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Banjo master Bela Fleck will perform his Impostor Concerto at the Aug. 1 opening concert of the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorum. Karl Walter/Getty Images

Santa Cruz Sentinel

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music has put the finishing touches on its 52nd season, whose first concert will be presented Aug. 1 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

Among the high-profile guests soloists this year will be famed banjo innovator Béla Fleck and master violinist Nadja Solerno-Sonnenberg, as well as the trio Time For Three and saxophonist Timothy McAllister.

The event, which continues through Aug. 10 will host 13 composers-in-residence, and its schedule of performances will include three world premieres, two U.S. premieres and four West Coast premieres. Festival artistic director Marin Alsop, who had to miss last summer's event while recovering from an injury to her hand, will be back leading the festival orchestra this year.

Fleck, who emerged from the seminal band New Grass Revival to take the banjo into a wide variety of musical settings, will be on hand for the festival's opening night concert "Play" on Aug. 1, performing his own composition The Impostor Concerto. Also to be performed that night will be the world premiere of Dylan Mattingly's "Sky Madrigal."

This Free Family Concert, on Aug. 3, presents composer Jonathan Sheffer narrating text in his work "The Conference of the Birds." This world premiere is a Cabrillo Festival commission.

Salerno-Sonnenberg will be featured player at the festival's annual Music at the Mission concerts in San Juan Bautista.

The composers on hand at this year's festival include Mattingly, Sheffer, Fleck, John Adams, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad and many others.

Tickets prices range from $25 to $55, with some events free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.cabrillomusic.org.