American Composers Orchestra announces Connecting ACO Community – a new solo commissioning initiative in response to the COVID-19 crisis

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American Composers Orchestra Announces Connecting ACO Community

A new solo commissioning initiative in response to the COVID-19 crisis
with online world premieres beginning Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 5pm EST on Zoom

Connecting ACO Community.jpg

$5 tickets available through Eventbrite | More information at

04062020_ACO_Connecting_Community_HI_RES.jpgNew York, NY – In response to the impacts of COVID-19 on composers and performers, American Composers Orchestra announces Connecting ACO Community, a new initiative to commission short works for solo instrument or voice. Each composer will receive $500 to write the work, and each performer will receive $500 to perform the work, with the rights to stream for six months.With these seven premieres, ACO aims to support artists who need financial assistance; to create new work that will live beyond this crisis; and to provide virtual, interactive performances to ACO’s supporters and the general public.

Premieres of the new works will take place each Sunday at 5pm EST, beginning Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 5pm EST withviolinist Miranda Cuckson performing a new work by Ethan Iverson, hosted on Zoom. Ticketholders will receive a private link to join the performance, and all of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go solely to fund artists involved in this project. If the $5 entrance fee poses a barrier to participation, interested listeners will be asked to fill out an anonymous form at aiden to request a fee waiver.

MotR_Banner.jpgThe composer, performer, and a host (ACO President Ed Yim or ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel, who is also donating his own performance to the project) will hold an online chat with attendees after the performance. The recorded session will be available within 24 hours after the performance on ACO’s website and social media platforms, as well as on raqklein or 347.840.0269.

Yim and Bermel jointly state, “ACO is about supporting composers, performers, and listeners who want to explore the wealth of musical creativity in the Americas. During this unprecedented crisis, when we cannot gather our orchestra and audiences to fulfill our mission, we felt that it was important to make a creative and forward-looking contribution. We are also firmly committed to paying artists for their work in service of our community.”

Connecting ACO Community Composer-Performer Teams and Schedule of Events

Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 5pm EST: Ethan Iverson & Miranda Cuckson, violin (buy tickets)

Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 5pm EST: Shara Nova & Ahya Simone, harp (buy tickets)

Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 5pm EST: Vicente Hansen Atria & Jay Campbell, cello (buy tickets)

Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 5pm EST: Sakari Dixon Vanderveer & Derek Bermel, clarinet (buy tickets)

Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 5pm EST: Gity Razaz & Jennifer Koh, violin (buy tickets)

Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 5pm EST: Yuan-Chen Li & Jeffrey Zeigler, cello (buy tickets)

Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 5pm EST: Carlos Simon & Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor and Brooklyn Youth Chorus (buy tickets)

ACO asked performers who have been part of the orchestra’s community to choose a composer from the last five years of ACO’s Readings program in the last five years, or to propose another emerging American composer that fit with the goals of the program. Certain performers who are also composers asked instead to create work for a particular solo instrumentalist or singer.

For information on the composers and performers, please see the attached PDF version of the press release.

About American Composers Orchestra

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, K-12 education programs, and emerging composer development programs to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

ACO identifies and develops talent, performs established composers, champions those who are lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting gender, ethnic, geographic, stylistic, and age diversity. To date, ACO has performed music by 800 American composers, including over 350 world premieres and newly commissioned works. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records,, and iTunes.

In addition to the Underwood New Music Readings in NYC, EarShot enables orchestras across the country to identify talented young composers. With guidance from ACO, partner orchestras – such as the Detroit Symphony, the Sarasota (FL) Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra – undertake readings, residencies, performances and composer-development programs that speak directly to their communities and leverage local resources.

For nearly two decades, ACO has brought composers and musical teaching artists into New York City public schools through Music Factory. Students in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, work directly with professional composers to create and perform original music. ACO also offers the intensive Compose Yourself seminars, during which high school composers will participate in hands-on composition classes, culminating in a performance of student compositions played by ACO’s professional musicians.

More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at

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Connecting ACO Community is funded with a lead gift from Augusta Gross and Leslie Samuels with additional gifts from Derek Bermel, Carlos Simon and Ed Yim.

This press release is available online at
american composers orchestra

Derek Bermel, Artistic Director | George Manahan, Music Director | Edward Yim, President

Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor Laureate | Robert Beaser, Artistic Director Laureate
494 8th Avenue, Suite 503 | New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.977.8495 | Web:

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