Press Quotes

“Ojai Music Festival has been raising a finely calibrated ruckus each spring since 1947…. To attend Ojai is to enter a happily topsy-turvy world where longtime patrons are as avid for new music as they are for classic repertory.”
The New Yorker

“There’s nothing quite like Ojai. The festival is to the music world what the town is to the rest of Southern California: a lovably eccentric jewel, a tiny explosion of beauty, weirdness and overkill. The art is rigorous, but the vibe is relaxed, smiling and uncrowded — part weekend getaway, part laboratory.”
– New York Times

“The Ojai faithful – an audience prized for its open minds and congeniality – proved ever faithful.”
Los Angeles Times

“Ojai has earned its reputation as one of the most important events on the annual American cultural calendar.”

“There is nothing dutiful about the approach of either the performers or the audience, but a truly festive spirit in the way they come together for this annual long weekend. Few other audiences are as open-minded or curious as those who gather on the benches or lawns of Libbey Bowl in Ojai’s park.
Sunday Telegraph

“If the music wafting on this valley’s breezes tells us anything, it’s that history lives at Ojai.”
Wall Street Journal

“No walls, no floor, no ceiling, no acoustic paneling. Just grass, trees, birds, bees, and earnest music making … Ojai isn’t quite a fantasy island in the South Pacific, but its surreal, atmospheric beauty isn’t far removed … Who would have though that this quiet unassuming city … would, for one weekend a year, become a mecca for today’s contemporary music intelligentsia and maintain a loyal following in the process?”
Symphony Magazine

“It’s [The Festival] the rubbing-together of the primitive and the sophisticated that lends Ojai its charm. The outdoor setting removes the preciousness from serious musical endeavour without compromising standards, while its intimacy seals the performer-audience relationship…”
Financial Times

“… legendary in new-music circles. Here in the foothills 85 miles north of Los Angeles, Stravinsky, Copland, Boulez, Messiaen, Lukas Foss, Tilson Thomas, John Adams, Salonen, Mitsuko Uchida, Emanuel Ax, and the Emerson String Quartet have all found a brief musical haven.”

“…it’s the interaction of extraordinary composers, conductors and performers that gives Ojai its symbiotic essence and makes it a small but mighty festival.”
Ventura County Star

“…compact but wide-ranging… [one of] the summer’s best performing arts festivals.”
Travel & Leisure Magazine

“…this extraordinary weekend, its triumphant proclamation of the mingled roles of music and the human spirit.”
LA Weekly

“In this case, it was not Vienna, nor Berlin, but the small festival of Ojai that – as far as the interpretation of great symphonic works is concerned – could be seen as the hub of the musical world.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“The annual Ojai Festival is a miniature, less expensive California version of Salzburg — an out-of-the-way place where passionate musicians, critics and fans can gather, schmooze and pontificate, and in between listen to some world-class music.”

“No arm’s-length tolerance of new music here. Upscale locals, Los Angeles intelligentsia and out-of-towners crowd Libbey Bowl’s near-primitive outdoor facilities for four days and devour music normal audiences might greet with bewilderment.”
New York Times

“It’s close to nirvana”
Orange County Register

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