2013 Ojai Music Festival Press Announcement

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Highlights of the 2013 Ojai Music Festival with

Music Director Mark Morris

June 6-9, 2013


Concerts, special events, films screenings and talks for the 67th Festival will celebrate collaborations with the Mark Morris Dance Group, The Bad Plus, Emanuel Ax, Yoko Nozaki, and the American String Quartet, and will feature music by Lou Harrison with additional performances of works by John Luther Adams, Samuel Barber, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen, Igor Stravinsky, and Sir William Walton

(April 26, 2012) – Ojai CA:  As preparations for the upcoming Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Leif Ove Andsnes, June 7 to June 10, 2012 are finalized, initial plans for the 67th Festival, June 6-9, 2013, were announced today by Thomas W. Morris, Ojai Artistic Director.

The music director for the 2013 Ojai Music Festival is noted American choreographer Mark Morris, who will present a focus on American artistic colleagues and American music. Mr. Morris – the first dancer/choreographer to serve as Music Director of the Festival – has been the recipient of numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to the arts, including a MacArthur Fellowship and the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society. Celebrated as a dancer and choreographer, Mr. Morris’ extensive work in opera has included partnerships with The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and Cal Performances.

Mark Morris shared thoughts on programming the 2013 Ojai Music Festival commenting, “What an honor to be Music Director (and what a good choice!). I am an American choreographer from the West; the artists and programs I’ve chosen for Ojai are primarily American. A lot of the music can be taken with a pioneer spirit: mostly surprising, inside and outside, combinations unusual and inevitable, chunks of music and some dance with few intermissions. Art to make and to share and to receive in the wide open Western way.”

Ojai programming in 2013 will be focused around the music of Lou Harrison, with additional emphasis on John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, and John Luther Adams. One evening will feature the Mark Morris Dance Group. Joining Mr. Morris in Ojai will be long-time collaborators including pianists Emanuel Ax (who served as Ojai’s Music Director in 1997) and his wife Yoko Nozaki, jazz artist Ethan Iverson and his group The Bad Plus (recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine as “about as badass as highbrow can get”), pianist/organist Colin Fowler, and the American String Quartet.

In making the announcement, Thomas W. Morris said, “That Mark Morris is one of our greatest choreographers and dancers goes without saying, but what may not be known about him is his comprehensive knowledge of and passionate belief in music. He frankly knows more music than almost anyone I know. That strong belief forms a central basis for his choreography: dance creations emerge from the music Mark knows and loves; his dances are always performed with live music; and the breadth of music he has choreographed is amazing. In planning this Ojai Music Festival, we wanted to present Mark as a musical curator, creative artist and genuine spirit.”

The Festival, in keeping with the growing trends of recent years, will include major concerts, extra concerts, late night concerts, special events, films, and talks. Mr. Morris will present his extraordinary Mark Morris Dance Group in one two-part evening of dance to the music of Samuel Barber, Igor Stravinsky, Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell, and Charles Ives. Mr. Morris will lead an evening of social dancing, and will narrate Sir William Walton’s Façade, a highly entertaining series of musical settings to verses by Dame Edith Sitwell. There will be a late night concert of music by John Cage. Mr. Ax and Ms. Nozaki will perform a two piano recital featuring Olivier Messiaen’s haunting Visions de l’Amen. One program will feature Lou Harrison’s Suite for Symphonic Strings and John Luther Adams evocative For Lou Harrison. The trio, The Bad Plus, will perform its own highly original version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The Festival will conclude with a two-part concert that features Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion, Henry Cowell’s transfixing Atlantis and Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Piano and Gamelan.

The Ojai Music Festival brings together innovative artists and engaged audiences in an intimate environment, presenting broad-ranging musical programs that embrace the music of our time, while providing intellectual context and education around the Festival and through its BRAVO! music education program. Each year, the Festival explores the musical interests and celebrates artistic collaborations of that year’s music director. With an extensive series of concerts and events, the Ojai Music Festival marks a convergence of exceptional artists, stimulating and adventurous repertoire, one of the most remarkable audiences for music anywhere, and the idyllic setting of Ojai in a four-day immersion to provoke thought during the Festival and long after, about why music matters.

Ojai North! festival in partnership with Cal Performances of Berkeley, CA

The multi-year residency project in partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North! continues in 2013. Ojai programs and artists will be in residence June 11-13 on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, marking the second year of a multi-year partnership which includes reprises of Ojai concerts, as well as joint commissions and co-productions. With Ojai North!, signature Ojai Music Festival programming will become available through live performances to a wider audience, expanding the Festival’s reach beyond Ojai. Additional information on Ojai North! can be found at OjaiFestival.org and CalPerformances.org.


MARK MORRIS, 2013 Music Director
Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. In the early years of his career, he performed with the dance companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, Eliot Feld, and the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has since created more than 130 works for the company. From 1988-1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. Among the works created during his time there were three evening-length dances: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Dido and Aeneas; and The Hard Nut. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also much in demand as a ballet choreographer and has created eight works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994, plus received commissions from many others. His work is also in the repertory of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New Zealand Ballet, Houston Ballet, English National Ballet, and The Royal Ballet. Morris is noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music.” He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. In 1991, he was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. He has received eleven honorary doctorates to date. In 2006, Morris received the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a WQXR Gramophone Special Recognition Award “for being an American ambassador for classical music at home and abroad.” He is the subject of a biography, Mark Morris, by Joan Acocella (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and Marlowe & Company published a volume of photographs and critical essays entitled Mark Morris’ L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: A Celebration. Morris is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. In 2007, he received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival lifetime achievement award. In 2010, he received the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society.


Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris is recognized as one of the most visionary leaders and innovative concert programmers in the music industry. His tenure with the Festival began in 2004, and extends through 2017. As Artistic Director, Morris is responsible for identifying and engaging each Festival music director and, in collaboration with the music director, curating Festival programming in the fearless tradition for which Ojai has become renowned. In February 2004, Morris retired as executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, a position he held since 1987. He has served in a number of capacities, including general manager of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1985, where he had overall responsibility for the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Tanglewood, and Symphony Hall. In addition to his Ojai post, Morris is artistic director of Spring for Music Festival at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and is also active as a consultant, teacher and writer.


The Ojai Music Festival continues its unmatched musical legacy and international reputation for artistic excellence, adventurous programs, and creative artistic camaraderie. Ojai’s tradition of inviting a new music director for each season guarantees variety and vitality across Festivals. The 2012 Festival explores the musical interests and celebrates the artistic collaborations of Music Director Leif Ove Andsnes, one of today’s foremost pianists. Choreographer Mark Morris will serve as the Festival’s 2013 Music Director and pianist Jeremy Denk will return to Ojai as the 2014 Music Director. Since 1947, the Ojai Valley has remained the quintessential haven for passionate music lovers and exceptional artists, and serves as a creative laboratory where extraordinary music-making and provocative discussions flourish. Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director since 2004, and each appointed music director partner to create programs of wide-ranging repertoire and unexpected connections. Among the Festival’s diverse music directors have been such renowned musical personalities as John Adams, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, George Benjamin, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Ingolf Dahl, Peter Maxwell Davies, eighth blackbird, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Oliver Knussen, Kent Nagano, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Igor Stravinsky, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mitsuko Uchida and Dawn Upshaw. Considered a highlight of the summer classical music season, the Ojai Music Festival is a four-day series of concerts, symposia, and auxiliary events set in the Ojai Valley, known as California’s Shangri-la. Located 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Ojai Music Festival concerts take place at the recently renovated outdoor Libbey Bowl, on a site held sacred by the Chumash Indians.


2012 Tickets and Information

The Ojai Music Festival experienced record-breaking sales in 2011, and 2012 concerts are pacing toward sell-outs. 2012 Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $25 to $110 for reserved seating and $15 for lawn seating. (Reserved section tickets increase the week of the Festival.) Series passes are also available ranging from $685 to $25. Tickets for the 2012 Ojai Talks are $35. Tickets and passes are available online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling the box office at 805-646-2053. Series tickets for the 2013 Festival will be available to current Festival subscribers in May and open to the public in the summer.


Lodging, directions, day activities, and complimentary concierge services are also available on the Ojai Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook, and Twitter.


Press wishing to secure press tickets and information on planning accommodations in Ojai for the 2012 Festival with Leif Ove Andsnes, and for future Festivals, should contact Gina Gutierrez at 805 646 2094 ext. 104 or ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.


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

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

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