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13th Annual Laguna Beach Music Festival Festival Artists Announced: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet & New Festival Director Appointed

Posted By Connie Sheu, Thursday, October 16, 2014

LAGUNA BEACH, CA—The annual Laguna Beach Music Festival is pleased to announce its 2015 Festival artist mentors, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and the appointment of new Festival Director, Laura Ricker. Based in Laguna Beach, the Festival has historically been and continues to be a platform for the discovery of up-and-coming artists with its presentations of world-class musicians in intimate venues. The 2015 Festival, taking place February 12-15 at a variety of venues in Laguna Beach, will also include special appearances by friends of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, including the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ), Janelle DeStefano, Phil Proctor and L.A. Flamenco.

“Every year the Festival brings premier artists to Laguna Beach and our mission is to share this artistic talent and exploration with our community and beyond,” says Ms. Ricker. “This year, the Festival includes Valentine’s Day weekend so it’s only fitting that LA Guitar Quartet and friends will explore Spanish romance, Flamenco dance, Don Quixote and a dynamic repertoire they have developed. Through concerts, free outreach events, student discounts, the new Thursday Taste of the Festival and discounts being offered for Valentine’s Day dinners, Laguna Beach Music Festival is excited to offer a wonderful Festival weekend in Laguna Beach.”

The 2015 Laguna Beach Music Festival features three concert performances taking place throughout the weekend, with its Opening Night concert on Friday, February 13. The Opening concert brings the first-ever collaboration between the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the Los
Angeles Percussion Quartet and will be a night of discovery, with two of America’s most dynamic chamber groups coming together to explore new and exciting music. The highlight of the evening will be the world premiere of a new work, “Ymir,” commissioned by Laguna Beach Music Festival and written especially for the occasion by celebrated composer Jeffrey Holmes. For the Festival, Holmes felt compelled to compose a piece inspired by the sea and derived the work from his Scandinavian heritage exploring the origin of the ocean through the first primordial being in Nordic religion, a Frost Giant. The concert will also feature moving and energetic works by John Cage, Steve Reich and Carlos Rivera, among others. More details on the other concerts to be announced.

Thirty years young in 2010-11, the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is one of the most multifaceted groups in any genre. The LAGQ is comprised of four uniquely accomplished musicians bringing new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from bluegrass to Bach. Consistently playing to sold-out houses worldwide, their inventive, critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.

Since 2009, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet has forged a distinct identity as a world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartets. Originally, members Nick Terry, Matt Cook, Justin DeHart, and Cory Hills joined together to create a classical percussion ensemble that would champion the important contributions of 20th-century West Coast composers while collaborating with local artists to continue the tradition of innovation and exploration. Today, the group continues this mission while broadening creative output through recordings, performances, and educational outreach.

Recently appointed Festival Director Laura Ricker comes to the Festival from the Western Arts Alliance, a membership association based in Portland, Oregon, of touring and performing arts professionals where she worked for the past nine years as a senior level manager. Ms. Ricker is
an Orange County transplant who has more than 16 years of experience in conference planning, musical performances, special events and festival management. With a background predominantly in event and conference management, she also previously served as the Oregon Symphony’s Director of Events and has a proven ability to develop and strengthen the organizations she manages in order to maximize profitability and efficiency while exploring creativity and inspiration. She received her undergraduate degree from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has since built her professional career spanning New York City, Portland, and Orange County.

The Laguna Beach Music Festival is a presentation of Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Tickets for the 2015 Laguna Beach Music Festival are now on sale and can be purchased at www.lagunabeachmusicfestival.com.

Tags:  festivals 

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