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Thomas Crawford to Conduct American Classical Orchestra in Concert, Today

On Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 8:00PM at Alice Tully Hall, the American Classical Orchestra, a 50-piece period instrument orchestra devoted to preserving and performing the repertoire of 17th, 18th and 19th century composers, presents its opening night concert of its 32nd Season. The program, which will be conducted by Thomas Crawford, will include Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 'Scottish', Berlioz's Les nuits d'été with mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau, and Cipriani Potter's Symphony No. 10. Artistic Director and Founder Thomas Crawford says of this program, "In Mendelssohn's stormy Scottish Symphony, period instruments enliven the thrilling orchestration and memorable tunes for which the composer is so beloved. In Berlioz's evocative Les nuits d'été, the ACO proudly introduces the extraordinary young American mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau. A rarely heard symphony by British composer Cipriani Potter completes a concert that takes the audience back into the luxurious sonorities of the Romantic Era."


Maestro Thomas Crawford will present a Pre-Concert Lecture at 7:00PM on September 22.


AVERY AMEREAU, mezzo- soprano

Mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau has garnered much attention for the unique quality of her voice and sensitivity to interpretation.

Highlights of the 2016-17 season include her Metropolitan Opera debut as the madrigal singer in Manon Lescaut, the title role of Carmen with Opera Columbus, and a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her debut with the Festival. On the concert stage, she will sing Handel's Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and appear with Santa Fe Pro Musica in a program of early music arias.

Recent highlights include Olga in Eugene Onegin, the 3rd Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and Mme. de la Haltière in Cendrillon at The Juilliard School, where she was also seen as the title role in The Rape of Lucretia, which she covered at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in Fiona Shaw's acclaimed production. Recent concert engagements include the Duruflé Requiem with Voices of Ascension, an evening of Bach Cantatas with the Toledo Symphony, and Martin's Golgotha with the New Amsterdam Singers, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Santa Cruz Symphony, and a debut at the Spoleto Festival in Beethoven's Choral Fantasie.

A native of Jupiter, Florida, Ms. Amereau received her Bachelor of Music degree at Mannes College, and her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School studying under Edith Wiens. She studied at the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, under the tutelage of Malcolm Martineau, Ann Murray, and John Fisher, among others. She is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at Juilliard, where she is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.


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.


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.


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.


Tickets can be purchased on, or by calling Center Charge (212-721-6500), by calling the Alice Tully Hall Box Office (212-671-4050), David Geffen Hall Box Office (212-875-5030), 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).

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