Forum, the organization has championed composers and their music ever since. Today as a national organization, and through mentorship and funding support, publications, recordings, hosted gatherings, and leadership, ACF connects composer/performer artists with collaborators, organizations, audiences, and communities to foster generations of music creators, performers, advocates, and listeners. By highlighting the individuals creating music through their unique stories and the impact of their art, ACF strives to demonstrate the relevance and vitality of the musical experiences being explored and experienced across the country. Visit composersforum.org for more information.
New Music USA supports the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and appreciation of new music throughout the United States. Founded in 2011 following the merger of Meet the Composer and the American Music Center, New Music USA supports and connects US-based music makers, organizations, and audiences. We provide financial support through our Project Grants; foster new connections through our programs; deepen knowledge through our online magazine, NewMusicBox, and we advocate for the field. New Music USA works in collaboration with its community in response to unaddressed needs and to amplify the diverse voices of music creators. New Music USA envisions a thriving and equitable ecosystem for new music throughout the United States.
Read on the League of American Orchestras website.
About the League of American Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 1,700 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit americanorchestras.org.