ACO legacies

Meet the Composers

ACO exists to inspire, develop, support and build the art of American composers seeking to create new orchestral music. For over 40 years, we’ve worked with and celebrated composers such as Philip Glass, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Joan Tower, and George Lewis, and more recently Paola Prestini, Du Yun, Alex Temple and Matthew Aucoin. We have premiered over 350 pieces at venues across NYC including Carnegie Hall, Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and placed these works with esteemed orchestras nationwide. We are dedicated to promoting diversity and representing all the voices and views that reflect America today.

Please note: ACO is transitioning 40+ years of data.The current archive is not yet comprehensive. To see a full list of ACO Composers, please click here.

Headshot of American composer Ching-Mei Lin

Ching-Mei Lin

Ching-Mei Lin is a Taiwanese-born composer and pianist. In her music Lin incorporates innovative and international techniques that combine local dissonances with large-scale consonant structures, and pentatonic modality within a chromatic pitch language.

headshot of American composer Christian Baldini

Christian Baldini

“Christian Baldini brings symphonic revival” commented the Buenos Aires Herald on Baldini’s recent concerts at the Teatro Argentino featuring Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Varèse’s Amériques.

Christian Quiñones

Christian Quiñones is a Puerto Rican composer whose music explores concepts like cultural identity and minorities within society, literature, and poetry.

Christopher Cerrone

Christopher Cerrone is internationally acclaimed for compositions characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a deep literary fluency, and a flair for multimedia collaborations.

Headshot of American Composer Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark

Christopher Stark (b. 1980, St. Ignatius, MT) is a composer of contemporary classical music deeply rooted in the American West.

Headshot of American Composer Clint Needham

Clint Needham

The music of Clint Needham has been described as “wildly entertaining” and “stunning… brilliantly orchestrated” by the New York Times, as well as “well-crafted and arresting… riveting” by the Herald Times.

Headshot of American Composer Cody Forrest

Cody Forrest

Cody W. Forrest (b. 1988) has been commissioned by Dinosaur Annex, conductor Daniel Hege, and the Cochran Wrenn Duo.

Dai Wei

Dai Wei is originally from China. Her musical journey navigates in the spaces between east and west, classical and pop, electronic and acoustic, innovation and tradition.

Dan Visconti

Composer Dan Visconti (b. 1982) is updating the role of the classical musician for the 21st century as he creates new projects in collaboration with the community.

Headshot of American Composer Daniel Leo by Ron Cohen Mann

Daniel Leo

Daniel Leo, 26, began playing the violin at 5 and composing at 12. His music has been performed at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall; Symphony Space, New York; Neidorff-Karpati Hall, Manhattan School of Music; and others.

Headshot of American Composer David "Clay" Mettens

David (Clay) Mettens

David “Clay” Mettens (b.1990) is currently a masters composition student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. A native of Covington, KY, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina with a degree in music composition and a clarinet performance certificate.

Headshot of American Composer David A. Jones

David A. Jones

David A. Jones (b. 1990) is a Houston-based composer and horn player from Olympia, Washington.

Headshot of American Composre David Hertzberg

David Hertzberg

The music of David Hertzberg (b. 1990, Los Angeles) is swiftly garnering recognition, with recent seasons seeing performances at the festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Santa Fe, and on the stages of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall.

Headshot of American composer David Kirkland Garner

David Kirkland Garner

David Kirkland Garner writes music, plays banjo, studies fiddle, listens to jazz, hears everything, but suspects he knows nothing.

Headshot of American composer David WIlson

David Wilson

David Wilson Music provides bespoke composition and sound design services for film, TV, theatre, radio, dance, games, web and live performance.

Dawn Norfleet

Dawn Norfleet is a Los Angeles-based flutist, vocalists, and composer whose eclectic influences include traditional and contemporary jazz, Stevie Wonder, and Claudio Monteverdi.

Du Yun

DU YUN, born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently based in New York City, is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, activist, and curator for new music, who works at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, musical theater, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics, visual arts, and noise.

Ellen Reid

Ellen Reid is a composer & sound artist whose work “brims with canny invention” (LA Weekly). She creates visceral experiences where sound and story collide.

Headshot of American Composer Emilio Solla

Emilio Solla

Emilio’s bands since his start in Buenos Aires include Solla & Afines, Bien Sur!, La Inestable de Brooklyn and Apertura to name a few.

Headshot of American Composer Emily Cooley speaking in front of an American Orchestra, photo credit to RR Jones

Emily Cooley

Emily Cooley is a Philadelphia-based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music whose work has been described as “masterfully written and orchestrated” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and “a beautiful delicacy” (Vermont Today).

Headshot of composer Emily Koh, photo credit Simon Goodacre

Emily Koh

Emily Koh (b.1986) is a Singaporean composer and double bassist based in Atlanta, whose music is characterized by inventive explorations of the smallest details of sound. In addition to writing acoustic and electronic concert music, she enjoys collaborating with other creatives in projects where sound plays an important role in the creative process.

Headshot of American composer Emmanual Berrido

Emmanuel Berrido

Emmanuel Berrido is a Dominican-American composer with a passion for telling stories through sound.

Headshot of American Composer Eric Lindsay

Eric Lindsay

Eric Lindsay is a composer of vibrant, electro-acoustic music for film, concert, and the stage.

Headshot of American Composer Eric Nathan

Eric Nathan

Eric Nathan’s (b. 1983) music has been called “as diverse as it is arresting” with a “constant vein of ingenuity and expressive depth” (San Francisco Chronicle), “thoughtful and inventive” (The New Yorker), and as “a marvel of musical logic” (Boston Classical Review).

Headshot of American composer Erica Lyndsay holding a tenor saxophone

Erica Lindsay

Erica Lindsay is an American jazz saxophone player and composer.

Portrait of American Jazz Composer Ethan Helm in front of a tree carrying a saxophone

Ethan Helm

New York-based saxophonist and composer Ethan Helm makes music that flirts with the boundaries of familiarity in jazz and concert music, creating points of sound where diverse traditions become inseparable.

Ethan Wickman

Described as a “composer of facility and imagination, the kind to whom both performers and audiences respond” (The New York Times), composer Ethan Wickman’s (b. 1973) music has been performed by soloists and ensembles in venues in the U.S. and around the world.

Headshot of American Composer Felipe Nieto

Felipe Nieto

Born in Bogota (Colombia), Felipe Nieto’s music is rooted in a combination of lyricism and rhythmic complexity and intends to touch upon themes that range from political commentary to simple sound exploration. At the same time, he believes strongly in versatility and feels that his musical language is open to the exigencies of every piece he composes.

Headshot of American Composer Gene Knific

Gene Knific

Pianist, composer and arranger, Gene Knific has performed worldwide presenting an extensive and diverse repertoire with a wide array of artists.

Gity Razaz

Hailed by the New York Times as “ravishing and engulfing,” Gity Razaz’s music ranges from concert solo pieces to opera and large symphonic works.

Watch ACO Composer Portrait Videos

To preserve and promote new American Music, we assemble and maintain an extensive video and audio archive of the works we perform.

Our Mission & Vision

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, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

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