2021 Critical Acclaim

Ojai Music Festival 2021. John Adams, Miranda Cuckson, Rhiannon Giddens, Víkingur Ólafsson, Attacca Quartet. Photos by Timothy Teague

Thank you for joining us at our 75th Festival, September 16-19, 2021. Read review excerpts below. Relive concerts anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts. View our photo gallery of some of our favorite Festival moments.

Download PDF of reviews here

“a forward-looking survey of young artists — fitting for a festival that has long focused on the future” New York Times

“Against unsettlingly uncertain odds, Ojai’s 75th anniversary festival happened as hoped and promised, and it was special” Los Angeles Times

“In Ojai, circa 2021, themes of “homecoming” and pandemic-related dynamics struck emotional chords beyond the provocative and consoling musical goods.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Throughout its illustrious history, the Ojai Music Festival has been known for a series of unpredictable, serendipitous musical experiences that become known as quintessential Ojai moments. One such moment stood out as a highlight of this year’s festival – an “Ojai Dawns” concert… [with a program of] all Mexican composers, music by [Gabriela] Ortiz, Javier Álvarez, and Georgina Derbez.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Pandemic-waylaid, the Ojai Music Festival finally erected its contemporary-music-geared Big Top with one of its strongest programs of late.” Santa Barbara Independent

“Rhiannon Giddens was an inspired choice to anchor the festival with… a rousing concert of her original/traditional material on Saturday night… The concert… resonated with all of the pain and struggle we have experienced over the last two years in a way that was at once healing and grounding.” Santa Barbara Independent

“arguably the most exciting music event in this country” Berkshire Fine Arts

“Music sounds fresh and very much of the moment. It both delights and moves in its Ojai setting.” Berkshire Fine Arts

“thoughtfully programmed and precisely performed” Sequenza 21

“The Ojai spirit of adventure was alive in the programming hands of music director du jour John Adams… and the new artistic and executive director Ara GuzelimianClassical Voice North America