American Composers Orchestra - Innovating Right Before Your Ears

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For information contact:

Kevin James
Director of Education
212-977-8495, x252




Compose Yourself

Composition lessons for beginners and beyond...

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We have hand picked a roster of exceptional composers representing a wide diversity of approaches to the craft of music creation. Before pairing you with one of these fine composer/teachers, our Education Direction, Kevin James will talk with you about your goals and interests in order to assure a great match.

The Composers


Eve "is a humane, idealistic rebel and a musical sensualist." She is "one of new music's truly free spirits" and "a remarkable experimentalist?. Her music is "an eclectic and wide-open series of enticements.".


Lisa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner who is "gaining gale force as a composer, churning out impeccably groomed works that at once evoke the layered precision of Vermeer and the conscious recklessness of Jackson Pollock". "...ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart," She takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations.


Kenji has emerged as a distinctive, vibrant voice in contemporary American music, appealing to audiences and performers alike. Kenji was one of three composers selected to inaugurate the Meet the Composer "Magnum Opus" Project this year.


Vivian's work is as "vital as encountering Steve Reich or the Kronos for the first time." It conveys "a winning rawness that[goes] beyond exoticism," as she increasingly embraces non-classical influences, including jazz and non-Western sources such as Indonesian gamelan and folk songs from the minority regions of China.

Listen to an excerpt of Vivian's Dreamscapes


Geoffrey's works include orchestral and chamber music, vocal and instrumental, scores for theater, dance and film. His music has been described as "brilliant", "stunning", "wonderfully idiomatic", "haunting" and "a cosmic beauty".

Listen to and excerpt of Geoffrey's Concerto for Trombone


"New music offers no more joyous phenomenon than the irrepressible, earth-worshipping Kitzke." -- as much a storyteller as he is a composer. Kitzke's music celebrates American Vitality in its purest forms. It thrives on the spirit of driving jazz, Plains Indian song, and Beat Generation poetry, where freedom and ritual converge. It is direct, dramatic, and visceral always with an ear to the sacred ground.


Steve is a trombonist, composer and improvisor. He has toured and recorded with mainstream Jazz artists such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich and so-called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has recorded over 25 CDs as a leader and is a featured artists on more than 90 other releases.

Listen to an excerpt of Steve's With the Morning, Hope


Randy has been composer-in-residence for the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Noted for his integration of the orchestra with elements such as electronics, turntables and video, Randy's open embracing of contemporary influences such as rap and hip hop have resulted in work in film and ballet as well as partnerships with the likes of the Kronos Quartet and Bang on a Can.

Listen to an excerpt of Randy's Dream Manifold

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