ASMAC First Wednesdays May 4th Event: ‘Celebrate Women Composers’

Celebrate Women Composers Flyer


 LOS ANGELES (May 2, 2016) – Maria Newman, critically acclaimed violinist, violist, pianist and composer of classical music, will be celebrated this Wednesday, May 4th, along with nine other worthy women composers, at ASMAC’s (American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers) open to the public “First Wednesdays” event at the Musicians Union in Hollywood at 817 Vine Street.

The evening, dubbed “Celebrate Women Composers,” includes musical presentations by Newman, daughter of nine-time Academy Award-winning composer, Alfred Newman, sister of film composers David Newman and Tom Newman, and first cousin of Randy Newman, as well as compositions by Nan Schwartz, Penka Kouneva, Bonnie Janofsky, Carolyn Yarnell, Susan Hurley, Elise Michelle, Marlene Hajdu, Asuka Ito and Mae Crosby.

Live performances of compositions by these fine composers will feature legendary session singer, Sally Stevens, who has co-written songs with Dave Grusin, Burt Bacharach and Dominic Frontiere, as well as recording and performing vocalist, Leslie Soultanian, whose voice can be heard on many film and TV soundtracks including Pitch Perfect 2.

Maria Newman has written for orchestra, choir, ballet, chamber/solo works and has had her work performed at The Kennedy Center. Nan Schwartz is an arranger, composer, conductor, orchestrator and songwriter with 7 Emmy nominations. Penka Kounova is a film and game composer whose credits include the Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands game and who received the Hollywood Music in Media Award as well as two Ovation Awards. Carolyn Yarnell is a composer and visual artist who has won several awards including a Fullbright Fellowship, Guggeheim and Prix de Rome. Her work has been performed by the Seattle and Tanglewood Symphonies and at Carnegie Hall.

Marlene Hajdu is a composer/orchestrator who is a past Vice President of ASMAC, currently serving on the Board of Directors. Bonnie Janofsky, also on the Board of Directors, is a Jazz drummer and founder of the all-female big band, Maiden Voyage, who performed on The Tonight Show. She won the annual BMI Award for scoring motion pictures at USC. Susan Hurley is an opera, concert and film composer and Elise Michelle is a Jazz guitarist, orchestrator and concert composer.

This Wednesday’s event is fifth in the series of dynamic educational / social organized by ASMAC board member, composer and orchestrator, Milton Nelson.

The Musicians Union is located at 817 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90038. Check-in is at 7 pm, with the program running from 7:30 to 10 pm. Admission is $10, FREE for members of ASMAC and the musicians union. There is free parking available on site. Light refreshments will be served.

ASMAC was formed in 1938 to celebrate the achievements of the more mature members, along with supporting up-and-coming composers and arrangers with mentorships, master classes and scholarships. For more information on ASMAC and upcoming events, call (818) 994-4661 or visit

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