ACO a unique and wonderful contributor to American arts. The future of music relies on small groups such as ACO that have the talents, passion, and discernment to promote new American artists. The programming and performances are exceptional. The usual ratings for a charitable organization simply do not apply. For everone who believes that music matters, ACO is an organization to love.
Review from CharityNavigator
This orchestra is keeping inovative music alive and capturing new audiences. It respects long traditions and creates new ones maximizing the use of new tecnologies for communication and disemination of the best from young composers. It is truly a gem.
The American Composers Orchestra was conceived to increase the world's knowledge of American orchestral music, primarily but not exclusively classical or concert music, through performance, advocacy, education, commissions and any other means. It has worked effectively for over 30 years in this effort. The ACO gives regular public performances and festival in New York City (at Carnegie Hall and many other venues) and from time to elsewhere. It increases its reach through broadcasts of many of its programs on radio, recordings and educational activities. It has a distingushed record of commissions to composers both young and unknown as well as prominent ones and has achieved great success with various educational projects and collaborations with other institutions including orchestras, conservatories and schools and service organizations such as the League of American Orchestras and the American Music Center. Its performance and training work is of the highest quality and universally regarded as such. No organization does more for the entire world of American composers and their music - of all genres. Please see its site, http://www.americancomposers.org/history.html.
As a professional in the orchestra world for some fifty years I know of no other institution that does as much, as effectively, to support the American Composer. I have seen the value of its work first hand for decades first hand.
as a fan of music, and a piano player of modest skills, have sought to explore the full range of music, but spent most of my time listening to traditonal clasical music and opera. found the american composers orchestra through both a friend and when we came to learn that george manahan became its conductor, who we admired with his work at city opera.
the concerts of the aco over the past few years have been uniformly extraordinary, providing young and emerging contemporary american composers with a platform for the performance of their works in a major concert hall setting by an extremely talented orchestra. if music is to surive and thrive, it is organizations like aco that perform "new" music, and introduce modern music to the listening public.
I've been a fan of the American Composers Orchestra since I lived in NY back in the mid '70's. Even after leaving the city, I would travel back to hear concerts. More recently I had the opportunity to compose a piece for the orchestra and participate in its premiere at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. The experience for me personally was very rewarding, but I also continue to admire ACO's commitment and determination to foster the creation of new music representing a wide variety of styles and to deliver it at a high level of artistic excellence. The encouragement of young composers is absolutely critical, for without it, our culture is deprived of the core energy that drives our art forward.
I am a young composer who was selected to be commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, and they provided me and many other young composers with an invaluable experience through the Underwood New Music Readings. In one program, they provide emerging composers with a rare educational and career-oriented opportunity at the same time that the ACO is bringing new, otherwise unheard music to everyone. No other orchestra can match the ACO's dedication to new American music.
As an avid fan of most genres of music, and having a degree in music composition, the invitation to become involved with the board of the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) was one that had to be accepted. The importance of having a competitive platform for emerging composers to be visible and artistically recognized is crucial for the growth of American music. Drawing from a range of brilliant, young composers to those well-established, ACO has been able to champion this talent pool to promote a diversity of musical approaches and new ideas that have influenced the art form and orchestras. Since its founding in the mid-1970s, the ACO has been widely recognized by numerous arts and cultural organizations for its programming, recordings library and contribution to American music. For a composer to work with world-caliber orchestral musicians and a music director of the stature of George Manahan (probably best known as the music director of the New York City Opera), is a significant opportunity. To have this available, and to have it offered in a productive and encouraging environment for a budding composer is a priceless gift. The ACO works hard to continually keep this art form in front of the public.
Where else can I go to hear contemporary compositions performed in a real concert hall with a conductor of George Manahan's skill with an orchestra who are there because they love contemporary music? The concerts are varied and very entertaining.
I was first introduced to American Composers Orchestra (ACO) as a captivated listener; ACO is one of few orchestras that focuses on providing provocative concerts that feature new American orchestral works. When ACO teamed up with Columbia University to offer the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI), that was the perfect opportunity for me to transition my own work as an improvising composer into making works for orchestra. With JCOI, I personally gained the skills and confidence to expand my pallet. Now in the second stage of the process, I have been given the once in a lifetime chance to write for ACO and work with a composer/mentor on the work. It's a dream come true! This type of offering is a rarity.
I was a struggling composer, and the American Composers Orchestra presented me with a life changing opportunity. They have given me incredible insight into the world of orchestral music, and all at no cost to me. They are an incredibly well run and inspiring organization. I know so many people who have benefited from their Underwood New Music Readings. Their generosity, professionalism and outreach is second to none in the field. In all honesty, I would not change a single thing about what they do.