The American Classical Orchestra celebrates classical music performance on authentic instruments, specializing in repertoire from the 17th to 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, Classical and early Romantic eras.
Interested in reviving and preserving the art of playing period instruments, the American Classical Orchestra also fosters the education of musicians and the public in authentic performance technique.
Comprised of leading period instrumentalists in the New York metropolitan region, the orchestra has achieved significant critical acclaim through its performances and its professional recordings in New York City and Connecticut.
The ACO has recorded the complete Mozart wind concerti, using its principal players as soloists. These three compact discs, mark the first comprehensive survey of the Mozart wind concerti by an American period-instrument ensemble and conductor.
Thomas Crawford, Artistic Director and Founder has conducted outstanding artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Dawn Upshaw. He has released numerous recordings with the ACO. Mr. Crawford has been recognized for his teaching of children and adults through school programs and lectures.
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 organ performance from the Eastman School of Music.
Mr. Crawford has led his orchestras in Carnegie Hall, on the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Crawford is also responsible for the orchestra’s numerous international recordings with such great artists as Malcolm Bilson and Keith Jarrett.