The American Composers Forum of Los Angeles connects composers in community. We gain valuable leadership and service through our dedicated and visionary board of directors.
Steven Homestead, President
Steven Homestead brings genre-spanning creativity to life with synthesis, symbolism, empathy, and thought, whether composing new music, incarnating large-scale art projects, or writing on creativity and culture.
As the President of the American Composers Forum of Los Angeles (ACF-LA), Steven supports the development and appreciation of new music throughout Southern California. Over the past half-decade, he has garnered numerous grants, created dynamic programs, and developed partnerships in the community. Steven’s work on behalf of ACF-LA will support and help launch the inaugural Compose LA Festival in 2019, as led by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Steven Homestead’s music soars with melody, plays with repetition, meditates through harmonic stasis, visits humor, and invokes nostalgia. His largest work, Recursive Mass, for choir, piano, and percussion, draws inspiration from fractal geometry, M. C. Escher’s use of positive and negative space, the counterpoint of J. S. Bach, and ideas centered on cognitive science found in the writings of Douglas Hofstadter. In addition to choral works, his catalogue features vocal music, piano solos and duos, and chamber works.
His Master of Music in Composition-Theory comes from California State University, Fullerton, where he studied composition with Pamela Madsen, as well as taking seminars with Ken Walicki and Lloyd Rodgers. Singing under the baton of Robert Istad and Chris Peterson, he developed greater richness in his sound and furthered a love for choral music. In addition, he served as the Administrative Assistant for the annual New Music Festival. His Bachelor of Arts in Music comes from UCLA, where he studied with Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, David Lefkowitz, and Ian Krouse. Subsequent to graduating as the Chancellor’s Marshall of Music, he spent a number of years traveling and volunteering with NGOs.
In the creative arts, Steven is the force behind multiple large-scale interactive installations. Paintings, photographs, and sketches from his Saints and Icons project have been featured at Fuller Theological Seminary, TEDxMission Viejo, and Emmaus Gallery in Santa Ana. In 2018, he was a curator for Boca De Oro, Orange County’s literary festival. Overall, Steven’s creative work seeks to honor others, give voice, share wonder, and develop unity. stevenhomestead.com
Jason Heath, Vice President
Jason Heath is a composer and musical experience designer, developing new multimedia technologies that play in the intersection between the uncanny and the familiar, exploring uniquely musical interaction modalities to create new devices, experiences, and dynamic cultural artifacts that conform to, as well as challenge and inspire the human mind and body.
In partnership with Casa Colina Hospital, he is currently designing musical experiences, interfaces and devices for intervention therapies and medical research in the areas of autism, anxiety and PTSD, chronic pain, stroke, and brain and spine traumas.
As a member of the RotoLab Satellite Team, he develops musically gamified interactions and infrastructures for architectural and public spaces, bringing my musical design lens to the development of large-scale systems solutions, and helping to ignite alchemical processes that transform everyday experiences into whimsical and experiential musical engagements for healing, learning, working, and playing.
His expertise in the area of electronic media and concert music composition have made him a sought-after resource in his field. As a member of the People Inside Electronics (P.I.E.) advisory board and as one of the founders of the new music series, Tuesdays@MonkSpace, he was been dedicated to the advancement of new multi-disciplinary approaches to interactivity, digital music and new media composition; promoting new performance modalities, developing new venues, and exploring emerging digital technologies. As a dedicated music educator, Dr. Heath has been invited to lecture at Pomona College, Chapman University, Pepperdine University, UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino, and Cal State Long Beach. He recently has taught Electronic Music, Counterpoint, and applied Music Composition at Los Angeles City College (LACC). jasonheath.com
George N. Gianopoulos, Treasurer
A native of Syracuse, New York and now a resident of Los Angeles, the music of Nick Gianopoulos has been performed throughout Europe and America, including performances in China, Israel, Spain, England and Greece and regular performances in Southern California. Nick has been commissioned by The Glendale Philharmonic, The Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles, The Symbiosis Ensemble, The Helix Collective, The Akropolis Quintet and the Malkin-Trybeck Duo, among others. His music has been performed by members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Gianopoulos is the currently the Composer-in-Residence for the Los Angeles based Symbiosis Ensemble and concert series Music @ MiModa. georgengianopoulos.com
Jack Van Zandt, Board Member
Jack Van Zandt is a Los Angeles composer of music for concerts, public spaces, gallery installations, television, film, and advertising. He studied composition with Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, Thea Musgrave, Peter Racine Fricker, and Emma Lou Diemer. His concert music has been performed in the USA, Canada, and Europe, and his commercial music is regularly heard on broadcast and cable TV. He has scored documentary and silent films, and his electronic music has been used for installations, multimedia presentations, and meditation videos and workshops. He is also a writer, teacher, music education program designer, concert producer, and frequent university guest lecturer on various musical subjects. He was Visiting Artist at Cal Arts in 2017. He has recently received commissions from the Copland House Foundation, Grammy-nominated pianist Nadia Shpachenko, the Cal Poly Pomona Piano Ensemble, cellist Maksim Velichkin, Celliola, LA Harptette, bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood, and soprano Stacey Fraser, who will premiere his new music theater work with a libretto by Jill Freeman, “The New Frontier,” in 2020. His “Sí an Bhrú” for piano and electronics composed for Nadia Shpachenko will appear on her “Poetry of Places” CD (recorded at Skywalker Ranch) to be released in March 2019. His song cycle “Apples and Time Crack in October,” with poems by Jill Freeman, has been recorded by soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest and pianist Siu Hei Lee for their CD “Luminous,” also to be released in 2019. Jack is a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Composers Forum, of which he was president 2014-17. jackvanzandt.com
James Camp, Board Member
Jim Camp has over 35 years of experience in corporate and real estate matters, most of which has been in private practice, with the firm of Brown Winfield and Canzoneri, Inc. and more recently with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, and King, Cheng & Miller LLP. His work has spanned the range of real estate developments, from commercial office, retail centers, multi-family, housing developments, condominiums, and industrial and mixed- use projects. Areas of particular expertise include (i) environmental law, where he has worked on numerous brownfields developments; (ii) redevelopment, where he has represented both redevelopment agencies and private developers in connection with DDAs, ENAs and ground leases, many involving contaminated properties; (iii) corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships; (iv) financings; (v) studenthousing; (vi) Federal government leases; and (vi) historic properties, including work with the Los Angeles Conservancy. Mr. Camp has a long history of support for musical and charitable organizations and has been instrumental in the formation and representation of numerous non-profits. He has served on the Board of ACF-LA for over six years. Mr. Camp is the former Assistant Dean for Property Administration and Development and Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School, where he taught Real Estate Transactions.
Mark Carlson, Board Member
Composer Mark Carlson’s lyrical, emotionally powerful, and stylistically unique music has earned him the admiration of audiences and musicians throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. A versatile composer, his approximately 100 works include art songs, chamber music, choral music, concertos and other large ensemble works, and songs for musical theater. The recipient of more than 50 commissions, he has been commissioned by the National Shrine in Washington, DC, and the New West Symphony, among other organizations, as well as by many individual musicians and private parties. In November of 2010, he was Featured Guest Composer at the Fresno New Music Festival. Other recent performances have taken place in Wrocaw, Poland, and Madrid, Spain, and in May of 2007, the UCI voice department presented a recital, “California Singing: the Songs of Mark Carlson.” One of his twelve CDs, The Hall of Mirrors, was a winner of the Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Awards for 2001. His music is published by Yelton Rhodes Music, Pacific Serenades Music, C Swigart Music, Black Squirrel Music, and Thorpe Music. He teaches music theory and composition at UCLA and also taught at Santa Monica College for 15 years. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles chamber music ensemble Pacific Serenades, and he recently retired as a flutist, after a lifetime of performing primarily chamber music, much of which was written for him. Born in 1952 in Ft. Lewis, Washington, Carlson grew up in California, attended the University of Redlands, graduated from CSU Fresno, and received MA and PhD degrees in composition from UCLA. His principal teachers were Alden Ashforth and Paul Reale (composition) and Roger Stevens (flute). markcarlsonmusic.com
Giovanna Imbesi, Board Member
Giovanna Joyce Imbesi founded Global Media Studios, which provides production services in live event and recorded media to clients worldwide. An executive producer and creative strategist, Ms. Imbesi brings two decades of experience in management, live event production, budgeting, international digital rights, talent acquisition and team building to clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and non-profits to start-ups.
Ms. Imbesi founded Generate Possibility, a non-profit dedicated to supporting those affected by cancer through the healing arts and sustainable wellness education. She received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2013, with recognition in the Leaders in Sustainability program. Giovanna Imbesi
Victoria Kirsch, Board Member
Collaborative pianist Victoria Kirsch creates, curates and performs innovative programs combining music, spoken word and the visual arts: current projects include a series of exhibition-based programs at local museums and galleries (Andy Warhol’s World in Song, Women’s Lives and Loves: Robert Graham’s Late Works) and programs based on poets and composers (This, and My Heart: The Worlds of Emily Dickinson). She serves as music director/pianist of Opera Arts, which presents opera-related events in the Palm Springs region. She continues her association with Julia Migenes, playing for the celebrated soprano’s shows, Diva on the Verge, Franz Schubert and Julia Migenes Sings Bernstein throughout the world. In addition to her work with national and regional opera companies (Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Long Beach Opera) and international competitions (Operalia, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions), Victoria has been a popular teaching artist for Los Angeles Opera’s Education and Community Programs Department, and she has served on the faculty of SongFest, a Southern California-based summer art song festival. She was a vocal faculty member at USC’s Thornton School of Music from 1995 to 1999, and she was associated with the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara for many years, playing in the studio of renowned baritone and master teacher Martial Singher and serving as a member of the vocal faculty.
Anne LeBaron, Board Member, National Board Chair
A West Coast experimentalist who is an innovative performer on the harp as well as a composer embracing unusual challenges, Anne LeBaron’s compositions have been performed around the globe. Venues in Italy, Mexico, Sydney, Vienna, Sweden, Kazakhstan, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere have programmed her works for chamber groups, opera, cantatas, and presented her as a performer. Her operas celebrate legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, the American Housewife, and Aldous Huxley. Her current opera-in-progress, Huxley’s Last Trip, (formerly LSD: The Opera) was awarded one of the first Discovery Grants from Opera America. The orchestra includes instruments built by American composer and inventor Harry Partch. Excerpts have been performed at three LA venues: at the Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills, at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, and at the REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles.
LeBaron was recently awarded a Copland House Residency in New York, a Djerassi Program residency in Santa Cruz, and a residency at the Corporation of Yaddo in Saratoga Springs. Radiant Depth Unfolded: Settings of Rumi, commissioned by The Sorel Organization and SongFest, premiered in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Library Foundation commissioned her to compose a work inspired by the Oxford English Dictionary: A – Zythum premiered at the Hammer Museum. Mark Robson performed her work for speaking pianist, Los Murmullos, on the LA series PianoSpheres, and more recently at the American Center in Paris. The acclaimed French harpist Helene Breschand performed her work Harpestra: Concerto for Two Harps, One Player.
Recordings of her music are available on Mode, New World Records, Ear-Rational, Innova, Music and Art, and Albany. As a member of the School of Music faculty at CalArts, she has developed highly original courses blending theater, art history, cultural topics, and music while encouraging students to actively create work incorporating what they are absorbing. These include HyperOpera; Concert Theater; Musical Reflections of Surrealism; Music of Harry Partch; Contemplative Practices, Musical Arts, Compassionate Mind; and Writing for Everything Else.
LeBaron serves on the boards of the American Composers Forum, where she is Chair, and as a Member of the Corporation of Yaddo. Also an accomplished harpist, she is renowned for pioneering methods of extended harp techniques, electronic enhancements, and notation in compositional and improvisational contexts. In the current season, she lectured on her music at the University of California Irvine, the University of Southern California, the University of California Los Angeles, and Cal State Fullerton. For the past two years, she led a master class for composition students visiting LA from Shanghai, under the auspices of the Bright Institute. annelebaron.com
Vanessa Rose, Board Member, ACF President/CEO
Vanessa Rose’s work in the performing arts has spanned from The Metropolitan Opera to The Knights orchestra, the Lark Play Development Center (for playwrights), and the International Contemporary Ensemble. She has led organizations through significant transitions: establishing new executive positions, building effective governance structures, clarifying mission-driven priorities, and strengthening communication strategies. As a consultant, Vanessa has helped to expand EarShot, the national orchestra program for emerging composers, through the American Composers Orchestra and partners American Composers Forum, League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA. In addition, she has helped groups such as the Talea Ensemble and Arco Collaborative through organizational transitions. Her participation in grant panels includes The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Opera America’s Female Composer Discovery Grants, and the Brooklyn Arts Council. In 2006, Vanessa 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. A violinist, she attended Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Board of Advisors
Heidi Lesemann, Alexander Goehr, Byron Adams, Alex Shapiro, David Nelson, Richard Derby, Diana Hollinger, Patric Caird, Joel Wachbrit, Ted Masur, Tom Flaherty, Aron Kallay, Scott Worthington, Vera Ivanova, Damjan Rakonjac, Jill Freeman, Vicki Ray, and Edward Cowie.