The 2017 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Vijay Iyer embodied the spirit of the Festival with an openness to discovery and stretching musical boundaries. This year as Vijay expressed the 71st edition was an opportunity to bring various communities together. Relive the 2017 Festival anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts on our You Tube channel. View photos here

Feedback from our audience, artists, and members of the press is important to us. Read review excerpts, which we will continue to update as press reviews come in, or download the PDF version here.

 

[Vijay Iyer] made a festival with a history of daring and risk-taking become more vital and daring than ever. – San Diego Union-Tribune

 

The compelling feature was in what appeared to be Iyer’s own quest to find examples of how to take the next step and make the music your own.

For that he brought some of the great masters of day, with special and illuminating attention on Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music. Friday night, Iyer presented the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ brilliant 2015 opera, “Afterword,” written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of AACM” – Los Angeles Times

Over the weekend, we heard Iyer in multiple settings. He showed his ever-deepening attributes as a composer, most notably in the impressive world premiere of his engaging Violin Concerto, “Trouble,” for style-flexible virtuoso Jennifer Koh (whose late-night solo concert “Bach And Beyond,” melding Bach, Berio and others, was a bold highlight of the weekend). – DownBeat magazine

 

Proving once again that for the truly fearless, nothing is impossible, the 2017 Ojai Music Festival effectively erased the boundaries between jazz, classical, traditional Indian music, and more over the course of four sound-packed days in and around Libbey Bowl. – Santa Barbara Independent 

 

Improvisation and invention from two continents staked out new ground somewhere in between. Was it jazz? Maybe. But as a whole, this year’s gathering in Ojai thrived under its long-held, suitably broad umbrella of “music festival,” and an excellent, engrossing one at that. Ultimately, those are the only labels that matter. – Los Angeles Times

Following 72nd Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Ojai at Berkeley continues for 8th season June 15-17, 2018

It’s like a dream to be able to play over the course of only a few days and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time, and to share with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – OJAI. These pieces changed my life – I hope they will find a very special place also in your souls. I am delighted we can share some of these programs with Berkeley and with Aldeburgh.”  Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director. 

(OJAI CA – June 9) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 71st Festival (June 8-11, 2017) with Music Director Vijay Iyer, the Festival is proud to announce a new partnership with the renowned Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings. Following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the following week’s Ojai at Berkeley presented in collaboration with Cal Performances, the new partnership will take place during the Aldeburgh Festival (June 8th – 24th) based at the acclaimed Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Ojai Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris said, “The Aldeburgh Festival has long been a beacon of music festivals – sharing Ojai’s commitment to adventure, innovation, and creativity. It is an enormous pleasure to announce our new partnership for co-productions and co-commissions with Snape Maltings, joining with our eight-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley. Roger Wright, Chief Executive of Snape Maltings which runs the Aldeburgh Festival, is a long time friend and colleague, and his enthusiasm for new music, creative programming, and many of the same artists we enjoy in Ojai made the partnership inevitable.”

“I am delighted at the prospect of this new partnership between the Aldeburgh Festival and Ojai, and to join in the creation of new work and innovative programming for which both our Festivals are acclaimed. It will be a pleasure to work with Tom Morris, an inspirational colleague, and to continue to develop distinctive programming and build new audiences for significant new work,” said Chief Executive of Snape Maltings, Roger Wright.

“Ojai is more than a musical gathering — it is a festival of distinctive artistic ideas,” commented Matías Tarnopolsky, Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances, home of Ojai at Berkeley.  “That’s the essential reason Cal Performances chose to create a now longstanding partnership with the Ojai Music Festival to bring the focused and concise best of each year’s programs to Berkeley. Aldeburgh Festival, a jewel among Britain’s summer festivals, is Ojai’s peer in intellectual stature and in its superb setting, and the perfect onward journey from Ojai at Berkeley.  Cal Performances is proud to join hands with Aldeburgh Festival and the Ojai Music Festival in expanding Ojai’s musical horizons.”

The collaboration with Snape Maltings follows the formation of Ojai at Berkeley as a partnership of co-productions and co-commissions that affords the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The relationship launches in June 2018, for an initial four-year period.

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival
The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world.  Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and showcased the solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

Major 2018 Ojai Festival projects include two staged concerts designed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, which she describes as a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.”  This staged program features a mash-up of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Joseph Haydn, Gyorgy Kurtag, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto.  Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s second semi-staged concert is her own provocative commentary on the inevitable consequences of global warming on the planet.  Titled Dies Irae, the program includes music by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Michael Hersch, Byzantine chant, Giacinto Scelsi, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s remarkable Dies Irae for eight double basses, piano, and wooden box.

American composer Michael Hersch will premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival a new piece, described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists. It will then be performed at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at the Aldeburgh Festival. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PNReview, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Mr. Hersch is artist-in-residence.  

Additional programming highlights include Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments; Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial; major chamber and piano music by Galina Ustvolskaya; as well as Rumanian and Moldavian folk music performed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja and her parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski on cimbalom and violin. The Festival closes with the Ligeti Violin Concerto performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concert, etc., visit website Ojaifestivals.org

Advance 2018 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2017 Festival and online immediately following on June 12 at OjaiFestival.org

Ojai at Berkeley
Next week marks the eighth year of artistic partnership. Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org. 

Aldeburgh Festival
Aldeburgh Festival was founded in 1948 by composer Benjamin Britten, and is centered in a collection of renovated mid-nineteenth century malthouses in England’s East Anglia, northwest of London along the coast in the village of Snape, a few miles inland from the town of Aldeburgh. Celebrating its 70th Festival in 2017, the two-week Aldeburgh Festival emphasizes the presentation of new and distinctive repertoire and performances and features the music of Britten. Music theatre and opera form part of the program, as does the presentation of a visual arts program.  The Festival is run by Snape Maltings, which is a unique creative campus running a year-round residency and performance program including the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Aldeburgh Residencies, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme and the Snape Proms.

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Download PDF version of the press release >>

(OJAI CA – June 5, 2017) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 71st Festival (June 8-11, 2017) with Music Director Vijay Iyer, the Festival’s 2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 72nd Festival, June 7-10, 2018. Ojai at Berkeley continues for the eighth season June 15-17, 2018.

“When I first met Patricia Kopatchinskaja, I knew she was a natural to be Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. Her unstoppable energy, blazing virtuosity, and relentless curiosity are irresistible, as she demonstrated at the Festival’s Ears Open event in Ojai a year ago. The 2018 Festival will be a showcase of her creativity – as a violinist, as a collaborator, as a programmer, and as a commentator on our time. Patricia sees music in the context of today’s social and political issues so the 2018 Festival is one that will surely offer confrontation, questioning, and healing.” 

“It’s like a dream to be able to play over the course of only a few days and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time, and to share with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – OJAI. These pieces changed my life – I hope ­ they will also find a very special place in your souls,” Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director.

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and showcased for the solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

Major 2018 Festival projects include two staged concerts designed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, which she describes as a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.” This staged program features a mash-up of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Joseph Haydn, György Kurtág, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s second semi-staged concert is her own provocative commentary on the inevitable consequences on the planet of global warming. Titled Dies Irae, the program includes music by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Michael Hersch, Byzantine chant, Giacinto Scelsi, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s remarkable Dies Irae for eight double basses, piano, and wooden box.

American composer Michael Hersch will premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival a new piece described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists. It will then be performed at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at Great Britain’s venerable Aldeburgh Festival. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PNReview, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Mr. Hersch is artist-in-residence.

Additional programming highlights include Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments; Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial; major chamber and piano music by Galina Ustvolskaya; as well as Roumanian and Moldavian folk music performed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja and her parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski on cimbalom and violin. The Festival closes with the Ligeti Violin Concerto performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja. 

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concerts, etc., visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org. Series tickets will go on sale for the 2018 Festival on June 11 at the Festival.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s versatility shows itself in her diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque and Classical often played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterworks. Ms. Kopatchinskaja first visited Ojai in April 2016 as a guest on the Festival’s off-season “Open Ears” speaker series.

A celebrated collaborator, guest artist, and chamber musician, Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season highlights include the opening concerts of the new SWR Symphonieorchester with whom she performed Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi Violin Concerto (with the composer himself conducting); an appearance with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as part of the inaugural performances of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg; debuts with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with Gothenburg Symphonys. Continuing her regular collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she appears with them in London and New York under Vladimir Jurowski. György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto is a particular focus of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season; she will perform the work widely including with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Ms. Kopatchinskaja serves as Artist in Residence at four major European venues and festivals: at the Berlin Konzerthaus; at the Lucerne Festival (where she will be artiste étoile); at the Wigmore Hall in London; and at the Kissinger Sommer Festival, and is an Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, performing regularly with the ensemble both in Saint Paul and internationally.

A prolific recording artist, the last few seasons have seen a number of major releases by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. Her release for Naïve Classique featuring concerti by Bartók, Ligeti and Peter Eötvös won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year Award in 2013, an ECHO Klassik Award and a 2014 Grammy nomination. Her recently released “Take Two” on Alpha has garnered critical acclaim worldwide.

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)
The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 edition include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the west coast premiere of Afterword, an opera by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Live video streaming of the Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 and end June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the web cast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival streaming and concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org

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 with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the eighth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org.

Series Passes for 2018 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2018 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2017 Festival and online immediately following on June 12 at OjaiFestival.org.

 2017 Festival Tickets
Limited 2017 Festival single tickets are still available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival ticket prices range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $20. Student and group discounts are available.

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and information on other Ojai activities are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook, and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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WQXR’s Q2 Music offers 4-day program of 2016 Ojai Music Festival performances hosted by 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars at q2music.org/ojai 

Q2 Music’s 2016 Ojai Festival Series begins Monday, June 5 prior to the 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11)

OJAI, CA – June 1, 2017)  The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.  Prior to the upcoming Festival, WQXR’s Q2 Music launches immersive access to select new-music concerts from the 2016 Festival beginning Monday, June 5 at q2music.org/ojai.  This four-day series is hosted by Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars.

Q2 Music, WQXR’s online home for new music, will offer on-demand audio from concerts from the 2016 Festival, including performances of works by a number of composers, including Kaija Saariaho, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, and many more.

Imagined as a multi-year collaboration, the Ojai Music Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences and connect respective communities.  In addition to this series hosted by Peter Sellars, Ojai Music Directors Mark Morris (2014) and Steven Schick (2015) have hosted the series in prior years. Past festival shows can also be found at q2music.org.

A highlight of Ojai’s partnership with Q2 Music is the annual spring event in New York at The Jerome  L. Greene Performance Space which advances the Ojai Music Festival through an evening of performance and discussion with Ojai music directors and artists.   On April 13, the Festival and Q2 Music presented an evening of discussion and performance at the Greene Space. Q2 Music’s Helga Davis hosted Ojai’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer, alongside collaborators, violinist Jennifer Koh, composer/trombonist George Lewis, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey in conversation and performance.

This marks the second year of Ojai Music Festival events presented by Q2 Music at The Greene Space. Last spring’s event featured Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars, guitarist Dan Lippel of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), soprano Julia Bullock, and vocalist/pianist Leila Adu. The Greene Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts, and politics of New York and our world.

Part of WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, Q2 Music is a listener-supported, online home dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and live webcasts from the City’s leading new-music venues. The live 24/7 music stream available at www.wqxr.org/q2music/, includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts and composers, full-length album streams, in-depth interviews with trend-setting artists and special live events at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music is also available via the free WQXR app.

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 edition include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the west coast premiere of Afterword, an opera by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Live video streaming of the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 through June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the webcast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org. 

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 with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars.  Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja in 2018, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

Ojai at Berkeley

Marking the seventh year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org

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Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org        805 646 2094
National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com   704 340 4094

Ojai’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer and Q2 Music Host Helga Davis will highlight the upcoming Festival, along with Jennifer Koh, George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Tyshawn Sorey      

For tickets to the April 13, 7:00pm event, visit TheGreeneSpace.org or watch a live video stream of the event at Q2Music.org 

“I’m honored, as Music Director of the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, to convene this gathering of some of the most brilliant and important music-makers that I know. Our evening of music and conversation at The Greene Space offers a glimpse of the scope of this four-day event in Southern California, with a few of the incredible artists who will be on hand: George Lewis, whose opera Afterword will have its west coast premiere at the Festival; composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, a collaborator and mentor of mine, will join me in duets from our project A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke; the dazzling violinist Jennifer Koh will perform some of the ancient and cutting-edge solo music from her sprawling repertoire; and multi-instrumentalist-composer Tyshawn Sorey will offer some of his latest creations.”  – Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

(OJAI, CA – March 29, 2017) — In advance of the upcoming 2017 Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11), the Festival and media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music present an evening of discussion and performance on April 13, at 7pm, at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in New York as part of their three-year partnership.

Q2’s Helga Davis will host Ojai Music Director Vijay Iyer to discuss and explore the upcoming 2017 Festival. Joining Mr. Iyer in performance and conversation will be violinist Jennifer Koh, composer/trombonist George Lewis, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey.

Helga Davis, also a 2017 Ojai Music Festival artist in Courtney Bryan’s Yet Unheard, will focus the April 13 evening around the intersection of music composed and improvised. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) has engaged this dichotomy since its inception, and the AACM serves as an underlying thread in the April 13 event as well as the upcoming Ojai Music Festival. The evening will feature solo performances by Vijay Iyer and duets by Mr. Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey, as well as Mr. Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith in excerpts from their acclaimed release A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke. Rounding out the evening, Jennifer Koh will perform Esa-Pekka Salonen’s chaconne for solo violin Lachen verlernt (Laughing Unlearnt). Composer George Lewis will join the artists in discussion with Ms. Davis.

This marks the second year of Ojai Music Festival events presented by Q2 Music at The Greene Space. Last spring’s event featured Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) Dan Lippel, soprano Julia Bullock, and vocalist/pianist Leila Adu. The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts, and politics of New York and our world.

Tickets, April 13 at 7pm
Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased at TheGreeneSpace.org where the event will be webcast live.

Ojai Music Festival and WQXR’s Q2 Partnership 
Launched in 2015, additional highlights of the 2017 partnership with WQXR’s Q2 Music feature immersive access to select new music concerts at Q2Music.org beginning May 1, 2017, as well as a three-part series of special programs showcasing performances from the 2016 Festival, hosted by Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars. Q2 Music audiences can also access performances from prior Festivals with hosts Mark Morris (2013 Music Director) and Steven Schick (2015 Music Director). Imagined as a multiyear collaboration, the Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences and connect respective communities.

About Q2 Music 
Q2 Music is WQXR’s online platform dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles and musical discovery. Its programming includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts such as composer Phil Kline and vocalist Helga Davis, full-length album streams, live webcasts and exclusive concert audio from local and national venues, and special events in front of live audiences at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in downtown New York City. Q2 Music produces Meet the Composer with host Nadia Sirota, a Peabody Award-winning interview podcast which mines the brains of today’s leading composers, as well as LPR Live, a podcast which shares dynamic new-music performances from Greenwich Village’s Le Poisson Rouge. Q2 Music is streamed live 24/7 at WQXR.org/Q2Music and is also available via the free WQXR App.

Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017

Of the upcoming Ojai Music Festival, Vijay Iyer commented, “When I was invited to take on the role of Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, it was a shocking but validating proposition. As an artist, I like to insert myself into situations where some might not necessarily imagine I belong. I have many different affinities musically, and also very real associations across different musical communities, generations, geographic locations, and traditions that speak to me and through me. Our 2017 Festival feels like a good opportunity to update the idea of what music is today. I know the hallowed history of this Festival and I’ve seen different versions of what it can be. I’m just glad that Tom Morris invited me to intervene, and to bring my people with me. I’m going to learn so much over those few days in June, and I believe everyone there will discover a great deal – not just about music, but about themselves.” 

For complete 2017 Ojai Music Festival information, please see the Festival calendar at OjaiFestival.org. Experience the Festival in Ojai (June 8-11) or remotely via Ojai Live webcast (June 8-11); or visit Ojai at Berkeley (June 15-17).

Ojai Music Festival Tickets 
Festival single tickets \ may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and are $15 for lawn tickets. Student and group discounts are also available.

Directions to Ojai and performance venues, as well as information regarding lodging, a concierge service, and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Ojai Music Festival web site.

Ojai Live webcast of 2017 Festival 
Ojai Live begins on Thursday, June 8 with the evening concert at Libbey Bowl. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world with live broadcasts of performances and interview segments. Watch Ojai Live at OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai at Berkeley 
Marking the seventh year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, 2017 Ojai Music Festival Music Director 
Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

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 with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars.

The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. David Nygren serves as the board chairman, Jamie Bennett is the president, and Thomas W. Morris serves as Artistic Director.

PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA TO BE MUSIC DIRECTOR IN 2018

(OJAI CA) — Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced today updated future Festival Music Director appointments. Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will take the helm as the 2018 Music Director for the 72nd Festival (June 7-10, 2018).  Previously, she was scheduled to serve as Music Director in 2020. Ms. Kopatchinskaja replaces Esa-Pekka Salonen, who was originally slated as Music Director for the 2018 Festival. Mr. Salonen, who previously served as music director in 1999 and 2001, has withdrawn due to his composition schedule.

Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and as previously announced, Ojai will welcome Music Directors soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan in 2019 and pianist Mitsuko Uchida in 2021. The Ojai Music Festival will name its 2020 Music Director later this spring. 

Initial details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in early June 2017.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s versatility shows itself in her diverse repertoire, ranging from baroque and classical often played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterworks.  Ms. Kopatchinskaja first visited Ojai in April 2016 as a guest on the Festival’s off-season “Open Ears” speaker series. 

A celebrated collaborator, guest artist and chamber musician, Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season highlights include the opening concerts of the new SWR Symphonieorchester with whom she performed Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi Violin Concerto (with the composer himself conducting); an appearance with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as part of the inaugural performances of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg; debuts with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with Gothenburg Symphonys. Continuing her regular collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she appears with them in London and New York under Vladimir Jurowski. György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto is a particular focus of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season; she will perform the work widely including with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Ms. Kopatchinskaja serves as Artist in Residence at four major European venues and festivals: at the Berlin Konzerthaus; at the Lucerne Festival (where she will be artiste étoile); at the Wigmore Hall in London; and at the Kissinger Sommer Festival, and is an Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, performing regularly with the ensemble, both in Saint Paul and internationally.

A prolific recording artist, the last few seasons have seen a number of major releases by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. Her release for Naïve Classique featuring concerti by Bartók, Ligeti and Peter Eötvös won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year Award in 2013, an ECHO Klassik Award and a 2014 Grammy nomination. Her recently released “Take Two” on Alpha has garnered critical acclaim worldwide.

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 Festival include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017
Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival, and is committed to the Ojai Music Festival through 2021. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. Over his fourteen-year tenure, he has brought as music director Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, 8th blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars. Over this  period, audiences have increased, the scope and density of the Festival has expanded, the collaborative partnership Ojai at Berkeley with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley has started, and a comprehensive program of video streaming of all concerts has been instituted. 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. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and 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 in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Series Passes for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $140 to $860 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $60. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2017. Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and other Ojai activities, are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 

Vijay Iyer is joined by a community of artistic collaborators, including returning Ojai family members 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey 

Iyer introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell

Highlights of the 2017 Festival include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan

Cal PerformancesOjai at Berkeley is slated for June 15-17, 2017 following the Ojai Music Festival

download pdf version 
download 2017 schedule 

(November 16, 2016– Ojai, California) – The Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris stated, “Vijay Iyer is usually described as a composer, a pianist, an improviser, a collaborator, and a teacher. What really distinguishes him, however, is not just what he does but who he is and what he stands for. Vijay believes a life in the arts is a life of service in imagining, building, and enacting community that transcends heritage, nation, and creed. The 2017 Festival reflects these beliefs in the range of collaborators joining us – from Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam to percussionist/composer Tyshawn Sorey, to the virtuosic ensemble ICE, to trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith; in the breadth of roles Vijay will play – from composer, to performer, to collaborator, to intellectual guide; and in the historical and social perspectives represented by the music and artists – from how so much of the Festival’s foundation is based on the groundbreaking Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM), to young composer Courtney Bryan’s powerful tribute to Sandra Bland, a vivid testimony to music’s ability to bring communities together in healing.”

Vijay Iyer commented, “When I was invited to take on the role of Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, it was a shocking but validating proposition. As an artist, I like to insert myself into situations where some might not necessarily imagine I belong. I have many different affinities musically, and also very real associations across different musical communities, generations, geographic locations, and traditions that speak to me and through me. Our 2017 Festival feels like a good opportunity to update the idea of what music is today. I know the hallowed history of this Festival and I’ve seen different versions of what it can be. I’m just glad that Tom Morris invited me to intervene, and to bring my people with me. I’m going to learn so much over those few days in June, and I believe everyone there will discover a great deal – not just about music, but about themselves.” 

Watch Vijay Iyer Discuss the 2017 Festival

Much of the four-day Festival programming revolves around the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an organization founded in Chicago in 1965 by a group of African-American experimentalists. Musicians of the AACM were not only committed to an adventurous synthesis of music making strategies – contemporary and ancient, familiar and faraway – but their very being was framed out of the Civil Rights struggles of that era. The New York Times, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the AACM a year ago said, “The AACM has been one of the country’s great engines of experimental art, producing work with an irreducible breadth of scope and style.”  Some of the original founding AACM members, including Wadada Leo Smith, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Roscoe Mitchell will be featured 2017 Ojai artists, as will composer/trombonist George Lewis, whose book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music tells the definitive history of the AACM. Lewis’ opera Afterword, which is receiving its West Coast premiere, is based on the history of the organization.

The 2017 Festival begins on Thursday, June 8 showcasing the talents of Vijay Iyer. The program features two recent works by Mr. Iyer, the American premiere of Emergence, performed by ICE and the Vijay Iyer Trio conducted by Steven Schick; and the world premiere of his Violin Concerto, a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Violin Concerto was composed for and will be performed by violinist Jennifer Koh. The evening closes with a duo comprising Mr. Iyer and the celebrated trumpet player and a founder of the AACM, Wadada Leo Smith. Described by Mr. Iyer as his “hero, friend, and teacher,” Mr. Smith collaborates with the pianist on music that is “spellbinding and traverses musical identities.”

The two-part Friday afternoon concert on June 9 features flutist Claire Chase performing a selection from her recent Density 2036 project, a 22-year program conceived by Ms. Chase in 2014 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse groundbreaking 1936 flute solo. Following Density 2036 will be a rare performance by Tyshawn Sorey’s Double Trio in a program called “The Inner Spectrum of Variables.” Mr. Sorey made his Ojai debut last year composing music for and performing in the Josephine Baker Portrait. 

Friday evening’s concert features the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ opera Afterword, for a small ensemble and three singers, performed by ICE with soprano Joelle Lamarre, contralto Gwendolyn Brown, and tenor JuIian Otis, all of whom sang in the 2016 American premiere of the work in Chicago, and with Steven Schick conducting. A 2002 MacArthur Fellow, George Lewis is a composer, theorist, musicologist, and virtuoso trombonist with an endowed chair at Columbia University. His A Will to Adorn was performed during the 2015 Ojai Music Festival. Mr. Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, a prizewinning, comprehensive cultural history of this influential organization and its members. The opera Afterword draws from the book’s own afterword, consisting of transcribed dialogues and testimonials about the AACM’s founding in 1965. Afterword will be semi-staged and directed by Sean Griffin.

Saturday afternoon’s two-part concert on June 10 begins with a program by the Brentano Quartet. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both old and new music. The concert features music by György Kurtág and Mozart, as well as Vijay Iyer’s Mozart Effects, written for the quartet. Following this will be Conduction® led by Tyshawn Sorey, who is widely considered to be among the most important young artists at the intersection between composed and improvised music. Conduction®, is a gestural language invented by the acclaimed cornetist and composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris. As defined by the composer, “Conduction® is the practice of conveying and interpreting a lexicon of directives to construct or modify sonic arrangement or composition; a structure-content exchange between composer/conductor and instrumentalists that provides the immediate possibility of initiating or altering harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, progression, articulation, phrasing, or form through the manipulation of pitch, dynamics (volume/intensity/density), timbre, duration, silence, and organization in real-time. Conduction® is a 60-minute piece of new music for an ensemble of 20 players being composed in real time – none of the performers nor conductor have a note of music in front of them.”

The Saturday evening centerpiece is RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, commissioned five years ago by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to celebrate the centennial of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi is a vivid and mesmerizing multimedia collaboration by Mr. Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava (who passed away in 2015 at the age of 42), exploring another sort of rite of spring, the Hindu festival of Holi, famous for its revelry of color in celebration of the love between the divine Krishna and Radha. In northern India, Mr. Bhargava filmed ravishing hi-definition images of an eight-day Holi festival, later editing the footage into a finished 37-minute film with Stravinsky’s Sacre musical structure as the basis for its film structure. Mr. Iyer composed a new score as the musical complement to Mr. Bhargava’s visual ballet, drawing at times on the rhythms and chants of the Holi festival. The result is one of Mr. Iyer’s warmest, most colorful creations to date, as rich melodically as it is texturally. The work is for an ensemble of 13 players that will be performed by ICE and conducted by Steven Schick, who will accompany the projected film live on the Libbey Bowl stage. The first half of the concert will be the West Coast premiere of a new version of Le Sacre du printemps arranged by composer Cliff Colnot for the same instrumental forces.

The final day of the Festival on Sunday, June 11 is a mini-festival of improvisation. It begins in the early morning with a free concert of living legends that will be one of the historical highlights at Ojai – The Trio featuring octogenarian pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis on trombone and laptop, and Roscoe Mitchell on assorted woodwinds. Mr. Abrams and Mr. Mitchell were among the founders of the AACM. The afternoon concert presents Vijay Iyer and his close collaborator for more than twenty years, the award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, joining forces with two living giants of Indian classical music: celebrated Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam and tabla maestro and world music pioneer Zakir Hussain. This day realizes one of Vijay Iyer’s dreams for the 2017 Festival, to create a new musical fabric with these remarkable artists together in Ojai. The Festival closes with Vijay Iyer and his all-star sextet including bassist Stephan Crump, Tyshawn Sorey on drums, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn, and tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, an ensemble The New York Times has said, “addresses original music with a gripping sense of purpose.”

In addition to the main concert lineup there will be two Daybreak concerts both starting at 9am at Zalk Theatre at Besant Hill School in the upper Ojai for Ojai Music Festival members. On Friday, June 9 the performance features Jen Shyu, experimental vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and Fulbright scholar, who will perform her own work, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths. Saturday, June 10 features Nicole Mitchell, flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Ms. Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop, and African percussion. She formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Free Community Concerts

Ojai continues to build on its commitment to reach an ever-broader audience, and the 2017 Festival offers two free Late Night concerts in the Libbey Bowl, in addition to the Sunday morning concert. Friday evening at 10:30pm features a recital by Jennifer Koh, entitled “Bach and Beyond” in which Ms. Koh will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Missy Mazzoli, Luciano Berio, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Saturday night at 10:30pm brings Vijay Iyer together with the Brentano Quartet to perform his Time, Place, Action. The Brentano Quartet opens the concert with selections from Bach’s Art of the Fugue, and the concert closes with the American premiere of a new version of Yet Unheard by the versatile composer and pianist Courtney Bryan. Written for chorus, orchestra, and the vocalist Helga Davis, Yet Unheard sets a new text by poet Sharan Strange memorializing Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Her death was classified as a suicide, though protests dispute the cause of death and allege racial violence. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Ms. Bryan’s recent compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. 

Ojai Talks

The 2017 Festival begins with Ojai Talks hosted by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School. On Thursday June 8 the first part session topic is “The Art of Improvisation” with Vijay Iyer. The second part of the Talks features a panel to discuss “Music as Community” with Mr. Iyer and other prominent guests. On Friday evening, June 9 the Ojai Talks will be held prior to the 8pm concert of George Lewis’ Afterword on the Libbey Bowl stage. The session will feature a discussion on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) with special guests. Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Ojai at Berkeley

Marking the seventh year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, Music Director

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. 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. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. As Artistic Director, 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 a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

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 with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars.

The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. The Board Chairman is David Nygren and President is Jamie Bennett.

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival

The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org. 

Series Passes for 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $140 to $860 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $60. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2017.

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and other Ojai activities, are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

# # #

Application deadline: March 1, 2017
Download application form

bonding-2

(Ojai, CA) —  Applications are now being accepted to participate in the Ojai Music Festival’s arts management internship program coinciding with the 71st Ojai Music Festival slated for June 8-11, 2017 with Music Director Vijay Iyer.  Entering its tenth year, the Festival’s three-week program provides hands-on experiences to college students.

Ojai’s arts management internship program offers select students direct experience as they are immersed in areas of administration, operations, special events, merchandising, production, marketing, public relations, and patron services.

Students from varying fields and walks of life enjoy access to different opportunities which give them new skill sets and experiences that they take with them throughout their careers. The internship program also provides them to interact with leaders in the music industry and create lasting friendships with other students. 

Applicants must be 18 or over and enrolled in a two or four year accredited college. The Festival provides housing for the duration of the internship as well as a stipend. Applications are due by March 1, 2017. 

The 71st Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, will celebrate diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection curated by this year’s Music Director Vijay Iyer. A genre-transcending composer, pianist, improviser, and musical thinker, Iyer’s programming vision will make connections across genres to help audiences discover how composers, performers, and improvisers make music together.

Joining him will be a community of artistic collaborators, including returning Ojai family members 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. Master musicians from various backgrounds making their Ojai debuts include Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell.

The 2017 Festival will also feature the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence; Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan.

For more information regarding the internship program for the Ojai Music Festival, please call the main office at 805 646 2094 or email info@ojaifestival.org.  For more information on the 70th Ojai Music Festival, visit OjaiFestival.org.