American Composers Orchestra (ACO) in New York has named A.J. McCaffrey winner of ACO’s 2013 Underwood Emerging Composer Commission, awarding him $15,000 for a work to be premiered in the 2014-2015 season. Chosen from six finalists during ACO’s 22nd Underwood New Music Readings led by Music Director George Manahan, McCaffrey won the prize with his work Thank You for Waiting. “A.J.’s orchestral writing impresses at every level—the clarity of his sonic concept, the deft handling of often viscerally dense counterpoint, and above all, the energy that he gets from the ensemble through his orchestrational approach,” said Underwood New Music Readings mentor composer Christopher Theofanidis in a press release. McCaffrey has degrees in music composition from Rice University, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the University of Southern California; his music has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Also at the Underwood New Music Readings, Nina Young won Audience Choice Award for her piece Remnants; the other finalists were Jonathan Blumhofer, Louis Chiappetta, Joshua Groffman, and Saad N. Haddad. The deadline for the 2014 Underwood New Music Readings is December 2, 2013. For more information, visit

Posted July 11, 2013