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.

Martin Kennedy

Martin Kennedy (b. 1978) began his training at Indiana University, where he received a B.M. in both Composition and Piano Performance.

Matthew Aucoin

Matthew Aucoin, a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, is an American composer, conductor, pianist, and writer. His oeuvre as a composer extends from solo piano to chamber and orchestral music to opera.

Headshot of American composer Matthew Evan Taylor

Matthew Evan Taylor

Composer Performer Improviser hailed as “a promising new voice” (Lawrence Budmen, Miami Herald) and a “risk taker” (Neil De La Flor, Huffington Post) whose music is “insistent and defiant envelopingly hypnotic” (Alan Young, Lucid Culture).

Matthew Tommasini

Matthew Tommasini (b. 1978) is a composer based in New York where he serves as Director of Education of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Mátti Kovler

Composer Mátti Kovler was born in Moscow, raised in Jerusalem, and is now based in Brooklyn.

Headshot of American Composer Max Grafe

Max Grafe

Max Grafe (b. 1988) writes music characterized by “jagged declamations and muffled filigree” (Gramophone) with the aim of striking a distinctive balance between the stylistic immediacy of modernism and the dramatic power of romanticism.

Melody Eötvös

Beginning her musical career at age five, Melody Eötvös studied piano and music theory under her parent’s tutelage and at age eight began learning the cello, which coincided with her first experimentations in composition.

Headshot of American Composer Meng Wang

Meng Wang

Meng Wang (b.1989) is a Chinese composer currently based in New York City. Her composition portfolio shows a prolific collection of orchestral, chamber, and electronic works.

Michael Gatonska

The music of Michael Gatonska (1967; Norwood, MA, United States) has been performed around the United States.

Headshot of American Composer Michael Laurrello

Michael Laurello

Michael Laurello (b. 1981) is a composer and recording/mixing engineer based in Northwest Ohio.

Headshot of American Composer Michael Small

Michael Small

Michael Small’s works often draw on visual or literary sources and seek to place the listener’s imaginative journey at the heart of the work’s narrative. Dreams, hallucinations, memory, flight, and surreal landscapes are recurring themes.

Headshot of American composer Michael Foumai

Michael-Thomas Foumai

MICHAEL-THOMAS FOUMAI (b. 1987, Honolulu, Hawai‘i) is a composer of contemporary concert music and educator. His music has been described as “vibrant and cinematic” (New York Times) and “full of color, drama, and emotion” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Headshot of famed composer Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. Just like Cage, a close friend, he was an American composer – an American artist – an American in the true sense of the word.

Headshot of American Composer Natalie Williams, photo credit by Megagraphics Photography

Natalie Williams

Natalie Williams is a composer, academic and artistic manager. Her music has been commissioned and performed in Australia, the United States and Europe.

Nate Smith

For nearly two decades, Nate Smith has been a key piece in reinvigorating the international music scene with his visceral, instinctive, and deep-rooted style of drumming.

American Composer Nathan Kelly Conducts a Hollywood Orchestra

Nathan Kelly

Hi I’m a composer in Hollywood working in music for the stage, screen and classical world.

Headshot of American Composer Nathan Parker Smith

Nathan Parker Smith

A native of Northern California, Nathan Parker Smith is an active performer and composer currently residing in Brooklyn, New York.

Headshot of American composer Nicholas Bentz

Nicholas Bentz

Nicholas Bentz is forging a path of the composer-performer that hasn’t been explored in generations. His music often takes its inspiration from pieces of literature and poetry, film, and visual art.

Headshot of American composer Nicholas Omiccioli

Nicholas Omiccioli

Nick Omiccioli (b.1982) is composer, electric guitarist, and educator. Nick has been described as a “rising star” [The Kansas City Star] and a composer with “powerful ideas” that “expresses them confidently” [The Straits Times].

Nick DiBerardino

Rhodes Scholar (b. 1989), hailed as a “bright young star” and a “first-rate talent” by the Portland Press Herald, composes music that is diverse in style but always oriented toward meaningful narrative arcs.

Headshot of composer Nicky Sohn

Nicky Sohn

From ballet to opera to Korean traditional-orchestra, the wide-ranging talent of composer Nicky Sohn is sought after across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Headshot of American Composer Niloufar Iravani

Niloufar Iravani

The music of Niloufar Iravani has been performed nationally and internationally by recognized ensembles and soloists and presented in professional festivals and conferences in the US and around the world.

Headshot of American composer Nina Young

Nina Young

Winner of the 2015-16 Rome Prize in Musical Composition, New York-based composer Nina C. Young’s music has been performed by the American Composers Orchestra, Inscape, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the orkest de ereprijs, the Phoenix Symphony, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and other leading cultural institutions.

Norbert Palej

Grew up in communist Poland, then emigrated to the FRG. Studied in the USA. Teaches in Canada.

Ole Mathisen

Ole Mathisen is a saxophonist, composer and teacher, with a strong background in jazz.

Headshot of American Composer Patricio Da Silva

Patricio Da Silva

In 2017, “Schlinkepuetz – eine Monsteroper”, a theater production for children with music by Patricio “met the laughing-nerve of the audience with pinpoint precision.

Headshot of American Composer Patrick O'Malley

Patrick O’Malley

Patrick O’Malley (1989) is a composer whose works explore the musical interplay between emotion, color, energy, and landscape.

Headshot of American Composer Paul Frucht

Paul Frucht

Originally from Danbury, CT, Paul Frucht is an American composer whose music has been hailed for its “sense of lyricism, driving pulse, and great urgency” (WQXR).

Headshot of American Composer Paul Kerekes

Paul Kerekes

Paul Kerekes’ music is described as “striking…ecstatic…dramatic” (WQXR), “highly eloquent” (New Haven Advocate), and able to create “an almost tactile picture” (The New York Times).

Paul Novak

Paul Novak writes music that is lyrical but fragmented, exploring the subtleties of instrumental color and drawing influence from literature, art, and poetry.

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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