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Britt announces guests, dates for classical season

The lineup for the 49th annual Britt Classical Festival in Jacksonville, which runs for three weeks next August, will include seven orchestral concerts under the stars and a mix of new and popular music.

Ninety musicians from across the country come to Southern Oregon to form the 2011 Britt Festival Orchestra, led by Peter Bay, who returns for his 19th season as music director and conductor.

The 2011 Britt Classical Festival will include such popular works as Don Juan, the 1812 Overture and Brahms' Second Symphony.

New music includes a work by 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, composed especially for the trio Time for Three, which will perform Aug. 12.

The Aug. 5 opening-night concert features the return of the Britt Orchestra, featuring pianist Mûza Rubackyté. Opening weekend also includes a performance by violinist James Ehnes, who will perform a work by Paganini, and works including Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.

The middle weekend of the festival features two guest artists, the trio Time for Three (composed of two violinists and a bassist) on Aug. 12, and guitarist Sharon Isbin on Aug. 13.

Closing weekend starts Friday, Aug. 19, as the Britt Orchestra presents an evening of "Festival Favorites," showcasing the orchestra in shorter, recognizable works designed to appeal to classical devotees and new listeners alike.

A full program and guest-artist information are available at brittfest.org.

Tickets go on sale to Britt members Dec. 1, with "early bird" discounts of $2 off most tickets until Feb. 15.

Call the box office at 800-882-7488 or 541-773-6077 or visit www.brittfest.org for information.

Britt's full 2011 season schedule will be announced next spring.