ACO Presents Joyous Bach At Lincoln Center, Plus Fortepiano Competition

ACO Presents Joyous Bach At Lincoln Center, Plus Fortepiano Competition

American Classical Orchestra's (ACO) 34th season continues on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 8:00pm with Joyous Bach, a celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach, led by Artistic Director and Founder Thomas Crawford, at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Stepping in front of the orchestra, ACO's renowned principal flutist Sandra Miller, Historic Performance Professor of Flute at The Juilliard School, will play Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2, BWV 1067 for Flute and Strings. The acclaimed ACO Chorus will join the orchestra for beloved cantatas Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 and Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106. Nola Richardson (soprano), Sara Couden(contralto), and Joseph Beutel (bass-baritone) will be among the step-out soloists.

Thomas Crawford says of the program, "This program reveals Bach's unequalled capacity to reach the range of human emotions."

Later the same week, on March 8 and 9, 2019, ACO will kick off its newest initiative, The Sfzp Project, with fortepiano masterclasses, recitals and chamber music concerts, as well as the first Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition, co-sponsored by American Classical Orchestra and the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York.

With the goal of attracting young keyboardists to the study of fortepiano, The Sfzp Project brings together today's master performers and teachers-including Malcolm Bilson, Robert Levin, Steven Lubin, Vladimir Feltsman, and Alexei Lubimov-as mentors to the next generation of pianists. Internationally-renowned artists such as Sylvia Berry, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Claire Chevalier, Bart van Oort, Jiayan Sun, Yi-heng Yang, and Eric Zivian are also slated to perform in Sfzp Project concerts.

Through its fortepiano competition, master classes, and concert presentations, The Sfzp Project will elevate the fortepiano to the forefront of the HIP (historically-informed performance) community, players and public alike. The Sfzp Project will run in three cycles:

Cycle I, 2019 - Classical Period: W.A. Mozart, Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Christian Bach, C.P.E. Bach, and Josef Haydn

Cycle II, 2020 - Beethoven

Cycle III, 2021 - Romantic Period

The final round of the Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Judges will select two top prize winners from a pool of five semi-finalists. In addition to a $5,000 cash prize, the first prize winner will be awarded an appearance as featured soloist with the American Classical Orchestra during its 2019-20 season at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall; a solo appearance on the opening concert of the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York; and a professional concert engagement at the Valley of the Moon Music Festival in Sonoma, California in summer 2019. The second prize winner will be awarded a $2,500 cash prize, as well as a solo appearance on the opening concert of the Academy of Fortepiano Performance. All five final round finalists will receive a full scholarship to the Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York, to take place May 25 - June 2, 2019.

The full schedule for The Sfzp Project: Cycle I can be found here:

Program Information
Joyous Bach
Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 8:00pm
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center | 1941 Broadway | New York, NY
Tickets: Single tickets start at $35 and are on sale at

Bach: Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106
Bach: Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
The ACO Chorus & soloists
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067 for Flute and Strings
Sandra Miller, Flauto Traverso

Friday, March 8, 2019
DiMenna Center for Classical Music | 450 West 37th Street | New York, NY
10:00am - 12:00pm: Masterclass with Steven Lubin
1:00pm - 3:00pm: Masterclass with Malcolm Bilson
4:00pm: Solo Piano Recital Featuring Yi-heng Yang, Eric Zivian, and Jiayan Sun

Saturday, March 9, 2019
Ethical Culture Society | 2 West 64th Street | New York, NY
12:00pm - 2:00pm: Final Round of Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition
7:30pm: Chamber Music Concert
Tickets: General Admission $25; Students with ID free

J.C. Bach: Piano Quintet in G, WB66
Eric Zivian, fortepiano
Krista Bennion Feeney, violin
David Cerutti, viola
Myron Lutzke, cello

C.P.E. Bach: Rondo in C Minor
Malcolm Bilson, fortepiano

W.A. Mozart: Piano Trio in B-Flat, K. 502
The Mozartean Players
Steven Lubin, fortepiano
Anca Nicolau, violin
Myron Lutzke, cello

Josef Haydn: Sauschneider Capriccio in G Major
Eric Zivian, fortepiano

Haydn: Piano Trio in E-flat "London Trio", Hob. 29
Malcolm Bilson, fortepiano
Stephanie Chase, violin
Myron Lutzke, cello

Mozart: Piano Quartet in E-Flat
Eric Zivian, fortepiano
Krista Bennion Feeney, violin
David Cerutti, viola
Myron Lutzke, cello

About Sandra Miller
Sandra Miller, a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, has been the recipient of a Solo Recitalist's Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, First Prize in the Bodky Competition for Early Music, and a New York recital debut sponsored by the Concert Artists Guild. She has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad, with Concert Royal, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, American Bach Soloists, Sinfonia New York, Toronto's Tafelmusik and Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, among others. Ms. Miller was for many years Professor of Music at Purchase College's Conservatory of Music (SUNY), and instructor of baroque flute at the Mannes College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, in the City University of New York's doctoral program and as Kulas Visiting Artist at Case Western Reserve University. In 2009, she joined the faculty of Juilliard's new historical performance program. Her solo recordings include the complete Bach flute sonatas and, on six- and eight-keyed classical flutes, the three Mozart concertos.

About Thomas Crawford
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. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with renowned soloists including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, André Watts, Dawn Upshaw, Richard Goode, and Vladimir Feltsman; and has produced recordings with great American pianists Malcolm Bilson and Keith Jarrett.

A passionate activist determined to bring the beauty of period music to a wider audience, Crawford has been recognized for the ACO's dynamic music outreach to New York City schoolchildren. He 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 a Master of Arts in composition from Columbia University.

About American Classical Orchestra
Described as "simply splendid" by The New York Times, the American Classical Orchestra (ACO) is a leader in the field of historically accurate performance. A period instrument ensemble devoted to preserving and performing the repertoire of 17th, 18th, and 19th century composers, ACO recreates the sound world of the masters using priceless historic instruments, as well as era-specific performance techniques. Comprised of the world's top period instrumentalists, the ACO provides audiences with the opportunity to experience classical music in the specific way it was intended to be heard.

Highlights of the ACO's history include a concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the Museum's exhibition Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825 - 1861, a debut concert on the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series, a sold-out 25th Anniversary performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and a staged performance of Handel's opera Alceste as part of the ACO's Handelfest 2014.

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, emerging as the City's premier period instrument ensemble.

The ACO is dedicated to the appreciation and understanding of classical music through educational programs, and spreading historically-informed performance practices to new generations. In order to provide audiences with first-hand insight into the music, Music Director Thomas Crawford gives informative concert previews with live musical examples from the orchestra prior to each concert. Through its immersive in-school program, Classical Music for Kids, the orchestra has inspired hundreds of thousands of young students and musicians. For this work, the ACO was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and Early Music America prize. For more information, visit


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