The American Composers Forum (ACF) and New Music USA will jointly receive the League of American Orchestras’ highest honor, the Gold Baton, the League announced today. ACF President and CEO Vanessa Rose and New Music USA President and CEO Vanessa Reed will accept the awards on behalf of their respective organizations at the League’s online Conference Finale on Friday, June 12, from 1:00-2:30pm EDT.

“Living composers keep our artform alive, relevant, and inspiring,” said Jesse Rosen, the League or American Orchestras President and CEO. “The unparalleled work of both the American Composers Forum—fostering music creators, performers, advocates, and new music listeners—and New Music USA— fostering connections and offering resources to the creation, performance and appreciation of new music—has contributed deeply to this unprecedented age of creativity and transformative orchestral experiences. Indispensable to composers and orchestras alike, the American Composers Forum and New Music USA are valued, longtime partners of the League and I’m delighted to honor them with the Gold Baton.”

For more than 40 years, American Composers Forum (ACF) has supported an ecosystem of creators through engaging events and programs such as ACF | CREATE, an evolution of the Jerome Fund for New Music (JFund), which has seeded many new works and advanced careers since 1979. ACF continues to support creators throughout their musical journeys with commissioning programs, fellowships, partnerships (including Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra and the League), convenings, and, since 1982, the Innova Recordings label.

New Music USA, through its groundbreaking Orchestra Residency Program launched in 1982 and the Music Alive Residency Program, launched in 1999 in partnership with the League, has been a steadfast partner to composer and orchestras. New Music Box has been the go-to platform the essential conversations and dialogue about music and musicians today.

Given annually since 1948 for distinguished service to America’s orchestras, the Gold Baton recognizes individuals and institutions whose far-reaching contributions to the field serve to champion and advance the cause of orchestras and symphonic music throughout the country.

Previous Gold Baton recipients include, among many others, Leonard Bernstein (1959); Pierre Boulez (2000); Aaron Copland (1978); new music patron Betty Freeman (1987); Yo-Yo Ma (2018); Ann Hobson Pilot (2017); Beverly Sills (1980); and Joan Tower (2019). Find the full list of Gold Baton recipients on the League’s website.