Fresh sounds at American Composers Orchestra’s Underwood readings

Posted on: May 25, 2010

In Tuesday’s (5/25) New York Times, Steve Smith writes, “Behind the polished veneer of any orchestral premiere there lies a process of familiarization and toil, a process made unusually transparent by the American Composers Orchestra in its annual Underwood New Music Readings. … There was no mistaking what took place during the 19th installment of the series, at the Miller Theater on Saturday night, for a routine concert. The musicians were casually dressed. A row of seats was taped off for the seven composers whose brief works were selected for performance: Tamar Muskal, Hannah Lash, Xi Wang, Ricardo Romaneiro, Christopher Stark, Eric Lindsay and Matti Kovler. Farther back in the hall, three mentor-composers—Robert Beaser, Derek Bermel and George Tsontakis—pored over scores at a broad desk illuminated by tiny lamps. … Despite the casual circumstances there was much at stake: one composer would receive a $15,000 commission. New this year was a second competition: the winner, selected by audience members, would compose a 60-second piece to be distributed as a cellphone ring tone.”

Posted May 25, 2010