Part of: Fast Forward
American Composers Orchestra (ACO), now in its 40th season, is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, promotion and celebration 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, educational programs, New Music Readings, and commissions, ACO identifies today’s brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. 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. Visit americancomposers.org for more information.
In his eighth season as music director of the American Composers Orchestra, the wide-ranging and versatile George Manahan has an esteemed career that embraces everything from opera to the concert stage, the traditional to the contemporary. In addition to his work with ACO, Manahan continues his commitment to working with young musicians as director of orchestral studies at the Manhattan School of Music as well as guest conductor at the Curtis Institute of Music. He also serves as music director of the Portland Opera. Manahan was music director at New York City Opera for 14 seasons. His recording activities include the premiere of Steve Reich’s Tehillim for ECM; Edward Thomas’s Desire Under the Elms, which was nominated for a Grammy; Joe Jackson’s Will Power; and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. His enthusiasm for contemporary music continues today; he has conducted numerous world premieres, including Charles Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories and David Lang’s modern painters, as well as the New York premiere of Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner. As music director of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia) for 12 years, Manahan was honored four times by the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) for his commitment to 20th-century music.
Violinist Elena Urioste—hailed by The Washington Post as “a drop-dead beauty who plays with equal parts passion, sensuality, brains and humor”—has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras across the US and Europe. She has performed as a soloist in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage and Weill Recital Hall, as well as in recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, among other venues. She also has been a featured artist at such music festivals as Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Sarasota, and Sion (Switzerland). An avid chamber musician, Urioste regularly performs in a piano trio with pianist Michael Brown and cellist Nicholas Canellakis, as well as in recital with Brown and pianist Tom Poster. Among her many honors are top awards in the Junior and Senior divisions of the Sphinx Competition, first prize at the Sion International Violin Competition, and the inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence. Urioste is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and completed graduate studies at The Juilliard School.