7 Composers Selected for ACO EarShot Readings with Naples Philharmonic and Dallas Symphony Orchestra

May 15-16: Naples Philharmonic

Featured Artists: Mengmeng Wang, Jing Jing Luo, Meilina Tsui

Mentor Composers: Molly Joyce and Melinda Wagner

June 21: Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Featured Artists: Moni (Jasmine) Guo, Diallo Banks, Ricardo Ferro, Iván Enrique Rodríguez

Mentor Composers: Quinn Mason, Jimmy López Bellido, and Xi Wang

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) announces seven composers selected from a competitive nationwide call for scores, who will participate in Spring 2023 EarShot Readings with the Naples Philharmonic (May 15-16, 2023), and Dallas Symphony Orchestra (June 21, 2023). 

EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level, developed by the American Composers Orchestra to ensure the vibrant future of new American orchestral music. Over the last 25 years, these readings have provided more than 250 composers with vital artistic and technical resources, as well as career-accelerating public exposure. Alumni of EarShot have won every composition award, including the Pulitzer, GRAMMY, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts & Letters, and Rome Prizes, to name a few. Composer-orchestra relationships extend beyond the EarShot Readings, and since 2009, 28 works have been commissioned by partner orchestras from EarShot participants and more than half of selected EarShot composers report receiving a commission directly resulting from their participation.

On May 15 and 16, 2023, ACO and Artis—Naples present open rehearsals and live workshopping of new music by three of today’s most promising emerging women composers: Mengmeng Wang, Jing Jing Luo, and Meilina Tsui. The composers engage with the Naples Philharmonic in private readings, feedback sessions with principal players and artistic directors, and work under the guidance of mentor composers Molly Joyce, a composer and performer whose work focuses on disability as a creative source, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and ACO board member Melinda Wagner.

Associate Conductor Radu Paponiu and the Naples Philharmonic perform the three works in a recorded public concert at Artis–Naples on May 16, 2023 at 7:00pm. Following the reading session in May, Artis—Naples will commission a new work from one of the three EarShot Readings composers for the Naples Philharmonic to give the world premiere in a subsequent season. 

This EarShot Readings program at Artis–Naples is made possible by the van Bergen Women Composers Fund, which was a special fund initiated by the Artis–Naples Board of Directors in celebration of CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen’s 10-year anniversary at the organization in September 2021.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra hosts EarShot Readings on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 with four featured composers: Moni (Jasmine) Guo, Diallo Banks, Ricardo Ferro, and Iván Enrique Rodríguez. The composers will work throughout the day with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra musicians and DSO Assistant Conductor Maurice Cohn, and receive feedback from mentor composers Quinn Mason, a 27-year old Dallas-based composer and conductor; “expert in orchestration” (The New York Times) Jimmy López Bellido; and Xi Wang, a Dallas-based composer and faculty member at Southern Methodist University. At 2:00pm that afternoon, the DSO and Cohn perform all four works at Meyerson Symphony Hall, after which a recording will be provided to the participants and published online.

In New York City, the American Composers Orchestra hosts its own EarShot readings led by conductor Tito Muñoz on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 10:30am and a public reading on Friday, June 2, 2023 at 7:30pm at The New School. Mentor composers Derek Bermel, ACO’s Artistic Director Emeritus; Mary Kouyoumdjian, who uses her Armenian-American heritage to inform meaningful large-scale works; and Daniel Bernard Roumain, known for his signature violin sounds infused with myriad electronic and African-American music influences, guide participating composers Younje Cho, Henry Dorn, Brittany J. Green, Oswald Huỳnh, Amy Nam, and Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei

ACO’s EarShot: The Next Festival of Emerging Artists Choreography Workshop from June 5-9, 2023 at the Mannes School of Music in NYC feature artists Michael R. Dudley Jr., Emil Ernström, and Akari Komura, with a cohort of choreographer fellows to be announced. Mentors, composer/conductor/bassist Peter Askim, Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, and the “strikingly original” (The New York Times) Kamala Sankaram prepare the artists for a public event at Mannes on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 7:00pm.

Previous EarShot partner orchestras include the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Houston Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Tucson Symphony, and Aguascalientes Symphony Orchestra (Mexico). EarShot operates in partnership with American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras.

Program Details

EarShot Readings at the Naples Philharmonic (May 15-16, 2023)
Featured Artists: Mengmeng Wang, Jing Jing Luo, Meilina Tsui

Mentor Composers: Molly Joyce and Melinda Wagner

Concert – Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 7:00pm

Artis–Naples | 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd. | Naples, FL

Tickets: Reserved tickets are required for this free event.

Link: https://artisnaples.org/events/earshot 


Mengmeng Wang – Onomatopoeia – The Architecture of Sound

Jing Jing Luo – Hakka

Meilina Tsui – “Scenes at the Uralsk Fair” from Nomadic Trails for Orchestra

Naples Philharmonic

Radu Paponiu, conductor

Jing Jing Luo, composer

Meilina Tsui, composer

Mengmeng Wang, composer

EarShot Readings at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (June 21, 2023)

Featured Artists: Moni (Jasmine) Guo, Diallo Banks, Ricardo Ferro, Iván Enrique Rodríguez

Mentor Composers: Quinn Mason, Jimmy López Bellido, and Xi Wang

Concert – Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 2:00pm

Meyerson Symphony Center | 2301 Flora St. | Dallas, TX

Tickets: Reserved tickets are required for this free event. General admission seating.

Link: www.dallassymphony.org/productions/earshot-readings-at-the-dallas-symphony-orchestra/ 


Moni (Jasmine) Guo – Rays of the After-rain Evening Sun

Diallo Banks – Chute Libre

Ricardo Ferro – ‘17-North

Iván Enrique Rodríguez – Symphony No. 2: Naa Okùnkùn ti Òkúnta Dídán

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Maurice Cohn, conductor

Moni (Jasmine) Guo, composer

Diallo Banks, composer 

Ricardo Ferro, composer

Iván Enrique Rodríguez, composer

About the Composers

Mengmeng Wang, whose works have been performed around the world, served as composer-in-residence at Atlantic Center of the Arts in 2018. She has also worked with the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, and International Contemporary Ensemble. Her EarShot Reading composition is entitled Onomatopoeia – The Architecture of Sound.

Jing Jing Luo is a multifaceted artist whose works span various genres, from classical and film to pop and sound installations. She was a visiting professor in music composition at Oberlin Conservatory and has served on the panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music of America, and Ohio Arts Council, as well as taught and lectured throughout the United States and around the world. Her EarShot Reading composition is entitled Hakka.

Meilina Tsui writes music that uniquely combines elements of Central and East Asian cultures, and her work has been performed and read across Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East by leading soloists, ensembles, and orchestras, garnering many accolades, including the 2022 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Her EarShot Reading composition is entitled “Scenes at the Uralsk Fair” from Nomadic Trails for Orchestra.

Moni (Jasmine) Guo is a film and concert composer and classical pianist from China. She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including the 2021 ASCAP Morton Gould Award. As a film composer, Jasmine has scored over forty short films, and her score for de closin night was nominated the Best Soundtrack in a Short Film at the Seattle Film Festival in 2022. After receiving her Ph.D. from UCLA, Jasmine now teaches as an assistant professor in commercial music production at The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Her EarShot Reading composition is entitled Rays of the After-rain Evening Sun.

Diallo Banks is a composer and pianist who has been the recipient of multiple commissions and awards and had his music performed by ensembles and soloists across the US and Europe. This summer, Diallo will attend the Susan and Ford Schuman Center for Composition Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he received a full fellowship. Diallo’s primary mission as a composer is to continue to explore the limitless landscape of possible musical aesthetics and collaborate with soloists and ensembles to make his artistic vision come to life. His EarShot Reading composition is entitled Chute Libre.

Ricardo Ferro is a Venezuelan-Canadian composer, conductor, and pianist based in New York City. Recent and upcoming engagements as a composer and performer include a European conducting debut and premiere with the Tonkünstler Orchestra in Austria, a series of performances of his music conducted by him at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a premiere by the University of Toronto Opera. Active as a contemporary music pianist, Ricardo has toured internationally. Currently, Ricardo is pursuing a master’s degree in composition at The Juilliard School, studying with Matthias Pintscher. His EarShot Reading composition is entitled ‘17-North.

Iván Enrique Rodríguez is a Puerto Rican composer whose music has been performed throughout the world. Named in 2018 a Puerto Rican Heritage Ernesto Malave Scholar of the Arts, Rodríguez’s music is inspired by the factual human experience. His latest compositions have been focused on social justice and activism, having in their inner spirit his Puerto Rican musical heritage. Iván received his bachelors degree at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, his masters at The Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing his Doctor in Musical Arts degree in Juilliard’s prestigious C.V. Starr doctoral program. His EarShot Reading composition is entitled Symphony No. 2: Naa Okùnkùn ti Òkúnta Dídán.

About American Composers Orchestra
Founded in 1977, American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption, and discovery, ACO produces concerts, middle school through college composer education programs, and composer advancement programs to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders. ACO identifies and develops talent, performs established composers, champions those who are lesser-known, and increases regional, national, and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music, reflecting gender, racial, ethnic, geographic, stylistic, and age diversity. To date, ACO has performed music by 800 American composers, including over 350 world premieres and newly commissioned works.

Now encompassing all of ACO’s composer advancement initiatives, EarShot is the first ongoing, systematic program for developing relationships between composers and orchestras on the national level. Through orchestral readings, CoLABoratory fellowships, consortium commissions, and professional development, EarShot ensures a vibrant musical future by investing in creativity today. Serving over 350 composers since inception, ACO Readings in NYC began in 1991, and since 2008, national Readings have been offered in partnership with orchestras across the country in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA, and American Composers Forum. Readings composers have gone on to win every major composition award, including the Pulitzer, Grammy, Grawemeyer, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Rome Prizes.

ACO has received numerous awards for its work, including those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and from BMI recognizing the orchestra’s outstanding contribution to American music. ASCAP has awarded ACO its annual prize for adventurous programming 35 times, singling out ACO as “the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States.” ACO received the inaugural MetLife Award for Excellence in Audience Engagement, and a proclamation from the New York City Council. Learn more at www.americancomposers.org

*Pictured (L-R): Top Row – Mengmeng Wang, Jing Jing Luo, Meilina Tsui; Bottom Row – Moni (Jasmine) Guo, Diallo Banks, Ricardo Ferro, Iván Enrique Rodríguez

EarShot is a program of American Composers Orchestra completed in partnership with American Composers Forum, the League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. The program is made possible with lead support from Altman Foundation, Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, Mellon Foundation, Sphinx Venture Fund, TD Charitable Foundation and Fromm Foundation, additional support is provided by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and the League of American Orchestras with support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Public funds are provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lead support for EarShot CoLABoratory is generously provided by TD Charitable Foundation and Altman Foundation.

EarShot: Advancing Equity through Publishing & Repertoire Development is powered by the Sphinx Venture Fund.

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