Festivals

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What is it that makes the Ojai Music Festival special?

For four days each June, the Ojai Music Festival becomes the summer home for exceptional artists, who are given the freedom to create daring programs that present the familiar and unfamiliar in fresh, unusual ways. This lively creative process draws audiences into an immersive experience in the enchanting setting of the Ojai Valley that encompasses stimulating lectures and engaging concerts, and ranges from early morning sunrise performances on Ojai hilltops to the stillness of late night concerts in Libbey Bowl. Each day welcomes music lovers, community members, and the culturally curious to discover joyful, moving, and surprising moments in an iconic event that has endured for close to seven decades.

There is a very special spirit of collaboration here, fostered in part by the gorgeous natural setting and also by the friendly engagement of everyone involved.”
–  Dawn Upshaw, 2011 Music Director

“What an extraordinary place, what a wonderful venue to perform, what a remarkable audience…added to that, the beauty of the valley, the glory of the light, the stars and the birdsong…”
– George Benjamin, 2010 Music Director

“Ojai is like a dream.  For me personally, it was a great reality where my two cultures met. I couldn’t believe that I was staying right there on the famous Ventura beach, the heart and soul of California surfing. And there up the hill in Ojai was the heart and soul of American great music-making.
- Richard Tognetti (Australian Chamber Orchestra)

“Looking back over Ojai history, the Festival has a history of giving people a chance before they become really recognized for their talents…And there is the unusual mingling with people. Real people. The absence of slickness. No pretense. No feigning or pretending. That is refreshing.”
- Kent Nagano, 1986, 2004 Music Director