The Clarion Orchestra is one of the oldest and most highly regarded period-instrument orchestras in America, founded in 1957 by conductor and musicologist Newell Jenkins. Revived in 2006 under the directorship of Steven Fox, the Orchestra has since risen to prominence as a fresh and innovative force on the international period performance scene.
The ensemble comprises many of the finest period instrument performers in the country, players who are renowned also as chamber music and solo performers. Many of The Clarion Orchestra's members serve on distinguished faculties, such as The Juilliard School, Mannes School of Music, Yale School of Music, Bard College and SUNY Purchase, among others. The orchestra has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum, the Frick Collection, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Morgan Library, and at Bargemusic, in repertoire that has ranged from the early Baroque to the early Romantic. The ensemble has received critical acclaim, being called ‘stellar’ and ‘polished’ by The New York Times, and ‘legendary’ by The New Yorker. In 2009, the Clarion Orchestra was featured in the Brooklyn Academy of Music's critically acclaimed production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, staged by Jonathan Miller. In recent years, The Orchestra has been a recipient of several Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Established in 2006 to complement The Clarion Orchestra, The Clarion Choir has become one of the leading professional vocal ensembles in the country.
With members equally at home on the solo stage and in ensemble singing, The Clarion Choir has received widespread critical acclaim, and was invited to partake in the Lincoln Center White Light Festival as part of the inaugural concert of the new organ at Alice Tully Hall. Later in the same year, the choir was invited back to Lincoln Center to join the Juilliard ensemble Axiom for a performance of Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel at the Tully Scope Festival, which was praised as a ‘pensive and mystical performance’ by The New York Times. The ensemble has performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Morgan Library, the Quebec International Festival of Sacred Music, The Twelfth Night Festival, and at Bargemusic with The Knights chamber orchestra. Last season, in a performance hailed as ‘stunning’ by The New York Times, the Choir gave the New York premiere of the lost Russian masterwork, Passion Week, by Maximilian Steinberg, and recorded the work for release this season.
Conductor Steven Fox is Artistic Director of The Clarion Orchestra and The Clarion Choir, and Founder of Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg, which he established as Russia’s first period-instrument orchestra at the age of 21. In recent seasons he has made his debut as a guest conductor with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. From 2008 to 2013 he was an Associate Conductor at New York City Opera, and he has served as Assistant Conductor for the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program and Juilliard Opera. Highlights of the coming season include conducting a new production of Mozart's Magic Flute at l’Opéra de Québec and leading Clarion for the second year in performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Recognized as a leader in his generation of conductors, Steven has been called 'an esteemed director' by The New Yorker, 'visionary' by BBC Music Magazine, and ‘a conductor to watch’ by Seen and Heard International. Of a recent performance with The Clarion Choir, The New York Times praised his ‘deft guidance’ and wrote: ‘An inspired interpretation. Mr. Fox revealed the drama of the score with vivid dynamic shadings. Intonation and pacing were exemplary throughout the performance.’
Steven graduated as a Senior Fellow with High Honors from Dartmouth College and with 'distinction' from the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he was later named an Associate in 2010. He has given master classes and clinics at Dartmouth College, The Juilliard School, and Yale University, where he served for two years as preparatory conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum.
James Estrin/The New York Times/Redux
‘Never seen in 20 years, I swear. The 100 choristers were ready to follow their conductor to the end of the world, because the presence of Steven Fox made all the difference. The American conductor distinguishes himself [with] astonishing results from his troops. What work he has accomplished.’ Le Soleil, on debut with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, 23 April 2015