Steven Schick 2015 Festival Playlist


2015 Music Director Steven Schick shared with us a story of how he walked from San Diego at the Mexican border to San Francisco to propose to his wife Brenda. Walking the length of the coast, Steve says, he was “constantly engaged in this world of noise….through your ears you know where we are, what we’re thinking, where we are in the world.”

In that vein, we recently asked Steve if he would make a curated playlist – a list of pieces to listen to in anticipation of the 2015 Festival. He enthusiastically responded with an annotated “Ojai Themes Listening List,” which we have put into audio and video playlists below. While we were able to find most of what was on Steve’s list online, there were some that eluded us…if you happen to stumble across them, let us know and we’ll add them in!

Listen using Spotify using our playlist and read/watch the complete list here >>

Steve’s Complete List:

Maya Beiser
Caught by the Sky with Wire – Nick Didkovsky (oo-discs)
Industry – Michael Gordon (SONY)

Both of these pieces come from my time with Bang on a Can. Maya was the founding cellist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. I love her aching version of Michael’s piece, especially the way she leans into those shifting thirds. Nick Didkovsky’s piece is from our eponymous duo recording.

Symphony #80 – Haydn (Private recording)

Maya Beiser is one of my oldest friends and longstanding partners. Renga, which I co-lead with the wonderful violinist Kate Hatmaker., is one of the newest. From our debut concert, this version of Haydn’s mercurial Symphony #80.

red fish blue fish
Perspehassa - Iannis Xenakis (Mode Records)

One of most awe-inspiring percussion pieces of all times is Xenakis’s Persephassa. This recording is the first of many I did with red fish blue fish, the ensemble of graduate student percussionists I found at UC San Diego 20 years ago. The final five minutes of the recording, recorded in multiple tracks to realize accurately Xenakis’s indication for the extremely dense tremolos, is about as exciting as percussion music gets.

John Luther Adams
Mathematics of Resonant Bodies (Cantaloupe Records)

Listening to John’s music makes me feel like I am standing in powerful surf: excitement is always tempered by the sense that you’re about to lose your footing. The titanic and tidal Mathematics of Resonant Bodies has been the touchstone for our long friendship.

Amériques (1922 version)

On the first day of my first visit to New York City, I walked from a friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side down the length of Manhattan to stand outside of Edgard Varèse’s house on Sullivan Street. I now know that apartment as the home of my friend Chou Wen-chung and his wife Yi-an. But on that cool sunny day in early November of 1977 all I could think of when I stood in front of the famous door was that this was where Varèse lived and worked. Even though Amériques was composed before he bought the Sullivan Street house, it has come to symbolize Varèse deep resonance with New York. You don’t have to listen very hard to hear the sounds of the city he loved.

Get Back – The Beatles (for Ringo’s snare drum sound)

I am a big fan of Ringo Starr. Not just for the nostalgia of my childhood love of the Beatles, but because of his rock solid time and the density of his sounds. The snare drum playing on Get Back is as good as it gets.

Tabla Solo in Japthal – Ustad Alla Rakha
Drum set solos – Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Sunny Murray

I include two clips of non-Western percussion pieces to underscore the solidarity I feel with all percussionists, whatever their tradition. I also like to remind myself that, as we celebrate the percussive art as one of the advance guards of contemporary music, it also has a global tradition thousands of years.

Gamelan Gong Kebyar
Gene Kruppa and Barbara Stanwick “Drum Boogie”…
…and then his encore!

Hurt – Johnny Cash (He lived in Casitas Springs)

I love the “beautiful un-beautiful” voice. And there are lots of great examples. I chose this late song from Johnny Cash – a cover of Trent Rezner’s “Hurt” – for two reasons: Firstly, he Johnny Cash lived for a while in Casitas Springs, just down the road from Ojai, and secondly because, well, he’s Johnny Cash. My “WWJCD” wrist band stands for “What would Johnny Cash do?”

Equatorial - Edgard Varèse
Los Hermanos – Mercedes Souza

Two very different songs with roots in Latin America. Varèse’s mysterious and magisterial Ecuatorial, here in the version for male chorus and ensemble instead of soloist evokes a people in contact with their primal environment. In Mercedes Souza’s account of Atahualpa Yupanqui’s Los Hermanos, we hear people in contact with each other. Los Hermanos was the anthem of the dissident left-wing under the dictatorships in Argentina and Chile. “Tengo tantos hermanos que no los puedo contra…y una hermana muy hermosa qui se llama libertad.”

Quatre Chansons – Gérard Grisey
Le Voce sotto Vetro –  Salvatore Sciarinno

Fejben zsonglőrködő férfiak

What I love about Roland’s art is the precision with which he views the theatrical space. For him a simple movement, like raising the gaze, is to be as disciplined and refined a gesture as a Mozartean cadence. This clip of his two-person show, with juggler Jerome Thoma, shows that in abundance. The precision of the visual counterpoint is dizzying!

I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash
Atmospheres – Gyorgy Ligeti
Two of Us – The Beatles

These are pretty self-explanatory. Johnny Cash takes us on a tour of American cities. Ligeti takes us even farther away into a sound world of pure imagination. Two of Us was a rare amicable moment in the Beatles contentious last album. One of the great love songs of all times, it celebrates the Lennon/McCartney friendship.

And finally the encore!

Mr. Bean’s Invisible Drum Set

I include it because it’s funny, of course. But behind the humor is a fundamental truth about percussion music: It’s not percussion instruments that define as much as the gestures of performance. Percussionists from widely disparate traditions, playing very different instruments, and having very different personal histories, all make the same physical gestures. The hand lifts and then, whether with or without holding a stick, falls to meet an instrument. This physical arc and the sweet kink of contact with the surface of an instrument (or in Rowan Atkinson’s case with an imagined surface) rather any particular sound that is produced is what makes a percussionist.


“In The Ojai Spirit” by Christopher Hailey


For nearly 70 years, the Ojai Music Festival has been a laboratory for the special chemistry that results from combining insatiable curiosity with unbounded creativity. The formula is simple: Each year a music director is given the freedom and resources to imagine four days of musical brainstorming. Some have approached their task with caution, fearing that Ojai might be like other places. But, of course, it’s not. More often this unique blend of enchanted setting and an audience voracious in its appetite for challenge and discovery has inspired a distinguished series of conductors, performers, composers to push at boundaries and stretch limits.

At its inception in 1947, under the guidance of Festival founder John Bauer and conductor Thor Johnson, the Festival featured a balance of classics and more contemporary fare. By the time Lawrence Morton took over as Artistic Director in 1954 the emphasis had shifted to new music and Ojai soon became the showcase as well as a home-away-from-home for such 20th century giants as Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Lou Harrison, and Olivier Messiaen, not to mention two Southern California “locals”: Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky. It was Morton who established the tradition of rotating Music Directors and with this innovation each year’s Festival became the reflection of a succession of larger-than-life personalities, including Robert Craft (joined in 1955 and 1956 by Stravinsky), Copland, Ingolf Dahl, the late Lukas Foss, Boulez, Peter Maxwell-Davies, as well as such rising stars as Michael Tilson Thomas, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and David Robertson. Through the years Ojai’s Music Directors have invited distinguished soloists, first-rate chamber ensembles, and world-class orchestras to join them in exploring the intersection between new music and everything from jazz and improvisation to electronics and computers; dance, theater, and experimental staging to social and political issues, not to mention repertory that might go back to the Middle Ages or reach across the globe.

Looking back, it would be difficult to identify any overarching aesthetic premise, though from year to year there has been no shortage of agendas. Rather, the thread running through these past decades has been this Festival’s consistency in promoting creativity and innovation. Here in Ojai hallowed masterpieces and in-your-face experiments can be uneasy bedfellows sharing a berth that is a pedestal of repose for one, a trampoline for the other. And that rumble you hear? It is the steady grumbling from an audience whose outspoken views on any and every subject are the entitlement of its loyalty. Its passion is the true barometer of the health of this Festival. No smugness here; no indifference, either. This is a place for enthusiasms, often excessive, and opinions, sometimes vociferous, and a hunger for shared discovery that reaffirms, year after year, why music matters in the first place.

- Christopher Hailey

Festival Music Directors >>
Festival Milestones >>
Festival Fact Sheet >>


Meet Candida Condor: New Festival Subscriber


Robert Spano conducts the performance of The Rothko Chapel by the Ojai Festival Singers

Robert Spano conducts the performance of “Rothko Chapel ” by the Ojai Festival Singers at the Saturday Late Night concert.

“Earlier this year, 2014, a very dear friend of mine, Annat Provo, invited me to share her series tickets to the Ojai Music Festival. Although I have heard of the Festival for years, I had not attended before. I was delighted to accept her generosity!

The quantity, quality and variety of experience offered by the Festival surprised me. I loved going up to Meditation Mount in the early morning, and staying up late in the balmy evening to be transported by Rothko Chapel – my new favorite music.

Another delightful surprise was the interesting conversation we had with those seated around us. One handsome fellow sitting just in front of me told us about the Rothko Chapel in Houston, about the large canvases hung on the four walls of the spacious room. About the natural light built into the design of the building so that the canvases constantly change as the sun and clouds move across the sky. If I go to Houston, I won’t miss it! And I’ll have the music on my iPod…

Another delightful man, and long-time Festival friend of my friend, was so knowledgeable about the music, the musicians and the composers, and shared so graciously, he brought a greater depth to our appreciation and enjoyment of the excellently executed performances.

I was struck by the community atmosphere I felt everywhere I went. It was such a friendly, warm and welcoming experience. I felt embraced by the music, the town, the weather, and everyone I encountered.

So I now have my own series season ticket and seat — sitting right next to my good friend!”

– submitted by Candida Condor

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Watch the Saturday Late Night featuring Rothko Chapel >

18th Annual Holiday Home Look In & Marketplace – November 15-16


Celebrate the festive seasons at the 18th Annual Holiday Home Look In
November 15 & 16, 2014 | 10am to 4pm

Become a Holiday Home Look In Sponsor >>
Purchase Holiday Home Look In Tickets >>

The Ojai Festivals Women’s Committee invites guests on a tour of four distinctive Ojai Valley homes celebrating the art of living and unique approaches to celebrating the festive seasons. The 18th Holiday Home Look In, November 15 and 16, is known for highlighting architectural contrasts within the Ojai Valley, a unique feature compared to other home tours in the area.

The 2014 homes reflect four diverse architectural styles, starting with a Masonic Lodge built in 1927 and transformed recently into a private residence in the Palladian manner. There is also a beautiful Craftsman in the Greene & Greene style. Completed just seven months ago, it looks like it’s been in place 100 years. The remaining two homes pay homage to contemporary Mediterranean and Spanish influences. Each features exceptional tree- and landscapes and extensive art collections ranging from cowgirl pop to black & white master photography.

In addition, the annual Holiday Marketplace takes places the same weekend at the Matilija Junior High School Gymnasium (701 El Paseo Road) with more than 40 vendors and artisans. Admission to the marketplace is free.

The tour and marketplace benefit the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO! music education and community programs, which offer free workshops and performances to Ojai Valley public schools and the community.

The tour price is $30 per person advance and $35 day of the event. A group discount is also available for 8 or more people. Organizers request no cameras allowed on the tour or children under 12 years of age. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended (no high-heeled shoes allowed). Shuttle service will be provided for one of the homes.

Read more about the homes featured on the tour >>

Q & A With New Board President David Nygren

D Nygren

The Ojai Music Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of David Nygren as president of the board of directors, effective August 2014. David, who has served on the Ojai board since 2011, is the founder and CEO of Nygren Consulting LLC, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions, board effectiveness, organizational strategy, and executive competency assessment. His company balances Fortune 500 for-profit businesses with the non-profit sector where he works extensively with health systems and arts institutions including the New York Philharmonic and New World Symphony.

David was also the executive vice president at DePaul University, where he was awarded rank and tenure in the department of Psychology, teaching organizational theory and design, leadership, and corporate governance.

He assumes leadership of the board after Stephen (Mike) J.M. Morris, who served an extraordinary year of service as president. Mike will continue to serve on the Festival’s executive committee for a smooth transition.

Recently, David spoke with us about coming on the Ojai board, as well as his favorite Ojai moments.

OMF: What are some of your most memorable moments from past Festivals?

DN: My favorite moments are in the splendor of what we experience only here. I marvel at [artistic director] Tom Morris’ brilliance in convening artists from around the world in this beautiful setting and at the spell of their performances.

These have included the toy piano concert in the Libbey Park playground, the surprise appearance of the marching band last year, and early morning concerts at Meditation Mount. What strikes me over and over is the profound humility of the musicians when they take their bow, show their delight, and rejoice in the intimacy of the audience.

OMF: You have served on many non-profit boards and are often asked to serve; what made you choose the Ojai Music Festival?

DN: My willingness to join and support the Festival comes from a deep love of music and my belief in the power of creativity to change the face of the world. As a result, I make personal investments in organizations whose intent it is to advance the common good.

There is nothing quite like Ojai where this level of creativity is inserted in the beauty of the Ojai Valley, where the mountains and the music are in harmony. The most talented artists come together here to express their potential and give us that gift. I have traveled and visited many festivals on other continents…None compare to the experience of the Ojai Music Festival.

OMF: What are you looking for when you join a board?

DN: When I think about joining a board, I think about my passion for the mission of the organization, and I expect the same drive, commitment, and enthusiasm from my fellow board members. On the Ojai Music Festival board, I have found a group that professes a love of the mission and whose eyes light up as soon as we talk about Tom’s programming. This group is intellectually alive, deeply committed financially, and anxious to know about the next innovation.

In Ojai, we have a committed board, extraordinary artistic direction with Tom Morris, and an exceptional guide in [executive director] Janneke Straub.

OMF: Your consulting firm is well-known for facilitating company and organizational growth through effective leadership and long-term strategies. What would you say today’s challenges are for arts non-profit organizations?

DN: The challenges of all arts organizations today are relevance to the communities they serve and financial viability. Neither will hold back the Ojai Music Festival, which is the most deserving arts organization in Southern California. It is my hope as the new president, that California and beyond will continue to support the enormous innovations that are happening in Ojai.

Read about Nygren Consulting >>

Enjoy Concerts From The Festival With Our Live Stream Library

Friday Evening Concert - June 13, 2014
Friday Evening Concert - June 13, 2014

World Premiere of 'The Classical Style: An Opera (of sorts)'. Libretto: Jeremy Denk, Composer: Steven Stucky

Thursday Evening Concert - June 12, 2014
Thursday Evening Concert - June 12, 2014

Pianist Jeremy Denk performs at the 68th Ojai Music Festival at Libbey Bowl followed by "Mahler Reimagined" with the Uri Caine Ensemble.

Saturday Morning Concert - June 14, 2014
Saturday Morning Concert - June 14, 2014

Music of Charles Ives with Jeremy Denk, Jennifer Frautschi and Hudson Shad

2014 Ojai Music Festival - The Knights, Storm Large and Hudson Shad
2014 Ojai Music Festival - The Knights, Storm Large and Hudson Shad

2014 Ojai Music Festival - "Jupiter" Symphony and "Canonade"
2014 Ojai Music Festival - "Jupiter" Symphony and "Canonade"

The 2014 Festival morning concert featured The Knights performing Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony followed by the second half called “Canonade” conceived by Music Director Jeremy Denk as “a mélange of musical canons and canon-esque miscellaney” with selected works by Josquin, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Kurtág, Purcell, P.D.Q. Bach, Uri Caine, and J.S. Bach.

2014 Ojai Music Festival - Friday Late Night with Uri Caine Sextet
2014 Ojai Music Festival - Friday Late Night with Uri Caine Sextet

Pianist/Composer Uri Caine and his Uri Caine Sextet reimagine the music of George Gershwin including "Rhapsody in Blue" at the ever-popular Late Nights at Libbey Bowl during the 2014 Ojai Music Festival.

2014 Ojai Music Festival - Friday Late Night with Uri Caine Sextet
2014 Ojai Music Festival - Saturday Late Night
2014 Ojai Music Festival - Saturday Late Night

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi opens the Saturday Late Night concert with a performance of Bach's Violin Sonata No. 3, followed by Morton Feldman's 'Rothko Chapel', performed by the Ojai Festival Singers and members of The Knights, led by Robert Spano.

Use the drop-downs to view program information:

Thursday Talks - June 12, 2014 - coming soon!

1:00 PM – Ojai Community Church

Part I: Festival Overview with Jeremy Denk
Part II: An Ensemble for the 21st Century: The Musician’s View
with Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights
Ara Guzelimian, Ojai Talks director

Thursday Evening Concert - June 12, 2014

8:00 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Jeremy Denk, piano
Uri Caine Ensemble

Selections from Janáček’s On An Overgrown Path interwoven with short works by Schubert
URI CAINE: Mahler Re-Imagined – The music of Gustav Mahler viewed through Uri Caine’s lens of transformation and improvisation

Friday Talks - June 13, 2014

1:00 PM – Ojai Community Church

The Classical Style: Impact and Implications
Part I: Jeremy Denk on Charles Rosen
Part II: An in-depth panel discussion on the award-winning book, The Classical Style, with Timo Andres and Don M. Randel
Part III: Mary Birnbaum, director, and Steven Stucky, composer

Friday Evening Concert - June 13, 2014

8:00 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

HAYDN: String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No.3, “Rider”
JEREMY DENK / STEVEN STUCKY: The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)- WORLD PREMIERE

Friday Late Night Concert - June 13, 2014

10:30 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Uri Caine Sextet

The music of George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, reimagined and improvised by Uri Caine

Saturday Morning Concert - June 14, 2014

11:00 AM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Jeremy Denk, piano

IVES: Sonatas for Violin and Piano, Nos. 1-4 (complete)

Saturday Evening Concert I - June 14, 2014 - coming soon!

6:00 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Jeremy Denk, piano
Timo Andres, piano
Alex Sopp, flute
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Miranda Sielaff, viola
Eric Jacobsen, cello

The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor

ANDREW NORMAN: Light Screens
MOZART / TIMO ANDRES: Coronation Concerto Re-composition

Saturday Evening Concert II - June 14, 2014 - coming soon!

8:00 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Storm Large, vocalist
Hudson Shad Quartet
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor

BOCCHERINI (arr. The Knights): String Quintet in C major Op. 30, No. 6 – “La musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid”
IVES: Three Places in New England (1930 version)
FELDMAN: Madame Press Died Last Week at Ninety
STOCKHAUSEN (arr. Caroline Shaw): Tierkreis – Leo
WEILL: Seven Deadly Sins (in English)

Saturday Late Night Concert - June 14, 2014

10:30 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Members of The Knights
- Max Mandel, viola
- Joseph Gramley, percussion
- Steven Beck, celesta
Ojai Festival Singers
Robert Spano, conductor

J.S. BACH: Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005
FELDMAN: Rothko Chapel

Sunday Morning Concert - June 15, 2014

11:00 AM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Timo Andres, piano
Jeremy Denk, piano
Lisa Kaplan, piano
Uri Caine Ensemble
Hudson Shad

The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor

MOZART: Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter”
Canonade: A “mélange of musical canons and canon-esque miscellaney” with selected works by Josquin, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Kurtág, Purcell, P.D.Q. Bach, Uri Caine, and J.S. Bach

Sunday Evening Concert - June 15, 2014

5:30 PM – Libbey Bowl, Ojai, CA

Jeremy Denk, piano
Ojai Festival Singers
The Knights
Kevin Fox, Eric Jacobsen, conductors

LIGETI: Piano Études Books I & II
IVES: Psalm 90
BEETHOVEN: Fantasy in C Minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op.80, “Choral Fantasy”

2014 Festival Audience Survey Results

Each year, the Festival conducts an audience survey as an ongoing effort to measure various aspects of our own performance and receive feedback from patrons. Below are the results from this past Festival in June. We strive to improve our efforts and appreciate our Festival community’s interest in our forward plans.

We welcome any additional comments and observations. Please email us at or write your comments below.

Survey invitations were e-mailed to 2014 Festival attendees the week following the event. Of a total of 678 delivered, 323 were returned for a response rate of 48%.

Survey 1

survey slide 2a

survey slide 2

survey slide 8

survey slide 7

 Ratings for the following:

1. Food Trucks on Friday Night:

  • Excellent 16%
  • Good 41%
  • Adequate 18%
  • Fair 13%
  • Poor 12%
  • Comments: Just didn’t have time to try the food trucks and would love to have done so….perhaps more than one night; more food truck varieties; more places to sit

2. Saturday Supper at Libbey Park

  • Excellent 45%
  • Good 33%
  • Adequate 17%
  • Fair 2%
  • Poor 3%

3. Live Streaming

  • Excellent 21%
  • Good 56%
  • Adequate 18%
  • Fair 3%
  • Poor 2%
  • Comments: Live streaming and intermission interviews seen after returning home; loved it!

4. Gathering Place in Libbey Park

  • Excellent 41%
  • Good 45%
  • Adequate 11%
  • Fair 2%
  • Poor 1%

View complete PDF >>

Selections of Enthusiastic Patrons’ Memorable Moments
There were so many memorable moments that were shared. Here are several to read online, or read 2014 Selections of Memorable Moments

Hands down: The Classical Style. We loved it and wished we could sit through it twice. (Two of us are trained musically; the third, just a music lover.) Next I’d have to say Jeremy Denk playing the Ligeti Etudes.

I wished I could spend all four days in Ojai. The organization was perfect. Enough restrooms, very clean. I watched afterwards the videos and the program and artists are outstanding. Also very funny especially my first language is German.

Listening to the musicians at the Gazebo on Friday and hearing Storm.

Lying with my young son under the giant oak on the lawn listening to Mozart on a gorgeous Sunday morning and getting a picture that captured the moment – smiles all around.

Sitting in the middle of the choir at Sunday Sunrise concert.  My whole body was immersed in the sound, and my soul was deeply touched by the power of the voices around me.

Both Late night concerts were excellent.  I loved the discussions on Thu and Fri but must admit that I liked Jeremy’s discussion of the idea of the opera more than the opera itself.  Brooklyn Rider and that venue were amazing but so was Sun morning at Meditation Mount and I am not a choral lover usually.

Sunday morning: sitting in that beautiful bowl with the trees and their dappled sunlight and listening to Mozart and the bird’s responses.  It was exquisite.


5 Things to Expect In 2015 Including Pipa Player Wu Man


The “hot” ensemble heading to Ojai next year will be ICE (International Chamber Ensemble).

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris and Music Director Steven Schick have a lot to share about the 2015 Ojai Music Festival these next 11 months. Plans are underway and we thought we’d give you a glimpse of 5 things to get you started.

1. Performances of works by 19 living composers new to Ojai. Read more about it here >>

2. The West Coast premiere of John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World. Learn more about his new outdoor work which makes its world premiere at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Click here >>

3. Festival debuts by ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), pipa virtuoso Wu Man,  cellist Maya Beiser, and San Diego based chamber ensemble Renga

4. Schick Machine directed by Paul Dresher performed by Steven Schick – a visually compelling world of mechanical devices, invented instruments, and seemingly infinite sonic possibilities. Watch here >>

5. A special pre-Festival event on Wednesday, June 10 of Pierre Boulez: A Portrait, a spectacular multi-media kaleidoscope production with narration, archive films clips, live music, and stage set by Frank Gehry, part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series.

There is so much more to share. Stay tuned as more details are in the works!

Save your seat for an intriguing program of music, talks, events, films, and more. Buy Online >>

Call us at 805 646 2053 for questions about seats or our payment plan.

Enjoy 2014 Live Streaming Concerts

68th Ojai Music Festival - Libbey Bowl - June 14, 2014

Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today interviews Jeremy Denk, music director, during one of the intermission interviews during the 68th Ojai Music Festival. Photo by Timothy Norris.

Libbey Bowl Concerts and Ojai Talks of the 68th Ojai Music Festival, June 12–15, are now archived on our Festival website for your viewing pleasure.

A highlight of this year’s 2014 Ojai Live offerings includes the June 13 world premiere of the new opera with libretto by Jeremy Denk and music by Steven Stucky, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts). The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ojai premiere is supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This year, Ojai Live features an enhanced HD five-camera shoot with concert-quality sound produced by Little Dog Live ( Intermission interviews with artists and special guests were hosted by Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Now in its 68th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its audience whose interest has resulted in record sales. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via these live and archival webcasts.

Watch the stream of the Friday evening concert below and view more videos on the archives here >>

Support New Music, New Ideas, New Learning: Make A Gift To The Festival

68th Ojai Music Festival - Libbey Bowl - June 13, 2014

Led by Artistic Director Tom Morris and Music Director Jeremy Denk, the 68th Ojai Music Festival will be remembered for its amazing concerts and witty, thought-provoking programs.

This record breaking year was marked by sold out performances, the world premiere of Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s comic opera, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts), a substantial increase in impact thanks to the residency of American Public Media’s Fred Child (Performance Today), and enhanced live video streaming, which has already attracted over 7,000 views from 43 countries. All Libbey Bowl concerts and Ojai Talks are now available to view on our website for free.

This is just the beginning. The Festival’s creative spirit and commitment to nurturing the musicians of today is stronger than ever. Led by Music Director Steven Schick, the 2015 Ojai Music Festival will include works by 20 living composers. With future Music Directors, Peter Sellars in 2016 and Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2017, Steve will open the door to 70 more years of adventurous programming.

We invite you to join us by making a donation by fiscal year end (July 31) and ensure a vibrant future. We support new music, new ideas, new love, and learning. It is our commitment and investment in collective creativity that sets the Ojai Music Festival apart.

Your support is important to us, to the musicians and to the Ojai community.

Make a donation here >>

Read the 2014 Festival Reviews

Bowl day shot

Each June, the Ojai Valley becomes a musical epicenter where audience members, industry leaders, musicians, and members of the press come together and experience innovative programming.

After each Festival, we gather feedback from audience members and colleagues, as well as share press reviews of the 2014 Festival. Read excerpts from the media, and for your convenience, download a complete press review sheet as a PDF here >>

“Like all births, there is something new in the room that wasn’t there before. For Stucky and Denk, this is a fleeting instant of transcendence, namely a miracle.”

Los Angeles Times

“’The Classical Style’ is a mash-up of Glenn Gould at his most satirical, PDQ Bach at his sauciest and a distractedly erudite Rosen cooking up a French sauce while pontificating on harmonic structure in his kitchen. But underlying the jokes (good ones and the groaners) and tomfoolery, Stucky’s resourceful score and Denk’s droll text produce an ingeniously eloquent musing on the meaning of life.”

Los Angeles Times

Read Mark Swed’s wrap-up review >>

“…the concert’s second half was a revelation, with the American pianist and composer Uri Caine and his jazz sextet deconstructing aspects of Gustav Mahler’s oeuvre, including the Adagietto of his Fifth Symphony and the conclusion of “Das Lied von der Erde” (for which a cantor was added). Teasing out the earthy building blocks of these complex and deeply felt masterpieces—that is, the folk songs, military marches and Jewish wedding tunes—Mr. Caine and company reimagined Mahler’s Olympian creations in more human-scale terms.”

Wall Street Journal

“On Saturday morning, he [Jeremy Denk] and Jennifer Frautschi performed with exquisite concentration all four of Ives’s Violin Sonatas, over the cawing of a multitude of crows. In typical Ojai fashion, the experience was enhanced by the presence of the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad…”

Wall Street Journal

“…the definitive factor in Ojai, the thing that sets its apart from ordinary concert life, is the programming. Take that away and you just have pretty concerts in a park. For the listening gourmet, Ojai is the place to taste new things, in abundance, and take a break from Tchaikovsky and Brahms meat and potatoes.”

Orange County Register

Read Tim Mangan’s two reviews: June 13 issue and June 15 issue

“…the pleasantly nostalgic backdrop offered by Stucky’s well-crafted and wide-ranging score, which empliys faux 18th-century music up to Strauss and Stucky himself. Throughout, conductor Robert Spano showed the Knights, the festival’s ‘resident’ orchestra, at their transparent best.” – Musical America

“He [Jeremy Denk] proved to be a terrific fit for this quirky, brainy, adventuresome little festival…”

Classical Voice North America

“…the area’s most consistently thrilling annual event, there was plenty of incredible music to swoon over, obsess about, or just ponder, albeit in new ways.”

Santa Barbara Independent

“From that felicitous combination came an effervescent joy in music that Denk emanates by simply being himself, a man of wit and wonder and a performer of infinite possibilities. Musicians and audience alike couldn’t stop smiling with obvious delight as they shared in his bit of musical heaven.”

– Ventura County Star

The Seven Deadly Sins (libretto by Brecht) was a lot of fun, and well sung by bombshell Storm Large, portraying a woman who experienced all seven and then some, and quartet Hudson Shad.

- Culture Clash
Read Scott Timberg’s review from June 19 >>

Conductors Eric Jacobson & Kevin Fox, alongside New York’s versatile orchestral collective The Knights and the Ojai Festival Singers left the mixed-age audience of both locals and visitors enraptured by the scope of the multiplicitous beauty and wide-ranging inquiry of the festival’s finale.

I Care If You Listen 

Jeremy Denk, In Words and Music: Read The Los Angeles Times Article

by Barbara Isenberg
June 2, 2014

jeremy-denk-2012-sqThese are illustrious times for the pianist and writer Jeremy Denk. Last year he won a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, was named Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year and signed a book contract to expand a New Yorker article about piano lessons.

A few months ago, he received the $75,000 Avery Fisher Prize, and in a few weeks he heads west to become music director of the 68th annual Ojai Music Festival. The festival, starting June 12, should offer a change of pace for Denk. Instead of his usual concertizing across the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, he’ll be in residence at the four-day festival — and in charge.

“I’ve never curated anything like this before,” the 44-year-old musician said over coffee on the Upper West Side. “I’ve never had the responsibility for a weekend’s stimulation.”

Denk had been friendly with Rosen, who died last year at 85, and greatly admired Rosen’s “The Classical Style.”

He had never written an opera libretto before, either. But besides curating the festival and performing there, he’s come up with “The Classical Style: An Opera [of Sorts],” which will be given its premiere in Ojai. Based on pianist Charles Rosen’s 1971 scholarly book, “The Classical Style,” with music by composer Steven Stucky, the comic opera features such things as Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn playing Scrabble in heaven.

Read the complete article >>



The Lawn Experience: Tips and FAQ


Thank you for being a part of our Festival lawn area! The lawn is a special experience for Festival patrons – it’s the place to enjoy a picnic before the concert; meet with a group of friends or family; and lie down to stargaze while enjoying the Festival’s music.

To help you enjoy the lawn, here are some things to know:


  • The right side of the lawn is designated for taller chairs and the left side for low-rise chairs.  (A low-rise, beach-style chair is a chair with legs of 10 inches or shorter and an overall height limit of 28 inches.) Patrons with higher-rise chairs, such as camping or deck chairs, will be asked to move to the right side or rear of the lawn so as not to hinder the views of others.
  • Line up early! Lawn lines start as early as two hours before a concert begins. There are two lines for lawn patrons – the left is designated for lawn series subscribers with an access pass and the right for single pass holders.
  • Save your place! Lawn series pass subscribers have the opportunity to save their spot on the lawn between the morning and evening concerts; please use the “Save My Spot” card mailed with your passes.
  • Store it! If you are attending two concerts in one day, you can also place your lawn chairs and blankets near the lawn entrance gate between concerts.  Please do not leave personal belongings as Festival staff cannot be responsible for items left unattended.
  • The Libbey Bowl and Park is a no-smoking and alcohol-free zone designated by the City of Ojai.
  • Ojai weather can be quite unpredictable! During the evening concerts we highly recommend bringing a warm blanket and for the day bringing sunscreen and wearing a hat in case it gets too hot.
  • At the Festival there are food vendors who will have a variety of light food options and beverages. For a greater variety, you can head to the various eateries within walking distance from the Bowl. Visit for suggestions.
  • We’re happy to have children enjoy concerts; however, we know they can become restless! If your child needs to stretch their legs, please take them outside the Bowl so as not to disrupt the concert experience for other lawn patrons.


*For the Friday Evening concert featuring the world premiere of The Classical Style: The incline of the lawn is fairly low in relation to the Libbey Bowl stage. For this concert, we will have a small area on the left side for better viewing. Please see the head usher that evening.*


Thank you and enjoy!


What Does Ojai Mean To You?

Each June for four days, Ojai is bustling with music lovers from all across the country, east to west and north to south. Curious and deeply committed patrons gather to experience provocative, unusual, and sometimes, challenging programs of music that encourage stretching musical expectations. As one patron explained, it’s “an eye opening (and ear opening) revelation.” 

In fact, the number of Festival series subscribers has steadily increased in the last four years, almost 30% each year.

As one patron said in a recent survey: “Continue with bold decisions in modern music and keep the Ojai ambiance exactly as it is.”

To each his or her own. Everyone comes away with something different, something special about Ojai. Recently, we asked several of our patrons, “What Does Ojai Mean to You?” And in our usual, Ojai Festival fashion, they had a lot to say. Watch the video below:

Share your comments – what does Ojai mean to you?

Ojai Eats – Food Trucks and Prix Fixe Menus



This year, the Ojai community joins the Festival in offering new dining options. From box meals to prix fixe menus at participating restaurants, there is a range of ways to fit a unique Ojai meal into your Festival schedule. View Festival Dining Events >>


Prix Fixe Menus – These participating restaurants feature delicious, one-of-a-kind menus that ensure you will be well fed and back at Libbey Bowl in time for the next concert!

Agave MariasAgave Maria’s Restaurant & Cantina
11:30am – 9:00pm
106 S. Montgomery St | 805 646 6353 | Website 
Open late with limited menu after Friday Evening Concert


deerlodgeDeer Lodge
11am/8:30am (wknds) – 2am
2261 Maricopa Hwy. | 805 646 4256 | Website
Open late with limited menu after evening weekend concerts
Reservations strongly recommended


feastFeast Bistro
Tues-Sat: 11:30am – 2:30pm | 5:30pm – 9pm (dinner)
254 E. Ojai Ave. | 805 640 9260 | Website
Reservations strongly recommended



Los Caporales Restaurant & Tequila Bar
307 E. Ojai Ave. | 805 646 5452 | Website
Open late with limited menu after evening concerts




Osteria Monte Grappa
Sun – Thurs: 11:30am – 8:30pm | Friday – Sat: 11:30am – 10:00pm
242 E. Ojai Ave | 805 640 6767 | Website
Open late with limited menu after evening concerts



Suzanne’s Cuisine

11:30 am – close (closed Tuesday)
502 W. Ojai Ave. | 805 640 1961 | Website
Reservations strongly recommended

View a list of all local restaurants >>


Friday á la Carte
Friday, June 13 | 5:00-9:00pm
Los Caporales Restaurant parking lot (downtown Ojai)
Choose from gourmet food trucks to special Festival prix fixe menus at participating restaurants. Food Trucks include Scratch, Sweet Arleen’s, The Green Truck, and The Jolly Oyster.

Legacy Lunch
Saturday, June 14 | 1:00-3:00pm
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Celebrate and honor longtime attendees with Festival friends. Plus, Christopher Hailey interviews Storm Large. $55/person. Purchase tickets >>

Saturday Supper
Saturday, June 14 | 7:00-8:15pm
Libbey Park
Between the two evening concerts, enjoy a family-style supper with Festival patrons. The special box meal includes dinner, dessert, and wine. $40/person. Purchase tickets >>

View Menu

Mixed organic greens with dried cranberries, toasted candied pecans, slivered red onions, goat cheese, Tossed with an orange balsamic vinaigrette

Roasted and sliced lemon-rosemary chicken OR Moroccan-inspired quinoa pilaf with local organic vegetables

Fruit and chocolate tart square

Become A Festival Volunteer Today!


The Ojai Music Festival depends on a large team of talented and dedicated volunteers who take part in all aspects of the Festival. Volunteer opportunities range from working with the Festival’s operations team to ushering, administration, and special events. We invite you to lend your time and talents and be a part of the incredible experience of the Festival.

Download a Volunteer Application Form >>

For more information please call 805 646 2094 ext. 100 or email



Ojai Live video-streams world premiere of commissioned opera, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)

Ojai Live video-streams world premiere of commissioned opera,
The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)
libretto by Jeremy Denk and music by Steven Stucky June 13 at 8:00 pm PST

Live and archival HD webcasts of the 68th Ojai Music Festival
(June 12-15, 2014) with Jeremy Denk, Music Director
include Libbey Bowl concerts and Ojai Talks
[see streams here]

Download PDF of the press release >>

Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today hosts intermission interviews with Festival artists and guests. Navigate to to watch the streams beginning Thursday, June 12.

“Ojai gives you a freedom to create a program that reflects the diversity of your tastes… [music] of great reverence and transcendence and music of great irreverence.”
– Jeremy Denk, Music Director

OJAI, CA – May 27, 2014: Concerts and talks of the 68th Ojai Music Festival, June 12–15, will be streamed live at, and archived on the site after the Festival. The 2014 Festival embraces both the Festival’s ideals and the inventive musical mind of this year’s music director, Jeremy Denk. Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, and Mr. Denk have programmed a festival reflecting music about music.

Ojai Live begins streaming at 1:00pm (Pacific Time) on Thursday, June 12 with the Ojai Talks series hosted by Ara Guzelimian – an interview with Jeremy Denk, followed by a second session featuring Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights, who will talk about the reinvention of orchestras.

A highlight of the 2014 Ojai Live offerings includes the June 13 world premiere of the new opera with libretto by Mr. Denk and music by Steven Stucky, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts). The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ojai premiere is supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ojai Live, which streams Festival concerts from the Ojai Music Festival website (, this year features an enhanced HD five-camera shoot with concert-quality sound produced by Little Dog Live ( Intermission interviews with artists and special guests will be hosted by Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world in real time with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances, interview segments, and symposia.

Now in its 68th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its audience whose interest has resulted in record sales. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via these live and archival webcasts.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival offers a complete immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai remains a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, eighth blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, and Jeremy Denk.

The Festival has also recently announced music directors for 2015–2017: Steven Schick, percussionist, for 2015; Peter Sellars, director, for 2016; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer/conductor, for 2017.

Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North will take place June 19–21 in Berkeley, CA. The Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley was inaugurated in 2011. The combination of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions creates a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately.

Festival Passes & Information
Singles concert passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at or by calling 805 646 2053. Single concert passes range from $35 to $120. Lawn seating is $15.

Directions to Ojai, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Ojai web site. Follow Festival updates on the web at, Facebook ( and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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Saturday Evening Concert I Program Change

The new work by Andrew Norman, set to be performed by Jeremy Denk, will be replaced by another work by Mr. Norman.

Andrew Norman regrets that he was unable to complete his new piece, 140 characters or less, in sufficient time to allow for a premiere at the Ojai Music Festival.  Mr. Denk looks forward to performing the piece at a later date.

SATURDAY, June 14, 6pm

Andrew Norman
Light Screens

Alex Sopp, flute
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Miranda Sielaff, viola
Eric Jacobsen, cello
Mozart/Timo Andres
Coronation” Concerto Re-composition

Timo Andres, piano
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor

View the complete Saturday schedule here >>