Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja Shares Initial Programming for 2018 Ojai Music Festival June 7-10, 2018


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(OJAI CA – June 5, 2017) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 71st Festival (June 8-11, 2017) with Music Director Vijay Iyer, the Festival’s 2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 72nd Festival, June 7-10, 2018. Ojai at Berkeley continues for the eighth season June 15-17, 2018.

“When I first met Patricia Kopatchinskaja, I knew she was a natural to be Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. Her unstoppable energy, blazing virtuosity, and relentless curiosity are irresistible, as she demonstrated at the Festival’s Ears Open event in Ojai a year ago. The 2018 Festival will be a showcase of her creativity – as a violinist, as a collaborator, as a programmer, and as a commentator on our time. Patricia sees music in the context of today’s social and political issues so the 2018 Festival is one that will surely offer confrontation, questioning, and healing.” 

“It’s like a dream to be able to play over the course of only a few days and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time, and to share with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – OJAI. These pieces changed my life – I hope ­ they will also find a very special place in your souls,” Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director.

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and showcased for the solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

Major 2018 Festival projects include two staged concerts designed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, which she describes as a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.” This staged program features a mash-up of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Joseph Haydn, György Kurtág, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s second semi-staged concert is her own provocative commentary on the inevitable consequences on the planet of global warming. Titled Dies Irae, the program includes music by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Michael Hersch, Byzantine chant, Giacinto Scelsi, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s remarkable Dies Irae for eight double basses, piano, and wooden box.

American composer Michael Hersch will premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival a new piece described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists. It will then be performed at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at Great Britain’s venerable Aldeburgh Festival. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PNReview, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Mr. Hersch is artist-in-residence.

Additional programming highlights include Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments; Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial; major chamber and piano music by Galina Ustvolskaya; as well as Roumanian and Moldavian folk music performed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja and her parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski on cimbalom and violin. The Festival closes with the Ligeti Violin Concerto performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja. 

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concerts, etc., visit the Ojai Music Festival website at Series tickets will go on sale for the 2018 Festival on June 11 at the Festival.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s versatility shows itself in her diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque and Classical often played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterworks. Ms. Kopatchinskaja first visited Ojai in April 2016 as a guest on the Festival’s off-season “Open Ears” speaker series.

A celebrated collaborator, guest artist, and chamber musician, Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season highlights include the opening concerts of the new SWR Symphonieorchester with whom she performed Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi Violin Concerto (with the composer himself conducting); an appearance with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as part of the inaugural performances of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg; debuts with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with Gothenburg Symphonys. Continuing her regular collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she appears with them in London and New York under Vladimir Jurowski. György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto is a particular focus of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season; she will perform the work widely including with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Ms. Kopatchinskaja serves as Artist in Residence at four major European venues and festivals: at the Berlin Konzerthaus; at the Lucerne Festival (where she will be artiste étoile); at the Wigmore Hall in London; and at the Kissinger Sommer Festival, and is an Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, performing regularly with the ensemble both in Saint Paul and internationally.

A prolific recording artist, the last few seasons have seen a number of major releases by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. Her release for Naïve Classique featuring concerti by Bartók, Ligeti and Peter Eötvös won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year Award in 2013, an ECHO Klassik Award and a 2014 Grammy nomination. Her recently released “Take Two” on Alpha has garnered critical acclaim worldwide.

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)
The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 edition include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the west coast premiere of Afterword, an opera by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit

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 This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 and end June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the web cast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival streaming and concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at

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, and Peter Sellars. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

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 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit

Series Passes for 2018 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2018 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2017 Festival and online immediately following on June 12 at

 2017 Festival Tickets
Limited 2017 Festival single tickets are still available and may be purchased online at or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival 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, Facebook, and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).