ACA concerts - support for young composers

Each year since 2003, the ACA Summer Music Festival has presented works by young and emerging composers working in the United States. With funding from the Alice M. Ditson Fund, BMI, and the Argosy Contemporary Music Fund, among others, more than 30 new works by young composers have been performed by top soloists and ensembles. If you are 35 or younger and would like to submit a work to the young composers project for consideration, please contact us. Listening excerpts from past ACA concerts below.

Alexandra Du Bois "Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello: L'apothéose d'un rêve (Apotheosis of a Dream)"

Piano Trio: L'apothéose d'un rêve (2005) was commissioned by pianist Menahem Pressler for the Beaux Arts Trio and was premiered by the Beaux Arts Trio at The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on 16 January 2006 with consecutive performances throughout the Netherlands during the Trio's 50th anniversary season. Composed during Autumn 2005 and inspired, initially, by the breadth, length and depth of the Beaux Arts Trio's presence, the composition of the work began to internalize certain influences; Cathedral bells at Notre Dame de Paris on several storm-filled afternoons; Indiana's countryside--where I was based while pursing my Bachelor's degree while writing this piece, and other flat, Midwestern, land-locked landscapes.

Anthony Green "Chance" for String Quartet

Anthony Green (b. 1984) holds a Bachelors of Music in theory and composition from Boston University (summa cum laude), and a Masters of Music in composition from the New England Conservatory (magna cum laude). As a pianist, he has performed at Jordan Hall, Symphony Hall, and other places throughout New England and Long Island.

Chance, composed in 2004, was originally the last movement of a 4 movement string quartet. However this movement was composed first.

Clarice Assad "Ciranda, Classicas Cantigas"

"CIRANDADA" is a word play on the term "CIRANDA" which is a type of music and dance from the Northeastern part of Brazil.  Although not all of the songs included in this piece are from that region, the word "CIRANDA" is also characterized by the formation of a small or large circle of people, who gather to perform this music by singing, playing and dancing. The folk music of Brazil is also largely associated with children, for its simplistic and playful nature

As I believe it is important to maintain these melodies alive in our minds, I have created a piece in which fuses more than ten folk Brazilian songs, arranged in extremely contrasting ways as to their original form.

David T. Little "Musik Fur Den Schultheiss"

Musik für den Schultheiß is a rather sweet and formally mysterious work, composed in response to the Terpsichore by Michael Praetorius. Praetorius's real last name was Schultheiß, which, in old German, meant something close to “mayor of a small municipality.” This accounts for the German title, which I carried one step further by
adding the gently sarcastic subtitle.

Derek Johnson "Fragments"

Derek Johnson is a composer, electric guitarist and educator active in the world of contemporary concert music and beyond.  His compositions have been performed throughout the United States and Canada by leading soloists and ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW and Montreal’s Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.  He is a founding member in the virtuoso chamber ensemble BASILICA and a regular performer with the post-rock improvisation collective the goodhands team.  Johnson has performed internationally with the powerhouse new music ensemble the Bang On A Can All-Stars in collaboration with guest artists Iva Bittova, Don Byron, Bill Frisell, Glenn Kotche (Wilco), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Steve Reich and Ryuichi Sakamoto.  He has served as a faculty member in the music department of Columbia College Chicago, as an Associate Instructor of Composition at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music and as faculty at the Bang On A Can Summer Institute.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the Ball State University School of Music.

Kate Soper "Door"

(Also see NY Times Review)

Thumbing through a Paris Review in 2006, I was struck by my first encounter with the poetry of Martha Collins.  Something about the spaciousness, the delicacy of language, and the keen yet somehow indefinite evocations of her writing seemed to me intensely musical.  Both her suite of poems Door and my setting of it explore various ways in which words communicate: as direct conveyers of real meaning, as imprecise yet eloquent expressions of the indescribable, as collections of pure sounds, and as vehicles for pure sensuous beauty.

Kirsten Volness "Hverfa" for Piano Quartet

Kirsten Volness (b. 1980) grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota, a place that fostered in her a keen interest in the outdoors and the wonders of nature. The magic to be found in the natural world informs and inspires her creative work as do earth-based spiritual traditions. She completed her DMA in Composition at the University of Michigan (from which she also holds an MM).

Hverfa, (2006) pronounced ker'fa, means to "disappear" or "vanish" in Icelandic. The word also has connotations of revolution, spiraling and change. I had this image of a long winter's

Matthew Welch "Symphony of Drones No.1"

(Also see NY Times Review)

Symphony of Drones #1
(2001) is a symphony in the most literal meaning of the word, a collection of sounds, in this case, those centered around a drone mentality. It is a conducted, graphically notated piece designed for any collection of four or more pitched instruments. It is in a three -movement form, and each movement addresses various indeterminate and structured improvisational concepts that explore textures that ornament, enhance and disrupt a fused and continuous ensemble timbre.

Nathan Bowen, Cassia

Nathan Bowen is currently pursuing a doctorate in music composition at the CUNY Graduate Center, studying primarily with Amnon Wolman and Tania León. Having composed for chamber ensembles, short films, orchestra, choir, theater, commercial projects, and computer music.

Cassia (2004) is an aromatic spice that, among other uses, is an ingredient for anointing oil. This piece is meant to be a celebration of things that are ennobling, constructive, and beneficial to growth and enrichment. I am increasingly drawn to durational issues and how rhythm can be used to create a sense of motion or stasis. In this piece I am conscientious of the interplay between sparse and rich textures, brittle and lush timbres, and abrupt dynamic and rhythmic contrasts.