American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is the only orchestra in the world dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promulgation of music by American composers. Through concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, recordings, internet and radio broadcasts, educational programs, New Music Readings, 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, reflecting geographic, stylistic, and temporal diversity. 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 700 American composers, including nearly 300 world premieres and newly commissioned works. ACO programs seek to innovate and experiment, educate students and the public, and open the orchestra to diverse new influences and audiences.
Among the honors ACO has received are a special award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a proclamation from the New York City Council, and the American Music Center's Letter of Distinction "for unique dedication to the music of American composers." BMI has honored ACO for its outstanding contribution to American music. ACO has been awarded the ASCAP annual prize for adventurous programming 36 times, and has been singled out by ASCAP as "the orchestra that has done the most for new American music in the United States."
the American Composers Orchestra has brought to the city a repertory of music of our time which leaves all the major American orchestras far behind.
The New York Times
If orchestras are more accommodating to living composers today, the ACO can rightfully claim at least some of the credit.
Steve Smith, Time Out New York
...the organization exists to upend the status quo with symphonic magnitude.
Over the past decade, a new generation of composers and performers has arisen, refusing to submit to genre boundaries or dusty ideological battles, jacking up the cool quotient on New York's new-music scene