new york city's period instrument orchestra
performing at alice tully hall - lincoln center

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Classicalite, Steve Nagel (September 15, 2015): "Alice Tully Hall was rattling under standing ovations this Thursday, courtesy of American Classical Orchestra (ACO's) choice to begin its season with the thunderous clashes of three perennial Beethoven works: the "Lenore Overture No. 3," followed by the Emperor Concerto, and finally, Beethoven's 7th Symphony. ", Jon Sobel (September 11, 2015):"With rich harmonics, thrilling tension, and remarkable spatial awareness, the ACO made a thoroughly convincing case for how worthwhile it is to make the effort to present works like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 with original instruments. The all-Beethoven program made a stellar start to the orchestra’s new season."

The New York Times, James R. Oestreich (September 11, 2015): "The overture immediately opened the ears with delightfully crunchy sounds from the treacherous old valveless brasses. "

BWW Classical World, Marina Kennedy (June 22, 2015): "The magical moment of the evening occurred during Haydn's Concerto in C major for Cello and Orchestra, played by ACO principal cellist, Myron Lutzke performing on a 300 year old cello. Lutzke effortlessly executed the virtuosic maneuvers of the piece, including quadruple-stops, extended high-range passages, and displays of nimble, acrobatic fingering."

Classicalite, Jon Sobel (November 18, 2014): "The sublime original-instrument performance of J.S. Bach's B-minor Mass by the American Classical Orchestra and Chorus last Saturday night at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall reminded me that a capacity for new revelations is one of the things that make great music great."

The New York Times, Corinna da Foncseca-Wollheim (June 6, 2014): “A vibrant performance of Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony capped the concert of the American Classical Orchestra on Thursday at Alice Tully Hall and, with it, the ensemble’s season....The crisp and engaging program, conducted by the orchestra’s charismatic music director Thomas Crawford, also included the “Symphony in D” by Josef Myslivecek, a Czech composer Mozart befriended and admired; “Moldau-Klänge,” a collection of waltzes by the elder Johann Strauss; and an insightful performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 — which received its premiere in Prague in 1798 — by the gifted Dutch fortepianist Bart van Oort.”

Thomas C. Crawford

Thomas C. Crawford, Music Director of the American Classical Orchestra

Music Director and Conductor

Maestro Crawford's training as a conductor, composer, and impresario make him uniquely qualified to champion the cause of a period instrument orchestra for New York City. He has conducted world-renowned artists, including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, André Watts, Dawn Upshaw, Richard Goode, Victor Borge, Monica Huggett and Vladimir Feltsman. He has released numerous recordings with the ACO featuring artists such as Malcolm Bilson and Keith Jarrett. Mr. Crawford has been recognized for his dedication to music education through school programs and lectures.

As Music Director and Founder of the ACO, Mr. Crawford 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. He has distinguished himself as a composer in many idioms and has been especially prolific in vocal music.

Mr. Crawford founded the Fairfield Orchestra in 1980. In 1985 he also started the Orchestra of the Old Fairfield Academy, Connecticut's first regularly performing period instrument ensemble. In 1998, after achieving success in performances and professional recordings with both orchestras, Mr. Crawford changed the name of his ensembles to the American Classical Orchestra in order to focus exclusively on period instruments.

Mr. Crawford's orchestral training comes from Samuel Adler of the Eastman School of Music and from Hugo Fiorato, Conductor of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He holds a Master of Arts degree in composition from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Music degree in both composition and organ performance from the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Crawford has held church and choral directing positions in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He has served as Director of the Westchester Boys Choir and has guest conducted numerous oratorio choirs throughout the region. His choral training comes from Westminster Choir College in Princeton.