Announcing the return of SONiC – Sounds of a New Century A Festival of 21st Century Music by Composers Age 40 and Under Produced by American Composers Orchestra, October 15-23, 2015; 9 days of new music by more than 60 composers; at least 19 world premieres, 3 U.S. premieres, and 14 New York premieres performed by 13 ensembles at venues throughout New York City

Comment Off 63 Views

Announcing the return of

SONiC – Sounds of a New Century
A Festival of 21st Century Music by Composers Age 40 and Under
Produced by American Composers Orchestra

October 15-23, 2015

9 days of new music by more than 60 composers;
at least 19 world premieres, 3 U.S. premieres, and 14 New York premieres
performed by 13 ensembles at venues throughout New York City

All concerts will be available for on-demand streaming at

New York, NY (July 15, 2015) — Heralded in its inaugural edition in 2011 as “a brilliant and unpretentious showcase for music in the new millennium” (The Guardian), SONiC (Sounds of a New Century) is a festival of 21st century music by more than 60 composers age 40 and under. SONiC returns to New York from Thursday, October 15 through Friday, October 23, 2015. Produced by American Composers Orchestra, SONiC events range from a daylong marathon to late-night AfterHours concerts, from a free symphony concert at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place to collaborations between emerging choreographers and composers. SONiC concerts take place at venues throughout New York City, and include performances by 13 extraordinary ensembles featuring at least 19 world premieres, three U.S. premieres, and 14 New York premieres. SONiC is curated by ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel (main stage concerts) with Associate Curator Anna Clyne (AfterHours concerts), and is presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall, Arts Brookfield, National Sawdust, Kaufman Music Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, 92Y, and Americas Society, with lead support from The Fromm Music Foundation and additional support from the Howard Gilman Foundation. Q2 Music, the new music online stream of WQXR, is the digital media partner for SONiC.

SONiC launches on October 15 with SONiC Kick-Off: Cultivate at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR presented by Q2 Music, WQXR’s contemporary classical online channel. The evening will be hosted by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight and webcast live at, and will feature music performed by Music from Copland House by the emerging composers of Copland House’s Cultivate institute, including Reena Esmail, Steven Snowden, Viet Cuong, Michael Gilbertson, Dan Visconti, and Gity Razaz. The festival continues on October 16, with ACO’s season-opening concert American Composers Orchestra: New York Stories, presented by Arts Brookfield and WNYC’s New Sounds Live at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. This free concert features an all-world premiere program led by ACO Music Director George Manahan, including music by four up-and-coming composers: Angélica Negrón, whose new piece Me He Perdido (I’ve Gotten Lost) for ACO will incorporate performances by robotic modules; Andy Akiho, winner of ACO’s 2014 Underwood Emerging Composer Commission; Alex Mincek, whose new piece Continuo is a concerto for JACK Quartet and ACO; and Judd Greenstein, whose My City is an ode to New York and features new music chamber choir The Crossing with vocalist DM Stith. The concert will be hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer and recorded for later broadcast on WNYC’s New Sounds Live.

Other highlights of SONiC include Grammy winners Roomful of Teeth in the New York premiere of a new work by Ted Hearne plus music by Missy Mazzoli, William Brittelle, Eric Dudley, and Caleb Burhans at Williamsburg’s latest venue National Sawdust; Holland’s Nieuw Amsterdams Peil at Le Poisson Rouge in U.S. premieres by Joey Roukens, Reza Namavar, Edmund Finnis, and a New York premiere by Molly Joyce; Los Angeles’ wild Up in its New York debut at Roulette with a program of all New York premieres by Julia Holter, Chris Kallmyer, Andrew Tholl, Andrew McIntosh, Christopher Rountree, Clara Ianotta, and Nick Deyoe; Alarm Will Sound at 92Y performing New York premieres by Texu Kim, Jeremy Podgursky, and John Orfe, and music by Charlie Piper and Kate Soper; and Mexico’s leading new music group, the innovative and virtuosic Onix Ensamble, presented by Americas Society.

SONiC showcases the breadth and depth of emerging composers working today in JACK Out of the Box, a 6-hour marathon event from 3-9pm on Sunday, October 18 at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center. JACK Quartet plays the role of host ensemble, with performances interspersed throughout the day, among appearances by other leading new music ensembles and performers including Sō Percussion, Face the Music, Derek Bermel, Rachel Calloway, Caroline Shaw, and Ken Thomson in music by Caroline Shaw (the New York premiere of By & By), Jeff Myers, Carolina Heredia, Jason Treuting, Cenk Ergün, Loren Loiacano, Ken Thomson, and the world premieres of new double quartets for Face the Music by Justine Chen and Paris Lavidis.

SONiC concludes on Friday, October 23 with ACO in Orchestra Underground: 21st Firsts presented by Carnegie Hall at Zankel Hall and led by ACO Music Director George Manahan. Another all-world premiere concert, the program includes Nina C. Young’s Out of whose womb came the ice featuring baritone David Tinervia, Hannah Lash’s The Monster Harp featuring the composer as soloist with the orchestra, Michael-Thomas Foumai’s Hyperdrive, Conrad Winslow’s Joint Account and Melody EötvösRed Dirt / Silver Rain.

In addition to the main stage performances, SONiC will also include several SONiC: AfterHours concerts featuring dance collaborations, electronic music composers and DJs, composers who also take the stage as performers, and musicians who work at the intersection of jazz and classical music at venues including National Sawdust and Roulette. Performing ensembles include Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Eco-Music Big Band, and Off the Cliff. The complete schedule of AfterHours performances will be announced in August.

Of the focus on composers under age 40, SONiC Curator Derek Bermel said, “We wanted to present a snapshot of the younger generation of music-makers, to showcase the richness, vitality, and diversity of the music being created right now – under our very noses here in New York and throughout the world.” He explains, “Emerging composers today have much greater access to different traditions and influences, and we are celebrating music in a multiplicity of styles, movements, and manifestations. We want to bring more public awareness to the many directions contemporary music is moving in, and to reaffirm that composers are here and thriving.”

Associate Curator Anna Clyne adds, “This year’s SONiC: AfterHours shows focus on collaboration, bringing together some of today’s most imaginative and innovative composers, choreographers, ensembles, instrument makers, sound installation artists, visual artists and film-makers. From the world premiere of three new works for music and dance at Roulette, to new works for music, film and live visuals at National Sawdust, these eclectic shows explore a wide variety of ways that composers are interacting with other media and art forms.”

Carol Oja, Fromm Music Foundation Director, says, “The Fromm Music Foundation, which has been supporting new music in the United States since 1952, is thrilled to be part of the SONiC festival, believing that young composers point our ears towards the future.”

For ACO, SONiC represents the culmination of many years of planning, coalescing the work the orchestra does with emerging composers, and creating a dynamic and focused series of events that emphasize the creation of new opportunities for these artists. “We wanted to create a ‘big umbrella’ that would celebrate these composers and bring together the many young innovative ensembles that are doing fantastic work, by collaborating with a wide range of venues and presenters from across New York City,” said ACO President Michael Geller. Many of the composers featured during SONiC have been discovered through one of ACO’s composer development programs, such as the Underwood New Music Readings for Emerging Composers or EarShot – the National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network that ACO has spearheaded in collaboration with symphony orchestras around the country.

SONiC: Interact

SONiC will extend beyond the concert hall and into the virtual world with several initiatives allowing audiences to interact and engage directly with the music.

For updates, behind-the-scenes scoops, and dialog with several of the composers and ensembles, audiences can follow SONiC on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram (, and can participate in the conversation using the hashtag #SONiCfest.

Through Re:Sound, audience members will have the opportunity to comment and vote online or via mobile phone for the piece they would most like to hear again. Q2 Music will broadcast recordings of the pieces that receive the most votes during a special program dedicated to SONiC.

SONiC will also feature SONiC:Variant for smart phone and tablet users. In addition to festival information, the app will also include a mobile audiovisual world of texture, movement, line and tone. SONiC:Variant is a special free version of the Variant apps created by Kenneth Kirschner and Joshue Ott of Interval Studios. The software was used to create SONiC’s animated logo on The app will also be on display at select events during the festival.

SONiC Composers (Subject to Change)

Andy Akiho, Livio Almeida, Clarice Assad, Albert Behar, William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, Justine Chen, Viet Cuong, Nick Deyoe, Eric Dudley, Melody Eötvös, Cenk Ergün, Reena Esmail, Fjola Evans, Peter Evans, Edmund Finnis, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Jefferson Friedman, Ruby Fulton, Michael Gilbertson, Judd Greenstein, Ted Hearne, Carolina Heredia, Molly Herron, Julia Holter, Clara Iannotta, Marie Incontrera, Dana Jessen, Molly Joyce, Chris Kallmyer, Texu Kim, Hannah Lash, Paris Lavidis, Loren Loiacono, Levy Lorenzo, Andrew McIntosh, Paula Matthusen, Albert Marques, Missy Mazzoli, Alex Mincek, Jeff Myers, Reza Namavar, Angélica Negrón, Adam O’Farrill, Zack O’Farrill, John Orfe, Charlie Piper, Sam Pluta, Jeremy Podgursky, Paola Prestini, Gity Razaz, Joey Roukens, Christopher Rountree, Caroline Shaw, Steven Snowden, Kate Soper, Tyshawn Sorey, Andrew Tholl, Ken Thomson, Jason Treuting, Dan Visconti, Conrad Winslow, Bora Yoon, and Nina C. Young, and more

SONiC Ensembles & Performers (Subject to Change)

American Composers Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, The Crossing, Eco-Music Big Band, Face the Music, JACK Quartet, Music from Copland House, Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, Off The Cliff, Onix Ensamble, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, Sō Percussion, wild Up, clarinetist Derek Bermel, mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway, electric bassoonist Archie Carey, accordionist Melissa Elledge, bassist and vocalist Maggie Hasspacher, harpist Hannah Lash, live visualist Joshue Ott, percussionist Ian Rosenbaum, violinist/vocalist Caroline Shaw, percussionist Tyshawn Sorey, vocalist DM Stith, clarinetist/saxophonist Ken Thomson, baritone David Tinervia, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, and more

Ticket Information

Tickets to SONiC concerts will be available beginning on August 24, 2015. Tickets will range from FREE to $50. SONiC Festival Passes will be available for $25 and will provide discount codes to allow for the purchase of tickets discounted by at least 20% to all concerts. The SONiC Festival Pass will be available beginning on August 24, and will also provide reserved, preferred seating at the free events along with other free items and perks. Visit for more information.

SONiC: Sounds of a New Century Schedule (Subject to Change)

Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 7pm
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR (44 Charlton St., New York, NY)
SONiC Kick-0ff: Cultivate

Music from Copland House
STEVEN SNOWDEN: Steam Man of the Prairies
VIET CUONG: Wax and Wire
DAN VISCONTI: Lonesome Roads
GITY RAZAZ: Prayer for the Forgotten

Friday, October 16, 2015 at 8pm
Winter Garden at Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St., New York, NY)
American Composers Orchestra: New York Stories
WNYC New Sounds Live – an all-world premiere concert

George Manahan, Music Director & Conductor
JACK Quartet; DM Stith, vocals; The Crossing, Donald Nally, director
ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN: Me He Perdido (I’ve Gotten Lost) (World Premiere. ACO Commission)
ANDY AKIHO: Tarnished Mirrors (World Premiere. ACO/Underwood Commission)
ALEX MINCEK: Continuo (World Premiere. ACO/NYSCA Commission)
JUDD GREENSTEIN: My City (World Premiere. ACO Co-Commission)

Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 7:30pm
National Sawdust (80 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)
Roomful of Teeth

TED HEARNE: New Work (New York Premiere)
MISSY MAZZOLI: Vesper Sparrow
WILLIAM BRITTELLE: High Done No Why and Amid the Minotaurs
ERIC DUDLEY: Suonare/to sound
CALEB BURHANS: No and Beneath

Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 10pm
National Sawdust (80 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, NY)
SONiC AfterHours: Visualizing Music: Composers & Video Artists

CHRISTOPHER CERRONE (composer) MARK DECHIAZZA (film): Memory Palace (World Premiere w/ film)
PAOLA PRESTINI (composer) S. KATY TUCKER (film projections): Listen Quiet with Jeffrey Zeigler, cello and Ian Rosenbaum, percussion
BORA YOON (composer/piano) R. LUKE DUBOIS (video): New Work (World Premiere)

Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 3-9pm
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center (129 W 67th St., New York, NY)
JACK Out of the Box: A Marathon Event

JACK Quartet with special guests Sō Percussion and Face the Music’s Quartet This Side Up
with Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano; Caroline Shaw, vocals; Derek Bermel, clarinet; and Ken Thomson, bass clarinet
CAROLINE SHAW: By & By (New York Premiere)
JEFF MYERS: Requiem Aeternam
JASON TREUTING: Oblique Music for 4 plus (blank)
CENK ERGÜN: Comfort Dream Queen Memory
KEN THOMSON: Perpetual: underlying; Bad Idea; Don Pullen says it’s OK
JUSTINE CHEN: New Work for double quartet (World Premiere)
PARIS LAVIDIS: New Work for double quartet (World Premiere)

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 7pm
Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St, New York, NY)
Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (Netherlands) 

JOEY ROUKENS: Shadows and Bells (U.S. Premiere)
REZA NAMAVAR: In de Magmakamer (U.S. Premiere)
EDMUND FINNIS: In Three Parts (U.S. Premiere)
MOLLY JOYCE: Amplify (New York Premiere)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 7pm
Roulette (509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY)
Wild West

wild Up (New York debut)
Maggie Hasspacher, bass and voice
Archie Carey, electric bassoon
FEAR: New York’s alright if you like saxophones (New York Premiere)
CHRIS KALLMYER: this nest swift passerine; Three Meditations on California Girls (New York Premiere)
ANDREW THOLL: corpus callosum (New York Premiere)
JULIA HOLTER: Endless Song for the End of Summer (New York Premiere)
JEN HILL: In Memoriam My Liver… (New York Premiere)
MISFITS: Where Eagles Dare (New York Premiere)
ANDREW McINTOSH: Silver and White (New York Premiere)
NICK DEYOE: A New Anxiety (New York Premiere)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 10pm
Roulette (509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY)
SONiC AfterHours: New Sounds – New Moves: Composers & Choreographers

Music by PETER EVANS with SAM PLUTA; Choreography by JACOB SLOMINSKI (World Premiere)
Music by DANA JESSENwith PAULA MATTHUSEN; Choreography by BIBA BELL (World Premiere)
Music by TYSHAWN SOREY; Choreography by ABIGAIL LEVINE (World Premiere)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 7pm
Americas Society (680 Park Ave., New York, NY)

Onix Ensamble 
Alejandro Escuer, conductor/flute; Fernando Domínguez, clarinet; Edgardo Espinosa, cello; Abel Romero, violin; and Edith Ruiz, piano

Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 8pm
92Y (1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY)
Alarm Will Sound

TEXU KIM: Bounce (New York Premiere)
KATE SOPER: I Was Here I Was I (excerpts)
JOHN ORFE: Dowland Remix (New York Premiere)

Friday, October 23, 2015 at 7:30pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave., New York, NY)
American Composers Orchestra
Orchestra Underground: 21st Firsts (an all-world premiere concert)

George Manahan, Music Director & Conductor; Hannah Lash, harp; David Tinervia, baritone
NINA C. YOUNG: Out of whose womb came the ice (World Premiere. ACO/Jerome commission)
MELODY EÖTVÖS: Red Dirt/Silver Rain (World Premiere. ACO/Toulmin commission)
HANNAH LASH: The Monster Harp (World Premiere. ACO/Carnegie Hall/Cheswatyr commission)
CONRAD WINSLOW: Joint Account (World Premiere. ACO/Carnegie Hall commission)
MICHAEL-THOMAS FOUMAI: Hyperdrive (World Premiere)

More information available at Additional concerts TBA. Programs subject to change.

About Derek Bermel, ACO Artistic Director & SONiC Curator

Derek Bermel is American Composers Orchestra’s Artistic Director — the senior composer in ACO’s artistic and programming leadership. Previously, Bermel served as ACO’s Artistic Advisor, helping to launch ACO’s innovative Orchestra Underground series. Bermel is also Director of Copland House’s emerging composers institute Cultivate, served as Composer-in-Residence at the Mannes College of Music, and served for four years as Artist-in-Residence at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study.

A Grammy-nominated composer and clarinetist, Bermel has been widely hailed for his creativity, theatricality, and virtuosity. His engagement with other musical cultures has become part of the fabric and force of his compositional language. He’s recognized as a dynamic and unconventional curator of concert series that spotlight the composer as performer, and his work has been performed by major artists across the globe. He has received commissions from the Pittsburgh, National, Saint Louis, New Jersey, and Pacific Symphonies, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s New Century Chamber and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, WNYC Radio, eighth blackbird, the Guarneri and JACK String Quartets, Music from Copland House and Music from China, De Ereprijs (Netherlands), Midori, ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble and Veenfabriek (Netherlands), among others. ACO has commissioned and premiered many of his orchestral works, including Elixir, The Migration SeriesVoices, and A Shout, A Whisper, A Trace, and Bermel is an alumnus of ACO’s New Music Readings program.

His many honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts, Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations, Meet the Composer, and Cary Trust; and residencies at Yaddo, Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Bellagio, Copland House, Sacatar, and Civitella Ranieri. His discography features three critically-acclaimed discs: an all-Bermel orchestral recording that includes the Grammy-nominated performance of his clarinet concerto Voices, (BMOP/sound); Soul Garden, his small ensemble/solo music (New World/CRI); and his most recent disc, Canzonas Americanas, with Alarm Will Sound (Cantaloupe). For more information visit

About Anna Clyne, SONiC Associate Curator

Anna Clyne is a Grammy-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Her work, described as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians worldwide. Clyne is an alumna of ACO’s annual new music readings for emerging composers. Her piece Tender Hooks, for orchestra, electronics and computer-generated graphics, was commissioned by ACO as part of its inaugural Playing It UNsafe R&D lab for experimental new music.

Highlights for the 15-16 season include a new work for 100 cellos, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, to be premiered at the Hollywood Bowl; This Lunar Beauty for the Britten Sinfonia with soprano Anna Dennis; This MidnightHour, to be premiered by L’Orchestre National d’Ile de France at Philharmonie de Paris and with a U.S. premiere by the Seattle Symphony; and a new orchestral ballet for the Cabrillo Festival with conductor Marin Alsop. Other recent premieres include Clyne’s Masquerade, a BBC Radio 3 commission, which had its world premiere on the famed Last Night of the Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra; The Violin, a multimedia collaboration with artist Josh Dorman and violinists Cornelius Dufallo and Amy Kauffman; and A Wonderful Day for the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti, Clyne served as a Mead Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2010-2015, and is currently Composer-in-Residence for the Orchestre National d’Ile de France. Other commissions include works for Carnegie Hall, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Metropolis Ensemble, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Southbank Centre.

She is the recipient of several prestigious awards including a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awards from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and prizes from ASCAP and SEAMUS, and was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, for her double violin concerto, Prince of Clouds. Clyne holds a first-class Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Edinburgh University and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Marjan Mozetich, Marina Adamia, Julia Wolfe, and Nils Vigeland. Her music is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

About SONiC Ensembles

Alarm Will Sound
“As close to being a rock band as a chamber orchestra can be” (The New York Times), Alarm Will Sound is a 20-member touring ensemble led by Artistic Director Alan Pierson that commissions, performs, and records innovative works by established and emerging composers, especially works that incorporate theatrical and multimedia elements by choreographers, visual artists, designers, and directors. Its wide-ranging artistic vision looks beyond genre—electronic vs. acoustic, high-modernist vs. pop-influenced, conventional classical concert vs. multimedia experience. ASCAP recognized their contributions to new music with a 2006 Concert Music Award for “the virtuosity, passion and commitment with which they perform and champion the repertory for the 21st century.” Their performances have been described as “equal parts exuberance, nonchalance, and virtuosity” by the London Financial Times and as “a triumph of ensemble playing” by the San Francisco

The Crossing
The Crossing is a professional chamber choir dedicated to new music and conducted by Donald Nally. Originally formed by a group of friends in 2005, the ensemble “has made a name for itself in recent years as a champion of new music.” (The New York Times) The Crossing has presented over 40 world premieres, performing at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at home in Philadelphia. The ensemble is frequently invited to collaborate with the world’s most imaginative composers and creative ensembles, including ICE, PRISM, eighth blackbird, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the American Composers Orchestra.

Eco-Music Big Band
The Eco-Music Big Band is a 15-piece professional big band that spans many generations and includes some of the nation’s most acclaimed jazz musicians. By adding violin and cello to the standard big band cohort, the Eco-Music Big Band performs a dynamic and exclusive repertoire that fuses virtuosic free-jazz with heavy metal, hip hop, and modern post-classical influence. Founded by composer and baritone saxophone virtuoso Fred Ho before his death in 2014, the Eco-Music Big Band is now led by Marie Incontrera, his final composition/bandleading protege. Hailed as “…music and activism at its finest” (DooBeeDooBeeDoo), the Eco-Music Big Band regularly commissions and performs works by younger and emerging composers, including its band members Livio Almeida, Marie Incontrera, Albert Marques, and Zack and Adam O’Farrill. During the 2015-2016 season, the Eco-Music Big Band will be recording and releasing its first studio album, COLORS OF RESISTANCE.

Face the Music
The only youth ensemble in the U.S. dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers, the 200+ member Face the Music has taken its place as a full-fledged player in New York City’s vibrant contemporary classical scene, rapidly becoming what Allan Kozinn of the New York Times has called “a force in the New York new-music world.” In residence at Kaufman Music Center and directed by Dr. Jenny Undercofler, NYC’s favorite teen new music ensemble performs at venues across the city and beyond, including Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, BAMcafé, Queens Museum, Roulette and WNYC’s The Greene Space. Face the Music is the only youth group among the Legacy Partners  for Kronos Quartet’s exciting new commissioning initiative “Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.”  The recipient of the 2011 ASCAP Aaron Copland Award, Face the Music has been featured in Chamber Music MagazineThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Daily News and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

JACK Quartet
The JACK Quartet electrifies audiences worldwide with “explosive virtuosity” (Boston Globe) and “viscerally exciting performances” (The New York Times). David Patrick Stearns (Philadelphia Inquirer) proclaimed their performance as being “among the most stimulating new-music concerts of my experience.” The Washington Post commented, “The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital.” The recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, New Music USA’s Trailblazer Award, and the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, JACK has performed to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall (USA), Lincoln Center (USA), Wigmore Hall (United Kingdom), and many other venues worldwide. Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Ari Streisfeld, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Kevin McFarland, JACK operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and spread of new string quartet music.

Music from Copland House
Music from Copland House is the acclaimed resident ensemble at the award-winning creative center for American music at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in Westchester County, NY. Hailed by The New York Times for performances that are “bracing, beguiling, and incisive,” MCH occupies a special place on the U.S. musical scene for its exclusive focus on 150 years of America’s rich musical landscape. The ensemble has been engaged by Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Miller Theatre, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, the Bard, Cape Cod, Caramoor and Ecstatic Music Festivals, and many other leading presenters in the U.S. and Mexico. MCH has collaborated with NPR and Euro-Radio on a special concert of American music aired in over 20 countries, records for the Arabesque, Koch International, and Copland House Blend labels, and is regularly featured on Copland House’s popular main-stage series at the historic Merestead estate in Mount Kisco, NY.

Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (NAP)
Nieuw Amsterdams Peil (NAP) is a group of several like-minded musician who strive to open our ears to the diversity and richness of chamber music by composers of widely divergent musical trends, with a particular emphasis on the 20th-21st century repertoire, while also shedding light on composers and their sources of inspiration, or – in a wider focus – by defining their place within the context of music history. The collective, formed by violinist Heleen Hulst and pianist Gerard Bouwhuis in 2005, consists of specialists in the performance of new music. Because of this commitment they receive regular offers from composers who would like to write for them. Pieces were created for NAP by Martijn Padding, Guus Janssen, and Rob Zuidam. NAP also co-operates with other disciplines in art like dance, film, visual arts and even scent.

Off the Cliff
Off the Cliff is Clarice Assad’s four piece ensemble that mixes jazz, classical, avant garde, Brazilian and world music. They perform with a rich variety of instruments in different combinations. A visionary composer and virtuoso pianist who draws on Heitor Villa-Lobos and Hermeto Pascoal in equal measure, and an overall practitioner of vocalese, Brazilian native Clarice Assad is as comfortable performing with a symphony orchestra as with her ancient-to-future unit Off The Cliff. Her music transcends boundaries as she is equally heralded for her compositions and performances in the realms of jazz, classical, ballet, theater and world music.

Onix Ensamble
Onix Ensamble is one of Mexico’s leading new music groups, widely recognized for its virtuosity and innovative musical interpretations. Led by flutist Alejandro Escuer and including clarinetist Fernando Domínguez, cellist Edgardo Espinosa, violinist Abel Romero, and pianist Edith Ruiz, Onix celebrates its twentieth anniversary this season with concerts in Mexico and international tours. The group’s repertoire spans a wide musical spectrum, ranging from the most recent trends in new music to classics of the 20th century. Onix has released five albums and premiered numerous pieces written expressly for them.

Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
With the precision and flexibility of modern chamber musicians, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble specializes in experimental repertoire that is changing the paradigm of contemporary vocal music.  Described as “a new force of vocal excellence and innovation” by The Brooklyn Rail, Quince continually pushes the boundaries of traditional vocal ensemble literature. As dedicated advocates of new music, Quince regularly commissions new works, providing a wider exposure for the music of living composers, and supports the efforts of concert series and universities who strive to incorporate contemporary repertoire into their programming. Quince has recently been seen on Vicky Chow’s Contagious Sounds Series,’s John Cage Festival in Chicago and the Philip Glass: Music with Friends benefit concert at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn. Comprised of vocalists Elizabeth Pearse, Kayleigh Butcher, Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, and Carrie Henneman Shaw, Quince thrives on unique musical challenges and genre-bending contemporary repertoire.

Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth is a Grammy-winning vocal project dedicated to mining the expressive potential of the human voice. Through study with masters from singing traditions the world over, the eight-voice ensemble continually expands its vocabulary of singing techniques and, through an ongoing commissioning process, forges a new repertoire without borders. Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, the band gathers annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), where they’ve studied Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Georgian singing, Sardinian cantu a tenore, Hindustani music and Persian classical singing with some of the world’s top performers and teachers. Upcoming projects include The Colorado, a music driven documentary film that explores water, land and survival in the Colorado River Basin (featuring former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche); concerts with the Seattle Symphony performing Berio’s Sinfonia; and collaborations with NOW Ensemble and ACME.

Sō Percussion
Sō is Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting. For over a decade, Sō Percussion has redefined the modern percussion ensemble as a flexible, omnivorous entity, pushing its voice to the forefront of American musical culture. Praised by The New Yorker for their “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” Sō’s adventurous spirit is written into the DNA passed down from composers like John Cage and Steve Reich, as well as from pioneering ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Nexus Percussion. Sō Percussion’s career now encompasses 16 albums, touring throughout the USA and around the world, a dizzying array of collaborative projects, several ambitious educational programs, and a steady output of their own music.

wild Up
wild Up is the Los Angeles contemporary music ensemble heralded as “Searing. Penetrating. And thrilling…” by Fred Child of Performance Today and “Magnificent” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times. Led by Artistic Director Christopher Rountree, the 24-piece group blurs the borders between classical music, rock and performance art, believing music is a catalyst for shared experience, and that a concert venue is a place to excite, challenge and provoke a community of listeners. Since forming in 2010, wild Up has collaborated with orchestras, rock bands and cultural institutions around the world. wild Up has been Orchestra in Residence at the Hammer Museum, and Public Engagement Ensemble in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In the 2013-14 season, wild Up made their Los Angeles Philharmonic debut as part of the Philharmonic’s Brooklyn Festival, premiered on Walt Disney Concert Hall’s mainstage at the Minimalist Jukebox Festival.

About ACO

Now in its 38th season, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation 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.

To date, ACO has performed music by more than 700 American composers, including nearly 300 world premieres and newly commissioned works. In addition to SONiC, orchestra’s innovative programs have included Sonidos de las Américas, six annual festivals devoted to Latin American composers and their music; Coming to America, a program immersing audiences in the ongoing evolution of American music through the work of immigrant composers; Orchestra Tech, a long-term initiative to integrate new digital technologies in the symphony orchestra; Improvise!, a festival devoted to the exploration of improvisation and the orchestra; coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe, a new laboratory for the research and development of experimental new works for orchestra; and Orchestra Underground, ACO’s entrepreneurial cutting-edge orchestral ensemble that embraces new technology, eclectic instruments, influences, and spatial orientation of the orchestra, new experiments in the concert format, and multimedia and multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Composer development has been at the core of ACO’s mission since its founding. In addition to its annual Underwood New Music Readings and Commission, ACO also provides a range of additional educational and professional development activities, including composer residencies and fellowships. In 2008, ACO launched EarShot, a multi-institutional network that assists orchestras around the country in mounting new music readings. Recent and upcoming Earshot programs have included the Detroit, Berkeley, La Jolla, Nashville, Memphis, Colorado, San Diego Symphonies, the New York Philharmonic, New York Youth Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information visit The Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, launched in 2010 and continuing in 2015, supports jazz artists who desire to write for the symphony.

Among the honors ACO has received are special awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded its annual prize for adventurous programming to ACO 36 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. In 2015, ACO was awarded the Champion of New Music Award by American Composers Forum.

ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records,, and iTunes. ACO’s digital albums include Playing It UNsafe (March 2011),Emerging Composers Series: Vol. 1 (February 2012), Orchestra Underground: X10D (June 2012), and Orchestra Underground: Tech & Techno (July 2014). ACO has also released Orchestra Underground: A-V, a groundbreaking album of multimedia works available for free streaming at SONiC: Double Live, an album of all world premieres from the inaugural SONiC festival, will be released this fall. More information about American Composers Orchestra is available online at

# # #

Lead support for SONiC is provided by The Fromm Music Foundation.

Major support for SONiC is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Additional support for SONiC is provided by The Netherland-America Foundation with public funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Q2 Music is the digital media partner for SONiC.

Support for American Composers Orchestra is provided by The Herb Alpert Foundation, The Amphion Foundation, Inc., ASCAP & the ASCAP Foundation, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, BMI & the BMI Foundation, The Edward T. Cone Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Charles E. Culpeper Fund, The Joe and Hellen Darion Foundation, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Guggenheim Partners, Jephson Educational Trusts, Jerome Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, League of American Orchestras, MetLife Governance Grant , Metropolitan, Valuation Services, New Music USA, The Netherland-American Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Peer Music Classical, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, Sidley Austin Foundation, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, World Wide Land Transfer, Inc.

american composers orchestra
Derek Bermel, Artistic Director | George Manahan, Music Director
Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor Laureate | Robert Beaser, Artistic Advisor Laureate
244 West 54th Street, Suite 805
New York, NY 10019-5515
Phone: 212.977.8495 | Fax: 212.977.8995 | Web:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Editor of Media website.
The Search for a Live Kidney Donor
Free Newsletter Updated Daily