Ojai Music Festival and Jeremy Denk Announce 2014 Program Details

Festival includes world premiere (June 13, 2014) of The Classical Style, a comic opera with libretto by Jeremy Denk and music by Steven Stucky; based on the book by Charles Rosen; collaborators include The Knights led by conductor Robert Spano

Brooklyn Rider, Uri Caine, Jennifer Frautschi, and Storm Large join Mr. Denk
in works by Beethoven, Feldman, Haydn, Janáček, Ives, Ligeti,
Mozart, Schubert, and Weill

Works by emerging composers Timo Andres and Andrew Norman introduced to Festival audiences, including the world premiere of Norman’s new piece for solo piano

Thursday evening features Uri Caine’s Mahler Re-Imagined, works of his innovative adaptations and improvisations of Mahler’s music  

Ojai North! partnership with Cal Performances continues for a
fourth season in Berkeley June 19-21, 2014 

OJAI, CA – December 4, 2013:  The 68th Ojai Music Festival (June 12-15, 2014) will present a broad-ranging program that fully reflects both the Festival’s ideals and the inventive musical mind of Music Director Jeremy Denk, announced Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. A highlight of the upcoming Festival is the anticipated world premiere of a commissioned opera conceived by Mr. Denk, The Classical Style, based on the eponymous award-winning book by legendary American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen. With libretto by newly named MacArthur Fellow Mr. Denk and music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, the comic opera will be premiered at the Ojai Music Festival on June 13, 2014, with two further performances in Berkeley on June 19 and 20, 2014.

The opera will be conducted by Robert Spano, conductor, pianist, composer, educator, and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Mr. Spano was Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2006. The Knights, the New York-based orchestral collective, will be in residence during the Ojai Music Festival and will serve as the orchestra for The Classical Style.

Making their Ojai Festival debuts are artistic collaborators who share Mr. Denk’s musical passions and love of fun, including jazz pianist and composer Uri Caine, the trailblazing string quartet Brooklyn Rider, as well as vibrant solo performers violinist Jennifer Frautschi and vocalist Storm Large.

While music by Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn will set the framework for The Classical Style, the Festival features works by Janáček, Ives, Feldman, Ligeti, Schubert, and Weill, plus works by distinctive fast-rising composers, Timo Andres and Andrew Norman.

“We have devised a festival that will truly reveal Jeremy’s very unique, creative, lighthearted, but serious view of music,” said Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. “It’s a festival of music about music. Against a framework of classical pillars (Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven), we will examine such music and others through different lenses. Whether the Stucky/Denk opera, The Classical Style; Uri Caine’s inventive take on Mahler; Timo Andres’ reimagining of Mozart’s Coronation Concerto; the music of Charles Ives (which is all really music about music); Jeremy’s eclectic views on musical canons; Ligeti’s extraordinary Piano Études (marking its first complete performance at the Festival); or the ultimate collection of musical formats, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, this will be an adventure of musical passions, love of fun, provocation, and serious intent.”

Ojai enthusiastically welcomes back Jeremy Denk as the Festival’s 2014 Music Director. Mr. Denk made his Ojai debut in 2009 performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Ives’ First Piano Sonata, plus numerous chamber music works. With his wide-ranging repertoire, Mr. Denk regularly collaborates with leading orchestras, festivals and soloists, and is an active writer through feature articles in The New Yorker and his blog, “Think Denk,” which delves into both musical and non-musical observations.

The 2014 Festival, in keeping with the growing trends of recent Festival years, will include Libbey Bowl concerts, late night concerts, sunrise concerts, films, discussions, social gatherings, and community events. The Festival campus will extend to different outdoor spaces to show the breadth and beauty of the Ojai Valley. Additional details will be released in spring 2014.

Following the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, Ojai North! will be presented by Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA from June 19 to 21. This unique partnership between the Festival and Cal Performances, inaugurated in 2011, melds the artistic creativity of both organizations for the development of joint projects, programming and commissions.

The Classical Style
The Classical Style is the first collaboration between Mr. Denk and Mr. Stucky – and the first opera project for both. The opera is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances in 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. Future performances of The Classical Style are scheduled in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and at the Aspen Music Festival.

Jeremy Denk describes the work as “An opera in which principles of music—harmony, structure—and the big three composers (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), as well as several completely unnecessary characters, find themselves immersed or enmeshed or mired in an opera buffa. Scenes of Charles Rosen, declaiming some of the most eloquent passages from his masterwork, are interspersed with surreal riffs and thought experiments. Although this music is incredibly great, at times we have to acknowledge the often absurd degree to which we’ve subjected it to analysis. The opera buffa genre is simply a way of enjoying this absurdity, turning music inside out to reflect on itself, using one of the iconic masterpieces of analysis as a vehicle.”

The Classical Style will make its world premiere on Friday, June 13. The first half of the concert will feature Brooklyn Rider performing Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3 (“Rider”).

Festival Highlights 
On Thursday, June 12, jazz pianist and composer Uri Caine and his Uri Caine Ensemble performs Mahler Re-Imagined, works from his critically acclaimed CDs, which feature his innovative adaptations, transformations and improvisations of Mahler’s music. Since 1998, Mr. Caine and his group have toured Mahler: Re-Imagined extensively throughout the world. The concert begins with Jeremy Denk performing Leos Janáček’s On An Overgrown Path interwoven with short works by Franz Schubert.

On Friday, June 13, the Festival presents the world premiere of The Classical Style conducted by Robert Spano and performed by The Knights with a cast of eight singers, to be announced at a later date. The comic opera is, in Mr. Denk’s words, “a love letter to Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, and a satire of classical pomp.”

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi makes her Ojai debut on Saturday, June 14, performing all four of Charles Ives’ Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Mr. Denk. She also performs the Bach Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005 at the late night concert Saturday evening.

The Saturday evening concert consists of two parts. The first part, starting at 6pm features the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s new piano work, commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival for Jeremy Denk through a generous grant from Linda and Stuart Nelson. Mr. Norman, known for writing music often inspired by forms and textures he encounters in the visual world, is composer-in-residence for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Norman’s work is paired with Brooklyn-based composer Timo Andres’ reimagining of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto, described by Alex Ross of The New Yorker as “mesmerizing.”  In this work, while the orchestral parts and the treble piano line are as Mozart notated in his original manuscript (Mozart did not fill out most of the piano counterpoint and harmonies since he improvised performances himself), Mr. Andres has recomposed the remainder of the piano part in his own style as if he were improvising a performance today.  The work is performed by Mr. Andres himself, accompanied by The Knights and conducted by Eric Jacobsen, its co-founder and artistic director.

The second part of the Saturday evening concert starts at 8pm and features The Knights conducted by Eric Jacobsen in an eclectic program with works by Luigi Boccherini, Charles Ives, Morton Feldman, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. The evening concludes with Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins performed by the multi-talented vocalist Storm Large and the Hudson Shad vocal quartet.

The Festival continues Sunday morning, June 15, with a broad range of music that Jeremy Denk loves and champions. The concert is comprised of Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony” performed by The Knights conducted by Eric Jacobsen, followed by a second half paying tribute to the musical canon, entitled “Canon-ade,” a mélange of musical canons devised by Jeremy Denk of music by Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Conlon Nancarrow, Thomas Adès, PDQ Bach (Peter Schickle), and a special arrangement by Uri Caine of Bach’s Goldberg Canons, all performed by Uri Caine, Jeremy Denk and other Festival artists.

The Festival’s concluding Sunday concert features Ligeti’s Piano Études Books I and II, a specialty of Jeremy Denk’s, and is performed for the first time in its entirety in Ojai. The second half of the concert includes Charles Ives’ Psalm 90 performed by the Ojai Festival singers and conducted by Kevin Fox, as well as Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Op. 80 performed by Jeremy Denk, The Knights and the Ojai Festival singers, conducted by Eric Jacobsen.

The Festival tradition of late night, sunrise concerts and bonus community concerts for audiences and the public continues. Featured highlights include the Friday Late Night Concert with Uri Caine and his Uri Caine Trio, and the Saturday Late Night Concert, which offers, a performance of Morton Feldman’s serene Rothko Chapel with the Ojai Festival singers conducted by Robert Spano. In addition, it includes Jennifer Frautschi’s performance of J.S. Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major.

Sunrise Concerts will take place Saturday morning, June 14 with Brooklyn Rider, at a location to be announced, and on Sunday morning, June 15 at Meditation Mount with the Ojai Festival singers presenting “Hymnfest,” an interactive selection of old and new hymns by William Billings, Charles Ives and others.

Ojai Talks 
Ojai Talks with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begins on Thursday, June 12, with Mr. Guzelimian in conversation with Jeremy Denk on the 2014 Festival and his multi-faceted career, followed by a second session, “An Ensemble for the 21st Century – the Musician’s View,” with the visionary founders of The Knights, Eric and Colin Jacobsen. On Friday, June 13, Mr. Guzelimian will lead an extended and in-depth panel discussion on the implications, impact and meaning of Charles Rosen’s book, The Classical Style, dedicated to the memory of Charles Rosen, who passed away in December 2012.

Jeremy Denk, Music Director 
One of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, pianist Jeremy Denk is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship and was named Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London, and regularly gives recitals in New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout the United States.

Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s blog, Think Denk, is widely read and enjoyed both within and outside the industry, and he has written pieces for the New Yorker, the New York Times Review of Books, Newsweek, The Guardian (UK), the New Republic, and the website of NPR Music. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir he is writing for future publication by Random House. In 2014, he will serve as Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, for which, besides performing and curating, he is composing the libretto for a comic opera.

Denk’s debut recording for Nonesuch Records juxtaposed Ligeti’s Études with Beethoven’s final sonata, and was included on many “Best of 2012” lists, including those of the New Yorker, Washington Post, and NPR Music. His second recording for the label, of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, was released in September 2013 and reached number one on Billboard’s “Classical Albums” chart. Jeremy Denk earned degrees from Oberlin, Indiana University, and Juilliard. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

For more artist bios visit OjaiFestival.org

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director 
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival, a relationship that extends through 2017. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Morris is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 68-year-old Ojai Festival, Mr. Morris is responsible for artistic planning, and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. During his decade-long tenure, audiences have increased and the scope of the festival has expanded, most recently to include Ojai North!, a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Mr. Morris is a founding director of Spring for Music, and serves as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

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 that embrace the music of our time and provides intellectual context and education around Festival programming, creating an immersion experience of adventurous inspiration and vibrant collaboration. Considered a highlight of the summer classical music season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape, provoking thought during the Festival and long after about why music matters.

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.

Ojai North! 
Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North! takes place from June 19-21 in Berkeley, CA with programming to be announced in mid-December. This multi-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley was inaugurated in 2011. The collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts 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.

Participation in the 2014 Ojai Music Festival 
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As 2011 Music Director Dawn Upshaw commented, “There is a very special spirit of collaboration here [Ojai], fostered in part by the gorgeous natural setting and also by the friendly engagement of everyone involved.”

As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts and interviews during the four-day event in June. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched last May and remains active via archives on the Festival website at Ojaifestival.org at www.OjaiFestival.org and on the OjaiU website at http://www.ojaiu.org. Plans for the 2014 OjaiU will be announced at a later date.

The Ojai Music Festival encourages engagement with and ownership of the Festival by inviting patrons to invest in what they are passionate about, with opportunities ranging from supporting major artistic projects to the Festival’s community involvement. In return, patrons receive meaningful, experiential benefits related to their giving levels that further strengthen their relationship with the Festival.

Festival passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling 805 646 2053. 2014 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $110 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $55. Single passes will be available in spring 2014. 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 OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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68th Ojai Music Festival

June 12-15, 2014

THURSDAY, JUNE 12

OJAI TALKS
1:00-3:30pm, Ojai Valley Community Church
Ara Guzelimian, Ojai Talks director
Part I: Festival Overview
Jeremy Denk, 2014 music director
Part II: An Ensemble for the 21st Century – the Musician’s View
Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights

EVENING CONCERT
8:00pm, Libbey Bowl 

JANACEK/SCHUBERT
Janáček’s On An Overgrown Path interwoven with short works by Franz Schubert
Jeremy Denk, piano
URI CAINE
Mahler Re-Imagined
Uri Caine Ensemble

FRIDAY, June 13
OJAI TALKS
1:00-4:00pm, Ojai Valley Community Church
Ara Guzelimian, Ojai Talks director
The Classical Style: Impact and Implications
A panel discussion on “The Classical Style” dedicated to the memory of Charles Rosen

EVENING CONCERT
8:00pm, Libbey Bowl

HAYDN
String Quartet in G minor, Op. 74, No.3 (“Rider”)
Brooklyn Rider
STEVEN STUCKY/JEREMY DENK
The Classical Style        World Premiere
Commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School
The Knights
Singers, TBA
Robert Spano, conductor

OJAI LATE NIGHT CONCERT
10:30pm, Libbey Bowl

Program TBA
Uri Caine Trio

SATURDAY, June 14

OJAI SUNRISE CONCERT*
8:00am, location TBA

Program TBA
Brooklyn Rider
*for Ojai members

MORNING CONCERT
11:00am, Libbey Bowl

IVES
Sonatas for violin and piano (complete)
Jennifer Frautschi, violin
Jeremy Denk, piano

OJAI FILM
2:00pm, Ojai Playhouse
Film TBA

OJAI FILM
3:30pm, Ojai Playhouse
Film TBA

EVENING CONCERT I
6:00pm, Libbey Bowl

ANDREW NORMAN
Commissioned piano piece        World Premiere
Commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival for Jeremy Denk through a generous grant from Linda and Stuart Nelson
Jeremy Denk, piano

MOZART/TIMO Andres
Coronation” Concerto Re-composition
Timo Andres, piano
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor   

EVENING CONCERT II
8:00pm, Libbey Bowl

BOCCHERINI
String Quintet in C major, Op. 30, No. 6 “La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid” (arranged for string orchestra by The Knights)
IVES
Three Places in New England (1930 version)
FELDMAN
Madame Press Died Last Week at 90
STOCKHAUSEN
Tierkreis – Leo 4 (arranged Caroline Shaw)
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor 

WEILL
Seven Deadly Sins (in English)
Storm Large, vocalist
Hudson Shad, quartet

OJAI LATE NIGHT CONCERT
10:30pm, Libbey Bowl

J.S. BACH
Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005
Jennifer Frautschi, violin

FELDMAN
Rothko Chapel
Members of The Knights
Ojai Festival singers
Robert Spano, conductor

MIDNIGHT CABARET*
11:30pm, location tba
Program TBA
Storm Large, vocalist
*for Ojai members                                   

SUNDAY, June 15:

OJAI SUNRISE CONCERT
8:00am, Meditation Mount

Hymnfest: An interactive selection of old and new hymns by Billings, Ives, and others
Ojai Festival singers
Kevin Fox, conductor
*for Ojai members

MORNING CONCERT
11:00am, Libbey Bowl

MOZART
Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
The Knights
Eric Jacobson, conductor

Canon-ade: A mélange of musical canons devised by Jeremy Denk with music by Robert Schuman, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Conlon Nancarrow, Thomas Adès, PDQ Bach (aka Peter Schickele), Uri Caine, and Johann Sebastian Bach
Performers TBA

EVENING CONCERT
5:30pm, Libbey Bowl

LIGETI
Piano Études Books I & II
Jeremy Denk, piano

IVES
Psalm 90
Ojai Festival singers
Kevin Fox, conductor

BEETHOVEN
Fantasia in C minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 80 (“Choral Fantasy”)
Jeremy Denk, piano
Ojai Festival Singers
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor

Programs and artists are subject to change. as of December 3, 2013.

www.OjaiFestival.org