We are very excited about our entire 2016 Britt Orchestra season. On Opening night, Friday, August 5, Music Director Teddy Abrams opens the 2016 Britt Orchestra season with a new commission by celebrated Russian-American composer Lev Zhurbin, whom The New York Times has called, “strikingly original and soulful.” The Russian program continues with Shostakovich’s complex and powerful First Violin Concerto, featuring Ray Chen. Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said the great Maxim Vengerov.
Another highlight of our Season is the collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). On August 8, OSF company members Kate Hurster, Jeremy Peter Johnson, Michael Sharon and Britney Simpson will join the Britt Orchestra for a program that marries songs from recent OSF musicals with Shakespeare-inspired orchestral works by Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, William Walton and more.
We are also looking forward to introducing orchestral music to our youth throughout the 3 weeks of the Britt Orchestra season. With our efforts to increase community engagement, Britt’s year-round education programs have reached new levels of outreach and support. Thanks to the sponsorships of the Anna May Family Foundation, Coquille Tribal Community Fund and Southern Oregon Subaru, we will be offering six FREE children’s concerts starting at 10:00am on August 1, 3, 9, 10, 15 and 16. The young and young at heart are invited to join us in the Performance Garden for these concerts.
The Children’s Concerts create a fun and casual setting to help families introduce their children to orchestral instruments and symphonic music. All concert programs focus on interactivity with the audience, giving young audience members the chance to play music for themselves. We believe that early exposure to the creative dynamism of music increases the interest of children and families in musical activities, such as concert attendance, learning an instrument, and playing in a school ensemble.
As many of you know, Teddy Abrams is much more than our Music Director and Conductor. He is a passionate advocate for the arts and is 100% devoted to putting the Britt Orchestra and the village of Jacksonville on the map. Since Teddy joined the Britt family in 2014, the Britt Orchestra has benefited from his enthusiastic endorsements throughout the United States, with extensive coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle and Classical Voice North America, to name a few. Our wonderful Britt Orchestra and Jacksonville venue were just recently featured in Symphony, the magazine of the League of American Orchestras. To put this into perspective, this kind of industry recognition is something even big city orchestras dream of.
Kudos to the Britt family, the Orchestra, Board of Directors, staff, Britt Society Volunteers, Host Families, Sponsors and Patrons, like yourself. Your contributions have made this season all that it is.