Performances only a small slice of American Composers Orchestra’s mission

Posted on: May 29, 2012

In Sunday’s (5/27) New York Times, Allan Kozinn writes, “When economic waters are rough—or perhaps just to shake things up in times of stagnation—musical institutions try to redefine themselves, sharpen their sense of mission and do some image tweaking. That can be hard when your mission is already unusual and clearly defined. But the American Composers Orchestra, which has been putting a spotlight on (mostly contemporary) American music since 1977, has lately been reinventing itself as a hybrid performing ensemble and service organization. … Today, on a modest budget of $1.75 million, the orchestra plays three or four concerts a season at Zankel Hall and offers special events, like the American premiere of Philip Glass’s Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall in February. But now performances are a fraction of its activity. The Underwood [New Music] readings offer a glimpse of what [Executive Director Michael] Geller sees as a more useful future for his organization. Originally they were held on a single day, with several conductors splitting the work. This year the readings are spread over three days: the first two, on Friday and Saturday at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, are open to the public; the Sunday session is for the composers only.”

Posted May 29, 2012