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
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....