Thomas Crawford will conduct the American Classical Orchestra in concert today
CONFERENCE BEFORE – CONCERT
Maestro Thomas Crawford will present a pre-concert lecture at 7:00 p.m. on September 22.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
AVERY AMEREAU, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-soprano Avery Amereau has garnered much attention for the unique quality of her voice and her sensitivity to interpretation.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include her Metropolitan Opera debut as a madrigal singer in Manon Lescaut, the title role in Carmen with Opera Columbus and a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her Festival debut. On stage, she will sing Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and perform with Santa Fe Pro Musica in a program of early music tunes.
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 reprized at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in Fiona Shaw’s acclaimed production. His recent concerts include Duruflé’s Requiem with Voices of Ascension, an evening of Bach Cantatas with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Martin’s Golgotha with the New Amsterdam Singers, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Santa Cruz and a debut at the Spoleto Festival in Beethoven’s Choir. Fancy.
A native of Jupiter, Florida, Ms. Amereau earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Mannes College and her Masters of Music degree from The Juilliard School 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 the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.
THOMAS CRAWFORD, Driver
Artistic Director and Founder of the American Classical Orchestra, Thomas Crawford is a champion of historically accurate performance styles of Baroque, Classical and Romantic music.
Mr. Crawford holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition and organ performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied choral and orchestral conducting under Samuel Adler. After graduating, he continued to train with Hugo Fiorato, conductor of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and earned a master’s degree in composition from Columbia University.
During the 1980s, Mr. Crawford founded and conducted two Connecticut orchestras: the Fairfield Orchestra and the Old Fairfield Academy Period Instrument Orchestra. In 1999, Mr. Crawford founded the American Classical Orchestra, bringing together internationally recognized period musicians who were 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 committed to bringing the beauty of period music to a wider audience, Mr. Crawford has been recognized for the orchestra’s dynamic musical outreach to New York City school children and for the lively and informative lectures he he gives before each ACO concert.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA
The American Classical Orchestra is an orchestra dedicated to the interpretation of the music of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. As a period instrument ensemble, the ACO’s mission is to present music as composers might have heard it in their day using the instruments and techniques of the period in which the music was written. The American Classical Orchestra strives to present historically informed performances that add to New York’s cultural landscape.
Founded by artistic director Thomas Crawford in 1984 as the Old Fairfield Academy Orchestra in Fairfield Connecticut, the American Classical Orchestra moved to New York in 2005. Since moving to New York, the ACO has established as the main ensemble of period instruments in the city. The American Classical Orchestra’s annual concert series, largely held in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, has won critical acclaim.
In 2001, the American Classical Orchestra was invited to perform at the Metropolitan Museum in an exhibition entitled Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825 – 1861. The ACO presents two works created in New York during this period. Other highlights of ACO’s 30th anniversary include participation in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, a sold-out 25th anniversary performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and 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 many recordings with renowned artists such as Malcolm Bilson and RJ Kelley. Among the works recorded by the American Classical Orchestra are the complete wind concertos of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (with principal soloists of the ACO), Mozart’s Symphony No. 14, K.144 and the three piano concertos by Mozart, K.107, with the fortepiano Malcolm Bilson. . In 2010, the American Classical Orchestra released a recording of baroque oboe concertos 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 school programs, family concert series and community outreach programs, the orchestra has inspired hundreds of thousands of young students and musicians. The educational mission of the ACO is to spread historically informed performance practices to new generations and to instill a love for the music of the Baroque, Classical and Early Romantic periods. For this work, the American Classical Orchestra received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Early Music America award. An unusual feature of ACO concerts is that music director Thomas Crawford gives the talk before the concert, giving the audience a first-hand look at the performance.
The American Classical Orchestra recreates the sound universe of the master composers.
The ACO is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the repertoire of composers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. By playing the music on original instruments and using historical performance technique, we try to recreate the sounds an audience would have felt when the music was first written and performed. We pass on the skills and appreciation of this practice to future generations through concerts and educational programs.
Because period instruments were made of different materials, they sound profoundly different from the 20th century instruments used in modern orchestras. The historical instruments, with their softer and more transparent, but sometimes sharper tone, produce a delicacy in the softer phrases and a stinging bite in the louder passages. By 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 at www.aconyc.org, lincolncenter.org or by calling Center Charge (212-721-6500), calling 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 Alice Tully Hall box office with appropriate student ID).