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.

, President

Steven is an artist, composer, curator, and writer. He has been supporting the development and appreciation of new music throughout Southern California for the past decade. Previously, he has served as the ACF-LA Administrative Director, garnering numerous grants, creating new programs, and developing partnerships in the community. In addition to his work with ACF-LA, he has served as the Administrative Assistant for California State University Fullerton’s annual New Music Festival. His Master of Music in Composition-Theory comes from California State University, Fullerton, where he studied composition with his teacher and mentor Pamela Madsen, as well as studying with Ken Walicki and Lloyd Rodgers and singing under the baton of Robert Istad and Chris Peterson. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from UCLA, graduating as the Chancellor’s Marshall of Music and where he studied composition with Paul Chihara, Roger Bourland, David Lefkowitz, and Ian Krouse.

As an artist, composer, and thinker, he works in a variety of mediums, genres, and fields. His heart for collaboration has led to his involvement with numerous organizations and creative outlets. With a background in composition and performance, Steven sits on the board of directors for the Choral Arts Initiative, Southern California’s premier new music choir. As the Art Director for Newgate Orchestra and Artists, he helps to bring the talent of Orange County artists and musicians to light in collaborative concerts and events. Steven is also active in the visual arts and in other capacities, creating visual art in many mediums, as well as being the force behind large-scale interactive installations, helping to coordinate the 2017 Eco Garden Expo, serving as Editor-in-Chief for poet Jose Lozano. Steven is passionate about giving people honor and voice, sharing wonder, and developing unity.


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).


ALICIA BYER, Secretary

Based in Southern California, Alicia Byer is a composer, writer, editor, and clarinetist. Hailing from from Claremont, California, she holds a Bachelor’s of Art in Music Composition with an emphasis in electronic media from Mills College, and her graduate work is in Music Theory and Composition from CSULB. Ms. Byer has worked with organizations and institutions in development and donor relations, including her work as a Development Coordinator for the Division of Humanities at UCLA and as a Development Assistant for Claremont McKenna College. She is the former Artistic Director of the LA Composers Collective. She joined ACF-LA in the area of membership coordination and most recently has been the Education Director, partnering with local schools and institutions.



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.


JACK VAN ZANDT, Board Member

A native Californian, Jack is a veteran composer of music, sonic sculptures and computer designed and controlled new media works and ambient environments for public spaces and gallery installations. He also composes and produces music for television and film production libraries. He is a published writer, dedicated music education reformer and promoter, and professional music education consultant and program grant writer. Jack has a BA (1976) in Music Composition and Theory from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Peter Racine Fricker, Thea Musgrave and Emma Lou Diemer. He then moved to England and studied with Peter Maxwell Davies at the Dartington Summer School of Music in Devonshire, and completed four years of graduate study at Cambridge University with Alexander Goehr. He spent nearly 20 years living, composing and working in England, Ireland and continental Europe. Since returning to California in 1999, first to Silicon Valley and now in Los Angeles, Jack has composed more than 150 new musical works. He has designed and written web content; written and developed educational products in the subjects of music, art, science and history for publication; and contributed over 200 political opinion pieces and arts reviews to Silicon Valley Metro Newspaper and, where he was the founding editor. Jack is a consultant in music education program design, development and funding. He has formulated programs and projects for various nonprofit organizations and educational institutions and written associated grant proposals for foundations, state and federal government, and international funding sources. He has lectured and written on the subjects of evolutionary musicology, ethnomusicology, musical science and philosophy, and mentored many students and young music teachers in education, theory and composition.


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).



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



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.


JOHN L. NUECHTERLEIN, Board Member, National President and CEO

John Nuechterlein is President and CEO of the American Composers Forum, a leading national service organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. For over 35 years, the Forum has offered innovative programs that support the artistic careers of composers and develop new opportunities for their work. John served as Managing Director of the Forum from 1998–2003, and became President in July 2003. During the past eight years he has overseen a wide variety of programs that continue to serve a growing membership base that now numbers 2,000 composers and performers. Prior to joining the Forum, John worked for 15 years in the corporate sector. He held various senior management positions in leading consumer product companies, including Butler, Yardley of London USA, Maybelline and L’Oreal. He currently serves on the board of the Performing Arts Alliance in Washington, DC and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts in Minneapolis. Nuechterlein holds an MBA degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree in organ and voice performance from Valparaiso University. John Nuechterlein


Board of Advisors

Heidi Lesemann, Alexander Goehr, Anne LeBaron, 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.