Britt Festival 2018 Orchestra Season Kicks off on Wednesday

This Wednesday’s Pops Concert kicks off the Britt Orchestra’s 2018 Season.  The season will run through August 11, 2018. For the second year in a row, Britt has lowered ticket prices for the Orchestra, with Premium Reserved seats for $45, General Reserved seats for $25, and $20 for lawn seats. Britt’s newly expanded Reserved seating now allows two pricing tiers in the Reserved section during the Orchestra Season.

The 2018 program draws inspiration from the Bernstein Centennial, a world-wide celebration of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, the composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and humanitarian. Teddy Abrams and the Britt Orchestra will present music written, championed, and influenced by Bernstein, including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, and Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony.

The 2018 Season also brings several world-class soloists, including pianist Jonathan Biss,

violinist Anthony Marwood, and vocalists Measha Brueggergosman and Sasha Cooke. Continuing Britt’s commitment to presenting music from today’s musical voices, the Britt Orchestra will perform works by living composers such as Anna Clyne, Christopher Cerrone, bassist/composer Edgar Meyer, and a new commissioned work by Gabriel Kahane that will focus on issues of housing and homelessness.

Much of the 2018 Britt Orchestra season will highlight the music and legacy of Leonard Bernstein in celebration of his 100th birthday. The concert on Saturday, July 28 will highlight Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke’s luminous voice in the final movement.

The same evening, Cooke will perform “Passage,” a work composed specifically for her by composer Mason Bates that utilizes excerpts of John F. Kennedy’s famous Moon Speech alongside poetry by Walt Whitman. On Friday, August 10, Bernstein’s Candide Overture and Serenade (After Plato’s ‘Symposium’) will be presented, with violin soloist Anthony Marwood performing Serenade.

This season, Britt is trying something new: the Pops concert will open the season. This concert will be held before the rest of the season on Wednesday, July 25, with a fun collection of “Classics in the Movies.” As in previous seasons, tickets for the Pops concert are lower than other Britt Orchestra shows, making it easy for the whole family to attend.

Who: The Britt Orchestra
When: July 25 – August 11, 2018 | All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Britt Pavilion, 350 First St., Jacksonville
Tickets: Premium Reserved $45 | General Reserved $25 | Lawn $20 | Child/Student Lawn $10
Opening Pops Night special pricing: All Reserved $20 | All Lawn $10

General Public Sales: Tickets will be on sale for all Britt Orchestra seating beginning at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Tickets may be purchased online at or from the Britt Box Office at 541-773-6077 or 216 W. Main St. in downtown Medford, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. weekdays.

Founded in 1963, the Britt Orchestra is a summer festival orchestra that features 90 professional musicians who come to the Rogue Valley from across the United States for three weeks of world-class performances at our outdoor venue in Jacksonville, Oregon.

The concert schedule for the 2018 Britt Orchestra season is:

July 26 Air Quality Update:  Due to the extreme smoky conditions prevailing in the region, the Britt Orchestra performances scheduled for Wednesday, July 25, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 will now be held indoors at the North Medford High School Auditorium. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the concerts will begin at 7:30 PM as previously scheduled. North Medford High School is located at 1900 N. Keene Way Dr. in Medford, Oregon.

Wednesday, July 25 – 7:30 p.m. – Opening Night: Pops – Classics in the Movies
An exploration of popular classical music themes from the movies & TV, featuring works by Wagner, Mozart, Rossini, Williams and many more.

Friday, July 27 – 7:30 p.m. – Measha Brueggergosman

Maurice Ravel: La Valse
Gabriel Kahane: emergency shelter intake form: a special evening on housing insecurity – commissioned work – Measha Brueggergosman, soprano
Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Ottorino Respighi: Pines of Rome

Saturday, July 28 – 7:30 p.m. – Brahms and Sasha Cooke

Leonard Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” – Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Mason Bates: Passage – Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor

Friday, August 3 – 7:30 p.m. – Beethoven and Jonathan Biss

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major – Jonathan Biss, piano
Christopher Cerrone: Will There Be Singing
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major

Saturday, August 4 – 7:30 p.m. – Appalachian Spring 

(Soloist Edgar Meyer had to cancel his appearance.  His piece will not be performed)
Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 in E minor (replacement piece)
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring: Suite

Friday, August 10 – 7:30 p.m. – Bernstein Centennial and Anthony Marwood

Leonard Bernstein: Candide: Overture
Leonard Bernstein: Serenade (After Plato’s “Symposium”) – Anthony Marwood, violin
Richard Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra

Saturday, August 11 – 7:30 p.m. – Closing Night: Britt Orchestra Spectacular

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor

Britt Music & Arts Festival’s Live Performances season will be announced in three separate announcements: February 16, March 16 and April 12.


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