American Classical Orchestra Presents AS THE MASTERS HEARD IT Tonight

Tonight, March 12 at 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall, the American Classical Orchestra, conducted byMaestro Thomas Crawford, presents Schubert's Symphony No. 9 'Great', Mozart's Mass in C 'Coronation', featuring world-renowned soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano; Sarah Craft, alto; Marc Molomot, tenor and Michael Kelly, baritone with the American Classical Orchestra Chorus and Beethoven's Egmont Overture and 'Christ on the Mount of Olives' (excerpt). Maestro Thomas Crawford gives a Pre-Concert Lecture at 7:00PM.

Thomas Crawford, ACO Founder and Music Director, says: "Mozart's Coronation Mass, his most popular and tuneful short mass, is performed by the acclaimed ACO Chorus and guest soloists. The Mass was written in 1779 while Mozart was employed at the Salzburg Cathedral, hence its grandeur. The Coronation Mass remains a favorite because it moves seamlessly through a wide spectrum of emotions and dynamics. The Schubert 'Great' Symphony No. 9 is thrilling to hear when played on period instruments. The numerous melodies take on an Austrian 'woodsy' flavor when played on early 19th century winds. The breakneck speed of the treacherous finale takes on new power when performed on gut strings and lighter bows. When Mendelssohn championed the Schubert 9th in Paris and London a decade after Schubert's death, he found that even professional orchestras refused to play it because it was too difficult and fatiguing for their fingers!

Beethoven's Egmont Overture, in less than ten minutes of music, exhibits the composer's revolutionary spirit. The dark and brooding minor key of the opening yields to bursts of courage depicting the heroic life of Count Egmont. A guillotine scene follows, a brief pious prayer, and then a blazing allegro replete with chariots of fire."

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Thomas Crawford, conductor

Thomas C. Crawford, Music Director and Founder of the American Classical Orchestra, is active in numerous musical disciplines as conductor, composer, and organist. As a conductor, Mr. Crawford is a champion of both historically accurate performance styles of the Baroque and Classical repertoire and of new American music. Mr. Crawford has attracted many outstanding artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, André Watts, Dawn Upshaw, Richard Goode, Victor Borge, Monica Huggett and Vladimir Feltsman. He is responsible for the American Classical Orchestra's numerous international recordings with such great artists as Malcolm Bilson and Keith Jarrett. He is also a composer in many idioms and has been especially prolific in vocal music. Mr. Crawford has been recognized for his teaching of children and adults through school programs and lectures.

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano

Soprano Sherezade Panthaki's international success has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship and vividly passionate interpretations: "mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines" (The New York Times). Ms. Panthaki has developed ongoing collaborations with many of the world's leading early music interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, John Scott, Matthew Halls, and Masaaki Suzuki, with whom she made her New York Philharmonic debut.

Highlights of her past and current seasons include Handel's Messiah with Bach Collegium Japan, the National Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, and Nashville Symphony; Handel's Saul with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Bach cantatas and oratorios with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Galatea in Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Mark Morris Dance Group; Handel's Solomon with the Radio Kamer Filharmonie; Handel at Carnegie Hall with William Christie and the Yale Philharmonia; Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Orchestra of St. Luke's; Mozart's Exsultate jubilate and Requiem, with the Washington Bach Consort; and Bach's St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, and Brahms Requiem with St. Thomas Fifth Avenue.

Ms. Panthaki's repertoire extends well beyond the music of the Renaissance and Baroque to Orff's Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, Rachmaninoff's Vocalise and Strauss lieder at the Bari International Music Festival, Britten's War Requiem with the Louisville Choral Arts Society, as well as solos in Stravinsky's Les Noces, Poulenc's Stabat Mater and Gloria.

Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. She earned a Masters degree from the University of Illinois.

Sarah Craft, alto

In opera, oratorio, and art song ranging from the Baroque to contemporary works, mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft is a versatile performer at home on stages throughout the world today. She recently returned from Paris where she participated in "The Song Continues: Paris Residency," working with the legendary Marilyn Horne and performing in a series of recitals and masterclasses presented by Carnegie Hall at the Opéra Bastille.

Last season she made her mainstage debut with the Caramoor Festival as Ninetta in Verdi's Les vêpres siciliennes and in various concerts there for which she was noted as a "young singer to watch out for". 2012 marked her Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall as the alto soloist in both Bach's Mass in B minor and Handel's Messiah with the National Chorale. She made her international debut in China in 2010 at the Macau International Music Festival as Second Woman in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.

Other notable performances have included Mahler's Symphony No.2 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Bach's Magnificat with Amor Artis, the title role in La Cenerentola with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and an appearance on NPR's This American Life live at BAM. Her solo concert performances have included Bach's Saint Matthew Passion, Copland's In the Beginning, Duruflé's Requiem, and Respighi's IL tramonto. Favorite opera roles have included Cherubino, Dorabella, Hansel, Dido, Hermia, and Cendrillon. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Ms. Craft earned her Bachelor's Degree (cum laude) in Italian and music from Dartmouth College and earned her master's degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas College of Music.

Marc Molomot, tenor

Possessed of a rare high-tenor voice, Marc Molomot enjoys an international opera and concert career. While best known for appearances with early music ensembles, and conductors including William Christie, John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas McGegan, and Andrew Parrott, Marc ventures regularly into other repertoire including Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Auber's 1830 opera Fra Diavolo, the title role in Britten's Albert Herring, the protagonist in Ziporyn's 2009 A House in Bali; and a leading role in Singier's 2011 Chat perché, which premiered at Paris's Amphithéâtre Bastille.

Marc's comedic gifts have been showcased in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea (Les Arts Florissants and William Christie); Offenbach's Les brigands (Opéra Toulon and Paris's Opéra Comique with François-Xavier Roth), and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias (Opéra de Lyon and Opéra Comique with Ludovic Morlot). Concert appearances have included the U.S. premiere of Dov Seltzer's Lament to Yitzhak with the New York Philharmonic, Orff's Carmina Burana and Berg's Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony, and the Evangelist in Bach's St. John and St. Matthew Passions - most recently with Andrew Parrott in New York, Kraków, Tel Aviv, and Trondheim, Norway. Marc's recording of Lully's Thésée with the Boston Early Music Festival was nominated for a Grammy.

Michael Kelly, baritone

Praised as "expressive and dynamic" and "vocally splendid", American baritone Michael Kelly continues to distinguish himself as a consummate artist, sought-after for his riveting interpretations of recital, concert and operatic repertoire.

This season, Mr. Kelly appears in recitals at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, in Houston Texas, and at the National Opera Center. He will perform world premieres by Matthew Aucoin and Mohammed Fairouz, and will appear in Faure's Requiem, Mozart's Coronation Mass, and Orff's Carmina Burana. He can be found on three soon-to-be released recordings of Schubert's Winterreise, Del Tredici's A Field Manual, and a recording of Britten's folk song settings.

Captivating audiences with his "exquisitely self-effacing" artistry, Mr. Kelly is a versatile and innovative vocalist, having performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Cathedral Choral Society, Mostly Mozart Festival, Opernhaus Zurich, Chicago Opera Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, Ars Lyrica, and Mercury Orchestra. His repertoire ranges from the baroque to modern. He made his European debut with Opernhaus Zürich in Handel's Rinaldo with William Christie and has performed in under the batons Herbert Blomstedt, Andreas Delfs, Jane Glover, James Levine, Anne Manson, Nicholas McGegan, Steven Osgood, Leonard Slatkin, and Stephen Stubbs. Michael has collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists Martin Katz, Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware and Brian Zeger.

Mr. Kelly has won a first prizes in 2013's Poulenc Competition and 2011's Joy in Singing. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard.

The American Classical Orchestra Chorus

The American Classical Orchestra Chorus is a renowned vocal group that joins the American Classical Orchestra for larger productions and works. The New York Classical Review writes, "The best thing about the 'Jubilate' is that it brought the ACO Chorus to the stage..." Comprised of professional vocalists from the New York Metro area, the ACO Chorus has quickly become of the pre-eminent period vocal groups in the City. Under the direction of Music Director, Thomas Crawford, the chorus has recently performed Handel's 'Samson' and 'Jubilate' at Alice Tully Hall receiving glowing reviews in the New York Times and New York Classical Review. "The best thing about the Jubilate is that it brought the ACO Chorus to the stage - and they are as fine as the Orchestra." New York Classical Review

American Classical Orchestra

The American Classical Orchestra (ACO), celebrating its 30th season, 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 and are emotionally captivating.

Founded by Music Director Thomas Crawford in 1985 as The Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy in Fairfield Connecticut, the American Classical Orchestra has been based in New York City since 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 and presented to pieces 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 staged a performance of Handel's operaAlceste as part of the American Classical Orchestra's survey of Handel's work during Handelfest in 2014. In 2014, ACO was asked to return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to perform as part of their 2014/15 Concerts for Members series.

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 forte pianist 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.

TICKET INFORMATION:

Tickets can be purchased on www.aconyc.org, lincolncenter.org or by calling Center Charge (212-721-6500) or by calling the Alice Tully Hall Box Office (212-671-4050) or in person at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office.

$85 Prime 1, $60 Prime 2, $45 Standard 1, $25 Standard 2 and $15 Student (only at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office with proper student ID).

PROGRAM

Schubert Symphony No. 9 'Great'

Mozart Mass in C 'Coronation'

Beethoven Egmont Overture

Beethoven 'Christ on the Mount of Olives' (excerpt)

WEBSITE

www.aconyc.org




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