About The American Classical Orchestra
The American Classical Orchestra celebrates classical music performance on original
instruments, specializing in repertoire from the 17th-19th centuries. Founded
by Music Director Thomas Crawford in 1985 as the Orchestra of the Old Fairfield
Academy, the Orchestra works to render more faithfully music of the Baroque, Classic,
and early Romantic eras. Interested in reviving and preserving the art of playing
original instruments, the ACO also fosters the education of musicians and the
public in authentic performance technique.
The Orchestras mission is to bring classical music to the widest possible
audience through an annual subscription concert series, education programs for
adults, Classical Music for Kids (an education program for school children and
their families) and performance engagements at public and private locations throughout
the year. Because the Orchestra is unique in Connecticut and the Tri-State region,
it can offer a wide array of innovative educational programs and concerts to underserved
Comprised of leading period instrumentalists in the New York metropolitan region,
the American Classical Orchestra has achieved significant critical acclaim through
its performances and professional recordings, concretizing regularly in Connecticut
and New York.
In 2000 and 2001, the Orchestra performed extensively in New York including extraordinary
new venues; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Yacht Club, the Colony
Club, and the Union Club. During the spring of 1992, the Orchestra appeared twice
at Lincoln Center on the Great Performers Series. The remarkable progress led
to recordings with the internationally acclaimed fortepianist Malcolm Bilson,
his first with an American orchestra. Both compact discs, featuring Mozart piano
concerti, are available worldwide on the MusicMasters label.
In 1995, the Orchestra released its third commercial recording, which includes
Beethovens Sextet, Opus 81b and Septet, Opus 20. A review in the prestigious
American Record Guide said, these are wonderfully buoyant performances
horn players are so skillful that one would almost doubt that they really used
period instruments, were it not for the timbre. These equal the best performances
now available. What more needs to be said?
The American Classical Orchestra has made several international recordings including
the complete Mozart wind concerti using its principal players as soloists. These
three compact discs, released as a boxed set in January 1998 by Musical Heritage
Society, sold out in its first printing. They mark the first comprehensive survey
of the Mozart wind concerti by an American period instrument ensemble and conductor.