American Composers Orchestra

  • New York



494 8th Avenue
Suite 501
New York
New York
United States

About Us

Founded in 1977, the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation and promulgation of music by American composers. George Manahan is music director and Derek Bermel is artistic director. Through its concert series at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, radio broadcasts, educational programs, new music reading sessions, and commissions, ACO identifies today’s brightest emerging composers, champions prominent established composers as well as those lesser known, and increases regional, national and international awareness of the infinite variety of American orchestral music. ACO also serves as an incubator of ideas, research and talent, as a catalyst for growth and change among orchestras, and as an advocate for American composers and their music. To date, ACO has performed music by over 700 American composers, including 300 world premieres and newly commissioned works. ACO’s discography has grown to over 20 recordings on the ARGO, MusicMasters, CRI, ECM, Point, Tzadik, Nonesuch, Phoenix USA, and New World labels. Digital albums are also available on iTunes, Amazon and InstantEncore. Among the honors ACO has received are MetLife’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, a proclamation from the New York City Council, and ASCAP’s annual prizes for adventurous programming. ACO has been singled out by ASCAP as “the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States.”