American Composers Orchestra’s 27th Annual Underwood New Music Readings Featuring six composers selected from over 250 submissions

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American Composers Orchestra’s 27th Annual Underwood New Music Readings

Featuring six composers selected from over 250 submissions:

Carlos Bandera, Lily Chen, Scott Lee, Ryan Lindveit, Tomas Peire Serrate, and Liliya Ugay

Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 10:30am (open rehearsal; free admission with advance reservation)
Friday, June 22, 2018 at 10am (career development workshop; $10 admission)
Friday, June 22, 2018 at 7:30pm (run-through performance; $10 admission)

NYU’s Loewe Theater | 35 West 4th Street | New York, NY 10012

Tickets and more information:

New York, NY – American Composers Orchestra continues its commitment to the creation and development of new orchestral music with the 27th Annual Underwood New Music Readings on June 21-22, 2018 at NYU’s Loewe Theater (35 West 4th Street).

ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings give audiences a chance to look behind the scenes of bringing new, diverse orchestral music to life. The first day of Readings, an open rehearsal, is Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 10:30am; the second day of Readings is Friday, June 22, at 7:30pm, during which the new works will be polished and performed in their entirety. ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel directs the Readings; ACO Music Director George Manahan conducts.

This year, six of the nation’s most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers are selected from over 250 submissions. Carlos Bandera, Lily Chen, Scott Lee, Ryan Lindveit, Tomas Peire Serrate, and Liliya Ugay represent a broad spectrum of musical backgrounds and sound worlds. One composer will receive a $15,000 commission for a new piece to be performed by ACO during an upcoming season. Additionally, one composer will receive the Audience Choice Award with an associated commission.

Each composer participating in the Underwood New Music Readings receives rehearsals, a reading, and a digital recording of his or her work. Feedback sessions with ACO principal players, mentor composers, and ACO’s artistic and music directors provide crucial artistic, technical, and conceptual assistance. This year’s mentor composers are Derek Bermel, ACO Artistic Director; Gabriela Ortiz; John Corigliano; and Robert Beaser, ACO Artistic Director Laureate.

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 Thursday, June 22 from 10am-3pm. These invaluable talks, led by leaders in the industry, present topics ranging from copyright and commission agreements to music preparation, from promotion to fundraising. This year’s schedule, topics, and speakers include:

10:00am – 11:00am – Be Prepared: Introduction to professional score and parts production

Bill Holab (Bill Holab Music)


11:00am – 11:30am –  Bang on a Can: A Case Study on Entrepreneurship

Moderator:  Frank J. Oteri, Composer Advocate (New Music USA)

Panelists: Tim Thomas, Michael Gordon and David Lang (Bang on a Can)

Astrid Baumgardner, President (Astrid Baumgardner Coaching + Training)


1:15pm – 2:00pm –  Everything You Wanted to Know About Copyright

James Kendrick, Esq., Partner (Alter and Kendrick)


2:00pm – 3:00pm – Getting Your Music Programmed

Moderator: Ed Yim, President (American Composers Orchestra)

Panelists:  Kathy Schuman, Vice President, Artistic Programming and Executive Producer (Caramoor); Beth Helgeson, Director of Artistic Planning and Administration (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center); and Isaac Thompson, Vice President, Artistic Planning (New York Philharmonic)

The cost for the Workshop is $10; reservations can be made at

For over a generation, ACO’s Underwood New Music Readings have provided all-important career development and public exposure to the country’s most promising emerging composers, with over 150 composers participating. Readings alumni have won every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Rome Prizes. Orchestras around the globe have commissioned ACO Readings alumni.

The New Music Readings have launched many of today’s top composers, such as ACO’s own Artistic Director Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Anthony Cheung, Anna Clyne, Cindy Cox, Sebastian Currier, Jennifer Higdon, Pierre Jalbert, Aaron Jay Kernis, Hannah Lash, Carter Pann, P.Q. Phan, Tobias Picker, Narong Prangcharoen, Paola Prestini, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Huang Ruo, Eric Samuelson, Carlos Sanchez-Guiterrez, Kate Soper, Gregory Spears, Joan Tower, Ken Ueno, Dan Visconti, Wang Jie, Dalit Warshaw, Randall Woolf, Nina Young, and Roger Zare.

About the Selected Composers and Their Music

Carlos Bandera (Lux in Tebebris)


Carlos Bandera (b. 1993) is fascinated by musical architecture and by the music of the past. His recent music explores these fascinations, often by placing a musical quotation, be it a phrase, scale, or sonority, within dense microtonal textures.


Carlos’ music has been performed in the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Uzbekistan, China, and several spaces in the US, including Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall. He has attended the Fresh Inc Music Festival where he studied composition with Dan Visconti and the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy where he studied with Daron Hagen and Gylda Lyons and had his Florestan premiered by members of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra.


Carlos earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, where he studied with Elizabeth Brown, Dean Drummond, and Marcos Balter. Carlos recently received his Master of Music degree in Composition from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he participated in masterclasses with Christopher Rouse and Georg Friedrich Haas and studied privately with Kevin Puts.


Carlos notes about his piece, “Upon first hearing the music of Anton Bruckner, I felt deeply connected to the composer and his work. His Eighth Symphony in particular, with its immense harmonic landscapes, devastating silences, and profound ‘darkness-to-light’ narrative, continues to be one of my greatest influences – no doubt, in more ways than I am even aware of. Lux in Tenebris explores these elements of the Eighth Symphony by allowing Brucknerian light to pierce through a dense micropolyphonic fabric.” For more information, visit


Lily Chen (A Leaf Falls After)


Taiwanese-born Lily Chen (b. 1985) is a composer exploring timbral materials with subtle theatrical potentials in both acoustic and electronic music. Lily has received first Prize of Asian Composers League Young Composers Award, first and second Prizes of Nicola de Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition, among others. Her music has been performed at June in Buffalo, Mise-en Festival, International Computer Music Conference, SEAMUS, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and Asian Composers League Conference and Festival. Lily has collaborated with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Eco Ensemble, Ensemble Signal, Mivos Quartet, Ensemble Mise-en, and National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.


In December 2017, she received her Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with Ken Ueno, Franck Bedrossian, Edmund Campion, and Cindy Cox. She also holds M.M. (2009) and B.F.A. (2007) from Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, under the instruction of Chung-Kun Hung. For more information, visit


Of her piece, Chen notes, “A Leaf Falls After is inspired by my recent memories of living in Europe. In the fall of 2015, I received the Ladd Prize funded by UC Berkeley and had the great opportunity to live in Paris for ten months. This was my first time in Paris as well as in Europe; I experienced intimate incidents of fragile beauty that touched me, but also shocking and terrifying ones during my residence there. Based on such images, I created a constantly flowing process of different kinds of vibrations along with air sounds to represent falling leaves, fallen leaves, and flaps of rising butterflies’ wings. Besides this, metallic sounds/noises either with pure resonances or with intense pressure make up another important element, which is associated with my memories of the ringing bells and the metal ‘fallen leaves.’”


Scott Lee (Anadyr)


Composer Scott Lee (b. 1988) writes concert music infused with the visceral sounds of popular music. Lee has worked with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Winston-Salem Symphony members, Symphony In C, and the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, chamber groups such as the Jack Quartet, yMusic, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Deviant Septet, chatterbird, and ShoutHouse, as well as multi-platinum pop artist Ben Folds. He has received commissions from the Aspen Music Festival, the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, loadbang, the Raleigh Civic Symphony, and the American Craft Council.


Notable honors include a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, winner of the Symphony In C Young Composers Composition, the grand prize in the PARMA Student Composer Competition, and the Gustav Klemm Award in Composition from the Peabody Institute. Lee has also received fellowships to attend the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals.


As a James B. Duke Fellow, Lee recently earned a PhD in Composition at Duke University, mentored by Scott Lindroth and Steve Jaffe. He earned the Master of Music degree at the Peabody institute, where he was the recipient of the Philip D. Glass Endowed Scholarship in Composition and studied with Michael Hersch. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he studied with Michael Rose, Michael Slayton, Stan Link, and Michael Kurek. For more information, visit


Of his piece, Lee says, “Anadyr refers both to a remote port town in Northeastern Russia and to the secret 1962 operation (‘Operation Anadyr’) in which Soviets deployed missiles and supporting forces to Cuba, prompting the Cuban missile crisis. The mission involved a complex campaign of deception, and was shrouded in secrecy. This work aims to evoke the deception and subterfuge that characterized this period in international dealings with Russia.”


Ryan Lindviet (Like an Altar with 9,000 Robot Attendants)


Ryan Lindveit’s (b. 1994) works have been performed across the United States and abroad by Alarm Will Sound, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Orkest de Ereprijs, the USC Thornton Symphony, the Donald Sinta Quartet, FearNoMusic, and the City of Tomorrow, among others. His music has received recognition from BMI, ASCAP, SCI, the American Modern Ensemble, the National Band Association, Tribeca New Music, and the Texas Music Educators Association. Ryan grew up in Texas and is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was selected as Salutatorian for the class of 2016 and named the Thornton School of Music’s Outstanding Graduate. He is currently a master’s student at the Yale School of Music. His past teachers include Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Andrew Norman, Ted Hearne, Frank Ticheli, and Donald Crockett. Recent and upcoming projects include Mysterious Butterflies ​for chamber ensemble and eight voices, a wind ensemble version of Like an Altar with 9,000 Robot Attendants commissioned by a consortium of 30 university wind ensembles organized by conductor H. Robert Reynolds, a commission for the Big 12 Band Directors Association, and pieces for chamber ensemble and orchestra to be premiered at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2018. For more information, visit


Lindviet notes, “Like an Altar with 9,000 Robot Attendants was inspire­­d by Ray Bradbury’s short story ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ (1950). The futuristic story describes a computer-controlled house, in which robots perform a myriad of tasks such as cooking breakfast, cleaning house, and telling time. Bradbury’s futurist prose remains characteristically exuberant in describing these household robots—a tension which calls to mind the satirical ebullience of Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove. My piece lives in the same brazenly ecstatic spirit as Bradbury’s story and Kubrick’s film. Sometimes the only response to misfortune is a wild, full-teeth smile.”


Tomas Peire Serrate (Rauxa)


Barcelona-born Tomas Peire Serrate (b. 1979) studied piano at the Sant Cugat del Vallès conservatory and composition at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (Barcelona) with Salvador Brotons andthe Sibelius Academy (Helsinki) with Tapio Tuomela and Risto Väisänen. In 2013 he graduated from New York University with a Master´s in Scoring for Film and Multimedia. That year he moved to Los Angeles to explore the film music industry and participate as a composer in different projects including writing the music for the films The Anushree Experiements and Prism, and orchestrating and arranging music for If I Stay, Minions or Love and Friendship.


In the fall of 2015, Tomàs initiated his PhD studies at UCLA, where studies with Bruce Broughton, Richard Danielpour, Ian Krouse, Mark Carlson, Peter Golub and David S. Lefkowitz. His research at UCLA is about music, space and media, with particular interest in new technologies and virtual reality. His concert works have been performed in Europe, US and Asia, and is currently working on a short opera-monologue that will be premiered at the Off-Liceu series in Barcelona in June 2018. For more information, visit


Of his piece, Serrate notes, “Rauxa is a sudden determination, like the impulse I had to write this piece, or an outburst, which actually is how this work begins. It is a Catalan word that has been used in pair with another one, Seny, meaning balance and sensibleness, to describe or refer to the Catalan people and their character. This duality, like in other cultures and traditions, is essential, indivisible, and necessary to understand each part separately, which is what I tried to explore here.  I worked on sketches and sections of Rauxa in different moments and places, always away from my home country, Catalonia, and I kept coming back to it looking to improve it as well as to learn more about myself and about music.”


Liliya Ugay (Rhapsody in Color)


Music by the award-winning composer and pianist Liliya Ugay (b. 1990) has been performed in many countries around the globe. Recipient of a 2016 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a 2017 Horatio Parker Memorial prize from the Yale School of Music, Ugay has collaborated with the Nashville Symphony, Albany Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Yale Philharmonia, Raleigh Civic Symphony, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Molinari Quartet, Antico Moderno, Omnibus ensemble, and Paul Neubauer among others. Her music has been featured at the Aspen, American Composers, New York Electroacoustic Music, June in Buffalo, and Darmstadt New Music festivals, as well as the 52nd Venice Biennale. During 2017-2018 season Ugay has worked on a new opera as a Resident Composer at the American Lyric Theater.


Originally from Uzbekistan, Liliya is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Yale School of Music studying with Aaron Kernis and David Lang. Besides new music, Liliya is passionate about the music of the repressed composers from the Soviet era. She regularly presents a series of the lecture-recitals on this topic with guidance of Boris Berman. For more information, visit


Of her piece, Ugay notes, “I chose the title Rhapsody in Color to evoke two musical associations: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The idea of Rhapsody in Color is similar to the process of reproduction of old sepia photographs or films into color with individual, unrealistic to the time of the original, touch. Rather a simple, and, in a sense, traditional, motive and harmonic progression are taken through the contemporary lens by coloring it out with the sporadic and often unpredictable formal and orchestral realization. Similarly, in the second half of the piece, the idea of the ostinato dance is approached from modern perspective, transforming it into what sounds more like an electronic dance loop track with constantly adding/changing shades and timbral colors.”

About American Composers Orchestra


Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promotion of music by American composers. ACO makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new American orchestral music its central purpose. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today’s brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. ACO also serves as an incubator of ideas, research, and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music. ACO programs seek to innovate and experiment, educate students and the public, and open the orchestra to diverse new influences and audiences. For more information, visit


About American Composers Forum


The American Composers Forum is committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development. By linking communities with composers and performers, the Forum fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons. For more information, visit


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 2,000 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. For more information, visit


About New Music USA


New Music USA supports and promotes new music created in the United States using the power of virtual networks and people to foster connection, deepen knowledge, encourage appreciation, and provide financial support for a diverse constituency of practitioners and appreciators. New Music USA engages with a broad constituency of artists and audiences with our programs and editorial work, providing in-depth coverage of the field through and Counterstream Radio and supporting the field with around one million dollars in grants annually. Through membership in networks such as the International Society for Contemporary Music and the International Association of Music Information Centers. New Music USA represents the United States new music scene around the world. For more information, visit


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This press release is available online at

The Underwood New Music Readings and Commission are made possible with lead support from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Underwood; and with public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

EarShot is a program of American Composers Orchestra in partnership with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. Made possible with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fromm Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University. Additional funding provided by the League of American Orchestras with support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Strategic Planning for Emerging Composer Programs is generously supported by the Altman Foundation.

Institutional Support for American Composers Orchestra is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Altman Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, Inc., ASCAP Foundation, BMI Classical & the BMI Foundation, Boosey & Hawkes, The Cheswatyr Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Deutsche Bank, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Jephson Educational Trust, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, League of American Orchestras, MAP Fund, Morgan Stanley, New Music USA, Pacific Harmony Fund, Rolex Institute, Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, and The Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy.

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