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Classical Music Composer in Ventura County Celebrates 85th Birthday With Premiere Of His New Works

Ventura County composer John Biggs (right) with music legend Igor Stravinsky, as they were on a project in 1960

Composer John Biggs has created everything from choral works to symphonies, taught music, and was a Fulbright scholar.

So, this weekend, the Ojai man is celebrating his 85th birthday with a concert, and the premieres of three new works.

Biggs says growing up in Hollywood, with two parents who were musically inclined, it was almost predestined he would turn music into a career. He studied at both USC and UCLA, and became a composer in residences for six Kansas universities. Biggs admits being a classical music composer has been an interesting journey, joking that most people expect that you would wear a wig and be dead.

Along the way, he worked with, and performed for legendary composer Igor Stravinsky: Biggs says he’s always had a fascination with music of the middle ages.

He says because he sings, and plays different instruments, his compositions cross boundaries.

Biggs is going to present three new works at his 85th birthday party, which is actually a community musical celebration Saturday. The concert is at 4 p.m. Saturday at Ventura’s Seventh Day Adventist Church.

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