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September 09, 2009, 7:30 PM

Exploring Beethoven's Sound World: Historically Informed Practice and the Seventh Symphony

Music Performance & Discussion
Participants: Stephanie Chase, Thomas Crawford

Composed in 1811-1812, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony in A Major is a seminal work of art. Its opening chords lay out the entire harmonic structure like the foundation of a building; the famed slow movement features an ostinato that is martial in character and builds gradually from whisper to roar, and the finale builds on a repeating and ultimately triumphant motive. Conductor Thomsas Crawford will discuss the historic and musicological contexts of this great symphony and its performance challenges, bringing a unique perspective from his extensive work as a conductor with both modern and period ensembles. As part of the discussion, violinist Stephanie Chase will demonstrate the difference between period and modern violin, while oboist Marc Shachman will demonstrate the difference between period and modern oboes.

Stephanie Chase is a violinist who has performed as soloist with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. She is also Artistic Director and co-founder of the Music of the Spheres Society, which is dedicated to exploring the links between music, philosophy, and the sciences. She teaches violin at New York University's Steinhardt School. In her spare time, she writes music arrangements and studies Stradivari violins. In late May 2008 she performed one of her signature works, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

Thomas Crawford is Music Director and Founder of the American Classical Orchestra. Acknowledged as NYC's leading period instrument orchestra, the American Classical Orchestra features instruments that are historically accurate, with the purpose of better recreating the "sound world" of the Classical era. Crawford is active in numerous musical disciplines as conductor, composer, and organist. As a conductor, he is a champion of both new American music and historically accurate performance styles of the Baroque and Classical repertoire. With the ACO he has performed at leading venues, including the Lincoln Center "Great Performers" Series and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a composer, Crawford is active in many idioms, especially vocal music, and he is a passionate music educator of both children and adults.

The American Classical Orchestra performed Beethoven's Seventh Symphony at Alice Tully Hall on September 17th, 2009.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


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