Cal Performances at UC Berkeley Presents Ojai At Berkeley 2015


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Formerly Ojai North, Festival Focuses on the Evolution of Music
Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20, 2015

Conductor and Percussionist STEVEN SCHICK, OJAI 2015 MUSIC DIRECTOR Skips Stones Across 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-Century Music with Six Percussion Pieces by Xenakis, Globokar, Saariaho, Lang, Stockhausen, and Auzet

Festival Opening Night Double Header Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer John Luther Adams’s SILA: THE BREATH OF THE WORLD Free Outdoor Performance at the Faculty Glade at 6:00 p.m. Presentation Follows Musical America Composer of the Year Honor



For the 90th Birthday of Boulez with Stage Design by Architect Frank Gehry at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

The Festival Highlights the Music of Pierre Boulez and His Influences with Works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse

Ojai Music Festival to be held June 10–14, 2015

Berkeley, CA—Executive and Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky announced today the renaming of Cal Performances’ Ojai North presentations to Ojai at Berkeley, as the dynamic festival of modern and contemporary composition—focusing on artistic discovery and the evolution of music—enters its fifth season. Ojai at Berkeley will take place June 18–20, 2015, following the 69th Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.

Ojai at Berkeley 2015 will open with a free, 6:00 p.m. outdoor performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’s Sila: The Breath of the World, set in the pastoral Faculty Glade on the UC Berkeley campus. The presentation comes on the heels of the naming of John Luther Adams as Musical America’s Composer of the Year. Opening night will continue at Zellerbach Hall with A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, celebrating the 90th birthday of the musical giant. The score will be performed by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick, and will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day.

The programs of Ojai at Berkeley, are created in collaboration with percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick, the 2015 Music Director of Ojai Music Festival, along with Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival, and Tarnopolsky. The concerts will traverse the terrain of their extensive musical interests. An evening of percussion music by six composers, Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar, David Lang, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Roland Auzet, is intended to illuminate an often overlooked strand of contemporary composition. The relationship between the works of Pierre Boulez and the mainly French composers who have influenced him plays out with performances of works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse. Schick’s personal view of great contemporary musical styles is the broad and delightfully subjective organizing principle of a concert with compositions by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera.

Schick has invited a variety of artistic colleagues some known well to Berkeley audiences, and some marking their debuts. ICE, flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell are returning to campus while first time artists include San Diego-based string ensemble Renga, pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, and percussionist Joseph Pereira.

No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the entire solo repertory—and more than doubled its size through commissions—but as a performer, conductor, educator, composer, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization.

“A composer is influenced, and, with good musical fortune, might be lucky enough to influence others,” said Tarnopolsky. “This idea is at the center of the presence of Pierre Boulez’s music in the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley festival. Boulez, one of the most fascinatingly curious musical minds of the 20th and 21st centuries, and perhaps the greatest proponent of the evolution of the art form, has found a kindred spirit in Steven Schick. Together, their ideas, interests, and questions traverse a highly spirited landscape of music. Ojai at Berkeley will be a provocative, mesmerizing, and hugely fun three days in June.”

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival explores the musical interests of its Music Director, selected annually to recognize unique musical visions. Cal Performances’ collaborative effort makes possible reprises of Ojai programming in Berkeley, now under the banner of Ojai at Berkeley, and is also the basis for co-commissions and co-productions, creating leveraged support for unusual and new musical presentations. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai at Berkeley represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations and is Cal Performances’ own iteration of the Ojai Music Festival. The organizations’ shared legacies of artistic innovation and groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each institution separately.


Ojai at Berkeley 2015, opens on Thursday, June 18, with a contrasting juxtaposition of musical presentations—a free, outdoor performance of Sila: The Breath of the World by John Luther Adams (the West Coast premiere occurred the week prior at Ojai Music Festival) in its Bay Area premiere, co-commissioned by Cal Performances, and a multimedia tribute to one of the greatest proponents of the evolution of classical music, Pierre Boulez.

The concert experience of Sila: The Breath of the World, expands on the physical ethos of composer John Luther Adams’s ongoing exploration of sound in outdoor environments. Inspired by the Inuit concept of sila, the spirit that animates the world, Sila at Cal Performances will be set in the Faculty Glade, at the center of the UC Berkeley campus, at 6:00 p.m. With 80 musicians placed in concentric circles, listeners are welcome to roam throughout the Glade, creating an experience that puts the audience in the center of the music. John Luther Adams is well known in the Bay Area; two of his other works, songbirdsongs and Inuksuit, called “magnificent” by the San Francisco Chronicle, were presented by Cal Performances at past Ojai at Berkeley concerts. Sila is free and open to the public.

Later Thursday evening, Ojai at Berkeley launches the first in a series of events that recognize composer, teacher, and contemporary artistic icon Pierre Boulez with an acoustic and theatrical journey through a lifetime of musical adventures, innovations, and discoveries. Performed within a specially commissioned stage design by architect Frank Gehry, A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez will mix live performance with rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer. The production, created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated Beyond the Score series, is a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery that tells the compelling stories behind symphonic music. The concert features ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and is conducted by Schick, at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

In the program Presenting Steven Schick, on Friday, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Hall, Schick gives a solo percussion recital showcasing his unparalleled command of the repertoire and compelling presence as a performer. Stockhausen and Xenakis are at the core of Schick’s body of work, and here he performs the former’s Zyklus, which he has been playing for 40 years, and the latter’s Rebonds and Psappha, of which he has made the definitive recordings. Schick tackles Vinko Globokar’s theatrical works Toucher, in which he is called on to recite Brecht while confronting an array of percussion sounds, and ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot at the edge of the stage. Also on the program is The Anvil Chorus, a work Schick commissioned from composer David Lang. The second half of the program is devoted to the Bay Area première of La Cathédrale de Misère (after its American premiere at the Ojai Music Festival), a staged version of Dada artist Kurt Schwitters’s seminal sound poetry work, Ursonate, directed by composer Roland Auzet.

“What’s most striking about Schick’s playing, aside from his extreme physical virtuosity, is the narrative momentum he elicits from even the most abstract schemes: he is always telling stories with sounds” (The New Yorker).

A concert of solo performances caps off Friday evening at 10:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall, featuring a set of music performed by pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Varèse’s Density 21.5 for solo flute, performed by leading flute virtuoso and musical thinker Claire Chase; and Boulez’s Dialogue de l’Ombre Double for clarinet and tape, performed by clarinetist Joshua Rubin.

Two concerts that place the work of Pierre Boulez in creative juxtaposition with works by Messiaen, Ravel, and Bartók start the final day of Ojai at Berkeley. On Saturday, June 20, at 11:00 a.m. in Hertz Hall, acclaimed West Coast pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray perform Messiaen’s shimmering, mystical work Visions de l’Amen. The second half of the program features the three movements of Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé interspersed with two movements (Improvisation sur Mallarmé I and II) of Boulez’s early work Pli selon pli, performed by soprano Peabody Southwell with members of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and ICE, conducted by Schick.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m., also in Hertz Hall, the Boulez celebration continues with ICE performing Dérive 2 (2011 version), a rigorous and demanding work for eleven instruments that Boulez first composed to honor Elliott Carter’s 80th birthday in 1988, and revised by the composer on occasion since its publication. Then, pianists Cheng and Ray pair up again, for Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with Schick and Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira.

Ojai at Berkeley concludes on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall with a medley of works by composers Julia Wolfe, Lou Harrison, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera. Schick conducts the San Diego-based ensemble Renga for Wolfe’s Four Marys and Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra, featuring Wu Man as soloist. The percussion ensemble red fish blue fish performs Chávez’s Toccata for Percussion, a staple of modern percussion ensemble repertoire initially commissioned by John Cage for his touring percussion group. The concert concludes with Schick conducting Ginastera’s expansive 1960 Cantata para América Mágica with text from ancient pre-Columbian manuscripts performed by mezzo soprano Peabody Southwell and a percussion orchestra made up of ICE, red fish blue fish, and pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray.

Ojai at Berkeley Talks, public conversations and panels with the artists, are planned for Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, at 5:00 p.m. on the patio outside Hertz Hall. For more information visit


A frequent performer at the Ojai Music Festival, and this season a recurring visitor to Cal Performances stages as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, percussionist, conductor, educator, and author Steven Schick has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works in his four decade-long career. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992–2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000–2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group red fish blue fish, and is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. In 2012, he became the first artist-in-residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and maintains an active schedule of guest conducting, including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Schick teaches contemporary percussion at the Banff Centre for the Arts and is Distinguished Professor of Music at the UC San Diego.


For bios of all the festival artists go to OjaiFestival.Org.


The Ojai Music Festival, under the leadership of artistic director Thomas W. Morris, presents broad-ranging programs with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and new music. The four-day festival in the picturesque Ojai Valley, north of Los Angeles, is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape. The Festival was founded in 1947, and each year the artistic director appoints a music director to curate the season’s programming. Acclaimed conductors, composers, and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, and John Adams, among many others. For more information visit


A Festival Pass for Ojai at Berkeley, Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20 is priced at $170.00. A Choose-Your-Own subscription is also available. Patrons can save 10% off single ticket prices by purchasing a minimum of three events. Tickets range from $20.00 to $62.00 and are subject to change. Single tickets go on sale February 2015. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at, and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to

View the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley schedule >>

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Cal Performances’ 2014–2015 season is sponsored by Wells Fargo.
Programs and artists are subject to change.