Read 2013 Festival Reviews


“The annual Ojai Music Festival, whose 67th season ran June 6 to 9, does many things well. But what it does best is reinvent itself, which it accomplishes by recalling its past while broadening its horizons. This year, that dichotomy was particularly pronounced, with the festival welcoming as its music director the choreographer Mark Morris…”

“Mr. [Mark] Morris programmed only a limited number of dances, all on Friday night—just enough for a bold experiment without fundamentally altering the character of the enterprise. His selections proved apt musically, and his compact and fresh-scrubbed dancers, all from the Mark Morris Dance Group based in Brooklyn, N.Y., seemed incapable of insincere gestures. But his engaging dances—with their signature wit and concentration on the body’s extremities.”

Click here to read the complete review of the Wall Street Journal June 12, 2013


“But however untraditional a “Rite” for piano, bass and percussion may be, Ojai has a long tradition for being its own Stravinskyan rite of spring. The composer’s close association with the festival in the ’50s made the town musically famous.”

“Reputed to court mavericks, the Ojai Music Festival doesn’t always extend a very large welcome mat. But this offbeat weekend, the mat was massive.Attention was drawn to supposedly kooky and bizarrely neglected West Coast composers who happen to be essential contributors to American music and our national identity.”

Click here to read the complete review of the Los Angeles Times June 7, 2013 >>

Click here to read the complete review of the Los Angeles Times June 11, 2013 >> 


“Every year at this time, one of the world’s best music festivals is reborn, and this phoenix rises right in our backyard. With acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris at the helm, the 67th edition of the venerable Ojai Music Festival could hardly have been more fresh or up to date.”

“Terry Riley’s In C got the full Ojai treatment from a large ensemble on Saturday. Shimmering, pulsing, syncopating, shuffling, and shifting sounds came together and drifted apart as easily and as naturally as the sun filtered through the canopy of trees.”

Click here to read the complete review of the SB Independent June 11, 2013 >>


“Mr. Ives loomed large over the weekend. That old Ives-ian charm and rebel spirit was powerfully moving, from the powerful String Trio (once you closed your eyes to block out the intrusive, uninvited dance component) and gutsy and quote-happy String Quartet No. 2, masterfully delivered by the American String Quartet on Sunday morning, this coming after several beauteous Ives songs on the concert’s first half (wonderfully sung by soprano Yulia Van Doren, mezzo-soprano Jamie Van Eyck, and bass-baritone Douglas Williams).”


“[Mark] Morris’ organizing principle was really quite simple. Taking Harrison as his focal point, he added music by Harrison’s teacher Henry Cowell, his confrere Cage and his followers Riley and Adams. The list constitutes a line of American composers, mavericks, innovators and tinkerers one and all, oriented to the West Coast, and strongly influenced by the music of Asia. The music of the father of all American mavericks, Charles Ives, became a natural addition.”


“In an Ojai Music Festival that revels in revelations, choosing the multi-talented choreographer Mark Morris as this year’s music director brought multiple bonuses to the alert sensibilities of the traditional festival audience.”


“As always, Morris’s ability to shape the sounds coming from the pit through a combined language of gesture and seemingly simple movement is a constant source of surprise and almost primal satisfaction.”

Click here to read the complete review of Dance Tabs June 9, 2013 >>


“There are not many ideas we like better than a classical music festival, dedicated mostly to contemporary work, and held almost entirely outside in a verdant valley. This year, the existing Ojai template was sweetened further by a concentration on West Coast composers…”

Click here to read the complete review of The MisRead City June 11, 2013 >>


“This year’s music director, Mark Morris, one of the greatest choreographers of his generation and certainly the most musical (he’s also conducted), proved an ideal advocate for the triumph of song, dance, and American music at this year’s Ojai Festival.”


“Although bursting at the seams with 37 events — Libbey Bowl and off-site concerts, in-town movies, distant seminars and closer pre-concert talks and much more — the thematic focus remained sharp. Building on a festival trend in recent years, the fullness would make it nearly impossible for any single patron to attend all events in the non-stop schedule that revved up each day at dawn’s early light and wound down in the night’s wee hours.”

Click here to read the complete review of LA Opus June 20, 2013 >>


“if you should know anything about Ojai, it is to expect and embrace the unlikely.”

Click here to read the complete review of All Is Yar June 6, 2013 >>

Read complete reviews posted as of June 21, 2013 >> 

We will continue to update the Reviews page over the next few weeks. 


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