American Composers Orchestra
Now in its 36th season, American Composers Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world
dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American
composers. ACO makes the creation of new opportunities for American composers and new
American orchestral music its central purpose. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other
venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music
Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today's brightest emerging composers; champions
prominent established composers and those lesser-known; and increases regional, national,
and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music. ACO also
serves as an incubator of ideas, research, and talent; as a catalyst for growth and change
among orchestras; and as an advocate for American composers and their music.
To date, ACO has performed music by more than 600 American composers, including 200 world
premieres and newly commissioned works. Among the orchestra's innovative programs have been
SONiC: Sounds of a New Century, a nine-day citywide festival in New York of music
by more than 100 composers age 40 and under; Sonidos de las Américas, six annual festivals
devoted to Latin American composers and their music; Coming to America, a program immersing
audiences in the ongoing evolution of American music through the work of immigrant
composers; Orchestra Tech, a long-term initiative to integrate new digital technologies in
the symphony orchestra; Improvise!, a festival devoted to the exploration of improvisation
and the orchestra; Playing It UNsafe, a new laboratory for the research and development of
experimental new works for orchestra; and Orchestra Underground, ACO's entrepreneurial
cutting-edge orchestral ensemble that embraces new technology, eclectic instruments,
influences, and spatial orientation of the orchestra, new experiments in the concert
format, and multimedia and multidisciplinary collaborations.
Composer development has been at the core of ACO's mission since its founding. In addition
to its annual Underwood New Music Readings and Commission, ACO also provides a range of
additional educational and professional development activities, including composer
residencies and fellowships. In 2008, ACO launched EarShot, a multi-institutional network
that assists orchestras around the country in launching new music reading sessions. Recent
EarShot collaborations have included the San Diego, Nashville, Memphis, and Colorado
symphonies; New York Youth Symphony; and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Visit
earshotnetwork.org for more information.
ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters,
Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, and InstantEncore.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Visit
americancomposers.org for more information.
Born in Uruguay to Russian and Polish parents, conductor and composer José Serebrier has
recorded with the London, Sydney, Melbourne, Bournemouth, Bamberg, and Adelaide symphony
orchestras; Scottish and English chamber orchestras; London, Royal, and Oslo philharmonic
orchestras; Philharmonia Orchestra; and Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The concert
video Serebrier Conducts Prokofiev, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky, filmed at the
Sydney Opera House, has been shown more than 50 times on US television. He conducted at the
2004 Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, telecast live to 175 countries. He presently
records for the Naxos, BIS, Warner Classics, RPO Records, and Sony BMG labels.
As a composer, Serebrier has won important awards in the US, including two Guggenheims,
Rockefeller Foundation grants, commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts and the
Harvard Musical Association, BMI Award, and Koussevitzky Music Foundation Award. He has
composed more than 100 works that have been published by Peermusic Classical, Universal
Edition, Kalmus, Warner Music, and Peters Edition. His First Symphony was premiered by
Leopold Stokowski (who premiered several of his works) when Serebrier was 17, as a
last-minute replacement for the Ives's Fourth Symphony. His music has since been recorded
by conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, among others.
Serebrier made his US conducting debut at 19 with the National Symphony Orchestra in a
performance of his Symphony No. 2, "Partita." His new Symphony No. 3, "Symphonie mystique,"
received a Grammy nomination for Best New Composition in 2004. It was premiered at ACO at
Carnegie Hall in 2005. His Bizet, Serebrier: Carmen Symphony recording with
the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra won the Latin Grammy for Best Classical Album in 2004.
French music critic Michel Faure has written a new book about Serebrier that was published
last year by L'Harmattan. Serebrier's first recording with the New York Philharmonic on
Warner Classics and his new recording with the London Symphony Orchestra for Sony Classical
were recently released.