International festival of orchestral and chamber music, solo recitals, and staged works, established in 1963 in Aptos, California. It was founded by Lou Harrison, the bassoonist Robert Hughes, and Ted Toews, an instructor at Cabrillo College. Held for two weeks in August in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and at various other locations, such as the Mission San Juan Bautista, the festival is noted for its innovative programming and emphasis on the works of living composers: it has staged at least 120 world premieres and over 60 US premieres. The first music director, Gerhard Samuel, was succeeded by Richard Williams in 1969, Carlos Chávez in 1970, Dennis Russell Davies in 1974, John Adams in 1991, and Marin Alsop in 1992. The directors have stressed making the artists accessible to their audiences through workshops and “Meet the Composer” sessions, open rehearsals, and a composer-in-residence program, in which John Adams, William Bolcom, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Carlos Chávez, Aaron Copland, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Lou Harrison, Jennifer Higdon, Keith Jarrett, Aaron Jay Kernis, Libby Larsen, Tania León, Pauline Oliveros, Arvo Pärt, Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Virgil Thomson, and Joan Tower have participated. The festival orchestra consists of about 65 musicians from leading orchestras in the United States and Canada....
revised by Megan E. Hill
Festivals held to commemorate St Cecilia's Day (22 November). The custom of celebrating the day by musical performances long existed in various countries, and many associations were formed for the purpose. The earliest recorded association was established in 1570 at Evreux, Normandy, under the title of ‘Le Puy de musique’; various liturgical performances were followed by a banquet after mass on the feast day and prizes were awarded for the best motets, partsongs, airs and sonnets.
Not until a century later was any similar association established in England. In 1683 a body known as the Musical Society initiated a series of annual celebrations in London; their practice was to hold a service (usually at St Bride's church), at which a choral service and anthem with orchestral accompaniment were performed by a large number of musicians, and a sermon, usually in defence of cathedral music, was preached. They then moved to another place (often Stationers' Hall), where an ode in praise of music, composed for the occasion, was performed. Such odes were written by Dryden (...
An annual series of orchestral, chamber and solo concerts, with occasional operas, held in June or July and lasting one to two weeks. It was instituted in 1945 by the Borough of Cheltenham as the Cheltenham Festival, and since 1947 has been additionally supported by the Arts Council of Great Britain, devolved to South West Arts from 1992. Until 1962 it was announced as a ‘Festival of British Contemporary Music’, and primarily featured new works by British composers in a context of more general programmes. In the first 25 festivals a total of 291 works by 142 British composers received their first public performances.
The decision to organize such a festival was taken during wartime, in 1944, on the proposal of G.A.M. Wilkinson, the borough entertainments manager, who advocated the inclusion of one new work by a British composer in each programme as a means of giving the festival a distinctive musical character. He served as festival organizer for 25 years, until ...
Parisian series of concerts founded in or after 1782 to replace the defunct Concert des Amateurs. The series was sponsored by the masonic Loge de l’Olympique de la Parfaite Estime; in 1786, the 364 members paid dues of 120 livres per year, which gave them admittance to twelve concerts. Some members played in the orchestra alongside professional musicians known as associés libres. The lodge commissioned, and later published, Haydn’s symphonies nos.82–7 and 90–2. The concerts ended in July 1789 when the Gardes Françaises closed the lodge headquarters in the Palais Royal. See Paris, §IV, 2.BrenetC; BrookSF ‘Liste des membres qui composent la Société Olympique’, F-Pn H18751, 1786 ‘Tableau des membres qui composent la R. L. de la Parfaite-Estime et Société Olympique’, F-Pn Baylot FM2153, 1788 J.L. Quoy-Bodin: ‘L’Orchestre de la Société Olympique’, RdM, vol.70 (1984), 95–107 P. Chevallier: ‘Nouvelles lumières sur la Société Olympique’, XVIIIème Siècle, no.19 (1987), 135–47...
Austrian festival, held each September in Eisenstadt, capital of the Burgenland, where Haydn spent much of his working life in the employment of the Esterházy family. Founded officially in 1987, the festival has developed around the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra under the direction of Adam Fischer. Each festival includes symphony concerts, lieder and chamber recitals, often featuring rare Haydn repertory such as the baryton trios, and the production of a Haydn opera. In addition to the concerts and opera performances, held in the Esterházy palace, one or more Haydn masses are given each year in their liturgical setting in the Bergkirche....
A competitive festival of Welsh origin, devoted mainly to music and literature. The word ‘eisteddfod’ (literally ‘a session’) did not come into common use until the 18th century, but the festival to which it refers originated in the medieval gatherings held from time to time to determine the professional requirements and duties of the bards. The earliest of these for which we have reliable documentary evidence was that summoned by Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd at Cardigan in 1176, but it is likely that similar convocations were held even before this date. Lord Rhys's festival is of particular interest because of certain features it had in common with the modern eisteddfod, namely the inclusion of competitions, the awarding of chairs to the victors, and the fact that it was proclaimed one year in advance throughout the British Isles. Similar meetings are recorded in other parts of Wales during the 14th and 15th centuries, the most important being that held by Lord Gruffydd ap Nicolas at Carmarthen in about ...
Bulgarian music festival. The festival began as an initiative of the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra, the conductor Sasha Popov, and the conductor and composer Iliya Temkov, for the purpose of fostering friendship and cultural cooperation between Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic. The first concert, given on 10 March 1961, opened with the première of the September 1923 Overture by V. Kazandzhiev. The partnership between the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra and the musical ensembles of East Berlin Radio grew steadily over the next few years. In 1964–5 the festival was dedicated to new Bulgarian symphonic works, and in 1965 it expanded to include chamber music and other instrumentation. After 1976 the festival has been held in the second half of March. At present the festival is funded by the Municipality of Ruse and other sponsors. Since 1992 the International Music Academy takes place during the festival; the teachers, in various disciplines, have included Vanya Milanova, Mincho Minchev, John Kenny, Robert Cohen, Yuri Bashmet, Patrick Gallois, Erwin Ortner, Markus Stockhausen, Anatol Vieru, Wolfgang Schultz, Sir Neville Marriner, the Arditi String Quartet, Andreas Hermann, Emmanuel Séjourné, and Paul Badura-Skoda....
revised by Michael Mauskapf
Orchestral programs modeled after European promenade concerts of the 19th century, in which light classical music was played while the audience was served refreshments. The development of pops concerts in America reflected an emerging emphasis on the audience and an explicitly articulated division between so-called serious and light classical music propagated by conductor Theodore Thomas and others. Such concerts were traditionally structured in three parts, in which lively pieces—overtures, marches, and galops—were played in the outer sections while the middle section typically included waltzes and occasionally more serious works; encores were a regular feature. These concerts often took place in outdoor venues during the summer season, and featured audience promenades during the intermissions. Initially, works by European composers such as Rossini, Grieg, Liszt, and J. Strauss dominated the programs of pops concerts, but excerpts from musicals and operettas by De Koven and Herbert, among others, soon became a significant component. In general these concerts were understood as a vehicle to reach new audiences and broaden the appeal of orchestras and orchestral music....
Informal concerts at which inexpensive tickets are sold for standing room or floor space (although not actually for ‘promenading’ in the manner of the 18th- and 19th-century London pleasure-garden concerts; see London §V 3.). The most famous, the London Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, started in 1895 and have been given in the Royal Albert Hall since World War II. They were anticipated by other informal concerts given from 1838, themselves modelled on those given in Paris by Philippe Musard from 1833. ‘Proms’ have been given elsewhere in Britain, notably in Manchester by the Hallé Orchestra. From 1972 opera and ballet proms were given at Covent Garden, and in 1976 they were introduced at the Scottish Opera in Glasgow. Similar informal concerts are given in the USA, sometimes with refreshments served to the audience; they include the ‘Boston Pops’ and, in New York, proms and the ‘rug concerts’ initiated by Boulez....