For Immediate Release: October 30, 2018
Press Contacts:
Bonnie Marshall, Vice President of Development
John Nuechterlein, Current President & CEO

ST. PAUL, MN: American Composers Forum Board Chair Anne LeBaron today announced the appointment of Vanessa Rose as ACF’s new President and CEO, effective January 1, 2019. Rose currently serves as Emerging Composers Consultant with the American Composers Orchestra’s EarShot program in partnership with the American Composers Forum, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras.

“Vanessa uniquely stood out for her years of experience in structural and creative development with outstanding contemporary music ensembles that are fiercely committed to supporting the music of living composers,” said Board Chair Anne LeBaron. “We are all elated with the selection of Vanessa to lead the American Composers Forum as she channels her enthusiasm for composers into new potentials and endeavors. We look forward to her leadership in fortifying existing initiatives as well as creating new programs for serving our composer members, while also increasing the national and international visibility of ACF.”

Over the past decade Rose has led organizations including The Knights orchestra collective, International Contemporary Ensemble, Arco Collaborative, and the Lark Play Development Center through significant transitions by establishing new executive positions, building effective governance structures, clarifying mission-driven priorities, and strengthening communication and fundraising strategies. As a consultant, Rose has helped to expand EarShot, the national orchestra program for emerging composers, and guided groups such as the Talea Ensemble and Orchestra of St. Luke’s through organizational and staff changes.

In 2006, Rose completed the League of American Orchestra’s prestigious Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, which included residencies with the Dallas Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, and San Francisco Symphony. She has held fundraising positions at The Metropolitan Opera and the League of American Orchestras as well. Rose has been an American Composers Forum Board member since 2018 and has served on grant panels for The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Opera America’s Female Composer Discovery Grants, and the Brooklyn Arts Council.

“The American Composers Forum’s commitment to connecting composers and communities and to nurturing the rich ecosystem that supports composers links to my own experiences and passions. For me, composers offer us valuable insight, create space for us to experience our shared world from diverse perspectives, and catalyze our ideals and creativity,” said Rose. “I am honored to be selected to succeed John Nuechterlein and to build on the remarkable programs and achievements he has led over the past fifteen years. Thank you to the Board, staff, community members, and the composers among them for this opportunity to write ACF’s next chapter together.”

LeBaron remarked, “Vanessa’s visionary and collaborative spirit, along with her substantial experience in advising, developing, and strengthening dynamic new music ensembles in the U.S., make her an ideal choice for the position of President of the American Composers Forum. Under her leadership, and with the innovative potential and fresh directions that she offers, we anticipate implementing new and meaningful ways to support our composer constituents around the country and worldwide.”

Rose will move to the Twin Cities from New York. A violinist, she attended Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands. Rose is a Social Impact Fellow with Inspiring Capital, a B-Corps consulting group

John Nuechterlein will be retiring on December 31, 2018 from the American Composers Forum where he has served as President and CEO for the past fifteen years. Under John’s exceptional leadership, ACF programming has steadily grown through new initiatives, such as two prominent, national programs that create a vibrant future for composers: ACF CONNECT and NextNotes High School Composition Awards.

In partnership with major national ensembles, ACF CONNECT connects composers with professional musicians to create new work, reach new audiences and serve new communities. Through a competitive process, winners participate in the annual program, which is designed to commission new work from undiscovered voices and offer them significant career development opportunities. ACF is currently partnering with the extraordinary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and the three selected composers will premiere new work at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in August 2019. Previous ensemble collaborations included eighth blackbird (Chicago), Sō Percussion (Princeton), Sybarite5 (New York), wild Up (Los Angeles), and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

The NextNotes High School Composition Awards is designed to nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition. NextNotes encourages the process of music creation of students (grades 9-12) and inspires students to create and realize their full potential. Six finalists and former winners will convene in the Twin Cities for mentoring, reading of new work, and a public performance in June 2019. The program supports creativity and recognizes the talent of high school students in the United States in an environment where no such national program exists.

Led by Past Board Chair, Mary Ellen Childs, the ten-member President Transition Committee is comprised of American Composers Forum board representatives. Rose was the unanimous selection of the committee from a pool of national candidates. The search was managed by the Catherine French Group.

About the American Composers Forum

The American Composers Forum is committed to supporting composers and developing new markets for their music. Through granting, commissioning, education and performance programs, ACF provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development. By linking communities with composers and performers, ACF fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons.

Founded in 1973 as the Minnesota Composers Forum, the organization has grown from an innovative regional initiative into one of the nation’s premier composer service organizations. ACF programming reaches composers and communities in all 50 states and helps composers engage communities with music as a source of inspiration.

Two thousand members include composers and performers, presenters and organizations that share ACF’s goals, and individuals and institutions with an interest in supporting new music. Members come from both urban and rural areas; they work in virtually every musical genre, including orchestral and chamber music, world music, opera and music theater, jazz and improvisational music, electronic and electroacoustic music, and sound art.


Photo credit: Julia Gang