2022 Gala & Inaugural Creative Catalyst Awards

October 11, 2022 at 6:00pm

Bryant Park Grill

6:00p Cocktails
7:00p Dinner and Performances
8:30p DJ After-Party



and the following guest artists


One of the most prominent African-American female executives in Silicon Valley, Denise Young‘s 20 plus-year career at Apple made history as the sole woman of color on the team that built and developed the Apple Stores. She served as the company’s chief executive leading human resources, and also oversaw the company’s global efforts to build an inclusive and embracing culture and workforce. Sitting at the intersection of technology and creativity and an artist herself, Denise currently serves as the Chair of the Board of SFJAZZ.

Recent Work

Composer, conductor, and creative thinker, John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Since 2009, Adams has held the position of Creative Chair with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; through his conducting and commissioning of new works, Adams has become a significant mentor of the younger generation of American composers.

Most Streamed Track on Spotify


American composer-librettist Mark Adamo’s latest opera, Becoming Santa Claus, was released on DVD/Blu-Ray in September 2017; it was commissioned and introduced by Dallas Opera in December 2015.  The DVD release follows a new production in Boulder, Colorado, which Adamo directed, of a chamber version of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, his third full-length opera, which was commissioned and introduced by San Francisco Opera in June 2013 and which itself followed a busy season of opera and chamber premières. In May 2012, Fort Worth Opera opened its first production of his second opera, Lysistrata; that September, the Constella Festival in Cincinnati opened their season with August Music, for flute duo and string quartet, commissioned by Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway: in December, Sasha Cooke and the New York Festival of Song introducedThe Racer’s Widow, a cycle of five American poems for mezzo-soprano, cello, and piano; and, in April 2013, baritone Thomas Hampson and the Jupiter String Quartet introduced Aristotle, after the poem by Billy Collins, in concerts at the Mondavi Center in Davis, California before continuing to Boston and New York under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Read More

Listen to Mark Adamo’s Last Year

Pianist and coach John Arida has been praised as “an ardent accompanist… catching fire in the accompaniments and in the solo piece” by The Washington Post. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded his interpretative prowess, proclaiming that “Arida was the great source illuminating text” and that his “…touch was just right.”  His relationships with some of classical music’s most esteemed performers, including Paul Appleby, Julia Bullock, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Isabel Leonard, Megan Marino, Nicholas Phan, Ailyn Perez, and Sir James Galway, have led to international recital engagements across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Notable venues include Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kennedy Center, Herbst Theater, and Spivey Hall.

Timo Andres (b. 1985, Palo Alto, CA) is a composer and pianist who grew up in rural Connecticut and lives in Brooklyn, NY. A Nonesuch Records artist, his album of orchestral works, Home Stretch, has been hailed for its “playful intelligence and individuality,” (The Guardian) and of his 2010 debut album for two pianos Shy and Mighty (performed by himself and duo partner David Kaplan), Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that “it achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene… more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.” Read More

After soaking up sounds from New York nightlife, Gilbert Galindo made his nightlife-mark as electronic music artist CASA DE GALINDO. Adept at spinning underground and tribal house, to dance pop hits with an electric, rhythmic, and classic flair, Galindo regularly DJs at The Stonewall Inn, Thirst Bar, and REBAR among other clubs, bars, and private dance parties all across NYC. Diverse and versatile as a DJ, he was a staple at the former Boots & Saddle Drag Lounge and has spun for numerous drag shows and live-vocal performances. In addition, Galindo continues to work with up-and-coming vocal artists, as well as film and video producers providing original music for them.

Recent Work

Stephen Gosling is a ubiquitous presence on the New York new music scene, and has also performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. His playing has been hailed as “brilliant,” “electric,” and “luminous and poised” (New York Times), possessing “utter clarity and conviction” (Washington Post) and “extraordinary virtuosity” (Houston Chronicle). A native of Sheffield, England, Mr. Gosling received his BM, MM and DMA degrees from The Juilliard School where he was awarded the Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Music, and the Sony Elevated Standards Fellowship.

Read More

Preview of Mark Adamo’s “Last Year” for Jeffrey Zeigler & ACO

Students like Abby Harris return to ACO’s Compose Yourself! program year after year to continue honing their skills. Abby came to ACO as a 13-year old who couldn’t wait to dive
deeper into writing music. Her recent piece, “Nature Trail” for viola and piano, has led to awards including Northeast Regional Winner and National Finalist at the National Federation of Music Clubs Composition Competition.

“I have been a student in Kevin’s class for the past four years. It’s been so much fun to explore different aspects of music and composition in such an open and supportive environment. We explore all kinds of music without judgement, and Kevin leads my musical curiosity to places I
would never have otherwise found.” —Abby Harris, high school student

“Nature Train” by Abby Harris, workshopped and recorded in ACO’s Compose Yourself! classes

Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to composing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Read More

“between systems and grounds” a collaborative, durational performance and installation system that creates a feedback loop between textile construction processes and feedback-based electronic music. Paula & Olivia will continue this project with a customized installation for ACO’s 2022 Gala.

Trevor New is an electro acoustic violist &  composer who creates innovative originals, intuitive & scored soundscapes that evoke a cinematic journey. In October 2021, ACO and New premiered Cohere 1an orchestral work written for decentralized simultaneous telematic performance. Cohere 1 featured 7 soloists, a 30-member orchestra, and 3 quartets in 10 separate locations (each with an audience), playing together in real time on network. For the 2022-23 season, he is creating Cohere Touch, which builds on learning and experiences from this pilot, using The Hub (an interactive software system) to add participant-generated visual/sonic gestures to the interactive performance experience. 

Cohere 1 commissioned and premiered by ACO in October 2021

“Olatuja possesses a special instrument: a full-bodied tone, precise pitch and personal engagement at the lowest whisper or highest wail.” -Downbeat

Praised by the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage”, Alicia Olatuja has been astounding audiences with her exquisite vocals, artistic versatility and captivating demeanor. She first came into the national spotlight in 2013, whilst performing as the featured soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at President Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration. Shortly thereafter, she assembled her own jazz based ensemble and recorded her first solo album, Timeless (2014).

Read More

Leanna Primiani was selected to participate in ACO’s 2009 Underwood New Music Readings (now known as ACO’s EarShot in NYC). She was awarded a Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral commission in 2020, premiered by ROCO in Spring 2022.

“I can honestly say that winning the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program, and
having the support of the ACO, has changed the trajectory of my career. Since winning the Toulmin in
June 2020, I have had nine World Premieres including an orchestral work for the Wheeling Symphony, major work for large concert band, and several chamber works. I was also selected as featured composer for the Taiwan International Flute Festival, as well as resident composer at the
Millay Artist Colony.” Read More

Neither men nor money validate my worth by Leanna Primiani, commissioned by the Virginia B. Toulmin Orchestral Commissions Program (co-run by ACO and the League of American Orchestras) and premiered by ROCO in Houston, TX in 2022.

Huang Ruo has been lauded by the New Yorker as “one of the world’s leading young composers” and by the New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz. As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, his goal is not just to mix both Western and Eastern elements, but also to create a seamless, organic integration. Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film.

Olivia Valentine is an interdisciplinary visual artist working in textile construction, installation, drawing, and photography, and in collaborations with composers, architects, and designers. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for Installation Art in Turkey (2012-13), The Founding President’s Award from the Textile Society of America (2014), and the Brandford/Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Arts (2012). Recent exhibitions include Museum of Arts and Design (New York) Pasajist (Istanbul), the American Academy in Rome (Italy), Page Bond Gallery (Richmond, VA), the Rijswijk Museum (The Netherlands), Maquis Projects (Izmir, Turkey) and Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, VA). Olivia received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

“between systems and grounds” a collaborative, durational performance and installation system that creates a feedback loop between textile construction processes and feedback-based electronic music. Paula & Olivia will continue this project with a customized installation for ACO’s 2022 Gala.

Karen Vuong is an American Soprano based in New York. Previously, she was part of the ensemble at Frankfurt Opera from 2013 to 2019. She was an inaugural member and two-year participant in Los Angeles Opera’s prestigious Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, a program designed to support the future of opera by discovering and developing exceptionally gifted young artists. Read More

“Chinese as Apple Pie” by Huang Ruo

Jeffrey Zeigler is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. As a member of the Kronos Quartet, he is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts (Grammy’s), the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society’s Cultural Achievement Award. Read More

Preview of Mark Adamo’s “Last Year” for Jeffrey Zeigler & ACO