Zare Wins ACO's
Roger Zare has been named the winner of American Composers
Orchestra's 2008 Underwood Emerging Composers Commission, bringing
him a $15,000 commission for a work to be premiered by American
Composers Orchestra. Chosen from six finalists, in one of the
most coveted opportunities for emerging composers in America, Mr.
Zare won the top prize at ACO's annual Underwood New Music Readings
with his work, Green Flash. In awarding Zare the Underwood
Commission, ACO has singled him out as a composer whose "lapidary
orchestrations, formal clarity, and alluringly mercurial surface
give his music a strong and personal profile," says ACO Artistic
Director Robert Beaser.
About the New Music Readings
17th annual Underwood New Music Readings were
held at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York on
May 6 and 7, 2008, under the direction of ACO's artistic director,
composer Robert Beaser. Mentor composers included Chen Yi,
Christopher Rouse, and Christopher Theofanidis, as
well as Derek Bermel, ACO's Music Alive
composer-in-residence. Guest conductors were Brad Lubman and Anne
Manson. This year's New Music Readings attracted nearly 200
submissions from emerging composers around the country. In addition
to Roger Zare, the finalists were:
Since 1991, ACO's New Music Readings have provided invaluable career-development opportunities for emerging composers and served as a vital resource to the music field by identifying a new generation of important American composers. To date, more than 100 composers have participated in the New Music Readings, hearing a full orchestral rendering of their work, receiving critical professional feedback and mentoring from conductors, composers and performers, and obtaining a professional-quality recording to assist in their advancement. Past participants have included such award-winning composers as Melinda Wagner, Derek Bermel, Pierre Jalbert, Randall Woolf, Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Jennifer Higdon. Since its inception in 1977, ACO has helped launch the careers of many of today's top composers, including Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Joseph Schwantner, both of whom received Pulitzer Prizes for their ACO commissions. Robert Beaser, Ingram Marshall, Joan Tower, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Rouse, and Tobias Picker were also championed by the orchestra when they were beginning their careers.
winner, Clint Needham, won the top prize with his work Earth and Green,
to be premiered by ACO November 14, 2008 at Zankel Hall at Carnegie
Hall, conducted by Jeffrey Milarsky. The 2006 winner, Fang Man, will
see her commissioned work, Resurrection, premiered by ACO on
February 20, 2009, at Zankel Hall, conducted by George Manahan.
for the Underwood New Music Readings comes from Mr. Paul Underwood,
with additional support from The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Fromm Music
Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Aaron
Copland Fund for Music. ACO's emerging composers program is supported
by The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Francis Goelet
Charitable Lead Trusts, The Greenwall Foundation, Jerome Foundation
and with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.