American Classical Orchestra Announces Concerts For 35th Anniversary Season In 2019-2020
American Classical Orchestra (ACO) today announces its programming for the 2019-20 season-the orchestra's 35th year of presenting historically accurate, engaging, and educational concerts led by Artistic Director and Founder Thomas Crawford. ACO performs four concerts at Lincoln Center; two salon concerts; a 35th anniversary gala benefit; a performance at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer; a family concert and instrument petting zoo in Norwalk, CT; and Cycle II of its three-year Sfzp Fortepiano Project, including a performance at New York Society for Ethical Culture.
American Classical Orchestra continues its innovative Concert Preview this season, beginning each concert with a lively introduction led by Maestro Crawford and supported by the full orchestra performing excerpts of the program to come. Rather than a lecture, these previews are an invitation to both seasoned and first-time concertgoers to connect with the music on a deeper, more personal level.
Of the 35th season, Maestro Crawford says, "American Classical Orchestra is New York City's own Classical-era period orchestra, one of very few in the world. Our 2019-2020 season celebrates three major milestones: the 35th anniversary of the orchestra, the 20th for its education outreach program Classical Music for Kids (CMK), and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. This year's expanded programming includes collaborations with world-renowned soloists including violinist Aisslinn Nosky, fortepianist Petra Somlai, and recorder-player Horacio Franco. In May 2020, Cycle II of The Sfzp Fortepiano Projectcenters on Beethoven's works for fortepiano, including a marathon performance of all thirty-two piano sonatas. Having reached over 300,000 schoolchildren, Classical Music for Kids will connect to thousands more this year as we reprise one of our most acclaimed programs, The Magic Recorder. A wealth of great music awaits this season, and we look forward to sharing it with you."
This season, ACO welcomes artist-in-residence Horacio Franco, a world-renowned Mexican recorder virtuoso whose vast repertoire ranges from Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque to new works written specifically for him by composers from around the world. Franco is in demand as a soloist, appearing frequently with top orchestras across Mexico and internationally. He also works to dispel the image of the recorder as a staid or limited instrument through innovative concerts, recording projects, and outreach programs. Franco has taught recorder across six continents, bringing music education to a number of underserved and marginalized populations around the world. Franco will be featured in several ACO salons and concerts and, alongside Maestro Thomas Crawford, will lead ACO's Classical Music for Kids program The Magic Recorder.
The 35th season opens on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 8:00pm with Celebrate! at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The program includes Rossini's witty Semiramide Overture as well as Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 featuring fortepianist David Belkovski, winner of ACO's 2019 Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition. On the cusp of Beethoven's 250th birthday, the concert also features his Symphony No. 2, a work both noble and joyful.
Hidden Treasure on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 8:00pm at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer highlights ACO in a performance of Jan Zelenka's Missa Omnium Sanctorum together with the ACO Chorus and soloists. A composer of high esteem in the musically-renowned Dresden court of the 18th century, strikingly little is known about Jan Zelenka, and not even a portrait of him remains. One of his final works, Missa Omnium Sanctorum displays the daring harmonies and virtuosic solo writing characteristic of Zelenka at the height of his musical powers.
On Friday, November 15, 2019, ACO's annual gala celebrates its 35th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of its Classical Music for Kids program at The Harvard Club of New York City. The celebration includes a cocktail reception with live jazz trio, dinner and dancing to a 9-piece band, and a performance by ACO's Season 35 artist-in-residence, Horacio Franco.
ACO's season continues on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7pm at the National Arts Club's Grand Gallery with Viento Caliente, a salon concert featuring recorder player Horacio Franco and ACO bassoonist Stephanie Corwin in a program of Vivaldi concerti.
ACO presents Noël, a holiday salon concert, on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7pm at St. Ignatius of Antioch, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The festive program includes Scarlatti's Christmas Cantata featuring critically acclaimed soprano soloist Nola Richardson, as well as Corelli's Christmas Concerto and De Lalande's Noëls.
The season continues at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 8:00pm with Like as the Hart, a concert featuring Mendelssohn's Psalm 42 "Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks," Gluck's De Profundis "Out of the depths," and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1.
ACO brings its engaging Classical Music for Kids program to Norwalk, Connecticut on Sunday, March 8, 2020 for The Magic Recorder: A Family Concert + Instrument Petting Zoo at Norwalk Concert Hall. The 1:45pm instrument Petting Zoo, sponsored by CT School of Music and Instrument Rental, is followed by a 3pm Family Concert featuring Vivaldi's "Winter" from Four Seasons and concerti by Vivaldi and Bach with Horacio Franco and Stephanie Corwin.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 8:00pm, ACO presents Concerti Stravaganti at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The program features Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4; Bach's Violin Concerto No. 2 with star period violinist Aisslinn Nosky; Corelli's Concerto Grosso in C, Opus 6, No. 10; Vivaldi's Recorder Concerto in G, RV 312 featuring Horacio Franco; and Vivaldi's Bassoon Concerto in A minor with Stephanie Corwin.
ACO's final subscription concert of the season, High Fives - ACO @ 35 on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 8:00pm at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, celebrates the 250th birthday of Beethoven, a composer whose work is at the core of ACO's repertoire. The program includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 paired with Schubert's Symphony No. 5. Coinciding with the ACO's Sfzp Fortepiano Project, the concert includes Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring Hungarian virtuoso Petra Somlai on fortepiano.
ACO's Sfzp Project continues with Cycle II: Beethoven from Wednesday May 6 to Saturday, May 9, 2020. The Sfzp (sfortzpiano) Project, in its second cycle of a three-year initiative, focuses on Beethoven and his works for piano. In addition to the May 7th concert at Lincoln Center, Sfzp 2020 will include fortepiano master classes, a chamber music concert, the second Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition, and a marathon performance of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas.
The culminating concert of Cycle II of The Sfzp Project, Appassionata, takes place on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 7:30pm at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. The program includes Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, Op. 133, selections from Beethoven's Volkslieder featuring tenor Lawrence Jones, and Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata." The winners of the second Sfzp International Fortepiano Competition will also be announced.
*Photo by Chris Lee