to submit a work to the reading sessions
Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions
June 4, 1999, from 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
Masonic Hall, 71 West 23rd Street, New York City
Paul Lustig Dunkel, Conductor
Robert Beaser, Artistic Advisor
ROBERT GROSS: Halcyon Nights
CARTER PANN: Slalom
FELICIA ANN BARBARA SANDLER: Seven
SOPHIA SERGHI: Panegyric
HSUEH-YUNG SHEN: Changing Hues & Cries
ARLENE ELIZABETH SIERRA : Aquilo
KEN UENO: Saturation & Purge
Admission is free. Call 212-977-8495 for reservations.
American Composers Orchestra Selects
Nation's Top Emerging Composers
for Whitaker New Music
American Composers Orchestra announces the winners of what has
become one of this country's most coveted opportunities for emerging
composers, its eighth annual Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions.
This event, made possible by a grant from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund,
will be held on Friday, June 4 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM
to 5:00 PM at Masonic Hall (71 West 23d St., NYC). The Readings
provide an invaluable opportunity for up-and-coming composers to
experience a full orchestral rendering of their work, receive the
reactions of other composers and performers, and obtain a
professional quality tape to assist in their advancement.
Seven of the nation's most promising composers in the early stages of
their professional careers were selected from nearly 200 submissions
received from around the country. This season's winners are: Robert
Gross, Ken Ueno, Sophia Serghi, Arlene Elizabeth Sierra, Hsueh-Yung
Shen, Carter Pann and Felicia Ann Barbara Sandler.
One of these composers will receive the ACO's Whitaker Commission,
which carries with it a $15,000 purse and a Carnegie Hall premiere.
Last year's winner, Daniel Bernard Roumain, who's Hip-Hop Essay for
Orchestra received special recognition from ACO's artistic staff, is
currently at work on his Harlem Essay for Orchestra and Digital Audio
Tape, which will have its world premiere on January 9, 2000 as part
of ACO's "20th Century Snapshots" series celebrating the Millennium.
To date, the the Whitaker Reading Sessions have offered a vital
resource to the industry by providing essential career development
opportunities to some thirty-nine composers. Melinda Wagner, the 1999
recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, participated in the Reading
Sessions. Derek Bermel, another Whitaker alumnus of the Reading
Sessions, who recently received a 1999 Guggenheim Fellowship calls
the readings, "a rare opportunity to hear and gain valuable
insight into my own orchestration technique and to think critically
about my professional chops as a composer." Augusta Read Thomas
is another past participant whose career has taken off. Over the
years, the ACO has helped launch the careers of many of today's top
composers including Ellen Taffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwanter, who
both received Pulitzer Prizes for ACO commissions; and Robert Beaser,
Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, and
Tobias Picker, whom the orchestra championed when they were launching
This year's proceedings will be under the direction of Resident
Conductor Paul Lustig Dunkel and Artistic Advisor and composer Robert
Beaser. Composers meet with Dunkel before the Reading to go over the
score, and afterward in a group session meet with principal players
from the orchestra and ACO artistic staff who analyze their work and
offer additional comments and suggestions. Senior composers are
on-hand to serve as mentors to their younger colleagues.
Founded in 1977, the American Composers Orchestra is the world's only
orchestra dedicated exclusively to performing symphonic works by
American composers. Through its concert series at Carnegie Hall,
recordings, radio broadcasts, educational programs, new music reading
sessions, and commissions, ACO identifies today's brightest emerging
composers, champions this country's prominent established composers
as well as those lesser-known, and increases regional and national
awareness of the infinite varietiesstylistic, geographic, and
ethnicof American orchestral music. The Orchestra has
programmed 400 works by 343 American composers, including 108 world
premieres and 87 commissions, generating more new American Symphonic
works than any other orchestra. Recordings by ACO are available on
ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, MusicMasters, Tzadik, and New World Records.
In addition to the support of the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, the new
music readings are made possible with funds from Chase Manhattan
Bank, the Jephson Educational Trust, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and
the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support of the American
Composers Orchestra is from Alliance Capital Management L.P., Mr.
Thomas Buckner, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Booth Ferris
Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Geraldine C. and Emory
M. Ford Foundation, Mr. Francis Goelet, the Horace W. Goldsmith
Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, J.P. Morgan & Co., the
Virgil Thomson Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO
programs are also made possible with public funds from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a
state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
The reading sessions are open to the public at no charge.
Reservations are required, please call: (212) 977-8495.
About the Composers
Robert Gross is currently studying at the Manhattan School of Music
under Richard Danielpour and David Noon. He previously completed
studies at Rice University and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Among the awards and honors that he has received are the ASCAP/Victor
Herbert Second Place Award and the National Music Clubs' Student
Composers Competition in 1997. That same year, Mr. Gross was a
finalist for the ASCAP Grants to Young Composers Award. In 1995,
Robert's music was selected for performance by the Cleveland Chamber
Symphony for their Young and Emerging Composers Concert.
Carter Pann is currently working toward a doctoral degree in music at
the University of Michigan. He holds an M.M.A from U. of Michigan and
a B.M.A from the Eastman School of Music. His works have been
performed internationally in such cities as Warsaw, Poland;
Manchester, England; Perth, Australia; as well as in several cities
in the USA including Boston, Chicago, and New York. In 1997, his
piece "Four Orchestral Works" was recorded in Brno, Czech
Republic, under the direction of José Serebrier. Mr. Pann has
received the New York Youth Symphony's "First Music"
commission (1998); the ASCAP Composer's Award ('98,' '96 and '93);
the K. Serocki Prize for his Piano Concerto (1998); and first prize
in both the Zoltan Kodaly Concours Internationale de Composition and
the François D'Albert Concours Internationale de Composition
(both in 1997). Mr. Pann's Slalom has been called "a
thrill-ride, literally bursting with energy, a real blast!"
Felicia Sandler is currently completing work towards a Ph. D. In
composition/theory at the University of Michigan, where she has also
studied composition with Michael Daugherty, William Bolcom, Curtis
Curtis-Smith, Bright Sheng and Andrew Imbrie. Ms. Sandler also holds
a Master of Liturgical Music degree from the Catholic University of
America and a B.M. from the University of the Pacific. Her
compositions range across various types of music-- from instrumental
to electronic to choral. In addition to being a composer, Ms. Sandler
is also a scholar and musicologist, having published several papers
on Ghanan music and dance as well as on cultural studies. Her music
combines a passion for African polyrhythms and exploration of musical timbre.
Sophia Serghi received both her D.M.A. and her M.M.A. from Columbia
University. She also studied at Lewis & Clark College where she
received the Rena Ratte Award, the college's highest academic honor
given to graduating seniors. Sophia has received commissions and has
had her works performed by a wide range of orchestras and ensembles,
including the Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel, the Oregon
Repertory Singers, and Speculum Musicae. In addition to being a
composer, Ms. Serghi has taught at the College of William and Mary;
Columbia University; and Lewis & Clark College. Her music has
been influenced by folk music of the Mediterranean, postmodern
concert music, and popular music of many traditions.
Hsueh-Yung Shen earned his D.M.A. at Stanford University and his M.A.
at Harvard. He also studied composition, theory and analysis with
Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau, France; ear-training with Annette
Dieudonné; and piano with David Wilde. Mr. Shen has composed a
wide range of orchestral works as well as quartets and quintets. He
currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Southwestern University
in Georgetown, Texas, and as music director of the Southwestern
University Chamber Soloists.
Arlene Sierra completed her dissertation and is preparing to receive
her D.M.A. from the University of Michigan in the spring of 1999. She
has also studied at Yale and at the Oberlin College Conservatory of
Music, where she earned both a B.M. in Electronic Music and a B.A. in
East Asian Studies. Ms. Sierra has received several fellowships and
awards including the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival Fellowship in
1995; the Aspen Music Festival Composition Fellowship in 1992; and a
residency with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Lima, Peru, in 1994.
Her pieces have been performed internationally and have been
broadcast on National Public Radio. Ms. Sierra's Aquilo is an
exciting orchestral work which creates a strong rhythmic drive and
forward motion through large-scale accumulation of motivic patterns.
Ken Ueno has studied at the Berklee College of Music, Boston
University's School of Music, and at Yale where he most recently
worked with Martin Bresnick and Bun-Ching Lam. He received an
Honorable Mention from the ASCAP Morton Gould Competition in 1998,
and was a Regional Winner in ASCAP's Student Composition Commission
in 1997. Two of Mr. Ueno's works were performed at the Aspen Music
Festival by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble: "NoHowOn" in
1997 and "The Circular Pentagram" in 1998. In addition to
orchestral works, he has also written pieces for jazz big band and
woodwind quintet, as well as two dance pieces for the Boston Conservatory.