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American Classical Orchestra to Perform Music Of Mozart, Myslive'cek, Beethoven & Strauss at Alice Tully Hall, 6/5

On Thursday, June 5 at 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall, The American Classical Orchestra presents its season finale in a concert of music written in or for Prague at the end of the 18th century.

The program will include Symphony No. 38, 'Prague' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Symphony in D by Josef Myslive'cek; Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 15 by Ludwig van Beethoven with pianist Bart van Oort and Sounds of Moldavia Waltz by Johann Strauss, Sr. The concert will be conducted by Thomas Crawford.

Dutch pianist Bart Van Oort makes his ACO debut with this concert. A leading authority in performance practice on early pianos, he is a professor at the Royal Academy in The Hague. Mr. Van Oort will perform on a replica of a 1791 Anton Walter fortepiano as played by Beethoven.

The concert will be preceded by a Pre-Concert Lecture at 7:00PM by Maestro Thomas Crawford.

Prague is an ancient and fabled city that has attracted Europe's greatest musicians for centuries. The city remained enamored of Mozart even in his later years. The young Beethoven chose The Golden City to premiere his first piano concerto with himself as soloist.

Long before Mozart's popular successes in Prague, Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus had befriended and admired Prague's finest composer Josef Myslive?ek, a favorite Czech musician, he wrote compositions in all idioms, opera, chamber music, and symphony. The ACO will perform a high-spirited Symphony in D, scored for oboes, horns and strings that was premiered in Prague around 1770.

The great Prague Symphony, written in 1786, is considered by musicians, scholars, and audiences alike to be among Mozart's most important masterpieces. The work starts and ends with a significantly higher level of virtuosity than all his earlier symphonies. The writing for wind instruments is more advanced, the rhythms more complex, the harmonies more varied than ever. The opening flourishes burst out with unprecedented command.

Beethoven was in his late twenties when he composed his first of five ingenious piano concertos. Yet, already by the time he premiered Concerto No. 1 in Prague in 1800, he was experiencing hearing loss. He developed an early reputation as a piano virtuoso and composer, and his contributions to the piano concerto genre would be seminal. The debut of his first major concerted work was a great success. This was due to his emergence as a revolutionary thinker and a bold new voice in the already popular piano concerto genre. No one in Prague, nor anywhere else, had heard such a use of the piano, such radical key changes, such extraordinary dynamic contrasts, as Beethoven employed in his very first concerto.

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.

After completing his modern piano degree at the Royal Conservatory at The Hague in 1983, Bart van Oort studied fortepiano with Stanley Hoogland, also at the Royal Conservatory. In 1986 he won the first prize and the special Audience prize at the Mozart Fortepiano Competition in Brugges, Belgium, and he subsequently studied with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Historical Performance Practice in 1993. He has performed at festivals in Utrecht, Florence, Berlin, Antwerp, Brugges, Melbourne, Brisbane, York, Clisson, Montpellier, Moscow, and Esterhaza, in the USA and New Zealand, and has given lectures and masterclasses at the conservatories of Brussels, Paris, London, Rome, Moscow, Helsinki, Oslo, Bucharest, Sofia, Moscow, Stavanger, Bergen, Perugia, Trieste, Sydney, Adelaide, Wellington, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Juilliard, Bloomington, Old Domion, and Western Ontario. Bart van Oort teaches fortepiano and is a lecturer in Historical Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (The Netherlands).

Since 1997 Van Oort has made more than fifty recordings of chamber music and solo repertory, including the prize-winning 4-CD box set The Art of the Nocturne in the Nineteenth Century, the Complete Haydn Piano Trios (10 CDs) with his ensemble the Van Swieten Society, with Malcolm Bilson and five other fortepianists the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas and, with four other fortepianists, the Complete Haydn Piano Sonatas. In 2006 Bart van Oort completed a ten-year, 14-CD recording project, the Complete Works for Piano solo and Piano four-hands of Mozart. With his ensemble The Van Swieten Society, Bart van Oort recorded Beethoven's Beethoven arrangements by Beethoven, chamber music by Carl Maria Von Weber and The Young Genius Felix Mendelssohn.

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