American Composers Orchestra

Commissions & Premieres Seven New Works Virtually

in Connecting ACO Community – Volume 3

A commissioning initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

August 2, 2020 – October 4, 2020
Online world premieres streaming live on Sundays at 5pm ET

$5 tickets available | More information at
Watch Connecting ACO Community Volumes 1 and 2 on ACO’s YouTube Channel

New York, NY – American Composers Orchestra (ACO) announces Volume 3 of Connecting ACO Community, featuring seven commissions to be premiered online on Sundays at 5pm ET between August 2 and October 4, 2020, for a ticketed audience on ACO’s YouTube Channel. Each session includes a live conversation with the featured composer and performer(s), hosted by ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel or ACO President Edward Yim, in addition to the performance.

ACO initiated Connecting ACO Community in response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis and since launching it on April 19 has created twelve brand new pieces by twelve composers, written for twelve solo performers plus the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, through the program. Previously commissioned composers include Ethan Iverson, Shara Nova, Vicente Hansen Atria, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer, Gity Razaz, Yuan-Chen Li, Joseph Pereira, Karena Ingram, Krists Auznieks, Lembit Beecher, and Alejandro Basulto Martinez.

Volume 3 includes seven more commissions and premieres, and features four soloists, two duos, and a sextet of musicians from ACO. Commissioned composers and performers for this installment include Tanner Porter composing for cellist Eric Jacobsen and vocalist Aoife O’DonovanVincent Calianno composing for trombonist Mike SeltzerWynton Guess composing for pianist Aaron DiehlAmina Figarova composing a flute duo for ACO orchestra musicians Susan Palma Nidel and Laura ConwesserDawn Norfleet composing for vocalist Clarice Assad, voice; Guy Mintus composing for violinist Kelly HallTompkins; and Brian Nabors composing for a sextet of ACO Musicians (violinist Debbie Wong; violist Sandy Robbins; cellist Gene Moye; bassoonist Harry Searing; flutist Diva Goodfriend Koven; and harpist Susan Jolles).

“When we began Connecting ACO Community, we were trying to support American composers, create new work, and stay connected to our supporters and artists. Who would have thought we would still be at it four months later in announcing Volume 3?” remarked Edward Yim. “I am delighted that ACO’s own orchestra members will be part of Volume 3, and I must say that this project has brought great joy and moments of hope during this time for me personally. We hope that it has done the same for those who have joined us on this journey whether as audience, composer or performer.”

Each composer is offered $500 compose for Connecting ACO Community, and each performer is offered $500 to perform, with the rights to stream for six months. Proceeds from ticket sales go solely to fund artists involved in this project.

If the $5 entrance fee poses a barrier to participation, interested listeners will be asked to fill out an anonymous form at or email Aiden Feltkamp at [email protected] to request a fee waiver.

The recorded sessions are available on Mondays following each premiere on ACO’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel, as well as MUSIC on the REBOUND: an online festival for participating in live events as well as a platform for streaming concerts.

Connecting ACO Community Volume 3 Composer-Performer Teams and Schedule of Events                                                                    

Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Tanner Porter & Eric Jacobsen, cello and Aoife O’Donovan, voice

Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Vincent Calianno & Mike Seltzer, trombone

Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Wynton Guess & Aaron Diehl, piano

Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Amina Figarova & Susan Palma Nidel and Laura Conwesser, flutes

Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Dawn Norfleet & Clarice Assad, voice


Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Guy Mintus & Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin

Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5pm ET:


Sunday, September 27, 2020 at 5pm ET:


Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 5pm ET:

Brian Nabors & Sextet of ACO Musicians: Debbie Wong, violin; Sandy Robbins, viola; Gene Moye, cello; Harry Searing, bassoon; Diva Goodfriend Koven, flute; Susan Jolles, harp

About American Composers Orchestra

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 emerging composer development 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, 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. ACO recordings are available on ARGO, CRI, ECM, Point, Phoenix USA, MusicMasters, Nonesuch, Tzadik, New World Records,, and iTunes.

EarShot – in collaboration with the League of American Orchestras, New Music USA and American Composers Forum – enables ACO and partner orchestras across the country to identify talented young composers. With guidance from ACO, partner orchestras – such as the Detroit Symphony, the Sarasota (FL) Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra – undertake readings, residencies, performances and composer-development programs that speak directly to their communities and leverage local resources. ACO itself holds annual readings in New York with a multi-performance commission awarded to the most promising participant through the Creating a New Orchestra Audience platform.

For nearly two decades, ACO has brought composers and musical teaching artists into New York City public schools through Sonic Spark (formerly known as Music Factory). Sonic Spark aims to leverage composition as a platform for creativity, and creativity as a platform for achievement in all areas of student’s life. Students in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, work directly with professional composers to create and perform original music. ACO also offers the intensive Compose Yourself! seminars, during which high school and college composers participate in hands-on composition classes, culminating in a performance of student compositions played by ACO’s professional musicians.

More information about American Composers Orchestra and resources about American orchestral composers is available online at

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