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From Executive Director Susan Scott
|This special Halloween edition presented itself while pondering what to feature from this week’s artist – the surprising and prolific John Biggs. Many of you know him. For those who don’t, John is one of the area’s treasured music resources. He has created everything from choral and chamber works to musicals and symphonies. His output is extraordinary and his list of honors, long. He’s been a teacher (LA City College, UCLA and Berkeley), composer-in-residence, and performer, founding the John Biggs Consort that toured internationally specializing in medieval, renaissance and 20th Century chamber music.|
But where, I asked myself, did the spirit (or sprite) that informs this week’s two musical works come from. Answer: I think he was born into it, starting with his composer-organist father and singer-mother. And the kicker, I believe, is his childhood: the 8th of 11 children, he studied acting, singing, piano, bassoon and violin from youth on. Imagine the family musicals and theatricals.
In the delightful (even daffy) minute-long animation, “March of the Krumhorns,” his love for ancient music expresses and John is playing his own set of Krumhorns – the raucous oboe-like reed instrument he often included in Consort performances.
While he did not compose our second short offering, “Mechanical Man” (written in 1964 by Bent Bolt and the Nuts), you’ll experience John’s acting, singing and full-on sprite as he take center stage – after being carried on by his grandsons in a futuristic tin man costume
John is still fully capable of serving up funny as well as serious music as he continues to write, perform and surprise. He has been a supporter of the Ventura Music Festival from its earliest days, and we take great pleasure in presenting him this week in performances designed to bring smiles and perhaps even encourage you to get your silly or spooky on this weekend.