Photo by Justin Briggs

Britt Orchestra’s 2016 season includes major guest artists, large orchestral works, new commissions, and performances at Crater Lake National Park

Season is July 29 – August 20 • Tickets on sale February 12

- February 11, 2016 

MEDFORD, OR — Britt’s Music Director and Conductor Teddy Abrams announces the 2016 Britt Orchestra season. The season begins early, with two days of concerts at Crater Lake National Park on July 29 and 30, featuring a world premiere commission by Michael Gordon that is inspired by the Park. The season continues with three weeks of concerts at the Britt hill in Jacksonville, Oregon, with highlights including headlining guest pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, a collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival company members that celebrates music inspired by Shakespeare and songs from recent OSF productions, the critically acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1, a performance of Mahler’s massive Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection), and a world premiere commission by Russian-American composer Lev Zhurbin. 

Music Director and Conductor Teddy Abrams says, “When we perform at Crater Lake, we’ll be combining setting with music in a powerful, meaningful way. We do that on the Britt hill on a smaller scale; the setting and music are so intertwined. 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.”

The Britt Orchestra 2016 season includes seven programs at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville. Additional highlights of the season include violinist Ray Chen, who will perform Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto; the return of the popular Symphony Pops concert, featuring Oregon’s own acclaimed jazz singer Halie Loren; a performance of Amber Waves of Grain, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe; Copland’s Third Symphony; San Francisco-based composer Mason Bates’s Anthology of Fantastic Zoology; and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony will feature soloists Celena Shafer (who returns to Britt after being featured in Carmina Burana in 2015), and Lauren Eberwein, along with a 100-piece choir formed by members of the Rogue Valley Chorale and Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, under the direction of Chorus Master Dr. Paul French.

As previously announced, the Britt Orchestra’s summer will also include two days of performances at Crater Lake National Park. On July 29 and 30, Abrams will lead 40 members of the Britt Orchestra in the performances, with the dramatic panorama of the entire lake as the backdrop. The musicians will perform a world premiere composition by composer Michael Gordon, who is writing a site-specific work inspired by Crater Lake. The performances will also include a choir, students from Southern Oregon University and members of Steiger Butte Drum, made up of members of the Klamath Tribes. The orchestra will perform the work three times on each day (six performances total), and the concerts will be free to all park-goers. The Britt Orchestra will also perform this work at the closing night Britt Orchestra concert in Jacksonville on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The 2016 season also includes a series of free children’s concerts in Britt’s Performance Garden. Seven engaging and interactive mid-morning concerts will be offered. The concerts will be created by Gabriel Globus-Hoenich and Jenifer Knippel, who return after leading a popular Britt children’s concert in 2015. More information on this series will be announced later this spring.

Full program and guest artist information for all Britt Orchestra concerts is available at

The Britt Orchestra first performed in 1963. More than fifty years later, the 2016 Britt Orchestra is a high-caliber ensemble that draws 90 musicians from top orchestras across the country.

Tickets for the 2016 Britt Orchestra season concerts can be purchased beginning Friday, February 12 at 9 a.m. Tickets will be available to both 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

The concert schedule for the 2016 Britt Orchestra season is:

Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30 - Concert times TBA
Britt Orchestra performances at Crater Lake National Park
MICHAEL GORDON: World premiere commission TBA
Free and open to all park goers


Friday, August 5 – 8 p.m.
Opening Night Gala Dinner – 5 p.m.
LEV ZHURBIN: World Premiere Commission TBA
SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No. 1
          Ray Chen, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture

Saturday, August 6 – 8 p.m.
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
Oregon Shakespeare Festival company members join the orchestra for a program that marries songs from recent OSF musicals with Shakespeare-inspired works by Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, William Walton and more.

Featuring OSF company members: Kate Hurster, Jeremy Peter Johnson, Michael Sharon, and Britney Simpson

Saturday, August 13 – 8 p.m.
MAHLER: Symphony No. 2, (Resurrection)
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

Sunday, August 14 – 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Pops

The popular Symphony Pops concert returns with a jazzy pops program featuring Oregon’s own celebrated jazz vocalist Halie Loren

Friday, August 19 – 8 p.m.
JULIA WOLFE: Amber Waves of Grain
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 2
           Yefim Bronfman, piano
COPLAND: Symphony No. 3 

Saturday, August 20 – 8 p.m.
Crater Lake/Orchestra Showcase
MICHAEL GORDON: Crater Lake Commission TBA
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
Symphony Pops: Reserved: $20, Lawn: $5

Britt Music & Arts Festival’s full 2016 season will be announced April 7.

Inspired by its intimate and scenic hillside venue, 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, 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. For more information, visit