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

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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.”

The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim (March 21, 2014): "The hourlong semi-staged performance of “Alceste,” which marked the culmination of this year’s Handelfest, was sensitively directed by Cynthia Edwards. She made the most of the radiant young members of the American Classical Orchestra Chorus, who moved about the stage with natural grace. Two dancers, Lindsey Jones and Weaver Rhodes, fleshed out the silent roles of Alceste and Admetus, the lovers separated by death and then reunited. Their elegant movements, choreographed by John Heginbotham, combined stylized gestures and a certain sweet diffidence that fit the music well."

The New York Classical Review, George Grella (March 20, 2014): "The lingering impression from Wednesday night’s concluding Handelfest 2014 concert, played by the American Classical Orchestra and singers at Alice Tully Hall, is that New York City has its own bona fide early music orchestra, and a good one."

The New York Times, James R. Oestreich (March 5, 2014): "...the portrayal was strong and moving in its own right, and it was well matched by that of the sturdy mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken as Micah, Samson’s faithful friend, constantly assessing the damage to his persona. Both sacrificed exactitude of pitch to expressiveness at times, though to generally good effect. The two bass-baritones — John Taylor Ward as Manoa, Samson’s father, and Andrew Padgett as the Philistine warrior Harapha — sang well. So did the soloists drawn from the excellent American Classical Orchestra Chorus, especially the sopranos Sarah Brailey and Marcy Richardson."

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.