The American Composers Orchestra, “which justifiably bills itself as ‘the only orchestra in the world wholly dedicated to the creation, performance, preservation, and promotion of music by American composers,’ will celebrate its 40th birthday on November 7, with a concert and gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall,” writes Christopher Johnson in Tuesday’s (10/31) Huffington Post. “Performers include ACO music director George Manahan, laureate conductor Dennis Russell Davies, artistic director Derek Bermel wearing his other hat as a Grammy-nominated clarinetist, and rising vocal stars Mikaela Bennett and Jakub Józef Orliński, all under the direction of Kevin Newbury, whose production of Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers was such a sensation at Cincinnati Opera last season. The program includes the American premiere of Elizabeth Ogonek’s Sleep and Unremembrance and the New York premiere of a prelude and aria from Paola Prestini’s opera Gilgamesh. Celebrating the life and service of ACO co-founder Francis Thorne, who died earlier this year at the age of 94, the concert pairs Thorne’s Duke Ellington-tinged Fanfare, Fugue and Funk with Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige. Other modern American classics include Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata … and songs by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Harold Arlen.”

Posted November 2, 2017