JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — The Britt Music & Arts Festival unveiled its 2020 orchestra season on Thursday, heralding musical performances that will revolve around celebrating the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birthday.
Helmed by veteran music director and conductor Teddy Abrams, the season aims to honor Beethoven how the Britt images he would want it marked — "with cutting-edge compositions by living composers who personify his spirit and ethos," the organization said.
Tickets go on sale Friday on the Britt Festival website or at the Medford box office. Prices are $49 for premium reserved seating, $29 for standard reserve seating, $20 for lawn seating, and $10 for children or students with valid ID.
"The great master’s Symphony No. 9 forms the heart of our tribute, and other programs explore his sphere of influence, both in terms of how he became one of the greatest artists of any era, and how his greatness ripples forward in time," Britt Fest said in a statement.
"While Beethoven’s 9th Symphony anchors our birthday tribute, the celebration is centered around the guest artists that are joining us in 2020: almost every one of these musicians is a multi-talented composer-performer, just like Beethoven! From Caroline Shaw to Timo Andres, Tessa Lark, and Conrad Tao, we are presenting musicians that continue the spirit of Beethoven’s broad approach to making music," said Abrams.
Britt said that the season will kick off with a special project. Britt has commissioned Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw for a new experiential work that will be performed along the Jacksonville Woodland Trails above the Britt Pavilion.
"Hiking the Woodlands with the BFO continues our efforts to take the orchestra into unique outdoor settings, which began with the 2016 Crater Lake Project," the organization said.
Returning artist Jim James will also join maestro Teddy Abrams and the Britt Festival Orchestra in a performance of their newly released album, The Order of Nature.
Other programs on the season feature a diverse array of soloists, including pianist Conrad Tao, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, violinist Tessa Lark, and pianist Timo Andres.
The "Teddy’s Discovery Tuesdays" series returns this season, including Hiking the Woodlands with the BFO in addition to a Family Show featuring actor Bruce Campbell narrating Nathaniel Stookey’s The Composer is Dead, with text by Lemony Snicket.
The season closes with a war-themed "BFO Spectacular" featuring pieces by Abrams’ mentor, Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as Mason Bates and Handel.
"The BFO has developed a national reputation for adventurous and dramatic programming, and this season takes this approach to a new level, balancing the greatest musical talents of today with the widest scope of orchestral music from the past centuries," said Abrams. "We can’t wait to return to our beloved Britt Hill and share our music with the beautiful Southern Oregon community!”
The 2020 Britt Festival Orchestra Season runs from July 28 to August 16.