2020 Music Director Matthias Pintscher Shares Initial Programming

Incoming Artistic Director Chad Smith and Matthias Pintscher Announce
the 74th Festival, June 11 to 14, 2020

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“It is a tremendous pleasure and incredible honor to be music director for the 2020 Ojai Festival, something I have dreamed about since moving to New York twelve years ago.  I feel a combination of joy and responsibility to showcase composers and works that create something like an INVISIBLE BRIDGE between the two continents in which I am living and working: Europe and the USA. I have realized that my role as musical communicator – as composer, conductor, educator, and festival director – is to actively strengthen the interactions and connections between the music of today and its heritage in the US and on the “old continent”. As a European living in New York and Paris, I want to explore this INVISIBLE BRIDGE as one of the key elements for my programming of the 2020 Ojai Festival: thoughtful, innovative, loving, provocative, and poetic. Music speaks most directly from human to human, and Ojai is a perfect place to showcase this. I am excited. See you in 2020. – Matthias Pintscher, 2020 Music Director 

(May 30, 2019 – Ojai, California) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 73rd Festival (June 6 to 9, 2019) with Music Director Barbara Hannigan, the Festival’s 2020 Music Director Matthias Pintscher and incoming Artistic Director Chad Smith share initial programming for the 74th Festival, June 11 to 14, 2020. 

Chad Smith begins his tenure as the Ojai Music Festival’s Artistic Director with the 2020 Festival in partnership with 2020 Music Director Matthias Pintscher. Mr. Smith succeeds Thomas W. Morris, who has shaped Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years and will be retiring from the Festival following the upcoming 73rd edition.

“For nearly 75 years, the Ojai Music Festival has been Southern California’s home for the most probing, adventurous, and visionary musicians, and I couldn’t be more excited to be joining this organization as its next Artistic Director. I first experienced the unique spirit of Ojai in 2001, when Esa-Pekka Salonen was the Festival’s Music Director. I was struck by the uncompromising programming, the incredibly devoted and informed audience, and the pure joy in the performances emanating from Libbey Bowl. In that weekend, in that first experience with Ojai, I came to understand the special nature of making music in this part of the world, and I was hooked. From my seat in Los Angeles, I have watched as Tom Morris has expanded the possibilities of what this Festival could be, making it more international, more inclusive, and ultimately more relevant year by year. Tom is one of the lions in our field, and I could not be more humbled, but also inspired, to take the reins from him. This Festival is poised for even greater things; I am thrilled to be a part of that future. To imagine the start of my tenure with Ojai, I can’t think of a more fitting partner than my good friend, conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher. We are excited to share initial plans for our 2020 Festival,” said Chad Smith, incoming Artistic Director.

Programming for the 2020 Festival will feature the music of Pierre Boulez, Chaya Czernowin, Helmut Lachenmann, Olga Neuwirth, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and several works by Pintscher, among many others. Ojai will welcome the Ensemble Intercontemporain, of which Mr. Pintscher is music director, as the 2020 Festival’s ensemble-in-residence. Founded by Pierre Boulez, the world-renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pintscher collaborate closely with composers to explore instrumental techniques and develop projects which interweave music, dance, theater, film, and the visual arts. This will mark the Ensemble’s first appearance in Ojai. Additionally, members of IRCAM, the Paris-based Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music, will collaborate on several 2020 Festival performances. Programming details for Ojai 2020 will be announced in the fall.

Matthias Pintscher, 2020 Music Director
Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the world’s leading contemporary music ensemble founded by Pierre Boulez. In addition to a robust concert season in Paris, he toured extensively with them throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States this season including concerts in Berlin, Brussels, Russia, and the United States. Known equally as one of today’s foremost composers, Mr. Pintscher will conduct the premiere of his new work for baritone, chorus, and orchestra, performed by Georg Nigl and the Chorus and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks at their Musica Viva festival in February 2020.

In the 2019/20 season, Mr. Pintscher makes debuts with the symphony orchestras of Montreal, Baltimore, Houston, Pittsburgh, and with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen. He also makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera conducting the premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s new opera Orlando, and returns to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin to conduct performances of Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee, which he premiered in January 2019. Re-invitations this season include the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In summer 2020, Mr. Pintscher will serve as Music Director of the 74thOjai Music Festival.

Highlights of Mr. Pintscher’s 2018/19 season included serving as the Season Creative Chair for the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, as Artist-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and concluding a nine-year term as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Artist-in-Association. Last season, Mr. Pintscher made his debuts with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Staatsoper Berlin, and returned to the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, the New York Philharmonic, the New World Symphony in Miami, and the Music Academy of the West. In Europe, he conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival and returned to the Orchestre de Paris, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Helsinki Philharmonic. Mr. Pintscher also conducted the premiere of his work Nur, a new concerto for piano and ensemble, performed by Daniel Barenboim and the Boulez Ensemble in January 2018. An enthusiastic supporter of and mentor to students and young musicians, Mr. Pintscher served as Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra from 2016-2018 and worked with the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic in their 2017/18 season, culminating in a concert at the Philharmonie.

Matthias Pintscher began his musical training in conducting, studying with Pierre Boulez and Peter Eötvös in his early twenties, during which time composing took a more prominent role in his life. He rapidly gained critical acclaim in both areas of activity, and continues to compose in addition to his conducting career. As a composer, Mr. Pintscher’s music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, orchestras, and conductors. His works have been performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris, among many others. Bärenreiter is his exclusive publisher, and recordings of his compositions can be found on Kairos, EMI, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. Mr. Pintscher has been on the composition faculty of The Juilliard School since 2014.

Ensemble Intercontemporain

Ensemble intercontemporain

In 1976, Pierre Boulez founded the Ensemble Intercontemporain with the support of Michel Guy (who was Minister of Culture at the time) and the collaboration and Nicholas Snowman. The Ensemble’s 31 soloists share a passion for 20th to 21st century music. They are employed on permanent contract, enabling them to fulfill the major aims of the Ensemble: performance, creation, and education for young musicians and the general public.    

Under the artistic direction of Matthias Pintscher the musicians work in close collaboration with composers, exploring instrumental techniques and developing projects that interweave music, dance, theater, film, video, and visual arts. In collaboration with IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), the Ensemble Intercontemporain is also active in the field of synthetic sound generation. New pieces are commissioned and performed on a regular basis with the support of the Fondation Meyer.

The Ensemble is renowned for its strong emphasis on music education: concerts for kids, creative workshops for students, training programs for future performers, conductors, and composers.  Since 2004, the Ensemble soloists have been tutoring young instrumentalists, conductors and composers in the field of contemporary repertoire at the Lucerne Festival Academy, a several week educational project held by the Lucerne Festival.

Resident of the Philharmonie de Paris, the Ensemble performs and records in France and abroad, taking part in major festivals worldwide. The Ensemble is financed by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and receives additional support from the Paris City Council. New commissions by Ensemble Intercontemporain are supported by Fondation Meyer.

IRCAM, the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music
IRCAM, the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music directed by Frank Madlener, is one of the world’s largest public research centers dedicated to both musical expression and scientific research. This unique location where artistic sensibilities collide with scientific and technological innovation brings together over 160 collaborators.

IRCAM’s three principal activities – creation, research, transmission – are visible in IRCAM’s Parisian concert season, its productions throughout France and abroad, and in its two annual rendezvous: ManiFeste, which combines an international festival with a multidisciplinary academy, and the Vertigo forum, which presents technical mutations and their tangible effects on artistic creation.

Founded by Pierre Boulez, IRCAM is associated with the Centre Pompidou, under the tutelage of the French Ministry of Culture. The mixed STMS research lab (Sciences and Technologies for Music and Sound), housed by IRCAM, also benefits from the support of the CNRS and Sorbonne University.

Incoming Artistic Director Chad Smith_image by Cindy Pitou Burton

Chad Smith, Incoming Artistic Director
Chad Smith is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Mr. Smith joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in 2002, serving as VP of artistic planning for over a decade before becoming COO in 2015. As COO, he is responsible for the artistic oversight and coordination of the orchestra’s programming, as well as the organization’s strategic planning, marketing, PR, production, orchestra operations, media, and educational initiatives.

During his tenure, Mr. Smith has implemented an expansive vision of what an orchestra can be through a deep commitment to living composers, the development of multi-disciplinary collaborations, and thematic festivals which have positioned the Philharmonic at the center of the city’s cultural discourse. Committed to making classical music more inclusive, he has overseen the launch of many of the organization’s defining educational programs, including YOLA, a program which has provided daily after-school music training to thousands of children in several of LA’s most underserved communities.

He currently serves as a trustee of the New England Conservatory of Music, as a member of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Prize executive committee, and on the artistic advisory board for the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Smith began his career in 2000 at the New World Symphony, after receiving his B.M. (Vocal Performance) and B.A. (European History) in the NEC/Tufts dual degree program. He received his M.M. in 1998 in Vocal Performance from NEC.

The Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has become a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of new and rarely performed music, as well as refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles. 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 signature structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, 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, Vijay Iyer, and Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Following Barbara Hannigan’s 2019 Festival, Ojai welcomes Mathias Pintscher as its 2020 Music Director.

As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future with incoming Artistic Director Chad Smith, the innumerable contributions of outgoing Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris over his sixteen-year tenure will continue to be felt through the 2019 Festival and beyond.

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. Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming online at OjaiFestival.org. This year’s live streaming runs June 6 through June 9 and will include guest interviews throughout the webcasts. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith and Los Angeles-based composer and Classical KUSC host Thomas Kotcheff.

Series Passes for 2020 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2020 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2019 Festival and online at OjaiFestival.org.

Single Tickets for 2019 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Barbara Hannigan
2019 Festival single tickets are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2019 Ojai Music Festival ticket prices range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $20. Student discounts are available.