The festival is a tribute to the creativity and legacy of Swiss-born Oregon composer Ernest Bloch, who lived and composed at Agate Beach from 1940 until his death in 1959. He received an honorary degree from Linfield in 1948. Under the artistic direction of conductor Sylvain Fr魡ux and the aegis of Newport?s BAY Music Association, the festival presents the annual Composers? Symposium, the Young Musicians? Program, chamber music performances and concerts by the Festival String Orchestra and the Newport Symphony Orchestra, with associate conductor David Ogden Stiers, screen and television actor.
Opening the festival is the Two-Piano Institute, a four-day immersion for piano teachers and performers, which will be offered for credit by the Linfield Division of Continuing Education June 25-28. The institute features a master class, workshops and performances, and is devoted to the two-piano, four-hand and solo piano repertoire. Linfield College artist-in-residence Jill Timmons is program director.
Internationally renowned pianist Daniel Pollack, the institute?s featured guest soloist, will present a lecture and solo recital. One of two pre-concert talks by Alexander Knapp, professor of music at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, will preface the opening two-piano recital by Timmons and Judith Cohen, with guest artists Anita King and Diane Baxter, on Friday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m. Participants will also take part in a recital by institute performers, which is free and open to the public, on Monday, June 28, at
The master class performances will feature 18 performers, ranging in ages from 16 to 66. The roster is already full for master class performers but space is available for auditors, who may register at the door on Friday, June 25, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Newport Performing Arts Center lobby.
The Linfield-sponsored Two-Piano Institute is only a portion of what will be offered during the two-week-long Ernest Bloch Music Festival. The festival will also include a week-long Composers? Symposium, under the direction of Henry Mollicone, June 26 through July 3. Composer-in-Residence Bernard Rands will lead a seminar and lively discussions. New works by Symposium Fellows, all nationally selected emerging composers, will be premiered by the Symposium Chamber Ensemble under Rands? guidance. The Symposium will also host the sixth annual Young Musicians? Program, led by Harvard University professor John Stewart. Symposium concerts will be held on June 30, July 1 and July 3 at 7:30 p.m., and the Young Musicians? performance is scheduled for Friday, July 2, at 1:30 p.m.
Information about other festival concerts scheduled during the week, including the Festival String Quartet on June 29 and the Festival String Orchestra on July 2, is available by calling the Newport Performing Arts Center. The festival?s closing event celebrating the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial will be presented on the Fourth of July at 4 p.m. by the Newport Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Fr魡ux. The program will include popular works by American composers narrated by Stiers, with soprano Janice Johnson.
The Ernest Bloch Music Festival is sponsored by a number of organizations including Bl? Pianos (Leipzig), which is providing two concert grand pianos for the institute and other Bloch Festival events. Other major sponsors include The Nellie Tholen Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, Travelocity, Mo?s Restaurants and Val-U-Inn.
For festival ticket information and reservations call 541-265-ARTS. For more information on the Two-Piano Institute or registration for credit or non-credit, call the Linfield College Division of Continuing Education at 800-452-4176.