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

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

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

Six free performances for the community feature works by Bach, Berio, Anthony Braxton, Courtney Bryan, Mario Diaz de Leon, Vijay Iyer, George Lewis, Missy Mazzoli, and Esa-Pekka Salonen

Audio-kinetic installation, Rio Negro II, created by Douglas Ewart, Douglas Repetto, and George Lewis, on display at Libbey Park

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

(April 10, 2017 – Ojai, California) – The Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaboration in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.

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

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

Watch Vijay Iyer Discuss the 2017 Festival

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

The 2017 Festival begins on Thursday, June 8 showcasing Vijay Iyer’s creative breadth. The program features two recent works by Mr. Iyer, the American premiere of Emergence, performed by ICE and the Vijay Iyer Trio conducted by Steven Schick; and the world premiere of his violin concerto Trouble, Commissioned by Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, and Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, music director. Trouble is composed for and will be performed by violinist Jennifer Koh. The premiere will feature the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble along with ICE and conductor Steven Schick. The evening closes with a duo comprising Mr. Iyer and the celebrated trumpet player and a founder of the AACM, Wadada Leo Smith. Described by Mr. Iyer as his “hero, friend, and teacher,” Mr. Smith collaborates with the pianist on music that is “spellbinding and traverses musical identities.” The duo will perform selections from their critically acclaimed album A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke, released on ECM Records in 2016.

The two-part Friday afternoon concert on June 9 features flutist Claire Chase performing a selection from Density 2036, an ambitious 22-year project conceived by Ms. Chase in 2014 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. Each season between 2014-2036, Ms. Chase will premiere a new 60-minute program of solo flute works commissioned that year in a special performance at The Kitchen in New York City and on tour in select cities thereafter. Joining Ms. Chase for Ojai’s Density 2036 will be Pauchi Sasaki (violin and vocals) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). A highlight of the program, which includes works by Suzanne Farrin, Vijay Iyer, Pauchi Sasaki, and Varèse, is an excerpt from Marcos Balter’s Pan, which calls for audience participation. Following Density 2036 will be a rare performance by Tyshawn Sorey’s Double Trio in a program called “The Inner Spectrum of Variables,” named after the Double Trio’s 2016 album. Mr. Sorey made his Ojai debut last year composing music for and performing in the Josephine Baker Portrait. 

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

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

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

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

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

Free Community Concerts and Events

Ojai continues to build on its commitment to reach an ever-broader audience, and the 2017 Festival offers two free Late Night Concerts in the Libbey Bowl, in addition to the Sunday morning community concert by The Trio with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell. Friday evening (June 9) at 10:30pm features a free recital by Jennifer Koh, entitled “Bach and Beyond” in which Ms. Koh will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Missy Mazzoli, Luciano Berio, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Saturday night (June 10) at 10:30pm brings Vijay Iyer together with the Brentano Quartet to perform his Time, Place, Action. The Brentano Quartet opens the concert with selections from Bach’s Art of the Fugue, and the concert closes with the American premiere of a new version of Yet Unheard by the versatile composer and pianist Courtney Bryan. Written for chorus, orchestra, and the vocalist Helga Davis, Yet Unheard sets a new text by poet Sharan Strange memorializing Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Her death was classified as a suicide, though many dispute the cause of death and allege racial violence. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Ms. Bryan’s recent compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. 

Newly added to the Festival schedule are three free Pop-Up Concerts that feature members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The Thursday evening (June 8) Pop-Up features George Lewis’ Emergent. On Friday morning (June 9), the Pop-Up includes Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music. The final Pop-Up on Saturday morning (June 10) includes two works by Maria Diaz de Leon, including Labrys. These concerts will take place in the Libbey Park Gazebo nestled in the Libbey Park.

On Saturday, June 10, at 11:30am, the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO education program will offer an interactive demonstration featuring its “Education Through Music” (ETM) program with Ojai elementary school students and will include audience participation. ETM uses song, play and movement in the classroom, and it is one of the Festival’s seven types of free education workshops.

Ideas: Ojai Talks, Concert Insights and Festival 2018 Preview 

The 2017 Festival begins with Ojai Talks presented by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School. On Thursday June 8, the first session topic is “The Art of Improvisation” with Vijay Iyer. The second part of the Thursday Talks features a panel discussion of “Music as Community” with Mr. Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith and Steven Schick. On the evening of Friday, June 9 the Ojai Talks will be held prior to the 8pm concert of George Lewis’ Afterword on the Libbey Bowl stage. The session will feature a discussion with Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Tyshawn Sorey, and Claire Chase regarding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and its ongoing impact.

Concert Insights with Christopher Hailey interviewing featured artists, including Courtney Bryan, Claire Chase and Tyshawn Sorey, will take place prior to select performances. 

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris joins Christopher Hailey for an early exploration into next year’s Festival. This exclusive event for renewing series subscribers will take place on Friday, June 9, 11am at the Ojai Art Center.

Art Installation in Libbey Park: Rio Negro II

Rio Negro II, an audio-kinetic art installation, will be on display in the Libbey Park for the duration of the 2017 Festival, open to the public for interaction. Rio Negro II, created by Douglas Ewart, Douglas Repetto, and George Lewis, reflects the spirit and legacy of the AACM, internationally recognized for its multidimensional approach to American experimental music. From text offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Douglas R. Ewart and George Lewis are both longtime members of the AACM. In 1992, the two joined together to produce Rio Negro. That first version was commissioned in Chicago by Experimental Sound Studio, a long-standing nonprofit organization. It was presented at the now-defunct Randolph Street Gallery. In 2007, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Lewis collaborated with sound artist Douglas Repetto on an enhanced version of the sound environment. According to Mr. Lewis, the title of the work references the Rio Negro in Brazil, a major tributary of the Amazon River, and the largest black-water river in the world. “Rio Negro” references both indigenous people and notions of blackness. The name also suggests the sounds of rain forests, and the work’s strategically conceived silences enhance the nature of the work as a space for contemplation”.

Ojai at Berkeley

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

Vijay Iyer, Music Director

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

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

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. As Artistic Director, Morris is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. During his decade-long tenure, audiences have increased and the scope of the Festival has expanded, most recently to include a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

About the Ojai Music Festival

From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, Eighth Blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars.
The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. The Board Chairman is David Nygren and President is Jamie Bennett.

Live video streaming of the Ojai Music Festival

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

Single Tickets for 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival single tickets are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival ticket prices range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $20. Student and group discounts are available.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and information on other Ojai activities are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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

2017 Festival Schedule

 

PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA TO BE MUSIC DIRECTOR IN 2018

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

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

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

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

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

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

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival, and is committed to the Ojai Music Festival through 2021. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. Over his fourteen-year tenure, he has brought as music director Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, 8th blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars. Over this  period, audiences have increased, the scope and density of the Festival has expanded, the collaborative partnership Ojai at Berkeley with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley has started, and a comprehensive program of video streaming of all concerts has been instituted. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he is also an accomplished percussionist.

Ojai Music Festival

From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Series Passes for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

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

 

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

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

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

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

download pdf version 
download 2017 schedule 

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

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

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

Watch Vijay Iyer Discuss the 2017 Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Community Concerts

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

Ojai Talks

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

Ojai at Berkeley

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

Vijay Iyer, Music Director

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

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

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. As Artistic Director, Morris is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. During his decade-long tenure, audiences have increased and the scope of the Festival has expanded, most recently to include a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

About the Ojai Music Festival

From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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

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

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival

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

Series Passes for 2017 Ojai Music Festival

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

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

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2017 Ojai Music Festival Music Director Vijay Iyer Shares Initial Programming for 71st Festival: June 8-11, 2017

“Musical genre is a twentieth-century concept. Today we can move beyond the dated classification of music into genres like ‘jazz,’ ‘classical,’ ‘experimental,’ and so on; instead there are only communities, and their different ways of making, sharing, and experiencing music. Communities are fluid, porous, and dynamic and can intersect or overlap; you might participate in multiple communities at once. What you will see and hear next year at Ojai is a spectrum of master musicians from disparate communities – composers, performers, improvisers – whose work spans many different systems and approaches. What they have in common, and what binds all of us, is that we listen to each other, and we find ways of making music together.”
– Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

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(June 7, 2016– Ojai, California) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates this week’s 70th Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars, the Festival’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 71st Festival, June 8-11, 2017.

“Vijay Iyer is one of the most creative artists I know, and his breadth of musicianship, intellect, and curiosity made him an irresistible choice to be the 2017 Music Director. Not only does Vijay possess an extraordinary range of musical collaborators, many of whom will join him in Ojai, but he is devising a program centered on the very creativity of producing music – from composition to performing to improvising,” said Thomas W. Morris. “Joining him will be returning Ojai family, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with conductor, and Ojai’s 2015 Music Director, Steven Schick, Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. Among the artists who will make their Ojai debuts in 2017 are violinist Jennifer Koh, the Vijay Iyer Trio and Sextet, and composer-performers Wadada Leo Smith and Steve Lehman.”

2017 Festival programming will feature the world premiere of a commissioned violin concerto by Vijay Iyer for violinist Jennifer Koh; the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera, based on his award-winning book A Power Stronger than Itself; Stravinsky’s Le Sacré du Printemps in a new arrangement for ICE by Cliff Colnot; and Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi – film by Prashant Bhargava with music by Vijay Iyer, performed with ICE. Additional programming will be announced in the fall.

Vijay Iyer
The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. A Grammy nominee, Iyer was named DownBeat Magazine’s 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He has released over twenty recordings under his own name. The latest, on the ECM label, include A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016), a duo recording with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; Mutations, featuring his compositions for piano, string quartet, and electronics; Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a film by Prashant Bhargava, with Iyer’s score performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); and Break Stuff, featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio. 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. His compositions have been commissioned by Arturo O’Farrill, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, ICE, Jennifer Koh, Matt Haimovitz, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. He is a Steinway artist.

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

As Artistic Director of the 70-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 at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including: Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, eighth blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, and Steven Schick. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer in 2017 (June 8-11). Future music directors are Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018), soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan (June 6-9, 2019), violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja (June 11-14, 2020), and pianist Mitsuko Uchida (June 10-13, 2021).

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes free digital access to the Festival experience through live video streaming at www.Ojaifestival.org and on the radio with media partners Classical KUSC and WQXR’s Q2. Visit www.Ojaifestival.org for more details.

Series Passes for 2017 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2017 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the Festival weekend and online immediately after the 2016 Festival at www.Ojaifestival.org.

Single Tickets for 2016 Ojai Music Festival
Single tickets for the 2016 Ojai Music Festival, June 9-12, are on sale online at OjaiFestival.org and 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 available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates 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

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL NAMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS: JERROLD EBERHARDT AND DAVID OXTOBY

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(OJAI, CA, May 24, 2016) – David J. Nygren, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ojai Music Festival, is pleased to welcome Jerrold L. Eberhardt and David W. Oxtoby to its Board of Directors. As the Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th anniversary with the upcoming Festival (June 9-12), Mr. Oxtoby and Mr. Eberhardt begin their tenures as the organization looks toward the future and begins a strategic planning process.

“On behalf of my Board colleagues and the entire Festival family, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Jerry and David,” said Nygren. “I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the extraordinary talents, generous support, and unwavering commitment of our Board, and I extend the warmest welcome to our newest Board members. I am honored to serve the Festival at this milestone moment and to work with my esteemed friends on the Board, with our artistic heart and visionary Tom Morris and President Jamie Bennett as we look toward the Festival’s future.”

Jerrold L. Eberhardt, Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, had a distinguished 40-year career at Smith Barney. He and his family moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1997 when he was named Senior Executive Vice President and Divisional Director for the Western Division, which included eleven States and was expanded to include Asia and Australia. He retired in 2009. Eberhardt has been a member of the Board of Directors of Dynasty Financial Partners, LLC since 2012. Dynasty is the premier provider of integrated wealth management solutions and technology for Independent Registered Investment Advisors.

Eberhardt is a member of the Music Leadership Council and serves on the Board of the Music Center Foundation. For the past six years Jerry has served as a Trustee of the Aspen Music Festival & School. He is also a member of The California Club and previously served on the Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Finance Committee.

He graduated from the University of Illinois and received his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

David W. Oxtoby, President of Pomona College, is a leading expert on higher education and a strong advocate for the liberal arts. Speaking across the globe, he makes the coxtoby-1_1024ase that the pressing challenges of the 21st century will be addressed by those whose minds have been developed to think creatively in ways that cut across disciplines.

An internationally-recognized physical chemist, Oxtoby as President has advanced Pomona as a champion of sustainability. The Pomona College has committed to reaching net carbon neutrality by 2030, and has completed five new academic buildings and two new residence halls designed to meet or exceed LEED Silver. The importance of the arts is a key theme of Oxtoby’s leadership, with the recent opening of the new Studio Art Hall, revitalization of the Pomona College Museum of Art, and the establishment of faculty positions in creative writing, theatre, and dance.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry summa cum laude from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He has authored more than 170 scientific papers, and has served as chair of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In 2012, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

BACKGROUND
Since David Nygren’s tenure as Chairman of the Festival Board of Directors began in 2013, the Board of Directors has grown recently with the additions of Barry Sanders, lawyer, and Fred Fisher, architect. Other additional new board members are: Sandy Buechley, business intelligence manager at Patagonia, Inc. (Ojai); James P. Drummy, principal at the law firm of Poindexter & Doutré Inc. (Los Angeles); Carol Nygren, principal at the Nygren Group (Valencia); Dr. Bridget Tsao-Brockman, optometrist (Ojai); and Gary Wasserman, CEO of Allied Metals Corporation (Detroit, MI). Board members who continue their dedicated service to the Festival include: Sue Bienkowski, program director (retired) of St. Jude Medical Center (Santa Monica); NancyBell Coe, president (retired) of Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara); Michael Gorfaine, partner and co-owner, Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (Los Angeles); Russ Irwin, toxicologist (retired) at Bayer Group (Berkeley); Cathryn Krause, co-founder (retired) of BST Solutions (Ojai); Dr. Barry Schifrin, doctor (retired) (Los Angeles); Greg Smith, Land Management, Smith-Hobson LLC (Ventura); and Jane Weirick, teacher (retired) (Ojai), as well as President of the Ojai Festivals Women’s Committee Merrill Williams, director of public relations of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (retired) (Ojai).

2016 Festival Tickets
Single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $15. Reservations for the free family concert can be done online at OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is 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. 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 Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year, June 9-12, 2016, and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited acclaimed opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Highlights will include award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s new chamber version of La Passion de Simone, a meditation on the life of the courageous French philosopher Simone Weil; the world premiere of a personal musical portrait of American-born French dancer, singer, and actress Josephine Baker; and the Ojai debut of Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, who epitomizes a rising generation of Egyptian women. Joining Sellars in Ojai will be ICE (International Chamber Ensemble), the Calder Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, and soprano Julia Bullock. For further details and a full schedule, visit OjaiFestival.org.

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Ojai Music Festival offers special events in advance of the 70th Festival

Ojai Music Festival offers special events in advance of the 70th Festival (June 9-12), in New York, Los Angeles and Ojai

In New York, join 2016 Ojai Music Director Peter Sellars, Festival artists and Q2 Music host Helga Davis on May 13 at 7pm for discussion and performance at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR/WNYC. For tickets, visit www.thegreenespace.org, or watch a live video stream of the event at www.Q2Music.org. Listen to Q2 Music on Tuesdays at 9 pm ET beginning May 3 for a three-part series of Ojai programs with host 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

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In Los Angeles, Peter Sellars and The New Yorkers Alex Ross have a dialogue on May 16 at 7:30pm at the Bram Goldsmith Theater, presented in partnership with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit www.TheWallis.org.

In Ojai, the Festival continues new free Ears Open series on June 5 at 4:30pm, featuring a conversation between ICE co-Artistic Director Claire Chase and Juilliard Provost and Dean Ara Guzelimian. For more info, visit www.OjaiFestival.org.

Attend the 70th Ojai Music Festival June 9 to 12 in Ojai; Watch Ojai Live streams at www.Q2Music.org and www.OjaiFestival.org; and attend Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley June 16 to 18.

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 a 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.

Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

(OJAI, CA – May 3, 2016) — The Ojai Music Festival is pleased to offer discussions and performances in advance of the 70th Festival (June 9-12) in New York (May 13), in Los Angeles (May 16) and in Ojai (June 5).

“It is with great pleasure and deep gratitude to our partners that we announce new opportunities to experience a window into the Ojai Music Festival,” said President Jamie Bennett. “Ojai’s incredibly substantive collaboration with WXQR’s Q2 Music has afforded us the opportunity to bring a snapshot of the 2016 Festival to New York audiences, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has created an event for our friends in Los Angeles. We very much hope to continue to build on these extraordinary partnerships as we work to continue to expand the impact of the Festival, both at home in Ojai and beyond.”

Ojai in New York and on the internet
Ojai’s media partner, WQXR’s Q2 Music, hosts a special advance exploration of the 70th Ojai Music Festival with an event of discussion and music on May 13 at 7pm. This evening in New York features 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars and will be hosted by Q2 Music’s Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach, You Us We All). Performers include 2016 Festival artists Dan Lippel, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); soprano Julia Bullock, accompanied by pianist John Arida; and vocalist/pianist Leila Adu. The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts and politics of New York and our world. For details on the May 13 event, visit www.TheGreeneSpace.org. The event will be live audio and video streamed at www.Q2Music.org. Musical program for the May 13 Greene Space event includes:

  • Leila Adu, singer and pianist:
    – Selected Songs
  • International Contemporary Ensemble’s Dan Lippel, guitarist:
    – Steve Reich : Electric Counterpoint
  • Julia Bullock, soprano and John Arida, pianist:
    – Armando Oréfiche (1911-2000): La conga blicoti
    – Vincent Scotto (1874-1952): Jai deux amours
    – Irving Berlin (1888-1989): Harlem on my Mind

Launched in 2015, additional highlights of the 2016 partnership with WQXR’s Q2 Music feature immersive access to select new music concerts at www.Q2Music.org beginning May 3, as well as a three-part series of special programs showcasing performances from the 2015 Festival, hosted by Ojai’s 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. Q2 Music audiences can also access performances from prior Festivals with host and 2013 Music 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.

Ojai in Los Angeles
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts joins forces with the Ojai Music Festival for the first time to present a lively Arts & Ideas conversation between Sellars and The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. The conversation will take place on the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater on Monday, May 16 at 7:30pm. For more information and tickets, visit The Wallis at www.TheWallis.org.

At Home in Ojai
The Ojai Music Festival established a new series, Ears Open, for the Ojai community on Sunday, April 10 and Sunday June 5. The first session featured 2020 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja in conversation with Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, and in June, flutist/co-Artistic Director of ICE Claire Chase will be in conversation with Juilliard Provost and Dean and former Festival Artistic Director Ara Guzelimian. The special events, which are free and open to the public, provide insight into how musicians think about the music they play, and how we, as listeners, can enter into adventurous new worlds with “open ears.”

Experience the Festival in Ojai (June 9-12) or remotely via Ojai Live webcast; or visit Ojai at Berkeley (June 18-20)

Ojai Music Festival Tickets
Festival single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at www.OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and are $15 for lawn tickets. Reservations for the free family concerts can be done online at www.OjaiFestival.org.

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

Follow Festival updates at http://www.OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Ojai Live webcast of 2016 Festival

Ojai Live begins on Thursday, June 9 with the Ojai Talks. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances, interview segments, and symposia. Watch Ojai Live at www.OjaiFestival.org.

Now in its 70th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its passionate audience, whose interest has resulted in record attendance. 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 an expanding menu of digital initiatives. Ojai Live features an enhanced HD five-camera broadcast with concert-quality sound.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the sixth 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 both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2016 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit www.CalPerformances.org.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding seventy years ago, 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 and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing a different annual Music Director each year, 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. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Award winner Vijay Iyer in 2017 (June 8-11). Future music directors announced are Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018), soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan (June 6-9, 2019), violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja (June 11-14, 2020) and pianist Mitsuko Uchida (June 10-13, 2021).
About Q2 Music
Q2 Music is WQXR’s online platform dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles and musical discovery. Its programming includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts such as composer Phil Kline and vocalist Helga Davis, full-length album streams, live webcasts and exclusive concert audio from local and national venues, and special events in front of live audiences at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in downtown New York City. Q2 Music produces Meet the Composer with host Nadia Sirota, a Peabody Award-winning interview podcast which mines the brains of today’s leading composers, as well as LPR Live, a podcast which shares dynamic new-music performances from Greenwich Village’s Le Poisson Rouge. Q2 Music is streamed live 24/7 at www.WQXR.org/Q2Music and is also available via the free WQXR App.

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

 

OMF Shares Updates For 70th Festival

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL SHARES UPDATES FOR 70TH FESTIVAL: JUNE 9-12, 2016 WITH 2016 MUSIC DIRECTOR PETER SELLARS

Honoring a long-held spirit of pushing boundaries with artists, music, ideas, and audiences, the Festival celebrates its milestone 70th year by broadening the roster of artists, continuing a focus on concerts for the community, and expanding the Festival’s geographic reach

Ojai welcomes Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and showcases her works throughout the Festival including the US premiere of the chamber version of La Passion de Simone

Ojai presents a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw Dont Let Me Be Lonely with text by Claudia Rankine, the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait with arrangements and music by multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey, a new work by Cuban composer/conductor Tania León for Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)

ICE and the Calder Quartet return on the heels of their 2015 Festival appearances, and Ojai welcomes back alumni soprano Julia Bullock and violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt

Ojai debuts include vocalist/composer Leila Adu, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, flutist Camilla Hoitenga, Grammy-winning vocal collective Roomful of Teeth, baritone Davone Tines, Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, Flex dancer Sam I Am, and Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA)

In its sixth season, Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is slated for June 16 to 18, 2016 following the Ojai Music Festival

Download PDF version >>

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 a 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.”

– Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

OJAI, CA (UPDATE APRIL 6, 2016) —The 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars pays tribute to a defining hallmark of the Festival – reimagining each year by affording the appointed music director creative freedom to explore their artistic interests and collaborations. Acclaimed opera and theatre director Peter Sellars’ vision for the upcoming Festival honors its long-held spirit of challenging audiences musically and intellectually in a celebration of music in the context of our world today.

Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris says, “The festival that Peter has devised pushes all the right boundaries of the Ojai Music Festival on its 70th anniversary. This will be a festival building on the heritage of past achievements, but more importantly, laying the groundwork for an even more exciting future.”

Peter Sellars has long been known for infusing his music and opera productions with contemporary ideas and social issues. Believing that most classical music is grounded in spiritual and political contexts, he includes a variety of perspectives in his work. He says, “Art was invented as a way to face really difficult things with a sense that in facing them, you’ve already started the healing process.” As such, The 70th Festival embraces opening up to new ideas, new music, new audiences, and new communities.

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 Music Director Pierre Boulez. Returning to Ojai in 2011 with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, he directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s song cycle, The Winds of Destiny.

Works by Kaija Saariaho
Concerts throughout the Festival will feature the work of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, a frequent collaborator of Peter Sellars. He describes her featured work saying:

For the first time, composer Kaija Saariaho will come to Ojai. We will feature one of her most potent and visionary works. Her new chamber version of La Passion de 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. The fierce commitment and brilliance of that flame will be embodied by ICE and Roomful of Teeth, conducted by Joana Carneiro.

Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains, which was previously announced as part of the 2016 Festival, has been cancelled due to the new work’s technical and musical complexities, and the limitations of the outdoor venue in Ojai. Commenting on the cancellation of Only the Sound Remains, Mr. Morris said, “As completed, the new work is far more complicated than anyone had anticipated, and involves very complex and sophisticated spatial sound processing. With great reluctance, Peter Sellars and I have determined that such needs are beyond the inherent limitations of an outdoor venue.”

Ojai is pleased to announce additional performances, including a free late night event, featuring vocalist Leila Adu on Friday, June 10, 10:30pm, at the Libbey Bowl. On Saturday, June 11, a concert at the Zalk Theater at Besant Hill will feature the Calder Quartet and Davone Tines performing works of Christine Southworth, Caroline Shaw, and Leila Adu. Patrons currently holding tickets to the cancelled performance of Only the Sound Remains will be given priority access to tickets for these two events.

The Festival is offering multiple ways for patrons to handle previously purchased tickets of the Only the Sound Remains, including refunds, exchanges, or tax-deductible donations. Patrons can contact the box office at 805 646 2053 for additional details.

Ojai Debuts and New Works
Making their Ojai debuts in June will be the Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi and Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam. In Peter Sellars’ words:

“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 unmistakable voice alive with courage, allure, and the breath of freedom. Her band includes traditional Egyptian and modern electronic instruments.

We are thrilled to welcome to Ojai one of the most revered, beloved, surprising, and progressive stars of South Indian music. Aruna Sairam traces her artistic and spiritual lineages from some of the great gurus of the female vocal tradition, both within her own family and across multiple strands of Indian music. She also collaborates with folk artists, electronic ensembles, and pioneering jazz musicians such as Vijay Iyer. This is a woman who lives and moves in many worlds and holds them all magically on the breath. South Indian music is itself a spiritual quest, a philosophical journey, and an evolving state of ecstasy, rapture, and atonement. Aruna Sairam is one of the masters whose long, sinuous vocal line delineates a past that rises spontaneously in her breath as the future.”

Newly announced artists who will also make their Ojai debuts include Leila Adu, a New Zealand composer of Ghanaian descent. With a “voice like hot treacle on broken glass”, she has performed her original piano songs and improvisations worldwide. Based in Brooklyn, she is a currently a Princeton doctoral fellow and also teaches music to prisoners at Sing Sing Correctional Facility as a faculty member of Musicambia – Music as Social Change in Incarcerated Communities.

Ojai audiences will also welcome bass-baritone Davone Tines. Mr. Tines is building an international career commanding a broad spectrum of opera and concert performance from early music to adventurous contemporary works. Upcoming engagements include the workshopping and premiere of Crossing: A New American Opera for The American Repertory Theater directed by Diane Paulus, and his European debut with the Munich Philharmonic and the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains by the Dutch National Opera in March, directed Peter Sellars. Mr. Tines is a 2009 graduate of Harvard University and 2013 Master of Music graduate of The Juilliard School.

In addition to Ms. Adu and Mr. Tines, Ojai is pleased to announce the debut of flutist Camilla Hoitenga.
Ms. Hoitenga is at home on stages worldwide, playing not only the C-flute, but also the alto, bass, and piccolo flutes, in addition to other varieties of her instrument. Her repertoire ranges from pre-Bach to post-Stockhausen. Her recordings, in particular those with Kaija Saariaho, have won awards in France, Great Britain, and North America. She has performed concertos written for her by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Péter Köszeghy, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, and Raminta Serksnyte.

Soprano Julia Bullock will be featured in the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait, with new music and arrangements for ICE by composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey. Peter says of the work:

“Julia Bullock will be at 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 singing, dancing 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 Josephine as a fearless fighter for civil rights and a visionary who paid dearly for every forward step. Musical arrangements and original music for the evening will be crafted by the brilliant multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey.”

“This years Festival will have its rituals. At mid-day there will be concerts of the kaleidoscopic and more rarely performed chamber works of Kaija Saariaho. The later afternoons will offer music of longing and consolation. Caroline Shaws works will be paired with Carla Kihlstedts phosphorescent exploration of dream worlds, At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire, and Du Yuns peeling away the surface of the world in An Empty Garlic.

Claudia Rankines seminal book, Dont Let Me Be Lonely, inspires another Ojai commission, a new vocal work by Caroline Shaw. Intensely personal, under the skin states of emotion, memory, and hope emerge in Caroline Shaws body of work as well as in her body – Caroline Shaws music is drawn from her voice, from her throat, from her heart, her pulse, and her blood. Her new work will once again be composed for the ensemble Roomful of Teeth, who will also be reprising her Pulitzer Prize winning Partita for 8 Voices for Ojai.

An addition to this year’s Festival schedule is Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Meditations, which will lead the Friday and Sunday mornings, realized by ICE and performed at Meditation Mount.

On Sunday afternoon (June 12), the Festival will present an extremely rarified American premiere of Canadian composer Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, performed by Roomful of Teeth and ICE, and conducted by Eric Dudley. The performance will be joined by renowned Flex dancer Sam I Am who captivated audiences in FLEXN at the Park Avenue Armory a year ago. The New York Times hailed his “breathtaking lyricism, an unearthly mix of lightness and weight that pools in his big, sad eyes.” Peter describes the work as:

“Based on his own libretto, Claude Viviers Kopernikus is an uncategorizable, genre-defying opera/ritual. The posthumous discovery and rediscovery of Viviers clairvoyant, tragic, and otherworldly music has brought the dawning realization that the world lost a great composer with his appalling and premature death in 1983. A generation later, his music speaks with a fresh and searing clarity that transcends time – it is medieval and it is modern, it is bizarre and it is Balinese, it is carnal and it is Canadian. And it remains just beyond our earthly sphere. Seven instruments and seven vocalists portray Agni the Hindu God of Fire, Lewis Carroll, Merlin, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of the High Seas, and Copernicus and Copernicus’ mother. Claude Vivier’s project: “start again at the beginning, really put the world to rights, rediscover sensitivity.” To quote Copernicus’ mother, “the world is getting ready for a huge change, would you like to participate?”

Free Concerts for the Ojai Community
On Sunday morning (June 12), the Festival will present for the first time two free events for families as part of the regular Festival schedule, at the Ojai Art Center and in the Libbey Bowl:

“The final Sunday of the Festival will shift into an exuberant childrens festival for the first half 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. The doyenne of the toy piano, Phyllis Chen, will compose, perform, and trigger a participatory cascade of toy piano mania and magnificence. Next, YOLA, the Los Angeles Philharmonics essential and ebullient Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) comes up to Ojai to join forces with ICE in performing a newly commissioned work by the celebrated and sensational Cuban-born composer Tania León, followed by a second world premiere of a new work written by young Los Angeles composer Sharon Hurvitz.”

Free Street Party Concert in Santa Paula
On Sunday evening following the concerts at the Libbey Bowl, the Festival will present a free street party on the main street of neighboring Santa Paula – a half-hour drive east – featuring ICE, Dina El Wedidi, Aruna Sairam, Roomful of Teeth, Leila Adu, and other artists, expanding the geographic boundaries of the Festival.

“The Festival will then expand and flow into a huge street party in the adjacent town of Santa Paula, culminating in the sheer communal pleasure of the joy of improvisation, increasingly wild juxtapositions, spontaneous jam sessions, and very, very good times.”

Ideas: Ojai Talks, Transformation Talks, Concert Insights
Ojai Talks will launch the Festival on Thursday, June 9 with Ojai Talks Director Ara Guzelimian in conversation with Peter Sellars and Kaija Saariaho, at the Ojai Valley Community Church. Preceding the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday concerts on the Libbey Bowl stage will be Transformation Talks: Light into Darkness, Darkness into Light – a series of discussions with prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary. Concert Insights with Christopher Hailey interviewing featured artists will take place before the afternoon concerts at the Libbey Park Tennis Courts.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the sixth 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 both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2016 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director
Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and for collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. He has staged operas at the Dutch National Opera, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 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, including works by Hindemith, Ligeti, Messiaen, and Stravinsky.

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, Doctor Atomic, A Flowering Tree, and The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Inspired by the compositions of Kaija Saariaho, Mr. Sellars has guided the creation of productions of her work that have expanded the repertoire of modern opera. Desdemona, a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison and Malian composer and singer Rokia Traoré, has been performed in major cities across Europe and the U.S.

Recent projects include a production of The Indian Queen, combining Purcell music, text, and dance, and a concert staging of lleas et Melisande with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2015 Sellars collaborated with flex dance pioneer Reggie Gray and a group of 21 dancers from the New York City flex community to create Flexn, a powerful work confronting issues of social injustice in America which will be seen in Europe this summer. Upcoming projects in 2016 include a concert staging of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

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.

He is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, a resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival, and was a Mentor for the Rolex Arts Initiative. In 2014-2015 he was director-in-residence at the English National Opera and is currently director-in-residence at the Berlin Philharmonic. His awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize for contributions to European Culture, the Lillian Gish Prize for outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind, and the Polar Music Prize. Peter Sellars is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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, 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.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served as the project’s artistic director. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and was chair of its Board of Overseers, and is currently 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, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

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. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer in 2017 and Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2018 as its music directors.

Festival Tickets
Festival single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $15. Reservations for the free family concerts can be done online at OjaiFestival.org.

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

Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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Press Contact:
Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org               (805) 646-2094
National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com          (704) 340-4094
Thursday, June 9

2:00–4:30pm, Ojai Valley Community Church
OJAI TALKS

Part I: Peter Sellars in conversation with Ara Guzelimian

Part II: Kaija Saariaho in conversation with Ara Guzelimian

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7:00–7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT
CONCERT
Kaija Saariaho: La Passion de Simone (chamber version) US PREMIERE
Text: Amin Maalouf

Julia Bullock, soprano
Joana Carneiro, conductor
Peter Sellars, director
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

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Friday, June 10
9:00-10:00am, Meditation Mount
MORNING MEDITATION
(Ojai Member Event)

Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditations I
ICE

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1:00-2:15pm, Libbey Bowl
SAARIAHO CHAMBER MUSIC

Kaija Saariaho:
Kesäpäivä
mvt 1 – “Daybreak”
Terrestre
mvt 1 – “Oiseau dansant”
Kesäpäivä
mvt 2 – “Work”
Light and Matter
Kesäpäivä
mvt 3 – “The Hour of Longing”
Adjö
Kesäpäivä
mvt 4 – “The Mystic Hour”
Grammaire des rêves
Kesäpäivä
mvt 5 – “Twilight”
Terrestre
mvt 2 – “L’Oiseau, un satellite infime”
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

Caroline Shaw: Partita for 8 Voices
Roomful of Teeth

Carla Kihlstedt: At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire
Carla Kihlstedt, voice and violin
ICE

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7:00-7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT CONCERT

Dina El Wedidi and Band
The Sounds of Tahrir Square, Cairo

10:30-11:30pm, Libbey Bowl
FREE LATE NIGHT OJAI EXTRA

Leila Adu: Songs & Improvisations
Leila Adu, voice and piano

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Saturday, June 11

9:00-10:00am, Zalk Theater at Besant Hill School
OJAI EXTRA (for series subscribers)

Leila Adu: if the stars align…
Calder Quartet

Christine Southworth: Honey Flyers
Calder Quartet

Caroline Shaw: By and By
Calder Quartet
Davone Tines, baritone

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1:00-2:15pm, Libbey Bowl

SAARIAHO CHAMBER MUSIC
KAIJA SAARIAHO: N
ymphéa for string quartet and electronics

Calder Quartet
Jean-Baptiste Barrière, electronics

SAARIAHO: Solar
ICE
Joana Carneiro, conductor

SAARIAHO: Sombre
Davone Tines, baritone
Camilla Hoitenga, bass flute
ICE

3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

Caroline Shaw: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival) WORLD PREMIERE
Text: Claudia Rankine
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

Leila Adu: Alyssum
Calder Quartet
Bridget Kibbey, harp

DU YUN: An Empty Garlic for bass flute, electronics and tam tam
Claire Chase, bass flute and tam tam

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7:00-7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT CONCERT

Aruna Sairam and Ensemble
South Indian Vocal Music                     

10:30-11:30pm, Libbey Bowl
LATE NIGHT CONCERT

Josephine Baker: A Portrait      WORLD PREMIERE

Arrangements and new music by Tyshawn Sorey
Julia Bullock, soprano
Tyshawn Sorey, piano and drums
ICE

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Sunday, June 12

9:00-10:00am, Meditation Mount
MORNING MEDITATION
(Ojai Member Event)

Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditations II
ICE

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11:30am-12:35pm, Ojai Art Center
FREE FAMILY CONCERT

Music for Toy Pianos and Toy Instruments
Phyllis Chen, toy pianos

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1:00-1:50pm, Libbey Bowl
FREE FAMILY CONCERT

TANIA LEÓN: new work             WORLD PREMIERE
ICE
Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA)
Tania León, conductor

SHARON HURVITZ: new work    WORLD PREMIERE
ICE

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3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

CLAUDE VIVIER: Kopernikus – A Ritual Opera    US PREMIERE
ICE
Roomful of Teeth
Sam I Am, dancer
Eric Dudley, conductor

6:00-8:30pm, Main Street, Santa Paula

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FREE STREET PARTY CONCERT
Dina El Wedidi and Band
ICE
Aruna Sairam
Roomful of Teeth
Leila Adu, singer
Other artists TBA

Programs and artists are subject to change. For updates visit OjaiFestival.org

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CAL PERFORMANCES AT UC BERKELEY PRESENTS OJAI AT BERKELEY JUNE 16–18, 2016 IN ZELLERBACH HALL AND ZELLERBACH PLAYHOUSE

Peter Sellars, music director
Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, Ojai Music Festival
Matías Tarnopolsky, executive and artistic director, Cal Performances

 

Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

 

Kaija Saariaho
La Passion de Simone
Text: Amin Maalouf

Julia Bullock, soprano
ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble
)
Roomful of Teeth
Joana Carneiro
, conductor
Peter Sellars, director
Ben Zamora, lighting designer

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

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Friday, June 17, 2016, 6:30-7:30pm
Zellerbach Hall
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus
Pre-performance Talk

Artist talk with Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars and Cal Performances director Matías Tarnopolsky

Tickets: The pre-performance talk is free to all ticketholders for the concert that evening.


Friday, June 17, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Hall
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

Dina El Wedidi and Band: The Sounds of Tahrir Square, Cairo

Turning Back                                                                                                      
Eight Nayikas

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

Josephine Baker: A Portrait (commissioned by ICE)
Arrangements and new music: Tyshawn Sorey

Julia Bullock, soprano
ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)
Tyshawn Sorey, piano and drums

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016 following the performance
Zellerbach Playhouse Stage
Post-performance Talk

Community Response Panel chaired by Cal Performances associate director Rob Bailis.

Tickets: The post-performance talk is free to all ticketholders for the concert that evening.

Ojai Music Festival Announces Music Directors Through 75th Festival

Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival, June 8 to 11, 2017
Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival, June 7 to 10, 2018
Barbara Hannigan: 73rd Festival, June 6 to 9, 2019
Patricia Kopatchinskaja: 74th Festival, June 11 to 14, 2020
Mitsuko Uchida: 75th Festival, June 10 to 13, 2021

“Ojai prides itself on the wide-ranging breadth and depth of its music directors – from conductors, composers, instrumentalists, choreographers, and theater directors to established musical personalities and emerging artists of the future. The fundamental requirements to serve as a music director are to be a serious and curious musical artist of unquestioned excellence and to fully embrace a sense of adventure. He or she must be someone whose musical predilections will surprise, provoke, and delight. Soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and pianist Mitsuko Uchida fulfill these requirements – and along with Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer, and Esa-Pekka Salonen – will bring to the Ojai Music Festival a truly distinctive and distinguished artistic arc through its 75th anniversary in 2021.”
– Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Download PDF version >>

(FEBRUARY 9, 2016) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 70th Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announces the artists who will serve as Music Directors through the Festival’s 75th anniversary in 2021. Following previously announced future music directors Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017) and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018), soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan will be the 2019 music director (June 6-9), violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in 2020 (June 11-14) and pianist Mitsuko Uchida in 2021 (June 10-13). 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.

Soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan is known worldwide as a soprano of vital expressive force directed by exceptional technique. She is now bringing that same high energy and expertise to her varied activities as a conductor, while continuing to work as a singer with the most prominent conductors and theater directors. Blessed with a voice at once pure and fiery, she has arrived, through challenging and diverse repertory choices, at a point of complete control, intensity, and versatility. Much sought after in contemporary music (she has given more than 80 world premieres – many of which she has commissioned), she is no less brilliant and devoted a performer of Baroque and music from the Classical era. Bringing freshness to older music and authority to new, she is among the very few singers whose every performance is an occasion. She is a frequent guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker, which recently commissioned the song cycle let me tell you by Hans Abrahamsen, who won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award and is being widely performed around the world. In 2014 she had the rare honor of an invitation as Artiste Étoile to the Lucerne Festival, where she conducted, gave master classes, and premiered an orchestral work written for her by Unsuk Chin. György Ligeti and Henri Dutilleux both regarded her as their soprano of choice. Her startling performances of Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre have been acclaimed widely, as has her expressive fullness in Dutilleux’s Correspondances. Her recording of this work has garnered awards from Gramophone, Edison, and Victoires de la Musique. Other awards include “Sängerin des Jahres” (Opernwelt, 2013) and “Personalité Musicale de l’Année” (Syndicat de la Presse Francaise, 2012). She has worked extensively with Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, Gerald Barry, Salvatore Sciarrino, Pascal Dusapin, and Hans Abrahamsen, among many others.

In 2020, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will make her Ojai debut. Kopatchinskaja‘s versatility shows itself in her diverse repertoire, ranging from baroque and classical often played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterworks. Winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist of the Year Award in 2014, Kopatchinskaja made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the 2014/15 season performing Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi under the baton of the composer as part of Musikfest Berlin. Other highlights that season included her debut with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and performances with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Sir Roger Norrington, and the Philharmonia Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy. She was also Artist-in-Residence with the hr-sinfonieorchester during the 2014/15 season. In spring 2015 Kopatchinskaja toured with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées. Kopatchinskaja was recently named as Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Chamber music is of immense importance to Kopatchinskaja’s artistic life and her regular chamber partners include Sol Gabetta, Markus Hinterhäuser, and Polina Leschenko, as well as members of her own family. Kopatchinskaja records exclusively for Naïve Classique. Releases this season include “Take Two!” – a disc of unusual duets with different instruments– and a recording of works by Galina Ustvolskaya with Markus Hinterhäuser for ECM.

Pianist/conductor Mitsuko Uchida will return to Ojai in 2021, the Festival’s 75th anniversary. Uchida last performed at the 2004 Festival and was co-music director in 1998. A superlative interpreter of classical, early romantic, and second Viennese School repertoire, Mitsuko Uchida performs with the world’s most respected orchestras and conductors including Cleveland, Chicago, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerischer Rundfunk, London Symphony, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. A regular recitalist in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York, and Tokyo, she is also a regular guest at the Salzburg Mozartwoche and Salzburg and Edinburgh International Festivals. Uchida records exclusively for Decca and has won many awards, including several Grammys. A trustee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust and Director of Marlboro Music Festival, Uchida was awarded the Golden Mozart Medal from the Stiftung Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association in 2015. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2012 and received an Honorary Degree from the University of Cambridge in 2014. Mitsuko Uchida was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009.

The 2016 Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12)
The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year this June with Peter Sellars, one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts both in America and abroad, as Music Director. 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.

The milestone 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12, 2016) pays tribute to a defining hallmark of the Festival – reimagining each year by affording the appointed music director creative freedom to explore their artistic interests and collaborations. Sellars’ vision for the upcoming Festival honors its long-held spirit of challenging audiences musically and intellectually.

The Festival welcomes Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and showcases her works including the American premieres of the chamber version of La Passion de Simone and her newest dramatic creation Only the Sound Remains. Highlights include a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, and the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait with arrangements and music by multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey. For the complete program, visit www.OjaiFestival.org. Following the 70th Festival in Ojai, Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley takes place from June 16 to 18.

Vijay Iyer
The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. A Grammy nominee, Iyer was named DownBeat Magazine’s 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He has released twenty recordings under his own name. The latest, on the ECM label, include Mutations, featuring his compositions for piano, string quartet, and electronics; Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a film by Prashant Bhargava, with Iyer’s score performed by ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble); and Break Stuff, featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio. His next record is a duo record with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, for release in March 2016 on ECM. 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. His compositions have been commissioned by Arturo O’Farrill, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, ICE, Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. He is a Steinway artist.

Esa-Pekka Salonen
Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. One of today’s foremost artists, 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. Salonen is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as Music Director for 17 years, and the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic. 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. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. As Artistic Director, he 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 served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is currently 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, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music 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. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer in 2017 and Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2018 as its music directors.

Experience the 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12)
Festival series passes allow patrons to have immersive experiences with music, pre-concert talks, discussions, social gatherings, and an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Ojai Valley. 2016 Ojai Festival passes, from four-day, three-day to weekend, are available through March 1. Single tickets go on sale in the spring. For more information go online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053.

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 ANNOUNCES 70TH FESTIVAL: JUNE 9-12, 2016 WITH 2016 MUSIC DIRECTOR PETER SELLARS

Honoring a long-held spirit of pushing boundaries with artists, music, ideas, and audiences, the Festival celebrates its milestone 70th year by broadening the roster of artists, continuing a focus on concerts for the community, and expanding the Festival’s geographic reach

Ojai welcomes Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and showcases her works including the American premieres of the chamber version of La Passion de Simone and her newest dramatic creation Only the Sound Remains

Ojai presents a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning Caroline Shaw Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and presents the world premieres of Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait with arrangements and music by percussionist/composer Tyshawn Sorey and a new work by Cuban composer/conductor Tania León for YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles) and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)

ICE and the Calder Quartet return on the heels of their brilliant 2015 Festival appearances, and Ojai welcomes alumni soprano Julia Bullock and violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt; Ojai debuts include the Grammy-winning vocal collective Roomful of Teeth, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, and YOLA

Media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music hosts Peter Sellars and select festival artists in New York on May 13 at 7pm as a special live event at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR and WNYC; “Q2 Music Presents Peter Sellars” will be webcast live on Q2 Music and video-streamed live on q2music.org and thegreenespace.org.

In its sixth season, Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is slated for June 16 to 18, 2016 following the Ojai Music 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 a 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.” – Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 9, 2015
Download the release here >>

The 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars pays tribute to a defining hallmark of the Festival — reimagining each year by affording the appointed music director creative freedom to explore their artistic interests and collaborations. Acclaimed opera and theatre director Peter Sellars’ vision for the upcoming Festival honors its long-held spirit of challenging audiences musically and intellectually – a celebration of music in the context of our world today.

Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris says, “I have known Peter Sellars since 1979, and when I came to Ojai, I always knew he would be one of the Festival’s Music Directors. There is nothing more fitting than to make this appointment on the occasion of the Festival’s 70th anniversary. Peter brings exactly the breadth of vision, spirit of innovation, and profound energy that are all so firmly rooted in Ojai. His Festival is building on the heritage of past achievements, but more importantly, lays the groundwork for an even more exciting future.”

Peter Sellars has long been known for infusing his music and opera productions with contemporary ideas and social issues. Believing that most classical music is grounded in spiritual and political contexts, he includes a variety of perspectives in his work. He says, “Art was invented as a way to face really difficult things with a sense that in facing them, you’ve already started the healing process.” As such, the 70th Festival is about opening up to new ideas, new music, new audiences, and new communities.

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 Music Director Pierre Boulez. Returning to Ojai in 2011 with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, he directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s song cycle, The Winds of Destiny. Read More

Jamie Bennett Appointed President and New Board Members

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS DAVID J. NYGREN ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF JAMIE BENNETT AS PRESIDENT AND WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015

Download PDF version >>

(OJAI, CA) – David J. Nygren, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ojai Music Festival, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jamie Bennett as President beginning October 19. A distinguished executive, Bennett brings to Ojai vast and proven strategic planning, fundraising and financial management acumen. As the Festival marks its 70th anniversary, Bennett will serve alongside Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris as the organization looks toward the future and begins a strategic planning process.

“On behalf of my Board colleagues and the entire Festival family, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome our Ojai neighbor and recognized executive, Jamie Bennett, to the Festival’s administrative helm,” said Nygren. “After serving on the Festival board since April and gaining insight into the Festival’s current opportunities, Jamie expressed his interest in becoming more deeply engaged with the organization. As Jamie and I began to explore ways to harness his leadership, fundraising and financial expertise, the concept of engaging him as President with a portfolio that would utilize his strengths emerged. Following a rigorous interview process by the Festival Board, the decision to hire Jamie was unanimous. Jamie will join an extraordinary and dedicated staff, which has been led by COO Gina Gutierrez. Alongside Tom Morris—our unparalleled visionary and spirited artistic heart—Jamie will help guide our planning for the future. I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the extraordinary talents, generous support and unwavering commitment of our Board, and I extend the warmest welcome to our newest Board members Frederick Fisher and Barry Sanders.”

In his role as President, Bennett will focus on governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and community outreach. COO Gina Gutierrez’s portfolio will continue to include administrative and operational responsibilities, plus those of communications and marketing.

“I am thrilled to be joining Tom, David and the wonderful staff. The Festival is a real gem—one of the world’s most important annual music institutions for contemporary, experimental and classical music,” shared Bennett. “For the past four years my wife and I have been part-time residents of Upper Ojai, and we are both looking forward to living in Ojai full time. From what I’ve seen since attending the Festival, there is an openness, spirit of adventure and palpable collaboration among artists, audiences and those who directly support it in the community, on the board, through generous gifts of time and money, and through investments of talent. This dedication to and belief in the very essence of what the Festival is all about is what has made the last 70 years possible, and it will—without a doubt—be what secures the Festival’s future. I could not be more excited and honored to be invited to journey with the Festival as President.”
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