About Britt

Contact:
Jean Shirk, 510-332-4195 or jean@shirkmedia.com
Sara King Cole, Marketing Director, 541-690-3849, sara.king.cole@brittfest.org

Britt Orchestra’s 2016 season opens July 29 with world premiere of Michael Gordon’s Crater Lake-inspired commission, outdoors at Crater Lake National Park, followed by concerts with Yefim Bronfman, Jeremy Denk, Ray Chen, and jazz vocalist Halie Loren; Shakespeare and Song, a musical collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, world premiere of new Lev Zhurbin commission, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Mason Bates’s Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, Julia Wolfe’s Amber Waves of Grain, and Michael Gordon’s Crater Lake piece at the Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon

Orchestra season runs from July 29-August 20;
tickets on sale Friday, February 12 at 9 am

MEDFORD, OR (February 12, 2016) — Britt’s Music Director and Conductor Teddy Abrams announced the 2016 Britt Orchestra season at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, the Orchestra’s home in Southern Oregon. The series at the Pavilion is preceded on July 29 and 30 with outdoor concerts at Crater Lake National Park, featuring the new world premiere Britt Festival commission by New York-based composer Michael Gordon, inspired by his experiences at Crater Lake. The Orchestra’s three-week season at the Britt Pavilion begins August 5 and includes Yefim Bronfman as soloist in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2; Jeremy Denk performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1; a collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) company members that celebrates music inspired by Shakespeare and songs from recent OSF productions; the world premiere of a new Britt Festival commission by Russian-American violist and composer Lev Zhurbin; and performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, and Mason Bates’ 30-minute, large-scale work for orchestra, Anthology of Fantastic Zoology.

Violinist Ray Chen performs Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and soprano Celena Shafer, mezzo-soprano Lauren Eberwein, and vocalist Halie Loren are soloists with the Orchestra, which also performs Copland’s Symphony No. 3, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The Crater Lake Project commission composed by Michael Gordon will also be performed at the Britt Pavilion, closing this year’s festival on August 20. The Pavilion is an intimate, beautiful outdoor 2,200-capacity amphitheater in the historic Gold Rush town of Jacksonville, Oregon, 17 miles from Ashland. This is Teddy Abrams’ third season as the Britt Festival’s music director.

THE CRATER LAKE PROJECT
On Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, Abrams will lead 40 members of the Britt Orchestra in the world premiere performances of Michael Gordon’s new Britt Festival commission, inspired by Gordon’s experiences at majestic Crater Lake, with the dramatic panorama of the entire lake as the backdrop. Joining the Orchestra and Abrams will be members of Steiger Butte Drum, who are musicians from the Klamath Tribe, students from Southern Oregon University, and a choir. The Orchestra will perform the Crater Lake-inspired work three times each day (six performances total), and the concerts will be free to all park visitors. The performances commemorate the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service in 2016. Seating and accommodations are limited; a few hotel packages are available through the Britt Festival website at www.brittfest.org/craterlake. The Britt Orchestra will also perform the Crater Lake work at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, on the Festival’s closing night, Saturday, August 20.

CONCERTS AT THE BRITT PAVILION
The Britt Orchestra opens at the Britt Pavilion August 5, with Ray Chen as soloist in Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto. The evening begins with the newly commissioned world premiere work by Lev Zhurbin. The Orchestra also performs Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. On August 6, pianist Jeremy Denk makes his Festival debut with the Orchestra for a performance of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and Teddy Abrams leads the Orchestra in Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber. On August 8, in Abrams’ first collaboration between the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in nearby Ashland and the Britt Festival Orchestra, OSF company members join the Orchestra for Shakespeare and Song, a program that marries songs from recent Oregon Shakespeare Festival musicals with Shakespeare-inspired works by Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, William Walton and more. Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors and vocalists Kate Hurster, Jeremy Johnson, Michael Sharon, and Britney Simpson join the Orchestra.

On the Festival’s second weekend at the Britt Pavilion, on August 13, Abrams leads the Orchestra in Mahler’s magnificent Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, with soprano Celena Shafer (who returns to Britt after her 2015 performance in Carmina Burana), mezzo-soprano Lauren Eberwein, and members of Rogue Valley Chorale and Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, under the direction of Chorus Master Dr. Paul French. On August 14, the Orchestra welcomes Oregon jazz vocalist Halie Loren for an evening of jazzy pop standards performed with Abrams and the Orchestra.

On August 19, the Britt Festival’s closing weekend, pianist Yefim Bronfman makes his first appearance at the Britt Pavilion for a performance with the Orchestra of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Abrams also leads the Orchestra in Copland’s Symphony No. 3 and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe’s Amber Waves of Grain. On August 20, the Festival closes with an encore performance of Michael Gordon’s new Crater Lake Project commission. Abrams also leads the Orchestra in two orchestral showpieces: Mason Bates’s Anthology of Fantastic Zoology and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

“The Crater Lake Project inspires and influences the whole Britt Orchestra season, and the big works we are presenting invite us to think about how we present our world in music,” said Teddy Abrams. “When we perform at Crater Lake, and on the Britt hill, we’ll be combining setting with music in a powerful, meaningful way; the setting and music are so intertwined.”

Tickets for the 2016 Britt Orchestra season concerts can be purchased in a special presale, beginning Friday, February 12 at 9 a.m. Tickets are $47 reserved, $32 for adult lawn tickets and $10 for child/student lawn tickets for all concerts except the Halie Loren/Symphony Pops concert. Tickets for Halie Loren with the Britt Orchestra in Symphony Pops are $20 reserved seating and $5 lawn. Tickets are on sale Friday, February 12 to Britt Festival members and non-members. In addition to tickets for single concerts, the popular Orchestra Lawn Pass, a flexible package of three lawn tickets, is available, along with a special package price for students. Call the box office at 1-800-882-7488 or 541-773-6077 or visit brittfest.org.

Complete program, guest artist, and ticket information for all concerts is available at brittfest.org. Britt’s full 2016 season schedule will be announced April 7.

ABOUT THE BRITT FESTIVAL
Inspired by its intimate and scenic hillside venue in Jacksonville, Oregon, Britt Music & Arts Festival provides diverse live performances, an incomparable orchestra season, and dynamic education programs that create a sense of discovery and community. Since its grassroots beginnings in 1963, when the Britt Orchestra gave its first concerts, the non-profit organization has grown from a two-week chamber music festival to a summer-long series of concerts in a variety of genres, including a three-week Britt Orchestra season, and year-round education and engagement programs. More than fifty years later, the 2016 Britt Orchestra is a high-caliber ensemble that draws 90 musicians from top orchestras across the country. Conductor, musician and composer Teddy Abrams, 28, joined the Britt Orchestra Festival as Music Director in January 2014; 2016 marks his third season. For more information, visit brittfest.org

ABOUT TEDDY ABRAMS
Britt Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Teddy Abrams, 28, is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and spent his formative years as a musician there. Now beginning his third year as the festival’s music director, he is an established pianist, clarinetist and composer as well as a widely acclaimed conductor. Abrams is Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra, and also serves as Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, which he first conducted in 2011.  

Teddy’s 2015-2016 season includes conducting debuts with the Houston, Phoenix and Edmonton Symphonies, and he recently returned to lead the San Francisco Symphony. Recent guest conducting highlights include engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Louisiana and New Mexico Philharmonics. 

He served as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012-2014. From 2008 to 2011, Abrams was the Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony (NWS) and conducted many performances, including subscription concerts and numerous other full and chamber orchestra events. Abrams conducted the NWS in Miami Beach, Washington, D.C. and at Carnegie Hall, and recently returned to conduct the NWS on subscription with Joshua Bell as soloist. 

He has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras and has performed chamber music with the St. Petersburg String Quartet, Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalish, Time for Three and John Adams, in addition to annual appearances at the Olympic Music Festival. Dedicated to exploring new and engaging ways to communicate with a diverse range of audiences, Abrams co-founded the Sixth Floor Trio in 2008. He was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for seven years and is a graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Since he began at the Louisville Orchestra, Abrams has been a tireless evangelist in that community for the power of music: without categories, without labels. He is a common sight in town, riding his bicycle around, stopping in cafes to hand out concert tickets, playing jazz, klezmer music, or standards on his keyboard in the street, and inviting people, one by one, to come and experience the orchestra’s music making. The Louisville Orchestra’s original YouTube video web series, “Music Makes a City Now,” is as much a document of Teddy’s life as it is the transformative approach he is taking to reinvigorate the city’s relationship with its resident “band,” the Louisville Orchestra. Abrams is bringing that same inspired approach to the Britt Festival, and the way he envisions and crafts the musical experience at its concerts.

For more information or for interview requests, please contact Jean Shirk at jean@shirkmedia.com or 510-332-4195.

Teddy Abrams photos may be downloaded here: http://www.brittfest.org/photos

Artist bios and photos may be downloaded here: 
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rrx4ulpfjbtbj5m/AAAOhqN15d-bbHp37mu7lEa0a?dl=0

Britt Pavilion photos (credit: Josh Morell) may be downloaded here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zn2yqk4g619uumq/AAAX2ggG79aEhRLJEFZPzE6Ua?dl=0

Follow Teddy Abrams:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/teddyconducts
Twitter: twitter.com/teddyconducts
Instagram: www.instagram.com/teddyconducts
YouTube (Music Makes a City): https://www.youtube.com/user/musicmakesacitynow/featured 

Follow Britt Music & Arts Festival:
Facebook: facebook.com/ brittfestivals
Twitter: twitter.com/brittfestivals
Instagram: instagram.com/brittfestival
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrittFestivals1/featured

Britt Orchestra Festival
Concert Schedule and Programs
July 29-August 20, 2016 

Friday July 29 and Saturday, July 30 - concert times TBA; three performances each day

WORLD PREMIERE OF CRATER LAKE PROJECT (New Work; Britt Festival commission), with Britt Orchestra performing live at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Teddy Abrams, conductor
Members of Steiger Butte Drum, from Klamath Tribe
Students from Southern Oregon University
Britt Orchestra 

MICHAEL GORDON: Crater Lake Project (work title TBA; WORLD PREMIERE, Britt Festival commission)
Free and open to all park visitors; no tickets required. This performance is outdoors. Seating and accommodations are limited. More information at www.brittfest.org/craterlake. The commission and performances are in honor of the centennial of the National Park Service. 

Friday, August 5 – 8 p.m.
Opening Night Gala Dinner – 5 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon

BRITT FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Ray Chen, violin
Britt Orchestra 

LEV ZHURBIN: New Commissioned Work (WORLD PREMIERE, Britt Festival commission)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No. 1
     Ray Chen, violin
STRAVINSKY: Petrushka
TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture

Saturday, August 6 – 8 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano
Britt Orchestra

BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1
           Jeremy Denk, piano
MOZART: Symphony No. 25
HINDEMITH: Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber 

Monday, August 8 – 8 p.m.
Shakespeare and Song with Oregon Shakespeare Festival company members
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon

Teddy Abrams, conductor
Kate Hurster, actor and vocalist
Jeremy Johnson, actor and vocalist
Michael Sharon, actor and vocalist
Britney Simpson, actor and vocalist
Britt Orchestra 

In Abrams’ first collaboration with the Britt Orchestra and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in nearby Ashland, Oregon, OSF company members join the Britt Orchestra for a program that marries songs from recent Oregon Shakespeare Festival musicals with Shakespeare-inspired works by Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, William Walton and more. OSF actors/vocalists Kate Hurster, Jeremy Johnson, Michael Sharon, and Britney Simpson join the Orchestra.

Saturday, August 13 – 8 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Celena Shafer, soprano
Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano
Members of Rogue Valley Chorale and Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, under the direction of Chorus Master Dr. Paul French
Britt Orchestra

MAHLER: Symphony No. 2, Resurrection 

Sunday, August 14 – 7:30 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon

Symphony Pops
Halie Loren and the Britt Orchestra

Teddy Abrams, conductor
Halie Loren, vocalist
Britt Orchestra

Oregon’s own celebrated jazz vocalist Halie Loren joins Abrams and the Orchestra for a jazzy Symphony Pops concert.

Friday, August 19 – 8 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Britt Orchestra

JULIA WOLFE: Amber Waves of Grain
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 2
           Yefim Bronfman, piano

COPLAND: Symphony No. 3

Saturday, August 20 – 8 p.m.
Britt Pavilion, Jacksonville, Oregon

Crater Lake/Orchestra Showcase

Teddy Abrams, conductor
Members of Steiger Butte Drum (from the Klamath Tribe)
Students from Southern Oregon University
Britt Orchestra

MICHAEL GORDON: Crater Lake Project (new work; BRITT COMMISSION)
MASON BATES: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology
MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition

 

Pricing: For all concerts except the Symphony Pops concert:
Reserved: $47, Adult Lawn, $32, Child/Student Lawn: $10
Halie Loren/Symphony Pops: Reserved: $20, Lawn: $5

 

###