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American Classical Orchestra Announces 2017-18 Season Under the Baton of Thomas Crawford

American Classical Orchestra Announces 2017-18 Season Under the Baton of Thomas CrawfordThe 50-piece period instrument American Classical Orchestra opens its 33rd season with Berwald's Symphony Singulaire, Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 ('Italian'), and Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor, featuring as soloist 12-year-old piano prodigy Adrian Romoff.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall - The ACO presents Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, Cherubini's Démophoon Overture, and Mozart's Mass in C minor, featuring sopranos Hélène Brunet and Ellie Dehn with the ACO Chorus.

Thursday, December 7, 2017, 8:00PM at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church - The ACO's holiday program features CPE Bach's Magnificat and Handel's Messiah Christmas Portion, with the ACO Chorus and soloists.

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall - The ACO performs Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 2, Vivaldi's Concerto for Four Violins in E minor, and Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Violin Concerto in A minor, featuring violin soloist Stephanie Chase.

Saturday, March 24, 2018, 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall - ACO's closing concert of the season presents Ries's Symphony No. 1, Schubert's Gesänge der Geister and Symphony No. 8, and Brahms's Alto Rhapsody, featuring mezzo-soprano, Avery Amereau.

Thursday, May 1, 2018, 7PM at a private venue - The ACO performs a Salon Concert of Clerembault's Médée, featuring Megan Chartrand, soprano.

This season, the ACO will offer an innovative new feature designed to bring the audience closer to the music: a live Concert Preview session held at 7:30pm, immediately before the 8:00pm concert - with Maestro Crawford and the full orchestra sharing musical insights and excerpts from the program. Concert Previews are free of charge to all ticket holders. Please note: There will be no late seating for the Concert Previews. Those who wish to attend the concert may enter the hall directly after the preview and before the start of the performance. Maestro Thomas Crawford will present live Concert Previews at 7:30PM on September 16, November 7, December 7, February 8, and March 24.

All concerts will be conducted by ACO Artistic Director and Founder Thomas Crawford.

"Welcome to our 33rd Season of great music at ACO. Our period instrument orchestra has come of age at New York's Lincoln Center, where the nuanced acoustics of Alice Tully Hall offer an ideal setting for the organic blend of original instruments.

This season we'll be changing things up with a concert format that's different and new. Instead of my 7pm pre-concert lectures with recorded excerpts, I'll be starting my talk a half hour later - on stage with full orchestra - for livelier insights and understanding.

Also different and new: at our kickoff concert in September, 12-year-old Adrian Romoff will perform the dazzling Mendelssohn Concerto in G minor. I rarely present prodigy soloists. But Adrian is the genuine article: an astonishing intellect whose fiery fingers make him a great match for this work. Together, we will all time-travel to Berlin in the 1820s, where the legendary child prodigy Felix Mendelssohn also dazzled audiences with his playing.

In November, ACO presents Mozart's finest choral work, Mass in C minor, at Alice Tully Hall. In December, another first: a holiday program in the splendid acoustics of the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, with ACO Chorus and soloists performing Magnificat, by C.P.E Bach, and excerpts from Handel's Messiah. And in February, we pay tribute to the baroque violin with much-loved works by Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, and Corelli, with soloist Stephanie Chase performing Bach's Concerto for Violin in A minor.

In March, we welcome back the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau for Brahms' stunningly beautiful Alto Rhapsody. Last fall, Avery made her Lincoln Center debut with us in Berlioz's haunting song cycle, Les Nuits d'Été. With Avery's international star rising, we are thrilled to feature her again.

Our final event is a private salon concert for Patron Society Subscribers: the baroque cantata Médée, by Louis-Nicholas Clérambault, with soprano Megan Chartrand as the tragic, love-tormented princess. For us, 2016-2017 was a year of unprecedented growth and success, and we look forward to another great year ahead. On behalf of the musicians, staff, and leadership of ACO, we welcome you to our 33rd Season." --Artistic Director and Founder, Thomas Crawford

Tickets can be purchased on www.aconyc.org, lincolncenter.org or by calling Center Charge (212-721-6500), by calling the Alice Tully Hall Box Office (212-671-4050), or in person at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. $95 Prime I, $75 Prime II, $55 Standard I, $35 Standard II and $15 Student (only at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office with proper student ID). Visit www.aconyc.org for more information.


2017-18 CONCERT SCHEDULE:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

OPENING NIGHT

7:30 PM PRE-CONCERT PREVIEW

8:00 PM CONCERT

Thomas Crawford, conductor

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Berwald - Symphony Singulaire

Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 4 ('Italian')

Mendelssohn - Piano Concerto in G minor

American Classical Orchestra

Adrian Romoff, piano

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

7:30 PM PRE-CONCERT PREVIEW

8:00 PM CONCERT

Thomas Crawford, conductor

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Beethoven - Symphony No. 8

Cherubini - Démophoon Overture

Mozart - Mass in C minor, featuring Hélène Brunet and Ellie Dehn, soprano

American Classical Orchestra and Chorus

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2017

7:30PM PRE-CONCERT PREVIEW

8:00PM CONCERT

Thomas Crawford, conductor

St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, 552 West End Ave. at 87th St.

CPE Bach - Magnificat

Handel - Messiah Christmas Portion

Soloists to be announced

American Classical Orchestra and Chorus

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018

7:30 PM PRE-CONCERT PREVIEW

8:00 PM CONCERT

Thomas Crawford, conductor

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Handel - Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 2

Vivaldi - Concerto for Four Violins in E minor

Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

Bach - Violin Concerto in A minor

American Classical Orchestra

Stephanie Chase, violin

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018

7:30 PM PRE-CONCERT PREVIEW

8:00 PM CONCERT

Thomas Crawford, conductor

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Ries - Symphony No. 1

Schubert - Gesange der Geister

Schubert - Symphony No. 8

Brahms- Alto Rhapsody

American Classical Orchestra

Avery Amereau, mezzo-soprano.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

THOMAS CRAWFORD, Conductor

Artistic Director and Founder of the American Classical Orchestra, Thomas Crawford is a champion of historically accurate performance styles in Baroque, Classical and Early Romantic music.

Mr. Crawford holds a Bachelor of Music in composition and organ performance from Eastman School of Music, where he studied choral and orchestral conducting under Samuel Adler. After graduation, he went on to train with Hugo Fiorato, Conductor of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and to earn an MA in composition from Columbia University.

During the 1980s, Mr. Crawford founded and led two Connecticut orchestras: the Fairfield Orchestra and the period instrument Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy. In 1999 Mr. Crawford founded the American Classical Orchestra, bringing along the internationally recognized period musicians already performing in his Connecticut ensembles.

Over the years, Thomas Crawford has attracted top guest artists including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, André Watts, Dawn Upshaw, Richard Goode, Monica Huggett and Vladimir Feltsman; and Mr. Crawford has produced recordings with - among others - the great American pianists Malcolm Bilson and Keith Jarrett.

A passionate activist determined to bring the beauty of period music to a wider audience, Mr. Crawford has been recognized for the orchestra's dynamic music outreach to New York City schoolchildren, and for the lively and informative talks he gives, that precede each ACO concert.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA

The American Classical Orchestra is an orchestra dedicated to performing music from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. As a period instrument ensemble, ACO's mission is to present the music as the composers might have heard it in their time using instruments and techniques from when the music was written. The American Classical Orchestra strives to present historically-informed performances that add to the cultural landscape of NYC.

Founded by Artistic Director Thomas Crawford in 1984 as The Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy in Fairfield Connecticut, the American Classical Orchestra moved to New York City in 2005. Since moving to New York City, ACO has established itself as the leading period instrument ensemble in the City. The American Classical Orchestra's annual concert series, held largely at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, has garnered critical acclaim.

In 2001, the American Classical Orchestra was invited to perform at the Metropolitan Museum during an exhibition entitled Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825 - 1861. The ACO presented two works premiered in New York during that time period. Additional highlights of ACO's 30 years include appearing as part of the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series, a sold-out 25th Anniversary performance of the Beethoven 9th Symphony at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and a staged a performance of Handel's opera Alceste as part of the American Classical Orchestra's survey of Handel's work during Handelfest in 2014.

The American Classical Orchestra has numerous recordings with renowned artists such as Malcolm Bilson and R.J. Kelley. Among the works recorded by the American Classical Orchestra are the complete wind concerti by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (featuring ACO's principal players as soloists), Mozart's Symphony No. 14, K.144 and Mozart's three Piano Concerti, K.107, with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson. In 2010, the American Classical Orchestra released a recording of Baroque oboe concerti with oboist Marc Schachman on the Centaur label.

The American Classical Orchestra is dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of classical music through educational programs. Through its in-school programs, family concert series, and community outreach programs the orchestra has inspired hundreds of thousands of young students and musicians. The ACO's educational mission is to spread historically-informed performance practices to new generations and instill a love for the music of the Baroque, Classical and early Romantic periods. For this work, the American Classical Orchestra was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and Early Music America prize. An unusual feature of ACO concerts is that Music Director Thomas Crawford gives the pre-concert lecture, giving the audience first-hand insights into the performance.

MISSION STATEMENT

The American Classical Orchestra recreates the sound world of the master composers.

The ACO is devoted to preserving and performing the repertoire of 17th, 18th and 19th century composers. By playing the music on original instruments and using historic performance technique, we attempt to recreate the sounds an audience would have experienced when the music was written and first performed. We pass along skills and appreciation for this practice to future generations through concert performances and educational programs.

Because period instruments were made of different materials, they produce a profoundly different sound from the 20th century instruments used in modern orchestras. Historical instruments, with their softer and more transparent, yet sometimes edgier tone, produce a delicacy in the gentler phrases and a pungent bite in the stronger passages. Using period instruments, the ACO can, in the 21st century, bring audiences closer to the musical genius of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and other master composers.

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