Dear Ojai Festival friends,
We are absolutely delighted to let you know that this year’s Ojai Music Festival will take place in person on September 16 – 19, 2021. We shall once again gather together in the magical setting of Libbey Bowl and the Ojai Valley to create a festival community joined in the spirit of musical discovery and celebration. In addition, we are planning a summer-long celebration of the Ojai Festival in June with events throughout Southern California as well as newly produced online programs, all culminating with the September Festival in Ojai.
This, of course, is a change from our long-held tradition of a June festival but we felt strongly that we wanted to hold the Ojai Festival at a time when we could do so under the best possible conditions of health and safety for all. The Board of Directors and staff came to this decision after extensive consultation with public health professionals and government agencies, determining best practices in conversations with fellow arts organizations nationwide, and importantly, in discussions with the artists themselves. Remarkably, every single artist originally engaged for the June period has been able to make themselves available for the September dates!
There is such joy in the prospect of being together again and anticipating the rewards of what will be a milestone 75th Festival! And we have such a rich company assembled by our Music Director John Adams, bringing together an array of wondrous artists and composers who embody the true Ojai spirit:
- Featured composers include Samuel Carl Adams, Timo Andres, Rhiannon Giddens, Dylan Mattingly, Gabriela Ortiz, Carlos Simon, and Gabriella Smith.
- Making their Ojai debuts are the extraordinary Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi who are creating music that crosses traditions, genres, and cultures; Giddens will collaborate in her own works with the Attacca Quartet and as soloist in music of John Adams, conducted by the composer; Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson in a solo recital of works by Philip Glass, Bach, John Adams, Debussy, and Rameau; Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait will lead a series of events exploring the music, culture and cosmology of the original indigenous peoples of the Ojai Valley; and violinist Miranda Cuckson performing works by Kaija Saariaho, Anthony Cheung, Bach, and Dai Fujikura; recorder player Anna Margules will share a solo concert of new music for recorder and electronics from Mexico; and the Grammy-Award winning Attacca Quartet in a concert of music by John Adams, Rhiannon Giddens, Jessie Montgomery, Caroline Shaw, Gabriella Smith, and Paul Wiancko.
- John will conduct two chamber orchestra concerts that will include works by Debussy, Bach, Gabriella Smith, and Carlos Simon, alongside the west coast premiere of Samuel Carl Adams’ Chamber Concerto, featuring violinist Miranda Cuckson.
- The Festival will honor long-standing ties with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with a concert by members of the LA Phil New Music Group featuring the world premiere of the jointly commissioned work Sunt Lacrimae Rerum (these are the tears of things) by Dylan Mattingly.
- The return of Timo Andres performing I Still Play, a series of 11 works by such composers as Laurie Anderson, Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Philip Glass, Pat Metheny, Nico Muhly, and Randy Newman. This Ojai recital will mark the first live public performance of the complete cycle, which was commissioned as a tribute to legendary Nonesuch Records President Bob Hurwitz.
- The 75th Festival will integrate elements of its year-round BRAVO education program. During the Festival, Ojai students will perform alongside Festival artists in a free community concert. In addition, featured artists and composers will hold free workshops for Ojai public school children leading up to the Festival.
All series passes for the June dates will be honored in September. Series passes are now on sale and we encourage you to purchase now as we anticipate that demand will be high as we approach September.
I am writing this just on the cusp of the first day of spring and the air is full of hope. We all hugely look forward to seeing you in Ojai, throughout Southern California, and online in the coming months. And best of all, at Libbey Bowl in September!
With thanks and good wishes,
Artistic & Executive Director