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The National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network

Now encompassing all composer advancement initiatives of the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through orchestral readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today. Serving over 350 composers since inception, EarShot had its beginnings in NYC with its own Readings in 1991 (carrying the name Whitaker and then Underwood) and expanded in 2008 to national Readings offered in partnership with orchestras across the country in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, and American Composers Forum, and has also included other programs such as Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, CoLABoratory, Pathways and more. Readings composers have gone on to win every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Rome Prizes.

Workshop your piece with a prominent world-class orchestra in a major city. Meet with artistic leadership about your work. Learn from group discussions and notes from each section of the orchestra. Collaborate with mentor composers to further develop your piece. Your score will be played by the orchestra and recorded for your professional development.

For over 25 years, ACO Readings have been providing critical career development and public exposure for the country’s most promising emerging composers. Readings have served as a launching pad for composer careers including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwantner, both of whom received Pulitzer Prizes for their ACO commissions, and ACO’s own Artistic Director Derek Bermel. We have worked with over 150 composers and several have gone on to win every major composition award including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Rome Prizes. Orchestras around the globe have commissioned and performed hundreds of works by ACO alumni.

To date, more than sixty ACO EarShot composers have been selected for new music readings with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra (Mexico). ACO EarShot operates in partnership with American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras.

For additional information or to find out how EarShot can help your orchestra enhance its programs and support new American composers visit: www.americancomposers.org/earshot/


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

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