2016 Music Director Peter Sellars Frames Programming for 70th Festival

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The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016 and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting new traditions and setting out fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. The Festival will take place June 9-12, 2016.

As the 69th Ojai Music Festival opens this week (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick, the Festival’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars shares thoughts on his distinctive approach to programming the Festival Read More

2016 Music Director Peter Sellars Frames Programming for 70th Ojai Music Festival: June 9-12, 2016

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The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016 and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting new traditions and setting out fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. The Festival will take place June 9-12, 2016.

As the 69th Ojai Music Festival opens this week (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick, the Festival’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars shares thoughts on his distinctive approach to programming the Festival:

“The Ojai Valley has long been recognized as a rare and beautiful natural site that invites retreat, renewal, and regeneration, from Chumash ceremonial life to Krishnamurti’s legendary talks under the trees. The valley has both grandeur and a human scale that inspire and allow the deepest human questions to resonate, and create a setting for the most personal search for answers. The magical play of light across the canyon and the heady aroma of orange blossoms bring the senses to life, awaken the mind, and create a profound aura of openness and well-being.

Music incites many of the same thoughts and emotions, with similar immensity and intimacy and awe. The 70th Ojai Music Festival will gather this powerful energy and spirit of inquiry and reflection into a weekend of peak experiences and secret revelations.

For the first time the composer Kaija Saariaho will come to Ojai. We will feature two of her most potent and visionary works. Her new chamber version of ‘The Passion of Simone’, a meditation on the life of the courageous French philosopher Simone Weil, written to a wise and humane text by Amin Maalouf, will receive its American premiere with the extraordinary young soprano Julia Bullock. It is a work of startling integrity and permanent challenge in dark times, with a flame of hope that burns brightly and intensely in the darkness.

Kaija Saariaho’s newest operatic creation is a sequence of two Japanese Noh plays in English versions by Ezra Pound, entitled ‘Only the Sound Remains’. Again Ojai will offer the American premiere. These two plays will be performed in the tradition of Japanese Takigi Noh in the amphitheater at the Ojai Valley School Upper Campus, lightly held in the gentle grasp of a protective arroyo under a radiant early morning sky for ‘The Feather Mantle’, a play of illumination, transcendence and evanescence, and just before midnight under an intense starlit sky for ‘Always Strong’, the harrowing and haunted story of a young warrior’s spirit struggling to return to life on earth.

From Tahrir Square in Cairo, Dina El Wedidi and her band come to America to present a new song cycle that paints a personal picture of the realities, aspirations, disappointments, and determination of the Egyptian revolution. Dina El Wedidi epitomizes the new Egyptian women of a rising generation, her gorgeous and unmistakable voice alive with courage, allure, and the breath of freedom. Her band includes traditional Egyptian and modern electronic instruments, and for these performances she will bring three extraordinary older women from the Egyptian zār tradition who are singing in full-throated solidarity with the activism and vision of Dina and her generation.

Julia Bullock will also be the center of a unique and poignant evening honoring the brilliance, daring, public courage, and private tragedies of Josephine Baker, the black icon who created a declaration of independence with her black body, and blazed a trail of irresistible challenge and charm in France in the same years that Simone Weil pursued her feminist vigil on behalf of a larger humanity. Our Ojai evening will be a very personal portrait of a fearless civil rights pioneer and visionary who paid dearly for every forward step. And kept stepping.

The final Sunday of the 2016 Festival will shift into an exuberant children’s festival for the first part of the day, featuring music written and performed by, with, and for children and anyone who is ready to listen to the world with fresh ears. Those programs will then expand and flow into a huge street party culminating in sheer communal pleasure, the joy of improvisation, increasingly wild juxtapositions, spontaneous jam sessions and very, very good times.

Among the featured artists at the 70th edition of the Ojai Music Festival, we are extremely pleased and proud to welcome, in addition to ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Roomful of Teeth, the path breaking vocal collective, participating in the Kaija Saariaho premieres and surprising new works written for and developed by the group. Classical Indian music will be performed in breathtaking settings at specific times of day to reflect the shifting of the light, and films will be screened during those times when we crave the dark. Talks and lectures that illuminate and amplify our current history with cultural and philosophical perspectives will alternate with sessions focused on spiritual thinkers offering quieter moments of contemplation and peace.

The Ojai Valley sunrises and sunsets will do the rest.”

–2016 Music Director Peter Sellars

Mr. Morris said, “Peter Sellars, no stranger to Ojai, is a true visionary, and I can think of no better person to lead the Festival’s 70th anniversary. Peter has devised a truly distinctive festival that embraces his vast knowledge and deep commitment to social issues of our time, along with his deep love of Ojai. It will be an audacious experience that includes thrilling music in unusual settings, the greatest of artists, contextual discussions to frame and amplify the music, and provocative films to further enrich our mutual adventure.”

Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with that Festival’s Music Director Pierre Boulez. Mr. Sellars returned to Ojai in 2011, with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny.

Peter Sellars, Music Director
Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and for his collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. Sellars has staged operas at the Glyndebourne Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Salzburg Festival, and San Francisco Opera, among others, and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has been a driving force in the creation of many new works with longtime collaborator John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, and Doctor Atomic.

Mr. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals and the 2002 Adelaide Arts Festival. In 2006 he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival in Vienna for which he invited artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts, and architecture for the celebration of Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary.

Mr. Sellars is a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and Resident Curator of the Telluride Film Festival. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, and the Gish Prize, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize and named Artist of the Year by Musical America

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old 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 a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley.

Mr. 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

The Festival recently announced artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018).

Ojai at Berkeley
Following the 2015 Festival in Ojai, Ojai at Berkeley takes place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is the Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances. This 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 at Berkeley represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. Ojai at Berkeley 2016 is scheduled for June 16 to June 18.

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 and has had record sell-out concerts in recent years. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes free digital access to the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts at www.Ojaifestival.org; at the Festival’s MOOC OjaiU at www.OjaiU.org; on the radio at APM’s Performance Today at www.performancetoday.publicradio.org; and via its new media partnership with WQXR’s Q2 at www.q2music.org/ojai. Visit www.OjaiFestival.org for more details.

Series Passes for 2016 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2016 series subscriptions will be available during the Festival weekend and online immediately after the Festival.

Single Tickets for 2015 Ojai Music Festival 
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.

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

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SOPRANO MELLISSA HUGHES STEPS IN FOR PEABODY SOUTHWELL AT THE 69TH OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

(June 3, 2015) — Soprano Mellissa Hughes will replace mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, who has withdrawn from her Ojai Music Festival appearances due to illness. This will mark Hughes’ Ojai debut. She will reprise her singing role on Wednesday June 10 for the West Coast Premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, which she performed in November with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hughes will also step in for the Thursday, June 11 evening concert Part II and the Saturday, June 13 morning concert.

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick will focus on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

MELLISSA HUGHES
Hailed by The New York Times as “a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts…indispensable to New York’s new-music ecosystem,” Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy international career in contemporary and early music.

A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Hughes has worked closely with Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, and premiered works by David T. Little, Ted Hearne, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, and Frederic Rzewski, among others.

Recent highlights include Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score performances celebrating Pierre Boulez; Ted Hearne’s The Source at BAM; a solo American Songbook recital at Lincoln Center; an acclaimed recording of Jacob Cooper’s Silver Threads from Nonesuch Records; international tours with John Zorn; a Bang on a Can All-Stars performance of David Lang’s Death Speaks in Paris; and more.

In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach cantatas with Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Equally at home in front of a rock band, Hughes has received widespread acclaim in her role as lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band, and for her work with Missy Mazzoli’s Victoire.

Based in Brooklyn, Mellissa Hughes holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Yale University.

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69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick announces 2015 line-up of free digital access to Festival performances and talks

Visit Ojai’s newest media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music beginning today Tuesday, June 2 for a month of special programs showcasing performances from prior Festivals hosted by Ojai’s 2013 Music Director Mark Morris (http://q2music.org/ojai).

Tune into APM’s Performance Today beginning June 8 for shows devoted to broadcasts from PT’s residency at the 2014 Ojai Music Festival hosted by Fred Child (check http://performancetoday.publicradio.org for local listings)

Learn more now about the 2015 Festival with Steven Schick’s new online course The Beat of the World: The Art of Percussion at www.OjaiU.org

Beginning Thursday, June 11, navigate to www.OjaiFestival.org to watch Ojai Live featuring over 24 hours of video streams of Libbey Bowl concerts with intermission interviews of Ojai artists and guests, hosted by Gail Eichenthal of KUSC FM, as well as all Ojai Talks; and check in with http:// ojaifestival.org for ongoing Festival content and coverage leading up to the 2016 Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 2, 2015) 

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OJAI, CA — Concerts and talks of the 69th Ojai Music Festival, June 10-14, will be available live and archived online, via broadcast-quality HD, viewable on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer at www.OjaiFestival.org. Additional remote and free access to Festival performance and talk material is also available through Ojai’s online course OjaiU at www.OjaiU.org; on WQXR’s Q2 Music with special Ojai programs beginning June 1; and on American Public Media’s Performance Today beginning June 8 (check http://performancetoday.publicradio.org for local listings.)

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

OjaiU 2015 is a massive open online course led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick and can be accessed now at www.OjaiU.org. A free online course on the art and history of percussion with Schick, OjaiU is composed of four classes and each class goes live on successive Mondays (at noon PDT) starting May 11 in the four weeks leading up to the 2015 Festival. Schick’s course is a project of the Ojai Music Festival, and is the Festival’s second MOOC.

WQXR’s Q2 Music – Ojai’s newest media partner – launches immersive access to select new-music concerts from previous Ojai Festivals beginning today, Tuesday, June 2 at q2music.org/ojai. Q2 Music, WQXR’s online home for new music, will offer on-demand audio from concerts from the festival’s last three years with performances of works by a number of composers, including John Luther Adams, John Cage, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, and Andrew Norman.

Highlights from these Festivals (2012-2014) will also be showcased on a five-part, month-long series of hosted shows by choreographer and 2013 Festival Director Mark Morris. Imagined as a multiyear collaboration, the Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences, and connect respective communities.

A feature of this initial year of the partnership is an event at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in New York City in May 2016 with Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars and 2016 Festival collaborators. The Greene Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts and politics of New York and our world. Opened in 2009, the space makes boundaries between street and studio transparent and the possibility for dynamic dialogue is limitless as audiences are met everywhere they are — on air, online and on the street. Details on the May 2016 event with Peter Sellars at The Greene Space will be announced in the fall of 2015.

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.

Beginning, Monday June 8, tune into APM’s Performance Today for a week of shows from the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, at which APM was in residence. PT’s 2014 residency at Ojai was their second, and was marked by Child’s hosting of Ojai Live as well as his participation as host of the special Festival subscriber reception.

Ojai Live begins streaming at 11am (PDT) on Thursday, June 11 with the Ojai Talks. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world in real time with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances hosted by Gail Eichenthal of long-time media partner KUSC FM, interview segments, and symposia. The complete schedule for Ojai Live is below. Watch Ojai Live at www.OjaiFestival.org.

Now in its 69th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its audience whose interest has resulted in record sales. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via a growing menu of digital initiatives. Ojai Live features an enhanced HD five-camera shoot with concert-quality sound produced by Little Dog Live (http://www.LittleDogLive.com).

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

The Festival has also recently announced artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018).

Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks. Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, 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 at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Music Directors

Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016 | Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017 | Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival June 7-10, 2018

Over almost seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has had a reputation as a creative laboratory for both artists and audiences. Deeply committed to nurturing experiences that can only be rendered through innovation, creativity and risk-taking in its programming, Ojai is an intense, involving and immersive weekend of music, discussion, and community, all in the sublime setting of Ojai. Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer and Esa-Pekka Salonen are the perfect musical visionaries to propel Ojai into its next 70 years. – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(April 14, 2015, Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 69th Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new Music Director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals.

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016, and to curate this milestone, Mr. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Mr. Sellars’ partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with Music
Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program that is deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting some new traditions and setting out some fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary, he is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, he strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. Mr. Sellars has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has also led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals. Initial plans for the 2016 Festival will be announced in May 2015.

The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. Mr. Iyer, a Grammy nominated polymath whose career has spanned the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, was named Downbeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. As The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. As a composer he has had works commissioned and premiered by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Publisher Schott Music has said, “Vijay Iyer is a polymath in the truest sense of the word. He is a leader across a wide range of disciplines, but his extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer has caught the world’s attention and led to an impressive array of creative collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, orchestras, chamber and new music ensembles.”

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. (This information has been updated from a previously announced plan that showed Mr. Salonen returning to Ojai in 2017.) One of today’s foremost artists, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut as Music Director in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music, and later returned in 2001 to serve again as music director. Mr. Salonen is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director for 17 years, and the first-ever creative chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Through his unwavering dedication to new music and technology, he is a revitalizing force, striving to bring the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. His compositions move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Mr. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. It was recently announced that Mr. Salonen will serve as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic for the next three seasons.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004

Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old 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 a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served 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 in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

Participation in the 2015 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 tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiU.org.
Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at
OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Music Directors

Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016
Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017
Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival June 7-10, 2018

Download a PDF version of this press release >>

Over almost seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has had a reputation as a creative laboratory for both artists and audiences. Deeply committed to nurturing experiences that can only be rendered through innovation, creativity and risk-taking in its programming, Ojai is an intense, involving and immersive weekend of music, discussion, and community, all in the sublime setting of Ojai. Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer and Esa-Pekka Salonen are the perfect musical visionaries to propel Ojai into its next 70 years. – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(April 14, 2015, Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 69th Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new Music Director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals.

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016, and to curate this milestone, Mr. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Mr. Sellars’ partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with Music
Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program that is deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting some new traditions and setting out some fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary, he is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, he strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. Mr. Sellars has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has also led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals. Initial plans for the 2016 Festival will be announced in May 2015.

The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. Mr. Iyer, a Grammy nominated polymath whose career has spanned the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, was named Downbeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. As The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. As a composer he has had works commissioned and premiered by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Publisher Schott Music has said, “Vijay Iyer is a polymath in the truest sense of the word. He is a leader across a wide range of disciplines, but his extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer has caught the world’s attention and led to an impressive array of creative collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, orchestras, chamber and new music ensembles.”

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. (This information has been updated from a previously announced plan that showed Mr. Salonen returning to Ojai in 2017.) One of today’s foremost artists, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut as Music Director in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music, and later returned in 2001 to serve again as music director. Mr. Salonen is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director for 17 years, and the first-ever creative chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Through his unwavering dedication to new music and technology, he is a revitalizing force, striving to bring the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. His compositions move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Mr. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. It was recently announced that Mr. Salonen will serve as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic for the next three seasons.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004

Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old 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 a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served 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 in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

Participation in the 2015 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 tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiU.org.
Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at
OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Final Programming Details Announced for the 69th Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Steven Schick

The 69th Festival is a celebration of 20th and 21st century composers with works by 34 living composers including Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Kaija Saariaho, Chinary Ung, Tan Dun, and Lei Liang, and 28 of whom are new to Ojai including Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Pauline Oliveros

The Festival marks the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with the West Coast Premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, on Wednesday, June 10, and five concerts pairing the music of Boulez with works by Bartók, Messiaen, and Ravel

The program features the West Coast premieres of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and Become River, and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece Ursonate

Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley follows the Ojai Music Festival from June 18 to 20

As a percussionist I spend my days searching for new sounds and new places to experience them. I often think of myself as a traveler in the land of new noises. For me, then, the Ojai Music Festival is paradise: it’s the perfect combination of provocative new sounds, great music and a magical place,” Steven Schick, Music Director

Download pdf version of press release >>

OJAI, CA (March 24, 2015) — The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

“No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the solo percussion repertory – and more than doubled its size through commissions – but as a conductor, educator, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization. It has been an adventure to program the 2015 Festival with Steve,” commented Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. He continued, “Boulez came to Ojai for the first time in 1966. He still vividly recalls cresting the lip of the Ojai Valley from the upper Ojai Valley in a convertible with legendary Artistic Director Lawrence Morton and being assaulted with the aroma of orange blossoms. It was a moment that began Pierre’s love affair with Ojai. He returned seven times as music director – more than any artist. Throughout his long career, he never strayed from his firm conviction that musical programs need to be firmly grounded in music of our time, and his own steadfast belief in that principle has resulted in his leading a true revolution in programming. He always found Ojai a willing and enthusiastic partner in this quest, which was why he returned again and again, and why we this year celebrate his 90th birthday with many of his works with the deepest thanks for the musical gifts he has given us.”

Joining Steven Schick will be longtime colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco), and string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

To a percussionist’s ear, music begins with rhythm, color, and gesture – these are the elements that form the nexus of the diverse works from an international array of composers for this all 20th- and 21st-century festival. Schick will perform classics of the solo percussion repertory — compositions by Karl Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and Vinko Globokar — as well as more recent works by David Lang and Kaija Saariaho. Some of the works he will tackle include Globokar’s theatrical work ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot, and in the same program Lei Liang’s illuminating new work entitled Trans, which incorporates river rocks and audience participation to form “sound clouds.” He will also perform the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece, Ursonate. In addition to performing, Schick will conduct ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga – groups with which he is closely identified – in a broad array of ensemble works of varied scorings.

Five Festival concerts are devoted to Pierre Boulez’s music and musical influences, four in juxtaposition with works by Béla Bartók — all six string quartets performed by the Calder Quartet (which will be performed for the first time in Ojai)—and as the Festival finale, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, Schick, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s principal timpanist Joseph Pereira. Another concert will pair Boulez’s works with the music of Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen.

Among the distinguished soloists joining Schick are cellist Maya Beiser playing pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Harrison, Bright Sheng, and Chinary Ung; virtuoso pipa player Wu Man performing Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa; and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell singing Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Other highlights include a sunrise performance of Morton Feldman’s hypnotic 4-1/2 hour marathon, For Philip Guston, in which Schick will be joined by flutist Claire Chase and pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and Cheng and Ray performing Messiaen’s mystical work Visions de lamen. This year’s program will also include works by Alberto Ginastera, whose music is new to Ojai, Carlos Chavez and Edgard Varèse, as well as one late-night chestnut, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in the composer’s arrangement for 13 players.

Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez
The Ojai Music Festival will open with a special event on Wednesday, June 10 to honor Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday with the West Coast premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery of Boulez. A Pierre Dream is one of Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score® series and features an original set design by celebrated architect Frank Gehry. The performance will be preceded by a special panel discussion with Boulez’s friends and colleagues entitled “Boulez in Ojai,” including Tom Morris and Frank Gehry as well as with pianist Ralph Grierson and composer William Kraft. Following the performance, Beyond the Score creative director Gerard McBurney will hold a Q&A session with the audience. Pierre Boulez served as music director seven times since first curating the Festival in 1967. He was most recently music director in 2003.

A Pierre Dream will be performed by ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick. Described by the Chicago Tribune as “a concert of the French master’s works [which is] an illuminating theatrical phantasmagoria about how Boulez’s intricate music is made – and even more about the aesthetic issues that have preoccupied him from his earliest compositions of the 1950s,” it will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day. At the core of the projected material will be footage from very recent 2013 interviews from his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. These interviews were specially made for this project, the development of which Boulez has supported from the beginning.

Sila: The Breath of the World
Festival collaborator and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams returns to Ojai with the West Coast premiere of Sila: The Breath of the World, to be performed at a free community event throughout Libbey Park. This new work for an ensemble of 80 musicians received its first performances last July at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. In the Inuit tradition, sila is the spirit that animates all things – the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. In Sila: The Breath of the World, composed specifically to be heard outdoors, musicians and listeners alike are encouraged to move about the performance space freely. The Ojai performance will include musicians from CalArts, ICE, and red fish blue fish. Adams’ music was first heard at the 2009 Festival, and again in 2012 with a performance of Inuksuit in Libbey Park. The 2013 Festival featured performances of his For Lou Harrison, Strange and Sacred Noise, and songbirdsongs.

Free Community Concerts and Late Nights
The Festival’s tradition of free community concerts continues for Festival attendees and the public. On Friday, June 12 at the Libbey Park Gazebo members of ICE will perform works from its ICElab, which places the ensemble in collaboration with emerging composers and sound artists. Rather than accept traditional commissions, the composers partner with ICE musicians in intensely collaborative incubation residencies, working together to develop new works. On Saturday, June 13 at the Ojai Valley School’s Greenberg Activity Center, cellist Maya Beiser, Wilco’s percussionist Glenn Kotche, and electric bass player Gyan Riley will shake things up with music from Beiser’s critically acclaimed album, “Uncovered,” an intersection of classical and rock music of Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and others. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Festival’s popular Late Nights at Libbey Bowl also return, including Michael Harrison’s Just Ancient Loops, accompanied with a film by Bill Morrison, and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s La Cathédrale de misère, a staged version of Ursonate by poet Kurt Schwitters featuring Steven Schick. Ojai will also present the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Become River, the companion piece to his Pulitzer Prize winning work Become Ocean.

Ojai Talks
Ojai Talks with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begin on Thursday, June 11, in a conversation with John Luther Adams and Steven Schick. This discussion is followed by “The World of Percussion” with Schick. On Friday, June 12, Guzelimian will lead two sessions: the first with founder of ICE and flutist Claire Chase, and the second with virtuoso pipa player Wu Man. Her documentary film, “Discovering a Musical Heartland: Wu Man’s Return to China” will also be featured.

OjaiU
The Ojai Music Festival launches a series of free online sessions, OjaiU, beginning May 11. Participants will learn about the art of percussion and how it connects the world around us. Steven Schick will lead four interactive classes exploring the rhythms and sounds of the world and how they become music. Open to the public, registration begins in March at OjaiU.org or OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the fifth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, Ojai and Berkeley are known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2015 Ojai Music Festival, taking place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Ojai at Berkeley creates a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Steven Schick, Music Director
No stranger to Ojai, percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit. Mr. Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For 35 years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish. Currently, he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Among his acclaimed publications is a book, The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a three CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

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 and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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 of the 69-year-old Festival, 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, and served 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.

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

Participation in the 2015 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 tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiFestival.org or OjaiU.org.

Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, 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 at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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For press photos >>

For 2015 Festival complete schedule >> 

Cal Performances Ojai at Berkeley schedule here >>

As of March 23, 2015. Programs and artists are subject to change.


 

Ojai Music Festival Receives New Music USA Project Grants Award

Download PDF version of the press release >>

(Ojai CA) — The Ojai Music Festival has received a project grants award from New Music USA in support of the 69th Festival, June 10 to 14, 2015, led by Music Director Steven Schick. Together with Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Mr. Schick has curated an explosive and immensely playful program celebrating music from the 20th and 21st centuries and the music and influences of Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday in the spring.

“New Music USA’s generous support helps to ensure the Ojai Music Festival’s commitment to innovative and adventurous programming and our vision to reach wider audiences,” said Executive Director Janneke Straub. “It affirms our collective vision of expanding new music landscapes.“

The 2015 Festival welcomes Ojai alumni artist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as music director. He will be joined by artistic colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, and San Diego-based string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

Awards for New Music USA’s third round of project grants total $284,250 support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The program recognizes and supports the multiple roles composers and contemporary music practitioners play in the artistic landscape and responds to the creative spirit of collaboration between artists from multiple disciplines. The 62 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, film, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element.

In response to feedback from artists who were surveyed last summer following the two inaugural rounds of the program, the third round grants included a special focus on requests of $3,000 and below. Approximately 65% of grants awarded were in this category. The next round of project grants will open for requests in March 2015, and decisions will be announced in June 2015.

Including the awards announced today, New Music USA’s project grants program, launched in October 2013, has now distributed $932,250 in support of 179 projects. Seventy-four of the project grants awardees are first-time recipients of grants from New Music USA and its legacy organizations Meet The Composer and the American Music Center. Awarded projects from all three rounds can be discovered, explored and followed by the public via their media rich project pages at https://www.newmusicusa.org/all-projects. The public-facing gallery of projects and the ability for artists to update their progress and interact with followers is an important promotional tool that extends the program’s service to artists beyond financial support. The overarching goal of project grants is to reach and aggregate the communities of new music enthusiasts, irrespective of genre preferences, and allow the public to discover new artistic work.

Ed Harsh, president and CEO, comments: “We want to give artists money, but we want to give artists more than money. We want to give them a way to spread the experience of their work to a wide world of people eager to engage with it.”

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and social gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual music director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including: Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, eighth blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, and Jeremy Denk. For more information on the Ojai Music Festival and the 69th season, visit OjaiFestival.org (http://www.OjaiFestival.org).

NEW MUSIC USA
New Music USA (https://www.newmusicusa.org/) formed in November 2011 from the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer with a mandate to increase the audience for new American music. New Music USA’s endowments include an $11.25 million corpus for grant making supplemented by support from a number of generous annual funders. The approach to consolidating five of the legacy organizations’ grant making programs was driven by two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists and audiences connect.  New Music USA is devoted to fostering the creation, dissemination, and enjoyment of new American music. New Music USA places special emphasis on broadening the public community for the music and musicians whom we serve.

Advocacy in the broadest sense is at the heart of all of New Music USA’s work. It is inherent in the work of the online magazine NewMusicBox (http://www.newmusicbox.org/) and radio station Counterstream (https://www.newmusicusa.org/counterstream-radio/), in all of New Music USA’s grant making activity—which distributes more than one million dollars each year to the field—and in New Music USA’s role as a key voice in the national and international scenes.

ROUND THREE AWARDED PROJECTS
Paradigm Lost • 2015 Ojai Music Festival • New Works for the OpenICE Initiative • American notes – Engaging new Communities • The Snow Falls in the Winter • Featured Composer Residency with Derek Bermel • Edmar Castaneda Performance and “Meet the Artist” Event* • Inquisitive – A New Work for Cantus and High School Choir • Iron Shoes • Written in Water • Black Mountain Songs • Capriccio • Interaction of Color • STEVE COLEMAN: SYNOVIAL JOINTS RECORDING PROJECT* • The Brain Piece • 95 RITUALS (for Anna Halprin) • The Black Rose • PATIENT(CE)* • TRIBE* • A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 • Wild Rumps: In Time • American Composers Orchestra Premiers Motormouth for Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall • A Debut CD: The Music of Eric Nathan • Recording “Letting Time Circle Through” • Brass Band Blastoff • Choreographing LeWitt* • Walk to the Beat* • Talujon’s Pocket Gamelan • Man Forever with TIGUE – Percussion and Vocal Canons* • Sympathetic Magic* • Synth Nights: Morton Subotnick • SOUNDIAL* • Alternative Guitar Summit • Water, Water, Everywhere • Intimate Instruments Workshop: Building the Linguaphone of Tremulous Communion • 2015 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival • Duo Damiana Debut Recording: Adventurous Repertoire for Flute and Guitar* • CAUGHT IN THE TREETOPS* • Along These Lines • Contemporaneous Presents Self-Portrait, a Fifth Anniversary Celebration* • Radiant Child Voice Recording • Face Resection* • RighteousGIRLS* • Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat • Record original jazz/classical works for piano* • Sowah Mensah Commission* • SOLI: Experience • Kettle Corn New Music 2014-15: Sandbox Percussion and Lisa Moore* • Commercial Recording Featuring Solo Piano Works by Timo Andres and Phil Young • Old Text Woven New* • Lisa Renee Coons in Residence at 2015 Women Composers Festival in Hartford • Meehan/Perkins Duo Records New American Percussion Works • 3 Singers* • TRAFFIC JAM* • Babbling • flux-mirror for saxophone and electronics* • A New work for Flute and Electronics written for Flutist Carla Rees* • Matana Roberts: COIN COIN • Tonecycle for Blues (2014) Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with 3:4 and 6:7.

*indicates first time awardee

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Cal Performances at UC Berkeley Presents Ojai At Berkeley 2015

CAL PERFORMANCES AT UC BERKELEY PRESENTS OJAI AT BERKELEY 2015

Download PDF of release >>
View the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley schedule >>

Formerly Ojai North, Festival Focuses on the Evolution of Music
Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20, 2015

Conductor and Percussionist STEVEN SCHICK, OJAI 2015 MUSIC DIRECTOR Skips Stones Across 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-Century Music with Six Percussion Pieces by Xenakis, Globokar, Saariaho, Lang, Stockhausen, and Auzet

Festival Opening Night Double Header Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer John Luther Adams’s SILA: THE BREATH OF THE WORLD Free Outdoor Performance at the Faculty Glade at 6:00 p.m. Presentation Follows Musical America Composer of the Year Honor

plus

A PIERRE DREAM: A PORTRAIT OF PIERRE BOULEZ

For the 90th Birthday of Boulez with Stage Design by Architect Frank Gehry at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

The Festival Highlights the Music of Pierre Boulez and His Influences with Works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse

Ojai Music Festival to be held June 10–14, 2015

Berkeley, CA—Executive and Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky announced today the renaming of Cal Performances’ Ojai North presentations to Ojai at Berkeley, as the dynamic festival of modern and contemporary composition—focusing on artistic discovery and the evolution of music—enters its fifth season. Ojai at Berkeley will take place June 18–20, 2015, following the 69th Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.

Ojai at Berkeley 2015 will open with a free, 6:00 p.m. outdoor performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’s Sila: The Breath of the World, set in the pastoral Faculty Glade on the UC Berkeley campus. The presentation comes on the heels of the naming of John Luther Adams as Musical America’s Composer of the Year. Opening night will continue at Zellerbach Hall with A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, celebrating the 90th birthday of the musical giant. The score will be performed by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick, and will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day.

The programs of Ojai at Berkeley, are created in collaboration with percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick, the 2015 Music Director of Ojai Music Festival, along with Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival, and Tarnopolsky. The concerts will traverse the terrain of their extensive musical interests. An evening of percussion music by six composers, Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar, David Lang, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Roland Auzet, is intended to illuminate an often overlooked strand of contemporary composition. The relationship between the works of Pierre Boulez and the mainly French composers who have influenced him plays out with performances of works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse. Schick’s personal view of great contemporary musical styles is the broad and delightfully subjective organizing principle of a concert with compositions by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera.

Schick has invited a variety of artistic colleagues some known well to Berkeley audiences, and some marking their debuts. ICE, flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell are returning to campus while first time artists include San Diego-based string ensemble Renga, pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, and percussionist Joseph Pereira.

No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the entire solo repertory—and more than doubled its size through commissions—but as a performer, conductor, educator, composer, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization.

“A composer is influenced, and, with good musical fortune, might be lucky enough to influence others,” said Tarnopolsky. “This idea is at the center of the presence of Pierre Boulez’s music in the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley festival. Boulez, one of the most fascinatingly curious musical minds of the 20th and 21st centuries, and perhaps the greatest proponent of the evolution of the art form, has found a kindred spirit in Steven Schick. Together, their ideas, interests, and questions traverse a highly spirited landscape of music. Ojai at Berkeley will be a provocative, mesmerizing, and hugely fun three days in June.”

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival explores the musical interests of its Music Director, selected annually to recognize unique musical visions. Cal Performances’ collaborative effort makes possible reprises of Ojai programming in Berkeley, now under the banner of Ojai at Berkeley, and is also the basis for co-commissions and co-productions, creating leveraged support for unusual and new musical presentations. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai at Berkeley represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations and is Cal Performances’ own iteration of the Ojai Music Festival. The organizations’ shared legacies of artistic innovation and groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each institution separately.

 

THE PROGRAM
Ojai at Berkeley 2015, opens on Thursday, June 18, with a contrasting juxtaposition of musical presentations—a free, outdoor performance of Sila: The Breath of the World by John Luther Adams (the West Coast premiere occurred the week prior at Ojai Music Festival) in its Bay Area premiere, co-commissioned by Cal Performances, and a multimedia tribute to one of the greatest proponents of the evolution of classical music, Pierre Boulez.

The concert experience of Sila: The Breath of the World, expands on the physical ethos of composer John Luther Adams’s ongoing exploration of sound in outdoor environments. Inspired by the Inuit concept of sila, the spirit that animates the world, Sila at Cal Performances will be set in the Faculty Glade, at the center of the UC Berkeley campus, at 6:00 p.m. With 80 musicians placed in concentric circles, listeners are welcome to roam throughout the Glade, creating an experience that puts the audience in the center of the music. John Luther Adams is well known in the Bay Area; two of his other works, songbirdsongs and Inuksuit, called “magnificent” by the San Francisco Chronicle, were presented by Cal Performances at past Ojai at Berkeley concerts. Sila is free and open to the public.

Later Thursday evening, Ojai at Berkeley launches the first in a series of events that recognize composer, teacher, and contemporary artistic icon Pierre Boulez with an acoustic and theatrical journey through a lifetime of musical adventures, innovations, and discoveries. Performed within a specially commissioned stage design by architect Frank Gehry, A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez will mix live performance with rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer. The production, created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated Beyond the Score series, is a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery that tells the compelling stories behind symphonic music. The concert features ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and is conducted by Schick, at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

In the program Presenting Steven Schick, on Friday, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Hall, Schick gives a solo percussion recital showcasing his unparalleled command of the repertoire and compelling presence as a performer. Stockhausen and Xenakis are at the core of Schick’s body of work, and here he performs the former’s Zyklus, which he has been playing for 40 years, and the latter’s Rebonds and Psappha, of which he has made the definitive recordings. Schick tackles Vinko Globokar’s theatrical works Toucher, in which he is called on to recite Brecht while confronting an array of percussion sounds, and ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot at the edge of the stage. Also on the program is The Anvil Chorus, a work Schick commissioned from composer David Lang. The second half of the program is devoted to the Bay Area première of La Cathédrale de Misère (after its American premiere at the Ojai Music Festival), a staged version of Dada artist Kurt Schwitters’s seminal sound poetry work, Ursonate, directed by composer Roland Auzet.

“What’s most striking about Schick’s playing, aside from his extreme physical virtuosity, is the narrative momentum he elicits from even the most abstract schemes: he is always telling stories with sounds” (The New Yorker).

A concert of solo performances caps off Friday evening at 10:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall, featuring a set of music performed by pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Varèse’s Density 21.5 for solo flute, performed by leading flute virtuoso and musical thinker Claire Chase; and Boulez’s Dialogue de l’Ombre Double for clarinet and tape, performed by clarinetist Joshua Rubin.

Two concerts that place the work of Pierre Boulez in creative juxtaposition with works by Messiaen, Ravel, and Bartók start the final day of Ojai at Berkeley. On Saturday, June 20, at 11:00 a.m. in Hertz Hall, acclaimed West Coast pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray perform Messiaen’s shimmering, mystical work Visions de l’Amen. The second half of the program features the three movements of Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé interspersed with two movements (Improvisation sur Mallarmé I and II) of Boulez’s early work Pli selon pli, performed by soprano Peabody Southwell with members of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and ICE, conducted by Schick.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m., also in Hertz Hall, the Boulez celebration continues with ICE performing Dérive 2 (2011 version), a rigorous and demanding work for eleven instruments that Boulez first composed to honor Elliott Carter’s 80th birthday in 1988, and revised by the composer on occasion since its publication. Then, pianists Cheng and Ray pair up again, for Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with Schick and Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira.

Ojai at Berkeley concludes on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall with a medley of works by composers Julia Wolfe, Lou Harrison, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera. Schick conducts the San Diego-based ensemble Renga for Wolfe’s Four Marys and Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra, featuring Wu Man as soloist. The percussion ensemble red fish blue fish performs Chávez’s Toccata for Percussion, a staple of modern percussion ensemble repertoire initially commissioned by John Cage for his touring percussion group. The concert concludes with Schick conducting Ginastera’s expansive 1960 Cantata para América Mágica with text from ancient pre-Columbian manuscripts performed by mezzo soprano Peabody Southwell and a percussion orchestra made up of ICE, red fish blue fish, and pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray.

Ojai at Berkeley Talks, public conversations and panels with the artists, are planned for Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, at 5:00 p.m. on the patio outside Hertz Hall. For more information visit calperformances.org.

 

STEVEN SCHICK
A frequent performer at the Ojai Music Festival, and this season a recurring visitor to Cal Performances stages as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, percussionist, conductor, educator, and author Steven Schick has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works in his four decade-long career. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992–2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000–2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group red fish blue fish, and is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. In 2012, he became the first artist-in-residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and maintains an active schedule of guest conducting, including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Schick teaches contemporary percussion at the Banff Centre for the Arts and is Distinguished Professor of Music at the UC San Diego.

 

For bios of all the festival artists go to OjaiFestival.Org.

 

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Ojai Music Festival, under the leadership of artistic director Thomas W. Morris, presents broad-ranging programs with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and new music. The four-day festival in the picturesque Ojai Valley, north of Los Angeles, is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape. The Festival was founded in 1947, and each year the artistic director appoints a music director to curate the season’s programming. Acclaimed conductors, composers, and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, and John Adams, among many others. For more information visit OjaiFestival.org.

 

TICKET INFORMATION
A Festival Pass for Ojai at Berkeley, Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20 is priced at $170.00. A Choose-Your-Own subscription is also available. Patrons can save 10% off single ticket prices by purchasing a minimum of three events. Tickets range from $20.00 to $62.00 and are subject to change. Single tickets go on sale February 2015. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at www.calperformances.org, and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php.

View the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley schedule >>

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Cal Performances’ 2014–2015 season is sponsored by Wells Fargo.
Programs and artists are subject to change.

2015 Music Director Steven Schick Announces Programs For The 69th Festival: June 10-14, 2015

The 2015 Festival is a celebration of 20th and 21st century composers with works by seventeen new to Ojai including Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Pauline Oliveros, as well as by emerging composers including Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Lei Liang

The Festival marks the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event, A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, the West Coast premiere of the Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score production on Wednesday, June 10, plus five concerts pairing the music of Boulez with works by Bartók, Messiaen, and Ravel

Program features the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece Ursonate

Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley slated for June 18-20 after the Ojai Music Festival

“As a percussionist I spend my days searching for new sounds and new places to experience them. I often think of myself as a pilgrim in the land of new noises. For me, then, the Ojai Festival is paradise: it’s the perfect combination of provocative new sounds, great music and a magical place.”  – Steven Schick, Music Director

Download PDF version of the press release >>

OJAI, CA (November 13, 2014) — The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on 20th and 21st century composers. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Mr. Schick has curated an explosive festival featuring music by more than 30 composers, half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10, and throughout the Festival, with five concerts devoted to his music and musical influences.

The 2015 Festival welcomes Ojai alumni artist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as music director. He will be joined by artistic colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, and San Diego-based string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the entire solo repertory – and more than doubled its size through commissions – but as a conductor, educator, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization.

To a percussionist’s ear music begins with rhythm, color, and gesture and these are the elements that form the nexus of the diverse works and decidedly international array of composers of this all 20th- and 21st-century festival. Mr. Schick will perform classics of the solo percussion repertory — compositions by Karl Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and Vinko Globokar — as well as more recent works by David Lang and Kaija Saariaho. Mr. Schick will tackle Globokar’s theatrical works Toucher, in which he is called on to recite Brecht while confronting an array of percussion sounds, and ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot. He will also perform the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece, Ursonate.

Mr. Schick will also conduct ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga – groups with which he is closely identified – in a broad array of ensemble works of varied scorings.

Five Festival concerts are devoted to Pierre Boulez’s music and musical influences, four in juxtaposition with works by Béla Bartók — the six string quartets performed by the Calder Quartet, and as the Festival finale, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray and percussionists Steven Schick and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Joseph Pereira. Another concert will pair Boulez’s works with the music of Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen.

Among the distinguished soloists joining Mr. Schick are cellist Maya Beiser playing pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Harrison, Bright Sheng, and Chinary Ung; virtuoso pipa player Wu Man performing Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa; and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell singing Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Other highlights are a sunrise performance of Morton Feldman’s hypnotic 4-1/2 hour marathon, For Philip Guston, in which Mr. Schick will be joined by flutist Claire Chase and pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and Ms. Cheng and Ms. Ray performing Messiaen’s mystical work Visions de l’amen. This year’s program will also include works by Alberto Ginastera, whose music is new to Ojai, Carlos Chavez and Edgard Varèse, as well as one late-night chestnut, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in the composer’s arrangement for 13 players.

A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez
The Ojai Music Festival honors Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday with four concerts featuring Boulez’s music paired with the music of Béla Bartók. In addition, on Wednesday, June 10, Ojai will present the West Coast premiere of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery of Maestro Boulez. A Pierre Dream is one of Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score programs and features an original set design by celebrated architect Frank Gehry. The performance will be preceded by a special panel discussion with Boulez’s friends and colleagues entitled “Boulez in Ojai.” Pierre Boulez has served as music director seven times since he first curated the Festival in 1967. He was most recently music director in 2003.

The Ojai performance of A Pierre Dream will be performed by ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick. It will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day. At the core of the projected material will be footage from very recent 2013 interviews with Boulez conducted in his home in Baden-Baden, Germany, specially made for this project, the development of which he has supported from the beginning.

“Pierre Boulez is not only one of the seminal figures of our time but a prominent figure in Ojai’s history having made Ojai debut in 1967. He has been music director seven times. It is only fitting that we celebrate this master and friend on this milestone,” commented Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris.

Sila: The Breath of the World
Festival collaborator and recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams returns to Ojai with the West Coast premiere of Sila: The Breath of the World, to be performed at a free community event throughout Libbey Park. This new work for an ensemble of 80 musicians received its first performances last July at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. In the Inuit tradition, sila is the spirit that animates all things – the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. In Sila: The Breath of the World, composed specifically to be heard outdoors, musicians and listeners alike are encouraged to move about the performance space freely. The Ojai performance will include musicians from CalArts, ICE, and red fish blue fish. Mr. Adams’ music was first heard at the 2009 Festival, and again in 2012 with a performance of Inuksuit in Libbey Park. The 2013 Festival featured performances of his For Lou Harrison, Strange and Sacred Noise, and songbirdsongs.

Community Concerts
The Festival’s tradition of free community concerts and Ojai Late Nights for Festival attendees and the public continues. 2015 highlights include a work by percussionist/composer Glenn Kotche making his Ojai debut; Evan Ziporyn’s arrangements of rock music by Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and others; and music by emerging composers of the ICElab program. Ojai Films will be announced in the spring.

Ojai Talks
Ojai Talks with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begin on Thursday, June 11, with Mr. Guzelimian in conversation with John Luther Adams and Steven Schick. This discussion is followed by a second session, “The World of Percussion” with Mr. Schick. On Friday, June 12, Mr. Guzelimian will lead conversations with Festival artists Claire Chase and Wu Man.

Ojai North is now Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the fifth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, Ojai and Berkeley are known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2015 Ojai Music Festival, taking place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Ojai at Berkeley creates a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. 2015 Ojai at Berkeley will announce its program schedule on November 18. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Steven Schick, Music Director
No stranger to Ojai, percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit. Mr. Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For 35 years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Mr. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish. Currently, he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Among his acclaimed publications is a book, The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a three CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

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 and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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 69-year-old 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 a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served 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.

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

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

Participation in the 2015 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. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website at www.OjaiFestival.org and on the OjaiU website at www.OjaiU.org. OjaiU returns next spring with a class of three online sessions exploring the history and world of percussion as told by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. The free sessions will explore the history of the relationship between percussion and the culture at large. To register, visit www.OjaiFestival.org.

Festival series passes are available for the 2015 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2015 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $110 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $55. Single concert passes will be available in spring 2015. 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 at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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Invitation to Members of the Press: For information on press passes and lodging options, please contact Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.

For photos, visit the press page >>

Download 2015 Ojai Music Festival Schedule >>

 

Thomas W. Morris Continues To Shape Ojai Music Festival Artistic Direction Through Festival’s 75th Anniversary in 2021

My artistic job in building a festival comes down to two overriding goals: To build on the Ojai aesthetic of discovery, adventure, and involvement, and to provide each music director a forum to explore and experiment melding his/her musical personality with the rich heritage of this glorious festival and sublimely beautiful place. It is irresistible, exhilarating and enormous fun. Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Download PDF version of press release >>

OJAI, CA November 4, 2014 — Ojai Music Festival Board President David Nygren announced that artistic director Thomas W. Morris will extend his contract through July 2021, the Festival’s 75th anniversary season. Mr. Morris was named artistic director in 2004.

Under Mr. Morris’ leadership the Festival has remained a touchstone of artistic innovation and groundbreaking exploration for leading artists and curious music enthusiasts from around the world. During his tenure, he has expanded the festival into a vibrant four-day immersive experience with more concerts performed at the Libbey Bowl and throughout the Ojai Valley, free community events, symposia, and films. Artists selected by Mr. Morris as music directors are all deeply committed to musical discovery. In 2014, he announced future music directors percussionist Steven Schick (2015), director Peter Sellars (2016) and composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (2017). Also tapped by Mr. Morris as past music directors have been eighth blackbird, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Mark Morris, Kent Nagano, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw, and most recently, Jeremy Denk. With this contract extension, Mr. Morris will continue long-term visionary artistic planning for the organization.

Prior to Mr. Morris, previous artistic directors have included John Bauer (as managing director, 1957-1954), Lawrence Morton (1954–1970, 1981–1987), Ara Guzelimian (1992-1997), and Ernest Fleischmann (1998 to 2003).

“We are thrilled that Tom has committed to the Festival through 2021. With Tom’s artistic brilliance in continuing to create a new and imaginative experience year after year, he has an innate ability to create an environment of inclusiveness for both the experienced music festival attendee and the first time attendee. Tom nurtures the creativity of each music director, blending their artistic sensibilities with the unique and beautiful setting of the Ojai Music Festival,” said Board President David Nygren. “Under Tom’s strong leadership and innovative approach, the Festival has gained international recognition and reach. He has been successful in creating community engagement events during the Festival that showcase musical artists from all over the world, creating opportunities for music lovers of all ages to participate in the festival.”

Mr. Morris said, “Working in Ojai continues to be a rich and rewarding creative experience, in not only working with artists who perform here but in building off of the incredibly active role the audience plays. They do not just sit and receive; they provide much of the artistic energy and vitality. In fact all the artists speak of the attentiveness and energy of the audience. And the possibilities of what you can do are far broader than I could have imagined. I learned that the further afield you go from the traditional concert experience (not just in repertoire, but in the concert structures and the total experience itself) the better it works.”

Artists who have served or will serve as music directors are quick to recognize the immense value and fun they experience throughout the process of imagining their Festival with Mr. Morris.

Robert Spano (2006): “There is no better time to be had than coming up with programs with Tom Morris. His encyclopedic knowledge, remarkable inventiveness, and creativity are matched only by his fantastic sense of humor. Ojai has been made an even richer place with his tenure.”

eighth blackbird (2009): “Tom was always willing to step outside the Festival’s comfort zone….He knew his audience at Ojai in minute detail, and could assess exactly how much to push their buttons, to provoke them, to give them candy as well as greens.”

Steven Schick (2015): “Tom Morris is the absolute gold standard when it comes to being an artistic partner. And the process this year in anticipation of 2015 has lived up to every expectation. It’s all about the conversations. Our conversations about music have been far-ranging and provocative. And they are always flavored with a keen awareness of the environment and traditions of the Ojai Music Festival. The result is a set of concerts that neither of us would have programmed individually but which, taken together, represent a communal view of how great music can find a home in a great festival.”

Peter Sellars (2016): “Tom Morris figured out a long time ago that the first step in being adventurous is being astute….Tom has held major establishment posts, but has always operated within them with a certain flair, a certain knack, a certain curiosity, and a certain predilection for innovation, for surprise, for change, and for a better idea….He loves to make things happen — the thrill and subtle and far-reaching shifts in organizations, programming, and new encounters with audiences is irresistible to him.”

2015 Ojai Music Festival
Ojai enthusiastically welcomes percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as Music Director for the 69th Ojai Music Festival, June 11 to 14, 2015. With Mr. Morris, Mr. Schick has created an involving festival focused on 20th and 21st century composers with an abundance of music from early morning to late night. Joining him will be long-time colleagues including the International Contemporary Ensemble (“ICE”), the San Diego string ensemble Renga, pipa artist Wu Man, flutist Claire Chase, and virtuoso cellist Maya Beiser.

The Festival program will highlight music by 30 composers, half of whom are new to Ojai; the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer-prize winner John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World; and a pre-festival celebration of the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez on Wednesday June 10 with the west coast premiere of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a multi-media kaleidoscope production with narration, archive films clips, live music, and stage sets by Frank Gehry, a part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. Recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry, he has 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 69-year-old 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, including Ojai at Berkeley, a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served 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.

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

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

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

Series passes for the 69th Ojai Music Festival – June 11 to 14, 2015 – are on sale now. Series passes range from $730 to $120 reserved section and $90 to $55 lawn area. Tickets for the pre-festival special event celebrating the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez are $90 for reserved section and $40 for general admission. For more information visit OjaiFestival.org or call 805 646 2094.

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Thomas W. Morris A Decade of Innovative Programming >>

Ojai Music Festival Roster of Music Directors >>

contact:
Gina Gutierrez, 805 646 2094, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org
Nikki Scandalios, (704) 340-4094, nikki@scandaliospr.com

Ojai Music Festival Announces New Board President David Nygren

For immediate release
August 27, 2014

(Ojai CA) – The Ojai Music Festival Board of Directors named David Nygren as President of the Board of Directors effective August 2014. He assumes leadership of the board after Stephen J.M. Morris, who served an extraordinary year of service as president. Morris will continue to serve on the Festival’s executive committee for a smooth transition.

Nygren, a Santa Barbara resident, has served on the Ojai board since 2011. He is the founder and CEO of Nygren Consulting LLC, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions, board effectiveness, organizational strategy, and executive competency assessment. He balances Fortune 500 for profit business advising and governance development with the non-profit sector, where he works extensively with health systems, arts institutions, and foundations. Some of his clients have included IBM, Hewlitt-Packard Company, Merrill Lynch to the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and New World Symphony. Nygren was the Executive Vice President at DePaul University, where he was awarded rank and tenure in the Department of Psychology, teaching organizational theory and design, leadership, and corporate governance.

“My support of the Festival comes from a deep love of music and my belief in the power of creativity to change the face of the world. As a result, I make personal investments in organizations whose intent it is to advance the common good,” said David Nygren. “There is nothing quite like Ojai where this level of creativity is inserted in the beauty of the Ojai Valley, where the mountains and the music are in harmony. The most talented artists come together here to express their potential and give us that gift. I have traveled and visited many festivals on other continents…None compare to the experience of the Ojai Music Festival.”

The Festival also welcomes James P. Drummy and Carol Nygren as incoming board members.

James P. Drummy
James P. Drummy is a principal in the law firm of Poindexter & Doutre’, Inc. in downtown Los Angles. He received his A.B. (cum laude) from UCLA in 1970 and JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 1973. Drummy specializes in real estate and probate and trust law and represents a number of non-profit organizations. Since 2008, He has been a member of the board of directors of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. He and his wife Kathy are long-time subscribers and supporters of the Ojai Music Festival.

Carol Nygren
Carol Nygren (sister-in-law of David Nygren) is the senior vice president and general manager of in:ciite Media, instrumental in negotiating agreements with multiple speakers, authors, musical artists, and publishers to provide opportunities for brand building, revenue generation, live events and simulcasts. She has also served as executive vice president and managing director of Live Event Management Inc – a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing (a division of NewsCorp) and as senior vice president of Licensed Live Family Entertainment at The Walt Disney Company where she developed “Disney On Ice” and “Disney Live” into globally recognized brands.

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

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, eighth blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, and Jeremy Denk. Thomas W. Morris has served as Artistic Director since 2004.

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 11-14, 2015) features Steven Schick as music director. Schick and Morris have devised a unique and explosive festival focused entirely around 20th and 21st century composers, featuring Schick as collaborator, teacher, actor, conductor, and master percussionist. Highlights include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and a special pre-festival performance on June 10 of Pierre Boulez: A Portrait, a spectacular multi-media kaleidoscope production with narration, archive films clips, live music, and stage set by Frank Gehry, part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series. Additional programming will be announced in the fall. For further details, visit OjaiFestival.org or call 805 646 2053.

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Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Festival Music Directors

Steven Schick: 69th Festival June 11-14, 2015
Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016
Esa-Pekka Salonen: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017

“The Ojai Music Festival is deeply committed to adventure and exploration through the concentrated intersection of extraordinary artists, electrifying music, committed and engaged audiences – all in the sublime setting of Ojai. The Festival could have no better music directors to frame the Festival’s upcoming 70th anniversary than Steven Schick, Peter Sellars, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.” – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(January 21, 2014 – Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 68th Festival (June 12-15, 2014) with Music Director Jeremy Denk, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announces the artists who will serve in the coming years as Festival music directors: Steven Schick (June 11-14, 2015), Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 8-11, 2017). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new music director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals. The Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North, continues a week after the Festival: June 18-20, 2015; June 16-18, 2016; and June 15-17, 2017.

For the 2015 Festival, Mr. Morris has invited percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick to serve as Music Director. No stranger to Ojai, Mr. Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit, performed throughout Libbey Park. A champion of new music, Mr. Schick has commissioned and premiered more than 150 new works and is the founder and Artistic Director of percussion group, red fish blue fish. He is currently Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. He is on the faculty of University of California San Diego. In 2015, the program will showcase Mr. Schick’s unique and broad talent as a percussionist, conductor, performer, and musical trailblazer. Plans for the 2015 Festival will be announced in May 2014.

Opera and theater director Peter Sellars will return to Ojai in 2016 as Music Director of the 70th anniversary Festival. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring staged version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 directing the world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny. To mark this milestone Festival, Mr. Sellars is shaping a program that will be deeply rooted in the Ojai heritage. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in performing arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for groundbreaking interpretations of classic works. Whether it is Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, Peter Sellars strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. He has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. Mr. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals.

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2017 to once again serve as Music Director. One of today’s most important artists of today, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music. He returned in 2001, serving as Music Director. Mr. Salonen is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His compositions Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. Mr. Salonen served as the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years, from 1992 to 2007 and, through his unwavering dedication to new music, is widely credited with bringing the idea of a symphony orchestra into the 21st century.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. 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 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 a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North.

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.

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

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

Ojai North
Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North takes place from June 19-21 in Berkeley, CA. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai North is the Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley. This 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 even 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. 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 www.OjaiFestival.org and on the OjaiU website at www.OjaiU.org. Plans for the 2014 OjaiU will be announced at a later date.

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 $185 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start from $55. Single passes will be available in spring 2014. Directions to Ojai, as well as information on lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available at the Ojai web site. Follow Festival updates on the web at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival) and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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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
Regional: Laura Cohen, lcmediapr@gmail.com                                           (818) 541-5521


For photos, additional bios, and Ojai information visit the press page at OjaiFestival.org

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

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

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

Download PDF of the press release >>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Read More

Ojai Music Festival Announces Complete Programs for the 68th Festival

The Knights, Brooklyn Rider, Uri Caine, Jennifer Frautschi, Hudson Shad, and Storm Large join Mr. Denk as artistic collaborators in works by Beethoven, Caine, Haydn, Janáček, Ives, Ligeti, Mozart, Schubert, Stockhausen, and Weill

The Festival features works by composers Timo Andres and Andrew Norman, including the world premiere of Norman’s 140 characters or less for solo piano, written for Jeremy Denk

The Libbey Bowl stage remains at the heart of the Festival while additional concerts and events showcase the stunning Ojai Valley from “Hymnfest”at Meditation Mount to a sunrise performance with Brooklyn Rider at Besant Hill School in Upper Ojai

Audiences can now purchase passes and share the Festival experience remotely via enhanced live video streaming of concerts at OjaiFestival.org

In the week following the Festival, Cal Performances’ Ojai North at University of California Berkeley takes place June 19–21

Download PDF of the Press Release >>

“Ojai gives you a freedom to create a program that reflects the diversity of your tastes…we are going to be journeying from pretty early music, possibly as early as 1400, to the very present day…music of great reverence and transcendence and music of great irreverence.”
– Jeremy Denk, Music Director

OJAI, CA – April 17, 2014: The 68th Ojai Music Festival, June 12–15, embraces both the Festival’s ideals and the inventive musical mind of Jeremy Denk, 2014 music director. Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, and Mr. Denk have programmed a festival reflecting 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, Uri Caine’s unique take on Mahler, Timo Andres’ reimagining of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto, the music of Charles Ives (which is all about music about music), Jeremy Denk’s eclectic views on musical canons, Ligeti’s extraordinary Piano Études (to be performed for the first time at the Festival), or the ultimate collection of styles and formats, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, this will be an adventure of musical passions, love of fun, provocation, and serious intent,” said Mr. Morris.

Ojai enthusiastically welcomes the return of pianist 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 Sonata, in addition to 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 extra-musical observations. Over the last year, Mr. Denk has won a MacArthur Fellowship, Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, and the Avery Fisher Prize.

A highlight of the upcoming Festival is the anticipated world premiere on Friday (June 13) of a commissioned opera with libretto by Mr. Denk and music by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steven Stucky. The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) is based on the eponymous award-winning book by American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen. The opera will be conducted by Robert Spano, who served as music director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2006, and will be performed by The Knights, the Brooklyn-based orchestral collective. The semi-staged comic opera will be directed by Mary Birnbaum of The Juilliard School.The cast will feature Aubrey Allicock, bass baritone; Dominic Armstrong, tenor; Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano; Keith Jameson, tenor; Kim Josephson, baritone; Ashraf Sewailam, bass baritone; Peabody Southwell, mezzo-soprano; and Jennifer Zetlan, soprano.

The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ojai premiere is supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Having seen this project from being just an idea to a libretto to a score to a first workshop run through, and now to witness its further refinement as a finished work of art, has been breathtaking,” commented Mr. Morris.

Making their Ojai Festival debuts are Uri Caine, jazz pianist/composer; Brooklyn Rider, string quartet; Hudson Shad, vocal ensemble; Jennifer Frautschi, violinist; and Storm Large,vocalist. The Festival will present works by composers Timo Andres and Andrew Norman, also making their Ojai debuts.

The 2014 Festival includes Libbey Bowl concerts, late night concerts, sunrise concerts with mountain views, films, talks, social gatherings, and community events throughout the beautiful Ojai Valley. Following an afternoon of talks and film, the Festival begins Thursday night (June 12), with a concert performed by Jeremy Denk, juxtaposing the charm of Schubert’s Ländler and Moments musicaux with excerpts from Janáček’s piano cycle On An Overgrown Path. This sets the stage for Uri Caine’s Mahler, a musical journey, from jazz to klezmer that reimagines the composer’s daring mixture of profound and profane from the context of our time.

On Friday (June 13), prior to the world premiere of The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts), Hudson Shad offers a free evening performance of songs by Kurt Weill and others at the Libbey Park Gazebo. The evening ends with a Late Night concert by the Uri Caine Sextet performing the music of George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, reimagined and improvised by Uri Caine.

On Saturday (June 14), the Ojai Sunrise concert features Brooklyn Rider performing a program on different times and cultures, including Schubert’s Quartettsatz, works by Evan Ziporyn and Colin Jacobsen, inspired by the music of Asia and the Middle East, and the haunting quartet Philip Glass wrote for a staged performance of Samuel Beckett’s novella, Company. Later in the morning, Jennifer Frautschi and Jeremy Denk perform Charles Ives’ complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano—heard all too rarely and almost never together in a single concert. Saturday evening offers a double billing with the first concert featuring Timo Andres’ re-composition of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto and the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s 140 characters or less, commissioned for Jeremy Denk by the Ojai Music Festival and funded by a generous gift from Linda and Stuart Nelson.        

The second Saturday night concert showcases The Knights performing works by Luigi Boccherini, Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Tierkreis – Leo arranged by Caroline Shaw, and concludes with Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins featuring wickedly delicious performances by Storm Large and Hudson Shad. Two soliloquies usher in the Late Night concert at Libbey Bowl with Bach’s third unaccompanied violin sonata performed by Ms. Frautschi and Morton Feldman’s moving Rothko Chapel performed by the Ojai Festival Singers, members of The Knights and conducted by Robert Spano. To end the evening, Storm Large performs her own “Lounge-core mashup” of old and new favorites for Ojai members at Agave Maria’s Restaurant & Cantina.

With the gorgeous Meditation Mount as the setting, Sunday (June 15) begins with a sunrise concert that includes an engaging selection of spirituals and hymns – old and new – performed by the Ojai Festival singers, led by conductor Kevin Fox, and two sing-alongs with the audience. The morning concert at Libbey Bowl is called a “Canonade” and described by Jeremy Denk as “a mélange of musical canons and canon-esque miscellaney” with selected works by Josquin, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Kurtág, Purcell, P.D.Q. Bach, Uri Caine, and J.S. Bach. A concert for donors on Sunday afternoon features Timo Andres performing at the piano his own work it takes a long time to be a good composer, and Schumann’s Kreisleriana. The Festival’s grand finale crescendos from Ligeti’s fiendishly difficult piano Études performed by Jeremy Denk, to Ives’ transcendent setting of Psalm 90 for chorus, bells, and organ, and culminates with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, a magnificently quirky fantasy for piano, orchestra, chorus, and soloists.

The Ojai Talks series with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begins on Thursday, June 12 with an interview with Jeremy Denk, followed by a second session with Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights, who will talk about the reinvention of today’s orchestras. On Friday, June 13, Mr. Guzelimian moderates a panel discussion on the implications, impact, and meaning of Charles Rosen’s The Classical Style with special guests Timo Andres, composer; Don M. Randel, musicologist and former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Henri Zerner, Professor Department of History of Art and Architecture, Sackler Museum at Harvard, and long-time friend of Charles Rosen.

The Ojai Films, selected by Jeremy Denk,follows the 2014 Festival’s approach to presenting both the familiar and the unfamiliar in fresh and unusual ways.Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould will be screened on Thursday, June 12. The award-winning film, written and directed by François Girard, is a collection of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the life, work, and character of the acclaimed pianist. Ojai Films continue on Saturday (June 14) with The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten), an Ingmar Bergman 1975 film version of Mozart‘s opera Die Zauberflöte.

The Ojai Music Festival continues to explore ways to expand access and to nurture the ongoing dialogue around music. The 2014 Festival will provide audiences the opportunity to connect at communal meals, including the Friday à la Carte (June 13) with gourmet food trucks and a Saturday Supper (June 14) with boxed meals served in Libbey Park. Discussion Posts will be set up in the park as comfortable “living room” spaces where special guests and audiences will share their anticipations, impressions, and reactions before and after concerts.

Ojai Live, which streams Festival concerts, continues with improved technology and will feature enhanced editorial content, including interviews with artists and special guests. Launched in 2012, the Festival’s live streaming and its subsequent archival offerings have expanded the reach of the Festival with more than 10,000 views.

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

Jeremy Denk, Music Director
One of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, pianist Jeremy Denk is the winner of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award. He has appeared as a 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. Next season, he looks forward to launching a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and to making debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. 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, 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.

Mr. 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, Bach: Goldberg Variations, was released in September 2013. It reached number one on Billboard’s “Classical Albums” chart, and was named one of the “Best of 2013” by the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Jeremy Denk has earned degrees from Oberlin, Indiana University, and Juilliard. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. He 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 active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 68-year-old Ojai Music 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 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.

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

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

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

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.”

The Ojai Music Festival encourages 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. For information on Ojai Membership, visit OjaiFestival.org.

Festival Passes & Information
Series and singles passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling 805 646 2053. Series passes range from $110 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $55. Single concert passes range from $35 to $120. Lawn seating is $15.

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

Invitation to the Press: For information on press passes and lodging options, please contact Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.

 

# # #

 

Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org   805 646 2094

National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com               704 340 4094

Regional: Laura Cohen, lcmediapr@gmail.com                                                310 867 3897

For photos and Ojai Festival information visit the press page at OjaiFestival.org.

  Read More

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).

****

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  

Ojai Music Festival, June 12-15, 2014, Premieres Commissioned Opera

Ojai Music Festival, June 12-15, 2014, premieres commissioned opera The Classical Style with libretto by Music Director Jeremy Denk and music by Steven Stucky

Based on the book by Charles Rosen, the comic opera collaborators include The Knights, led by conductor Robert Spano 

Download PDF >>

(October 22, 2013 – Ojai, California) – Among the highlights of the 68th Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Jeremy Denk, June 12-15, 2014, is the anticipated world premiere of a commissioned opera 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 Jeremy 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.

Described by Mr. Denk as “at once a love letter to Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn, and a satire of classical pomp,” the opera cast of eight singers and chamber orchestra will be led by Robert Spano, conductor, pianist, composer, pedagogue, 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 orchestra collective, will be in residence during the Ojai Music Festival and will serve as chamber orchestra for The Classical Style. Singers will be announced at a later date.

Commenting on the opera, Jeremy Denk shared that it is “An opera in which principles of music—harmony, structure—and the big three composers (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), as well as several completely unnecessary characters, would 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.”

Mr. Denk’s “Postscript: Charles Rosen” in The New Yorker (December 18, 2012), described Rosen’s Classical Style: “The book, against all odds … occasionally feels like a page-turner, a thriller: these three geniuses—Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven—building on each other’s discoveries, like scientists almost, creating unprecedented inventions, invoking a golden era of form meeting content.”

Steven Stucky commented, “When Tom [Morris] and Jeremy first came to me with this idea, I shrank from the job. It seemed too crazy, too risky, too hard. I kept suggesting other composers to them. But then Jeremy started feeding me bits of the libretto: funny and playful and deep and wistful all at the same time. Pretty soon he, and his ideas, became irresistible. Fortunately, I think we’re a good team, egging each other on, relishing the give and take, ready to park our egos and roll up our sleeves. I first read The Classical Style as a student. Like so many eager young doctoral candidates (a type who features prominently, and hilariously, in Jeremy’s libretto), I thought it changed my life. Many of the insights we discovered there have become common knowledge, so much so that we might forget just how powerful the arrival of that book was.”

The Classical Style is the first collaboration between Mr. Denk and Mr. Stucky – and the first opera project for each of them. The opera is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances in Berkeley, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and Carnegie Hall. The Ojai premiere (June 13, 2014) is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ojai enthusiastically welcomes back versatile pianist Jeremy Denk as the Festival’s 2014 Music Director. Mr. Denk made his Ojai Music Festival debut in 2009 performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Ives’ First 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 extra-musical observations.

2014 Overview
For the 68th Ojai Music Festival, Mr. Denk and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris are shaping a program that fully reflects both the ideals of the Ojai Music Festival and the unique and inventive musical mind of Jeremy Denk. Among Mr. Denk’s collaborators is American composer and jazz pianist Uri Caine, who will perform music from his The Mahler Project, which was a sensation when released on the recording “Primal Light” in 1998. With music by Beethoven, Janáček, Ives, Ligeti, and Mozart, the Festival will also offer works by Brooklyn-based composers, including Timothy Andres and Andrew Norman. Additional programming information for the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, including concert details, talks, films, and free community events throughout the Ojai Valley campus, will be announced later this fall.

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. He has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras, including the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and London Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He frequently gives recitals in New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and around the U.S. Mr. Denk is also known for his witty and personal writing; his 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 Book Review, Newsweek, the New Republic, and the NPR Music website. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” will be the basis of a book he is writing for publication by Random House in a couple of years’ time. In 2014, he will be Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival, where as well as performing and curating, he is composing the libretto for a comic opera. His debut recording for Nonesuch Records presented music by Ligeti and Beethoven 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, released in September 2013, is of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, a work with which Mr. Denk has had a long and close relationship throughout his career.

Steven Stucky, Composer
Steven Stucky, born in 1949, has an extensive catalogue of compositions ranging from large-scale orchestral works to a cappella miniatures for chorus. He is also active as a conductor, writer, lecturer, and teacher, and for 21 years he enjoyed a close partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic: in 1988 André Previn appointed him composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and later he became the orchestra’s consulting composer for new music, working closely with Esa-Pekka Salonen. Commissioned by the orchestra, his Second Concerto for Orchestra brought him the Pulitzer Prize in music in 2005.

Mr. Stucky has taught at Cornell University since 1980 and now serves as Given Foundation Professor of Composition. He has also taught at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of California (Berkeley). A world-renowned expert on Lutosławski’s music, he is a recipient of the Lutosławski Society’s medal. He is a frequent guest at colleges and conservatories, and his works appear on the programs of the world’s major orchestras.

For addition biographical information on other 2014 Ojai Music Festival artists, please 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 a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North!

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.

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 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.

Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North! takes place from June 19-21, 2014, in Berkeley, CA. The Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than 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. For Ojai North! information, please visit www.calperformances.org.

Experience 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. 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 $710 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start from $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 and Twitter.

Invitation to Members of the Press: For information on press passes and lodging options, please contact Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.

# # #

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

Holiday Home Tour inspires festive ideas while supporting the Festival education program

(September 26, 2013) — The Ojai Festivals Women’s Committee invites guests on a tour of four Ojai Valley homes, celebrating the art of living and distinctive approaches to the joy of the holidays. The 17th Holiday Home Look In, November 16 and 17 between 10 am to 4 pm, is known for highlighting architectural contrasts within the valley, something that is unique compared to other home tours in the nearby area.

The properties include Shantikar, a Fred Hummel house built in 1963; Casa Los Robles, filled with a significant private pre-Columbian art collection; Carper House, a custom built home using locally sourced stone interior and exterior walls; and Gridley Ranch, a 44-acre ranch surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest.

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

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

In keeping with the tour’s mission to support the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO! program, guests will enjoy live music in the homes provided  by local musicians, including BRAVO! students.

The tour price is $30 per person advance and $35 day of the event. A group discount is also available for 8 or more people. Organizers request no cameras allowed on the tour or children under 12 years of age. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended (no high-heeled shoes allowed). Free shuttle service will be provided for one of the homes. Call 805-646-2094 or visit OjaiFestival.org for tickets and information.

DATES: November 16 & 17, 2013
TIMES: 10am-4pm
LOCATIONS: around the Ojai Valley
For tickets, details and photos visit the Festival website here.

 

2014 Ojai Music Festival Music Director Jeremy Denk frames programming for 68th Festival

(June 5, 2013 – Ojai, California) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates this week’s 67th Festival (June 9 – 12, 2013) with Music Director Mark Morris, the Festival’s 2014 Music Director Jeremy Denk shares his approach to programming the 2014 Festival, (June 12-15, 2014).

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

In Jeremy Denk’s Own Words:
“The idea of Ojai 2014 emerged from a couple of immediate enthusiasms. One was an album that I had always loved by the jazz pianist and musical thinker Uri Caine, “Primal Light,” in which he takes Mahler and explodes him, or implodes him, I can’t exactly decide which. He takes things that are already in Mahler–a sense of dislocation, of frenetic collage, of all the anxiety of the 20th century and modernism and yet some tenderness vying against it all–and does collages on that cluster of techniques, in a way turning Mahler inside out. Tom Morris and I agreed we loved Uri Caine, and he will be the first night of the Festival.

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Ojai Music Festival Announces Arts Management Internship Application Deadline

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 15, 2013 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE 67TH OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

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