2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan Shares Initial Programming for 73rd Ojai Music Festival
(OJAI CA – June 4, 2018) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 72nd Festival (June 7-10, 2018) with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the Festival’s 2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 73rd Festival, June 6-9, 2019. The 2019 Ojai Music Festival celebrates and explores the creative artistic force of Barbara Hannigan, as conductor, singer, and mentor.
Following the 2019 Ojai Music Festival, Ojai at Berkeley continues for the ninth season June 13-15 and the Festival’s partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival for the second season June 19-21. The 2019 Festival marks the sixteenth and final year under the artistic direction of Thomas W. Morris. Chad Smith succeeds Mr. Morris as Artistic Director with the 2020 Festival.
“Barbara Hannigan is an inspiration for what a great artist should be. She is world renowned as a soprano, having sung at all the great opera houses and concert stages. She is a pioneer of the new, having championed the works of countless composers of our time including George Benjamin, Hans Abrahamsen, Gerald Barry, Unsuk Chin, Pierre Boulez, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Henri Dutilleux. She is a passionate conductor, known for her unique programming and interpretations. Through Equilibrium, her recently announced mentoring initiative for younger artists, she is committed to the next generation of musicians. Most importantly she is an entrepreneur, leading by example, unafraid of creating new paths, an advocate for issues of our time and space, and a supernova in the musical universe. Ojai will showcase all of those aspects of this remarkable artist next June, including the American debut of the incredible musicians’ collective from Amsterdam, Ludwig, with whom Barbara has a close relationship,” said Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris.
“I am buzzing with energy and excitement around the 2019 Ojai Music Festival. Together with Tom Morris, a longtime inspiration and friend, it has been a joy to imagine and explore beautiful collaborations and combinations of repertoire and musicians. As the 2019 Festival nears, these dreams are approaching reality! This Festival will be a synthesis of dark and light: chiaroscuro. The music we will present resonates deeply with me, and the dramatic storytelling is equally strong, as you’ll see and hear in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and other vocal works by Schoenberg, Grisey, Turnage, and Vivier. I am still pinching myself that this magical gathering exists and am thrilled to join the enormous energy that the Festival has generated for over 70 years,” shared Barbara Hannigan.
During the 2019 Festival, Barbara Hannigan will conduct works by Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Vivier. A highlight of her work from the podium will be Stravinsky’s neoclassic opera, The Rake’s Progress, a Faustian fable for our time addressing the subjects of love, laziness, and greed. Anne Truelove was one of the first operatic roles Ms. Hannigan ever sang, and the opera holds a special place in her heart. Ms. Hannigan conducts this semi-staged complete performance that features members of her Equilibrium mentoring initiative as the cast. The production, directed by Linus Fellbom, is a co-production with the Gothenberg Symphony in Sweden, the Klara Festival in Brussels, the Munich Philharmonic in Germany, plus Cal Performances and the Aldeburgh Festival.
As a singer, Ms. Hannigan will perform Gérard Grisey’s haunting masterpiece, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, a 45-minute song cycle for soprano and 16 instruments which explores the passage from live into death. Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, which was completed just days before Grisey’s death, will be conducted by Ojai’s 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. Ms. Hannigan will perform in Arnold Schoenberg’s sensual String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet in F sharp minor, Op. 10. In her own arrangement with Bill Elliot of selections from George Gershwin’s Girl Crazy, Ms. Hannigan will serve as both singer and conductor.
LUDWIG, the celebrated new music collective from Amsterdam, with whom Ms. Hannigan works closely and collaborated with on the recent Grammy and Juno award-winning album Crazy Girl Crazy (Alpha Classics), makes its Ojai and US premiere with the 2019 Festival.
Seven of Ms. Hannigan’s Equilibrium young artists will be in residence with her in Ojai. In January 2017, Ms. Hannigan launched the Equilibrium (EQ) initiative to mentor 21 young professional musicians in the first substantial phase of their careers. EQ includes intensive workshop retreats, which focus on developing and strengthening the skills needed for sustaining a fulfilling career, as well as offering performance opportunities with Ms. Hannigan and others. EQ artists are selected from an international field of applicants for their talent, musicianship, passion, drive, curiosity, discipline, versatility, and creativity. At the 2019 Festival, these young artists will form the cast of The Rake’s Progress, and will perform additional music by Igor Stravinsky, Claude Vivier, Mark Anthony Turnage, and others.
Other music to be featured during the Festival including Terry Riley’s seminal In C, receiving its second Ojai Music Festival performance and featuring 2019 Festival artists. William Walton’s entertainment, Façade, a concoction for speaker and six instruments on humorous poems by Edith Sitwell, will be narrated by Barbara Hannigan and surprise guests. Music of American composer John Zorn will also be featured during the Festival.
Additional details of the 2019 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org.
Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director
Nova Scotian musician Barbara Hannigan divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras. The Berlin Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony are among the orchestras with whom she holds close relationships. Barbara has worked with the most prominent conductors, including Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, David Zinman, Vladimir Jurowski, Antonio Pappano, Alan Gilbert, and Reinbert de Leeuw. Her commitment to the music of our time has led to an extensive collaboration with composers including Boulez, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, and Abrahamsen.
Unforgettable operatic appearances include the title role in a “chameleonic and compelling” (Gramophone) Lulu in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s staging at La Monnaie, and more recently Lulu at Hamburg Staatsoper conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Christoph Marthaler; the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande in Katie Mitchell’s staging at the 2016 Festival d’Aix-en-Province conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s more recent production at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany; and a fearless interpretation of Marie as a flame in the darkness in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at the Bayerische Staatsoper—a hugely acclaimed presentation directed by Andreas Kriegenberg and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, for which she won the Faust Award in Germany. She made her Opéra national de Paris debut in 2015 with La Voix humaine again in a Warlikowski production and returned in April 2018 to reprise the role. She created the role of Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival in summer 2017 and created the role of Agnes in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, a production which has garnered rave reviews worldwide, with most recent performances at New York’s Lincoln Center (2015) and London’s Royal Opera House (2017); and had the world premiere of Benjamin’s new opera also at London’s Royal Opera House.
Recently appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, Ms. Hannigan made her conducting debut in 2011 at the Chatelet in Paris, and her path since that time has been a constant creative development, having created special programs for the Toronto Symphony, Danish National and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Münchner Philharmoniker, as well as the orchestra of the Munich Staatsoper.
In 2017, Ms. Hannigan released her first album as both singer and conductor, with Holland’s LUDWIG orchestra as the orchestral force, on Alpha Classics, entitled Crazy Girl Crazy. The album features works by Berio, Berg, and a specially commissioned Gershwin arrangement by Bill Elliott, as well as a bonus dvd by Mathieu Amalric. The album has won both the Grammy and Juno awards for best classical vocal album.
Ms. Hannigan’s other recordings have garnered awards from Gramophone, Edison, Victoires de la Musique and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Other awards include Singer of the Year (Opernwelt, 2013), Musical Personality of the Year (Syndicat de la Presse Francaise, 2012), Ehrenpreise (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2018), and Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts (2018).
Recently appointed as a member to the Order of Canada (2016), Ms. Hannigan’s life as an artist has been the subject of several documentaries: Accentus Music’s acclaimed documentary I’m a creative animal, produced at Lucerne Festival 2014 where she was Artiste Etoile, Dutch television’s Canadees Podiumdier (NTR 2014), as well as three films by Mathieu Amalric: C’est presque au bout du monde, Lulu Variations, and Music is Music.
In 2017 Ms. Hannigan created Equilibrium, an international mentoring initiative for young professional musicians, and chose 21 participants from a total of 350 applicants from 39 countries to participate in Equilibrium’s first season (2018/19), which will have over 20 performances with four partner orchestras in works including Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Mozart’s Requiem, and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.
2018 Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10
The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, will present the dynamic violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja as music director. Praised for her “mesmerizing artistry” (The Strad) and “savage energy” (The Washington Post), Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity will be in full force as a soloist, collaborator, and new music advocate. Joining her will be close artistic collaborators making their Festival debuts, including the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency, JACK Quartet, composer/pianist Michael Hersch, pianist Markus Hinterhäuser, pianist/harpsichordist Anthony Romaniuk, and Kopatchinskaja’s parents, Viktor and Emilia. Major Festival projects include two staged concerts conceived by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, a musical commentary that challenges the clichés and conventions of classical music. Her second concert, Dies Irae, is her own provocative view on the inevitable consequences of global warming. Receiving its world premiere will be a dramatic narrative by American composer Michael Hersch, I hope we get a chance to visit soon, after texts of Rebecca Elson, Mary Harris O’Reilly, and Christopher Middleton. For more information on programs and tickets, visit OjaiFestival.org.
Live video streaming of the Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 7 and run through June 10. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the webcast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff.
New Partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival
Following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the following week’s Ojai at Berkeley presented in collaboration with Cal Performances, a new partnership with Aldeburgh will take place at the end of the Aldeburgh Festival (June 20 – 23) based at the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh in England. The collaboration with Aldeburgh follows the formation of Ojai at Berkeley as a partnership of co-productions and co-commissions that affords the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The Aldeburgh relationship launches in June 2018 for an initial four-year period. The 2019 edition of this partnership will take place June 19-21.
Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the eighth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17, 2018 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org. Following the 2019 Ojai Music Festival, Ojai at Berkeley will take place June 13-15.
Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom shapes the Festival’s programming. During Mr. Morris’ tenure, 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, a new partnership with England’s Aldeburgh Festival will be initiated this year, 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 longtime 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 vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he is also an accomplished percussionist. In November 2018, Mr. Morris announced his decision to retire as the Festival’s Artistic Director following the 2019 Festival with Music Director Barbara Hannigan, after shaping Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years.
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, Peter Sellars, and Vijay Iyer. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019), Matthias Pintscher (2020), and Mitsuko Uchida (2021).
As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future with recently appointed Artistic Director Chad Smith, who will take the helm in 2020, the innumerable contributions by Thomas W. Morris will continue to be realized through the 2019 Festival and beyond. Under Mr. Morris’ creative watch, the Festival continues to push boundaries and scope; explore each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities; invite an ever-broadening roster of artists; and build connections across musical communities with through-curated programming for each Festival.
Series Passes for 2019 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2019 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2019 Festival and online immediately following at OjaiFestival.org.
2018 Festival Tickets
2018 Festival single tickets are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 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).