American Composers Orchestra’s new president and CEO on crafting meaningful projects

Posted on: August 2, 2021

“Not only does [American Composers Orchestra’s] 2021/2022 season promise premieres of new works by Trevor New, Toshi Reagon, Lisa Bielawa, Paula Matthusen, Jason Michael Webb, and Lelund Thompson; performances of works by Anna Clyne, Hannah Kendall, Joel Thompson, Carlos Simon, Dai Wei, and others; and collaboration with the Apollo Theater, the National Black Theatre, Harlem Chamber Players, and the Gateways Music Festival: ACO also has a new President and CEO … Melissa Ngan,” writes Stephanie Ann Boyd in Thursday’s (7/29) I Care If You Listen. “Q: What … are you most looking forward to in your first full season as President and CEO? Ngan: … A season that explores so many different ways we can connect with one another through the music of our time.… Q: There are so many young people still working on their music degrees who … want to go into music administration. What is a piece of advice … to share with them? Ngan: … Challenge everything you’ve ever learned about great preparation…. None of the most meaningful projects I’ve been a part of have started with ideas that were generated solely in my own mind—they are always the product of listening, and of bringing together a group of people with wildly different backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise.”