Performance Friday, October 26, 2012 | 7:30 PM

American Composers Orchestra

Orchestra Underground: Dreams and Dances

Zankel Hall
Conductor-composer José Serebrier leads this multicultural program of new music, starting with his own Flute Concerto with Tango and Israeli flutist Sharon Bezaly. Also on the program are works by Serbian composer and performance artist Milica Paranosic, and Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen, the 2011 winner of ACO’s Underwood Commission. Ives’s Symphony No. 3, “The Camp Meeting,” concludes the program with a nostalgic look at the 19th century.

This concert is part of My Time, My Music.


  • American Composers Orchestra
    José Serebrier, Guest Conductor
  • Sharon Bezaly, Flute
  • Lori Cotler, Vocals
  • Milica Paranosic, Gusle
  • Carmen Kordas, Video
  • Beowulf Sheehan, Photography


  • THOMSON Norma Flender: Thoughts about Waltzing
  • NARONG PRANGCHAROEN The Migration of Lost Souls (World Premiere)
  • MILICA PARANOSIC The Tiger's Wife: Prologue for Electronics, Projections and Orchestra (Based on the novel The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht) (World Premiere)
  • IVES Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"
  • JOSÉ SEREBRIER Flute Concerto with Tango (US Premiere)


  • 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 for more information.

    ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records, and,, and iTunes. Visit for more information.

    José Serebrier

    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.

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  • Sharon Bezaly

    Sharon Bezaly debuted as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta when she was 14 years old. She went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire under Alain Marion, Raymond Guiot, and Maurice Bourgue; she won the conservatory's first prizes for flute and chamber music. She was subsequently invited by Sándor Végh to play as principal flutist in his Camerata Academica Salzburg.

    Bezaly has performed with orchestras across the world, including The Hague, Royal, Helsinki, Stockholm, Tokyo, Seoul, and Malaysian philharmonic orchestras; Singapore and São Paulo symphony orchestras; Spanish and Belgium national orchestras; and Minnesota Orchestra. She has also given solo recitals at the Vienna Musikverein, Kölner Philharmonie, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Rudolfinum in Prague, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Théâtre du Châtelet and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Wigmore Hall in London.

    Bezaly's wide-ranging recordings for BIS Records have won her the highest accolades. She was chosen as Instrumentalist of the Year by Germany's prestigious ECHO Klassik in 2002 and as Young Artist of the Year at the Cannes Classical Awards in 2003. Bezaly plays on a 24-karat gold flute that was specially built for her by the Muramatsu team in Japan.

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  • Lori Cotler

    Lori Cotler has garnered an international reputation as one of the most captivating and original vocalists of our time. Using exotic rhythms as her muse, she is able to execute phrases that do not seem possible for the human voice with rhythmic speed and clarity. Her combination of world and jazz stylings, scat improvisations, and her original reworking of the highly sophisticated, rare vocal art of Konnakol (South Indian drum language) have propelled her performance career around the world. She is a core member of the TA KA DI MI Project led by four-time Grammy winner Glen Velez, and is currently the featured soloist in THE NEWS, a reality opera by avant-pop composer JacobTV. Cotler is also a certified music therapist and was a professor of music therapy at The New School. Her innovative approach to the voice has led to teaching engagements in universities and conservatories around the world, including The Juilliard School. Cotler's signature vocal style can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, film and dance scores, television commercials, and CD collaborations. Visit for more information.

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  • Milica Paranosic

    A participant in ACO's emerging composers readings in 2002, Milica Paranosic has established herself as one of New York's finest and most daring composers, performance artists, producers, and technologists. Her works range from one-woman multimedia shows and sound installations to large-scale operatic and symphonic works. Inspired by her travels and international collaborations, Paranosic ingeniously incorporates music from her Serbian homeland, in addition to cross-continental muses such as Brazil and Ghana, into her compositions. She strives to create new sound worlds in which contrasting concepts vividly coexist in unique textures. As a co-director of Composers Concordance and a multimedia director of Gallery MC, Paranosic launched many new initiatives in music, performance, and education.

    Since 1995, Paranosic has been on the music faculty of The Juilliard School, where she co-founded and produced Beyond the Machine, Juilliard's electronic music festival. She has taught and created curricula for Belgrade Music University, San Diego State University, Franklin & Marshall College, Brotherhood/Sister Sol, and 92nd Street Y. She maintains an active private teaching studio, working with professional musicians and beginners whose ages range from five to 93 years old. Furthering her deep commitment to education and outreach, Paranosic founded Give to Grow, an education initiative that brings music technology to developing communities in Ghana.

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  • Carmen Kordas

    Born in Germany, Carmen Kordas has shown her work throughout the US and Europe. Coming from a video installation and painting background, her work now encompasses a wide range of multimedia art and video projections for theater, opera, and performance. Kordas's work has been presented at the Austrian Culture Forum New York, Performance Space 122, Time Warner Center, Joe's Pub, Galapagos Art Space, The Stone, Whitney Museum of American Art, Symphony Space, Etnafest in Italy, Interzone Festival in Novi Sad, BEMUS Belgrade Music Festival, Gessnerallee Zürich, Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, and Museum der Moderne in Salzburg.

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  • Beowulf Sheehan

    Beowulf Sheehan is a New York-based photographer of the arts and humanities, making commercial and conceptual images of compelling figures and their stories. His work has been published in Elle France, Esquire, L'Uomo Vogue, The New Yorker, and SPIN; and exhibited at the International Center of Photography. Additionally, he has created pieces for Audi, Furla, Godiva, and Random House. Visit to view his work.

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About the Program

Welcome to American Composers Orchestra's opening Orchestra Underground concert of the 2012-2013 season at Zankel Hall. Tonight's program, Dreams and Dances, is equal parts mystery, memory, and movement.

We couldn't be more pleased that conductor-composer José Serebrier serves as our special guest this evening. José has been a great friend to ACO over the years, leading the orchestras on its first tour some 25 years ago, and conducting emerging composer readings on several occasions. When we first asked José to join us as conductor, he told us he preferred not to conduct his own works, so we were glad when he allowed us the opportunity to give the US premiere of his Flute Concerto with Tango,written for the spectacular Sharon Bezaly. The piece eloquently juxtaposes modernist techniques with José's own Latin-American roots.

The concert features world premieres by two up-and-coming composers with very distinct musical personalities: Narong Prangcharoen and Milica Paranosic. Both came to our attention through ACO's emerging composer readings, and both are also American immigrants—Narong from Thailand and Milica from Serbia—whose compositions evoke striking imagery and haunted landscapes from their respective home countries. Narong's The Migration of Lost Souls is a musical depiction whose sound world is drawn from an ancient Thai temple. Milica's The Tiger's Wife: Prologue uses electronics, video imagery, and texts from the best-selling novel of the same title by Téa Obreht to weave a thoroughly contemporary tapestry of Balkan folk traditions and history.

Dances, tunes, and memories of Charles Ives's own New England past pervade his "Camp Meeting" Symphony. Completed in 1911, the piece was long ignored until another unconventional American composer, Lou Harrison, gave the premiere some 35 years later, winning Ives the Pulitzer Prize. Interestingly, there's a significant Ives-Serebrier connection: José was the co-conductor (along with Leopold Stokowski) of the world premiere of Ives's Fourth Symphony in 1965.

One of the delights and challenges for an orchestra devoted to the here and now (or is it hear and now?) of American music is that our exploration is always continuing. On November 13, we kick off our season-long series of workshops for coLABoratory: Playing It UNsafe, our own musical research and development lab. We've selected five cutting-edge composers willing to push the boundaries of what is possible with the orchestra, and we look forward to helping them realize their visions. Workshops are open to the public and provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process prior to the culminating concert in Zankel Hall on April 5.

Thank you for joining us for a new season of exploration!

—Robert Beaser, ACO Artistic Director, and Derek Bermel, ACO Creative Advisor

Program Notes


Milica Paranosic discusses the process of composing The Tiger's Wife in collaboration with several other artists and the symbiosis she feels with fellow Serb Téa Obreht, the author of the novel on which the piece is based.

This performance is part of American Composers Orchestra.