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The National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network

ACO EarShot is the nation’s first ongoing, systematic program for identifying emerging orchestral composers. It is a nationwide network of new music readings and composer development programs that provide professional level working experience with orchestras from every region of the country. Each season, ACO plans one EarShot in New York City with our own musicians and three with partners across the country.

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 Andrew W. 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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