Ojai Music Festival Receives New Music USA Project Grants Award

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(Ojai CA) — The Ojai Music Festival has received a project grants award from New Music USA in support of the 69th Festival, June 10 to 14, 2015, led by Music Director Steven Schick. Together with Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Mr. Schick has curated an explosive and immensely playful program celebrating music from the 20th and 21st centuries and the music and influences of Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday in the spring.

“New Music USA’s generous support helps to ensure the Ojai Music Festival’s commitment to innovative and adventurous programming and our vision to reach wider audiences,” said Executive Director Janneke Straub. “It affirms our collective vision of expanding new music landscapes.“

The 2015 Festival welcomes Ojai alumni artist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as music director. He will be joined by artistic colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, and San Diego-based string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

Awards for New Music USA’s third round of project grants total $284,250 support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The program recognizes and supports the multiple roles composers and contemporary music practitioners play in the artistic landscape and responds to the creative spirit of collaboration between artists from multiple disciplines. The 62 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, film, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element.

In response to feedback from artists who were surveyed last summer following the two inaugural rounds of the program, the third round grants included a special focus on requests of $3,000 and below. Approximately 65% of grants awarded were in this category. The next round of project grants will open for requests in March 2015, and decisions will be announced in June 2015.

Including the awards announced today, New Music USA’s project grants program, launched in October 2013, has now distributed $932,250 in support of 179 projects. Seventy-four of the project grants awardees are first-time recipients of grants from New Music USA and its legacy organizations Meet The Composer and the American Music Center. Awarded projects from all three rounds can be discovered, explored and followed by the public via their media rich project pages at https://www.newmusicusa.org/all-projects. The public-facing gallery of projects and the ability for artists to update their progress and interact with followers is an important promotional tool that extends the program’s service to artists beyond financial support. The overarching goal of project grants is to reach and aggregate the communities of new music enthusiasts, irrespective of genre preferences, and allow the public to discover new artistic work.

Ed Harsh, president and CEO, comments: “We want to give artists money, but we want to give artists more than money. We want to give them a way to spread the experience of their work to a wide world of people eager to engage with it.”

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and social gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk. For more information on the Ojai Music Festival and the 69th season, visit OjaiFestival.org (http://www.OjaiFestival.org).

New Music USA (https://www.newmusicusa.org/) formed in November 2011 from the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer with a mandate to increase the audience for new American music. New Music USA’s endowments include an $11.25 million corpus for grant making supplemented by support from a number of generous annual funders. The approach to consolidating five of the legacy organizations’ grant making programs was driven by two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists and audiences connect.  New Music USA is devoted to fostering the creation, dissemination, and enjoyment of new American music. New Music USA places special emphasis on broadening the public community for the music and musicians whom we serve.

Advocacy in the broadest sense is at the heart of all of New Music USA’s work. It is inherent in the work of the online magazine NewMusicBox (http://www.newmusicbox.org/) and radio station Counterstream (https://www.newmusicusa.org/counterstream-radio/), in all of New Music USA’s grant making activity—which distributes more than one million dollars each year to the field—and in New Music USA’s role as a key voice in the national and international scenes.

Paradigm Lost • 2015 Ojai Music Festival • New Works for the OpenICE Initiative • American notes – Engaging new Communities • The Snow Falls in the Winter • Featured Composer Residency with Derek Bermel • Edmar Castaneda Performance and “Meet the Artist” Event* • Inquisitive – A New Work for Cantus and High School Choir • Iron Shoes • Written in Water • Black Mountain Songs • Capriccio • Interaction of Color • STEVE COLEMAN: SYNOVIAL JOINTS RECORDING PROJECT* • The Brain Piece • 95 RITUALS (for Anna Halprin) • The Black Rose • PATIENT(CE)* • TRIBE* • A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 • Wild Rumps: In Time • American Composers Orchestra Premiers Motormouth for Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall • A Debut CD: The Music of Eric Nathan • Recording “Letting Time Circle Through” • Brass Band Blastoff • Choreographing LeWitt* • Walk to the Beat* • Talujon’s Pocket Gamelan • Man Forever with TIGUE – Percussion and Vocal Canons* • Sympathetic Magic* • Synth Nights: Morton Subotnick • SOUNDIAL* • Alternative Guitar Summit • Water, Water, Everywhere • Intimate Instruments Workshop: Building the Linguaphone of Tremulous Communion • 2015 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival • Duo Damiana Debut Recording: Adventurous Repertoire for Flute and Guitar* • CAUGHT IN THE TREETOPS* • Along These Lines • Contemporaneous Presents Self-Portrait, a Fifth Anniversary Celebration* • Radiant Child Voice Recording • Face Resection* • RighteousGIRLS* • Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat • Record original jazz/classical works for piano* • Sowah Mensah Commission* • SOLI: Experience • Kettle Corn New Music 2014-15: Sandbox Percussion and Lisa Moore* • Commercial Recording Featuring Solo Piano Works by Timo Andres and Phil Young • Old Text Woven New* • Lisa Renee Coons in Residence at 2015 Women Composers Festival in Hartford • Meehan/Perkins Duo Records New American Percussion Works • 3 Singers* • TRAFFIC JAM* • Babbling • flux-mirror for saxophone and electronics* • A New work for Flute and Electronics written for Flutist Carla Rees* • Matana Roberts: COIN COIN • Tonecycle for Blues (2014) Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with 3:4 and 6:7.

*indicates first time awardee