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 composer Gloria Coats

Gloria Coates

Gloria Coates was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, and began composing and experimenting with overtones and clusters in early youth. Both Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977) and Otto Luening (1900-1996) were important mentors.

Guy Mintus

Israeli pianist, composer, vocalist and educator Guy Mintus is equally at home whether he’s sharing the stage with jazz legends, composes for classical orchestras, collaborates with masters of traditional music, working with kids or guesting as a soloist with Ska-Punk band Streetlight Manifesto with whom he performed at a sold out Beacon Theater.

Hannah Lash

Hailed by The New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding,” Hannah Lash’s music has been performed at such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, the Times Center in Manhattan, the Chicago Art Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, The Aspen Music Festival & School, among others.

Headshot of American composer Harry Stafylakis

Harry Stafylakis

Haralabos [ Harry ] Stafylakis (Montreal, b. 1982) is a Canadian-American composer based in New York City. His concert music strives for dramatic emotional and intellectual expression, integrating idioms drawn from classical and popular styles.

Hilary Purrington

Hilary Purrington is a composer of chamber, vocal, and orchestral music. Her work has received recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), among others.

Headshot of American Composer Hillary Purrington

Hillary Purrington

Hilary Purrington is a New York City-based composer of chamber, vocal, and other orchestral music.

Headshot of American Composer Hitomi Oba holding a saxophone

Hitomi Oba

Saxophonist and composer Hitomi Oba was raised in Berkeley, California.

Headshot of American Composer Igor Santos

Igor Santos

Igor Santos (b.1985) is a Brazilian-American composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic concert music. His works have been performed by groups such as eighth blackbird, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Spektral Quartet and The Florida Orchestra.

headshot of composer inti figgis-vizueta, taken by Ella Joklik

inti figgis-vizueta

inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993) writes magically real musics through the lens of personal identities, braiding a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with Andean heritage and a deep connection to the land.

Headshot of American Composer Ivor Francois

Ivor Francis

Ivor Francis received his bachelor of music degree in composition from California State University, Northridge in 1985, where he studied primarily with Aurelio de la Vega.

Headshot of composer Jack Hughes with photo credit by Phillip Sossenheimer

Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes is a Chicago-based composer who is interested in exploring the ways in which the inner life of sound interacts with a listener’s body, mind and soul.

Headshot of American Composer James Diaz

James Diaz

New York-based composer James Diaz (b. 1990) is the winner of the 2015 National Prize of Music in Composition by the Ministry of Culture of Colombia for his Concerto for Percussion Trio and Orchestra, Saturn Lights.

Headshot of American composer Jared Miller

Jared Miller

Canadian-American composer Jared Miller is emerging as an important voice in his generation.

Headshot of American Composer Jay Hurst

Jay Hurst

Jay Hurst (b. 1989) is an Indiana-based composer of concert, film, and electronic music.

Jean Ahn

A native of Korea, composer Jean Ahn began her music studies in piano and composition at an early age.

Jeff Myers

The music of Jeff Myers (b.1977) has been called “Striking…and harmonically rich” by the New York Times and “…brilliant and powerful…” by The Classical Voice of New England.

Headshot of American Composer Jeremy Podgursky

Jeremy Podgursky

Jeremy Podgursky’s music has been described as soulful, vibrant, emotionally intense, imaginative, passionate, joyful, optimistic, dreamy, playful, and otherworldly.

Headshot of American Composer Jesse Jones

Jesse Jones

The music of Rome Prize- and Guggenheim-winning composer, Jesse Jones, has been described as “striking,…elegant and poised” (New York Times), “engaging,…eerie, and well-written” (Los Angeles Times), “fascinating,“ and possessed of “the melodic earthiness of Britten” (New York Classical Review).

headshot of American Composer Jessica Rudman

Jessica Rudman

Jessica Rudman’s recent music inspires empathy for contemporary social issues through stories of myth, magic, and sci-fi.

Jihyun Kim

Jihyun Kim’s music has appeared in the prestigious venues around the world.

Headshot of American Composer Jihyun Kim

Jihyun Kim

Jihyun Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Studying Composition with Shinuh Lee, she graduated early from Seoul National University with a Bachelor of Music as valedictorian and then earned a master’s degree in Composition.

Jiyoun Chung

Jiyoun Chung is a native Korean pianist composer. Her pieces have been commissioned, performed or recorded by outstanding groups and musicians such as Ensemble Dal Niente, Invoke, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus, April Kim, John Koch, and many others.

Headshot of American composer Jiyoung Ko, photo credit by Hyewon Park

Jiyoung Ko

Jiyoung Ko is a Michigan based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. One of her compositions was described as a “brilliant study in timbre, tone, and color… a haunting piece” (AB Newswire)

Headshot of composer Joan Tower with photocredit to Berni Mindick

Joan Tower

Joan Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. During a career spanning more than fifty years, she has made lasting contributions to musical life in the United States as composer, performer, conductor, and educator.

Joel M Harrison

Guitarist, composer, arranger, lyricist, vocalist and songwriter Joel Harrison has “created a new blueprint for jazz.” (New Orleans Times Picayune.)

American Composer Joel Rust sittign on a park bench in front of a field of purple flowers in a park

Joel Rust

Joel Rust (b. 1989, London) has received commissions from the Melos Sinfonia, the Park Lane Group, the Choir of Gonville & Caius College Cambridge, Filthy Lucre, Discantus, and Mr McFall’s Chamber.

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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