Peter Bay & Alexandra Arrieche

Britt Festival Orchestra Announces Two 2024 Guest Conductors

Published: January 10, 2024

MEDFORD, OR — Britt Music & Arts Festival announces that its 2024 Britt Festival Orchestra season will be led by a pair of guest conductors: Peter Bay and Alexandra Arrieche. 

Following the departure of Teddy Abrams, and prior to launching its search for the Britt Festival Orchestra’s next conductor, the Britt Festival Orchestra will be joined this summer by two guests who will split the season.

For Peter Bay, who was the orchestra’s Music Director from 1993 to 2012, it’s a homecoming. He holds the role of Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra (TX), a post he has occupied since 1998. “It’s an honor and great pleasure to be returning to the Peter Britt Festival, and to be able to work with the extraordinary Britt Festival Orchestra once again,” said Bay. “I spent twenty of the greatest summers at Britt, making music with them and the world’s greatest soloists. Returning to the Pavillion will be very special for me, and I hope our audiences will enjoy the music emanating from the stage!” Bay will lead the orchestra for performances on June 13, 15, 20, and 21.

Alexandra Arrieche is a newcomer to the Britt stage, but no stranger to audiences of both orchestral and popular music. In addition to the roles as Music Director of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra (NV), Principal Conductor of the Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra (WA), she tours the world leading the BBC Proms Orchestra, and just completed a holiday tour conducting the orchestra along with Britt fan-favorite band Toto. “I am so thrilled to be part of Britt as a guest conductor sharing the podium with the amazing Peter Bay. I’m looking forward to meeting this beautiful and vibrant community with exciting programs coming up, and I can’t wait to share all this amazing music with you all” said Arrieche. Arrieche will conduct the BFO for performances on June 22, 27, and 29.

Britt President & CEO Abby McKee shared, “We are thrilled to welcome Peter home to Britt, and welcome Alex for the first time. They each bring something extraordinary to our orchestra – Peter’s deep love for this community and the rich history it shares with the Britt Festival Orchestra, and Alex’s fun and fiery musical tastes and absolute sense of flair, just for starters! I’ve had the incredible privilege of working with each of them on their programming, and we’re in for a treat. It will be a summer to remember!”

In 2024, the Britt Festival Orchestra will present its 62nd season, comprising seven performances from June 13-29. The complete season will be announced at a season preview party on February 22 at Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville. Tickets for that party are $50 and will soon be available at Tickets for the orchestra season will be available for purchase beginning February 23, 2024.

Established in 1963, the Britt Festival Orchestra comes together each summer from world-class orchestras around the globe to perform a remarkably diverse selection of music under the stars, ranging from traditional classical to modern works. Additional festivities include open rehearsals, pre-concert conversations with guest artists and orchestra members, and special projects and collaborations with a variety of community groups.

The Britt membership drive for 2024 is underway, and the public can learn more about how to support Britt at

About Alexandra Arrieche (Pronounced: Ah-ree-eh-che)

Working with the most important ensembles and figures in both classical and pop music, Alexandra Arrieche possesses an innate talent for moving adeptly between musical genres. She commands a wide range of musical leadership skills, engaging a variety of audiences and communities joyfully and with resounding success. These qualities distinguish her as one of the most unique and exciting conductors of her generation.

Currently Alexandra serves as Music Director of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra (NV), Principal Conductor of the Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra and was recently appointed Music Director of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra (WA).

In 2015, Alexandra was invited to conduct the European Emmy Award-winning Night of the Proms. Due to overwhelming success, Alexandra was engaged as the Antwerp Philharmonic and NOTP’s principal conductor and production company member in 2017. Alexandra collaborates regularly with pop music icons such as Bryan Ferry, Seal, Simple Minds, Earth Wind and Fire, Pointer Sisters, Natasha Bedingfield, Chaka Khan, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Peter Cetera (Chicago) and Alan Parsons.

In 2016, Alexandra was appointed Music Director of the Henderson Symphony and has since elevated the arts scene of the Nevada Vegas Valley with her exciting, community-sensitive programming. Her creative collaborations between music and other art forms including culinary, dance, and visual arts has brought new life to the Henderson arts community. Under Alexandra’s leadership, the Henderson Symphony has become one of the few orchestras in the country to offer a free concert season in addition to a slate of energetic community youth outreach programs. Alexandra developed a Conducting Studio in Brazil in 2015 to address the lack of opportunity for conductors in her home country. This program was expanded into a highly successful international program in collaboration with the Henderson Symphony.

As a guest conductor Alexandra has appeared with some of the finest orchestras on three continents including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, OFUNAM (Mexico) and Mexico National Orchestra, Filarmed (Colombia), and the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre (Brazil). Recent collaborations include a series of recordings with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic featuring Brazilian Music arranged by Roeland Jacobs. “Saudade,” the first album of the series, won the Edison Prize 2020, one of the most prestigious music awards in Europe, as the best Jazz album of the year. She has also collaborated with and championed new works by some of the finest composers of our generation including Jennifer Higdon, Mason Bates, Clarice Assad, Kevin Putz, Anna Clyne, John Adams, James Macmillan, Michael Daugherty, and John Corigliano.

During the pandemic Alexandra started a Podcast series inspired by her experience with Night of the Proms called “Beethoven was a Rockstar”. She explores the limits between classical and pop music, finding where the boundaries are, and breaking through them. The first season Alexandra interviewed iconic figures from both worlds including Marin Alsop, Mason Bates, Joe Jackson, Suzanne Vega and Nile Rodgers. Music Historian Christopher Gibbs opened the season with the episode, “Classical and Pop: Was there always a division?” In less than three months, the series has already had thousands of downloads from all over the world.

Alexandra won the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship in 2011 and the Baltimore Symphony Conducting Fellowship in 2012. She subsequently served as a conducting assistant to Maestra Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Alexandra was also mentored by Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and Harold Farberman at the Bard Conservatory of Music. In addition to her studies, Alexandra completed numerous master classes with world-renowned conductors including Kurt Masur, Apo Hsu, Robert Spano, and Johannes Schlaefli.

Alexandra is featured in “The Conductor,” a documentary about her mentor Marin Alsop. The Documentary premiered in Tribeca in 2021 with Alexandra opening the screening conducting young female musicians from the New York Youth Symphony.

About Peter Bay

Peter Bay became Music Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphony Orchestra in 1998, and Conductor of the Arizona Philharmonic in 2018.  He returned to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2024 to guest conduct as part of the RPO’s centennial.

Maestro Bay has appeared with over eighty-five different orchestras including the National, Chicago, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Baltimore, New Jersey, North Carolina, San Antonio, Tucson, West Virginia, Colorado, Hawaii, Sarasota, Fort Worth, Bochum (Germany), Carinthian (Austria), Lithuanian National, and Ecuador National Symphonies, the Minnesota and Algarve (Portugal) Orchestras, the Louisiana, Buffalo, Arizona, Rhode Island and Boca del Rio (Mexico) Philharmonics, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Eastman (Postcard from Morocco) and Aspen (The Ballad of Baby Doe) Opera Theaters, and the Theater Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center. Summer music festival appearances have included Aspen and Music in the Mountains (CO), Grant Park and Ravinia (IL), Round Top (TX), OK Mozart (OK) and Skaneateles (NY).  In June 2018 he led performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass as part of the Bernstein100Austin celebration.

Peter is the primary conductor for Ballet Austin. For Austin Opera he has conducted A Streetcar Named Desire, La Traviata, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro, and La bohème.

Other positions held by Bay have included Music Director of the Erie Philharmonic,

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival (CO), Britt Festival Orchestra (OR), Bravo! Big Sky Classical Festival (MT), Hot Springs Music Festival (AR), and posts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony. From 1980 to 1990 he served on the conducting staff of the Aspen Music Festival where he led concerts with four of its orchestras. Bay and the ASO with pianist Anton Nel released a critically acclaimed Bridge CD of Edward Burlingame Hill’s music. With the Richmond Symphony he recorded the U.S. premiere of Britten’s The Sword in the Stone for Opus One Records, and with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Voices, featuring the percussion ensemble NEXUS. He is conductor for Christopher Cross’ Secret Ladder album and Hanan Townshend’s soundtrack to the 2016 movie The Vessel.

In 1994, he was one of two conductors selected to participate in the Leonard Bernstein American Conductors Program. He was the first prize winner of the 1980 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Young Conductors Competition and a prize winner of the 1987 Leopold Stokowski Competition sponsored by the American Symphony Orchestra. In July 2012 he appeared in Solo Symphony, a choreographic work created for him by Allison Orr of Forklift Danceworks.  He was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in May 2016.