Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter records, 2000-2005
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (130.10 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Biography/History
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material

  • Title: American Composers Forum Los Angeles Chapter records
    Collection number: 1974
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 13.7 linear ft. (21 document boxes and 4 record cartons)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 2000-2005
    Date (inclusive): 1906-2007
    Abstract: The American Composers Forum is a national organization that provides opportunities for composers to create and engage their communities in artistic creation and performance. The organization supports composers at all stages in their careers through grants, commissions, performance programs, and educational workshops. The Forum also works to foster an appreciation for new music while developing the next generation of composers, musicians, and communities. Included in the collection are administrative documents covering Heidi Lesemann’s tenure with ACF-LA, as well as distribution materials and e-mail correspondence between members regarding various outreach projects and music events in the Los Angeles area. Furthermore, a series dedicated to Leonard Stein—musicologist and former director of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California— provides a wealth of research materials on pioneering contemporary music composers Arnold Schoenberg and Pierre Boulez.

    Organization and Arrangement

    All series are arranged alphabetically.


    In 1973, a group of graduate students in composition at the University of Minnesota created the Minnesota Composers Forum using a $400 grant from the University’s Student Club Activities Fund. In 1996, the organization changed its name to the American Composers Forum, and eventually established local chapters in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Through granting, commissioning, and performance programs, the over 2,000 member national Forum provides composers at all stages of their careers with valuable resources for professional and artistic development. By linking non-profit arts organizations with composers and performers, the Forum fosters a demand for new music, enriches communities, and helps develop the next generation of composers, musicians, and music patrons.

    The Los Angeles chapter was created by Heidi Lesemann—an experienced worker in various non-profit arts organizations—who served as director from 2000 to 2005, with composer Karl Montevirgen as assistant director. Their tenure with the ACF resulted in a wealth of outreach and education programs including the Subito professional advancement grant program for composers, as well as educational residencies at various K-12 schools. Furthermore, they established a strong community of composers, performers and educators in the Los Angeles area through the Composers Salons workshop series and the New Music LA annotated calendar of new music events in Southern California. While the chapter initially received financial support from organizations such as the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, these funds grew increasingly difficult to come by in later years, and the chapter now functions primarily on a volunteer-based level through online message boards and e-mail listservs.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where the UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    The collection was donated in 2011 by Heidi Lesemann, director of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Composers Forum from 2000 to 2005.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], American Composers Forum, Los Angeles Chapter Records (Collection 1974). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7041817 

    Processing Information

    Processed by Mike D’Errico in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) , with assistance from Jillian Cuellar.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia  funds.

    Scope and Content

    Collection primarily consists of promotional materials, administrative documents, financial reports, membership files, program reports, and correspondence created during Heidi Lesemann’s tenure with the American Composers Forum Los Angeles chapter, 2000 to 2005. There are materials related to the Los Angeles chapter’s formation, annual budget reports, planning for the chapter website, and membership e-mail lists. Of particular research interest are the New Music LA calendars—a comprehensive bi-monthly calendar of music events in the Southern California area, featuring a guest editorial focusing on issues of local concern. Also included in the collection are personal composer applications for outreach initiatives such as the Composers Suitcase educational residency and the Subito grant program, with proposed projects and sample curriculum.

    Related Material

    The following sources provide additional information on the classical and “New Music” scenes in Los Angeles:
    Leonard Stein Papers, 1930-2004 (PASC-M 270)  at UCLA Library Special Collections
    Lawrence Morton papers, 1908-1987 (1522)  at UCLA Library Special Collections
    Ojai Music Festival Records, 1940- (PASC-M 277)  at UCLA Library Special Collections
    Betty Freeman papers, 1965-2008 (MSS 227)  at UCSD Library Special Collections
    Leonard Stein papers, 1942-1983 (MSS 219)  at UCSD Library Special Collections
    Peter Yates papers, 1927-1976 (MSS 0014)  at UCSD Library Special Collections