15th Annual Underwood
New Music Readings
Seven of the Nation’s Top Emerging
Composers Selected for Premieres
May 18 & 19 in NYC
Columbia University, Broadway & 116th Street
Thursday, May 18
10 am – 12:30pm
Friday, May 19
10 am – 12:30pm
American Composers Orchestra announces the winners of its fifteenth annual Underwood New Music Readings, one of this country’s most coveted opportunities for emerging composers. The Readings will run Thursday, May 18th and Friday, May 19th from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm at Miller Theater at Columbia University. Seven of the nation’s most promising composers in the early stages of their professional careers have been selected from over two hundred submissions received from around the country. This year’s winners are Anna Clyne, Fang Man, Robert Gates, Jeff Myers, Andrea Reinkemeyer, Paul Richards, and Matthew Tommasini.
The Readings are under the direction of ACO Artistic Director Robert Beaser. This year’s conductors are George Manahan and Jeffrey Milarsky; mentor composers are Paul Moravec and Stephen Paulus. The conductors, mentor composers and principal players from ACO serve as liaisons and provide critical feedback to each of the participants during and after the reading sessions. Following the Readings, one of the young composers will receive a $15,000 commission to write a new work to be performed by ACO.
Last year’s winner, Michael Gatonska, won the top prize with his work An Expedition Aboard the Third Mind. Mr. Gatonska’s texture-oriented work has been described as “highly original” with a “unique ability to thread together finely-carved, diverse ‘glimpses’ of music into a convincing, organic whole–a kind of temporal kaleidoscope of style and color.” The 2004 winner, Kristin Kuster, praised as a “wonderfully ambitious” composer, “reaching deep for meaning and expressive breadth,” will hear her Underwood-commissioned work, Myrrha, premiered by ACO at Carnegie Hall on May 3.
Since 1991, the New Music Readings have provided invaluable career-development opportunities for emerging composers, and served as a vital resource to the music field, by identifying a new generation of American composers. To date, 75 composers have participated in the Readings, including such award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Pierre Jalbert, Augusta Read Thomas, Randall Woolf, Jennifer Higdon, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and ACO’s Music Alive Composer in Residence, Derek Bermel. Since participating in ACO’s readings, these composers have held important residencies and had scores of works commissioned, premiered, and performed by many of the country’s prominent symphony orchestras. The New Music Readings continue ACO’s emphasis on helping to launch composers careers, a tradition that includes many of today’s top composers, such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwantner, both of whom received Pulitzer Prizes for ACO commissions; and Robert Beaser, Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, and Tobias Picker, whom the orchestra championed when they were beginning their careers.