View 2013 Ojai Talks Videos – Mark Morris, John Luther Adams, And More…

The 2013 Ojai Talks took place on June 6th and 7th at the Ojai Community Church. In three sessions, Music Director Mark Morris, composer John Luther Adams, filmmaker Eva Soltes, and LA Times classical music critic Mark Swed, sat with Ara Guzelimian to discuss their work and influences in wide-ranging discussions before a sold-out audience. If you missed the Talks – or want to relive your favorite moments – all are archived on our YouTube page >>

Or watch using the player below:

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2013 Year In Pictures

With Mark Morris at the helm as music director, 2013 was a momentous year, with more Festival events and concerts than ever before in its history. Click through the slideshow below to relive some of our favorite moments. We thank you for your steadfast support and enthusiasm, which help make each year possible.

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Create more Ojai memories in 2014. Please join us for the 68th Ojai Music Festival with Jeremy Denk. View program schedule >>

Please consider joining our new Ojai Membership to demonstrate your support >>

‘Plainspoken’ – Article on Mark Morris Published In ‘The Nation’

With the year drawing to a close there’s still time for a fond look back to June’s Festival. The Nation has just published “Plainspoken”, an excellent article on 2013 Music Director Mark Morris. Written by Marina Harss, who attended the 67th Festival, the piece examines Morris’ wide-ranging interests, fluency in music, and the personality behind the dances.

“There is this strange assumption that people make . . . where they wonder, are you a complete fascist/tyrant/dictator or do the dancers improvise? Well, neither. I mean it’s more that I’m a fascist dictator, but the dancers dance. They contribute by dancing.” The dancers are his instruments, the movement itself.

In recalling the 2013 Festival, Harss recalls a schedule that included up to 10 events a day and where Morris (and his dancers) was ever-present:

He is everywhere, at just about every talk, every performance (even the early morning concerts at a mediation center in the hills) and every late night event . . . at the dance party, Morris whips up a series of rounds, one based on the polka, the other on the waltz. He exhorts the participants to hold hands with strangers and look into their eyes, frankly, without irony.

Altogether, Harss paints a compelling picture of Morris and the sides of him that many would consider to be separate – choreographer, conductor, teacher – and how, it is only when they are united together, that they are able to make him the consummate champion of his art.

Read the complete article on The Nation’s website >>
Download a PDF of the article >>

Watch the full version of Ojai Talks with 2013 Music Director Mark Morris

mmtalkWhile we may have to wait 10 months for the 2014 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Jeremy Denk, we can still relive the memories of this past year with 2013 Music Director, the celebrated choreographer Mark Morris.

Watch the complete 45-minute program of the Ojai Talks on June 6 with Mark and Ara Guzelimian, former Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival and Ojai Talks director. The topic was “choreographer as musician” full of lively stories and insights from Morris.

Watch here >>


A Second Summer as an OMF Intern

After having a great time interning for the 2012 Ojai Music Festival, I of course applied again to be a marketing intern for the 67th Ojai Music Festival with Mark Morris as the Music Director.  I expected to do more or less of the same work as I did last year, since I was interning with the same department, under the same Marketing Director Gina Gutierrez. While 2012 was a great experience, I enjoyed my 2013 experience even more because of the even more diverse tasks I got to take on, as well as seeing old friends from the 2012 Festival.

One of the highlights of my Festival experience was working with Doug McLennan from and Suzi Steffen, our Social Media Coordinator to work on the live stream concerts. OMF now provides live streams of every Libbey Bowl concert, with interviews during intermissions, so I helped Doug manage the live streams before, during and after concerts. It was great to be able to sit through every concert and watch insightful interviews between Doug and special guests.  It’s also quite amazing to watch Suzi at work, live-tweeting every event she possibly can during the Festival. If you haven’t checked out our Twitter page, you definitely should.

Get Fit!Mark Morris was the Music Director this year, bringing a lot of energy and dance to the Festival. One very fun community event that happened this year because of him was “Get Fit! With MMDG,” a one-hour morning fitness class taught by two energetic,fun MMDG dancers. The marketing team was put in charge of producing this event, which essentially meant that we had to be there and make sure everything ran smoothly.  It was very fun to see an extremely successful event take place (around 60 people came each morning!).

Aside from doing my job every day, it was fun and interesting to watch all of the other interns perform their duties.  The production interns were constantly running around, driving artists, making name tags, and seemed to leave the Festival with a slightly frenetic but content disposition.  The box office interns dealt with a very wide variety of people, and never failed to deliver some sort of crazy story about a patron at the end of the day. The special events intern was constantly moving to every special event the Festival had, making sure things were running smoothly and patrons were happy. Everybody had their own specific job, but worked together on some projects to ensure the success of the Festival.

It was very fun to come back to familiar faces and meet new ones this year. We have intern dinners and daily intern meetings to see where everyone is at, which adds to the sense of community. It was a wonderful three weeks of friendly faces, beautiful Ojai, and, of course, great music. Ojai Music Festival throws its interns into the storm of a music festival, while giving you all the support you need. It’s a great experience, and I hope to come back next year.

Want to learn more about the internship program? Check out our internship page, which includes links to the application and brochure.



Read the Results of the 2013 Audience Survey


To assist the Ojai Music Festival in future planning, an audience survey is distributed after each Festival. This year, an email survey was sent out to patrons and below are key findings.

Response rate:
Survey invitations were e-mailed to Festival patrons the week following the event. Of a total of 493 delivered, 234 were returned for a response rate of 47%.

Patron Status:
Returning: 72.4%
New: 27.6%

Reserved section: 88.4%
Lawn area: 18%

Geographic Area of Residence:
Southern California (not including Ventura County): 49%
Ojai: 20%
Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties: 18%
Northern California: 5%

Patron Age:
65-74: 26%
55-64: 36%
45-54: 10%
35-44: 4%
Younger than 35: 6%

How did you rate your Festival experience?
Excellent: 71%
Good: 23%
Fair: 5%

Sources for Performing Arts News: 
Los Angeles Times: 65%
New York Times: 52%
New Yorker: 34%
KUSC: 31%

Tell us about your favorite Festival moment?

  • A wonderful evening in an exquisite setting amongst the beautiful people of Ojai. We are visitors from England and we loved every minute of the concert. Thanks so much!
  • The focus on events in the bowl and in other locations was especially good.
  • Just having the opportunity to attend a relaxing concert under the stars, in an intimate bowl.
  • Enjoyed the music and, really not musically related, where I was sitting, the sun just went past the sun screen above when the concert ended.

Click here to read the complete document >>

Photo Credit: Ojai Visitors Bureau / Kathy Hartley

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. 


2013 Festival Photo Album

Terry Riley In CIn just four days we experienced 37 events from music, dance and discussions to fitness classes, singing and marching band appearances! Relive the memories by viewing our photos on our Flickr page.

Please feel free to share your memories with us or any video you may have captured! Email us at [email protected]

Click here for the photo link >>


Donkey’s jaws and oxygen tanks: red fish blue fish’s percussive arsenal

Dustin Donohue sets up for  John Luther Adams' songbirdsongs at the Friday afternoon talk at Ojai Valley Community Church.
Dustin Donohue sets up for John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs at the Friday afternoon talk at Ojai Valley Community Church.

Percussionists can play trees, hit sticks together, make music with bones or buildings or bricks – and they do.

The 2013 Ojai Music Festival celebrates percussion in a wide variety of ways, and Steve Schick‘s University of California San Diego grad student ensemble, red fish blue fish, is central to almost every performance.

red fish blue fish performs often this weekend, including at two “sunrise” concerts Saturday and Sunday morning, at Saturday night’s Late Night concert, and during both Sunday evening concerts.

What with rehearsals, late night and talk and early morning and pretty much anytime performances this year, the members of red fish blue fish can be hard to track down. But doctoral student Dustin Donahue, who’s the lead for the ensemble at OMF2013, sat down for an in-depth chat about cool percussion instruments, the (short) history of the percussion ensemble, and his own percussion goals.

Dustin, tell me about your involvement in red fish blue fish.

I joined four years ago. The group consists basically of Steve Schick‘s students [at UCSD], so it’s a rotating roster.

red fish blue fish
red fish blue fish

How did you get started in percussion?

I played piano for most of my life …

Do you think of the piano as percussion?

I do consider it a percussion instrument. You see that with Lou Harrison specifically and with this festival. Every now and then I do end up playing the piano still, but at some point I switched to being a rock ‘n’ roll drummer as a youngster.

In high school I got tired of playing in band – it’s always transcriptions and stuff you’re playing along with the band. I got interested in the birth of the percussion ensemble in the ’30s and ’40s. I found John Cage’s Credo in Us, and a few friends of us put it on. Then the door opened, and I fell in.

Updates on Free Events: Sunrise Concert Parking, Gamelan Performances and More!

mm_home_02_910x400This year, the Ojai Music Festival will present 37 events in just four days! This includes main Libbey Bowl concerts, Ojai Talks, Ojai Films, Concert Insights, and an abundance of free community events. Here are some new updates on some of these free events to help better prepare you:

Sat June 8: The parking lot at Besant Hill will open at 7:00am. Please bring a chair or blanket for the concert, or feel free to wander as you enjoy John Luther Adams’ Strange and Sacred Noise. We highly recommend wearing flat comfortable shoes. Besant Hill School’s address is 8585 Santa Paula Ojai Road. 

Sun June 9: Due to the high volume of ticket requests for the Sunday Sunrise Concert featuring John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs, we are providing a free bus shuttle to take ticketed patrons to Meditation Mount. The shuttle and all concert parking will be located at Boccali’s Restaurant and the first shuttle will begin loading at 7:00am. Please plan to arrive well before the concert starts to guarantee parking. Only authorized vehicles will be allowed at Meditation Mount. Boccali’s address 3277 Ojai Santa Paula Road (located at Ojai Avenue and Reeves Road).

While you wait for the concert to begin at 8:00am, you can participate in bird watching with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy at 7:15am. Please bring your own binoculars. RSVP at [email protected].
Maps and directions will be available at the Festival box office. If you have any questions, please call our box office at 805 646 2053.

Gamelan Performances: Fri, June 7 and Sat, June 8

These two free concerts performed by the acclaimed Gamelan Sari Raras at the Libbey Park Gazebo will be special treats for the community!  Limited seating will be provided;  we encourage you to bring your own chairs or blankets.

Fitness Classes: Fri, June 7; Sat, June 8; Sun, June 9 
Dance with MMDG: Sat, June 8 

Festival patrons and the Ojai community have a rare opportunity to join dancers from the acclaimed Mark Morris Dance Group, who will help jump-start the day with basic stretching. The fitness classes will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, 9:00-10:00am, at the Libbey Park Flagpole Lawn. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes or sneakers.

And there’s more — learn dance moves from dancers of the Mark Morris Dance Group who will teach a few moves from one of the works featured at the Friday evening concert. This free event will be at the Ojai Art Center. We recommend wearing flat shoes (you will also have the option to dance barefoot).

Both events are free and open to the public.

View complete schedule here >>


Festival Preview Podcast Now Available on KUSC

kuscListen to Classical KUSC’s 67th Ojai Music Festival Preview podcast >>


Classical KUSC’s Gail Eichenthal interviews Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, exploring Music Director Mark Morris’ thinking behind this year’s programming and giving a tantalizing glimpse of what audiences can expect for June.

Click here to listen to/download the episode on the KUSC website >>


Meet the American String Quartet

Earlier in the year, we asked several of our artists to respond to a Q&A about music, the Ojai experience and Mark Morris. Here is an introduction to the celebrated American String Quartet who will make their Ojai Music Festival debut on Friday, June 7.


What do you most look forward to about the 2013 Ojai Music Festival?

We are most looking forward to participating in the coherent and interconnected programming. So often summer festival programming is geared towards easy listening, and while there’s nothing wrong with fun, serious fun should be even more rewarding.

The Festival is concentrated, but if you can make the time, what would you most like to explore in the Ojai Valley?

In addition to interacting with our fellow performers, we’re looking forward to exploring the coastline, ocean views, mountain trails – and we understand that there are some winemakers in California as well.

Ojai is famous for its engaged and adventurous audiences, is there something you’d like to share with your Ojai family prior to the 2013 Festival?

Only something they doubtless already know: that audiences who meet us half-way not only make our work easier – they get more fulfilling performances. Rather than having to be convinced of anything (merits of the music, bona fides of the performers), the listeners can join in an exploration shared on both sides of the footlights.

Please share some highlights of your past professional experience working with Mark Morris.

From Wolfram Koessel (cellist in the ASQ): Mark Morris is the most musical artist I have ever met.  I have worked extensively with the MMDG for the last thirteen years and many of these collaborations have been highlights of my career.  Mark continues to amaze me with his deep love and knowledge of music, his wit, and unending energy.  Watching his choreographies deepens my understanding of music.

Make the Most of Your Lawn Experience

students and familyThe Libbey Bowl lawn is a special experience for Festival patrons – it’s the place to enjoy a picnic before the concert; meet with a group of friends or family; and lie down to stargaze while enjoying the Festival’s music.

To help you enjoy the lawn, here are some important things to know:

  • The right side of the lawn is designated for taller chairs and the left side for low-rise chairs.  (A low-rise, beach-style chair is defined as a chair with legs of 10 inches or shorter and an overall height limit of 28 inches.) Patrons with higher-rise chairs, such as camping or deck chairs, will be asked to move to the right side or rear of the lawn so as not to hinder the views of others.
  • Line up early! Lawn lines start as early as two hours before a concert begins. There are two lines for lawn patrons – the left is designated for lawn series subscribers with an access pass and the right for single pass holders.
  • Save your place! Lawn series pass subscribers have the opportunity to save their spot on the lawn between the morning and evening concerts; please use the “Save My Spot” card mailed with your passes.
  • Store it! If you are attending two concerts in one day, you can also place your lawn chairs and blankets near the lawn entrance gate between concerts.  Please do not leave personal belongings as Festival staff cannot be responsible for items left unattended.
  • The Libbey Bowl and Park is a no-smoking and alcohol-free zone designated by the City of Ojai.
  • Ojai weather can be quite unpredictable! During the evening concerts we highly recommend bringing a warm blanket and for the day bringing sunscreen and wearing a hat in case it gets too hot.
  • At the Festival there is a food vendor who will have a variety of light food options and beverages. For a greater variety, you can head to the various eateries within walking distance from the Bowl.
  • We’re happy to have children enjoy concerts; however, we know they can become restless! If your child needs to stretch their legs, please take them outside the Bowl so as not to disrupt the concert experience for other lawn patrons.

**For the Friday Evening Concert with the Mark Morris Dance Group: the incline of the lawn is fairly low in relation to the Libbey Bowl stage. For this concert, we will have a small area on the left side for better viewing. Please see the head usher that evening.**

If you have any questions please call our box office at 805 646 2053 or email [email protected]


John Luther Adams on ‘for Lou Harrison’

harrisonIn honor of Lou Harrison’s birthday (May 14), we’d like to share a few pieces of writing kindly sent to us by composer John Luther Adams, for whom Harrison was a long-time mentor and friend. Adams wrote the work ‘for Lou Harrison,’ to be performed at this year’s Festival on Saturday Evening, in 2003-2004. Below are Adams’ notes for the piece, as well as an essay on the work by Peter Garland:

“Lou Harrison was a generous friend and wise mentor to me for almost 30 years. His faith in and support of my music was a decisive influence in my life. I learned more from my time with Lou than from any of my institutional studies. And he was an inspiring model of how to live, without regret or bitterness, as an uncompromising independent composer.

Composed in 2003-2004, for Lou Harrison completes a trilogy of large-scale memorial works that also includes Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing (1991-95) and In the White Silence (1998).

for Lou Harrison encompasses the most lush textures in my music to date, moving in four tempo layers (in the proportions 4/5/6/7) throughout. Rising arpeggios over sustained harmonic clouds alternate with long solo lines over “procession-like” material in nine continuous sections –each grounded in a different five-, six- or seven-tone harmony. The formal structures of the composition recur throughout the score, but the sound of the music is always changing.

for Lou Harrison was not commissioned. I composed this work because I was compelled to do so in response to the passing of one of the most important figures in my life. Amid the daunting realities of today’s world, Lou Harrison and his joyful ecumenical life and music seem more vital and more pertinent than ever.”

– John Luther Adams

Read Peter Garland’s essay on for Lou Harrison >>
Read John Luther Adams’ blog post, “Remembering Lou” >>

Further Reading:
“My Memories of Lou Harrison” – by Festival friend Jain Fletcher >>
Lou Harrison: A World of Music documentary film project by director Eva Soltes >>

OjaiU Launched in May with Great Success


The Ojai Music Festival was pleased to share that OjaiU, a free three-week online course centered on the 2013 Festival, launched on Wednesday, May 15 with more than 200 registrants and almost 5,000 views since the last week.

These courses were designed to help audiences “listen smarter” and enabled them to gain deeper insight into music. Far from being simply “program notes,” OjaiU is built around the ideas that animate the thinking behind a Festival like Ojai, featuring observations by performers, critics and experts.

Check out the three classes:
Class # 1: Ideas and the Power of Music
Class # 2: Music in its Place
Class #3: Music and Dance

Watch the introduction video below:


The OjaiU courses are led by Douglas McLennan, editor and founder of and feature guest instructors including Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris and 2013 Music Director Mark Morris. Other instructors are composer John Luther Adams, pianist Jeremy Denk, provost and dean of The Juilliard School Ara Guzelimian, music and dance critic John Rockwell, filmmaker Eva Soltes, and Los Angeles Times classical music critic Mark Swed.

[reveal heading=”%image%View descriptions of the three OjaiU courses”]
  • Ideas and the Power of Music: Great art says something about the culture around it. Just how that happens is easy to see in visual art or theatre or dance. But music is largely an abstract art form. So how does music engage ideas? Does music have important things to say about our contemporary culture?
  • Music in its Place: Music is an evocative art. A few bars can set you in the Old West, a busy city or a faraway country. Music can also express identity. But how? Certainly by quoting cultural references we all know. But the relationships between composers, their music, and the places they want to evoke can be much more complicated. The music of composers such as John Cage, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives and John Luther Adams not only works to evoke place and identity, but also to interact and adapt to the places, context and circumstances in which the music is being performed and heard.

Visit the OjaiU website here >>

Festival Pass Mailing Update

tickets With June right around the corner, we’re getting ready to put together the pass packages to send out to this year’s Festival attendees. Passes are due to be mailed out starting May 13 and should be arriving by May 25. When you receive your package, please review its contents to make sure that it is complete and accurate. If you have any questions or need additional tickets, please contact the box office at 805 646 2053 or email [email protected] so we can assist you before you arrive in June.

Ojai as a Creative Laboratory

by Tom Morris, Artistic Director

Last year's performance of Inuksuit is an example of how the Festival continues to create a mutual, interactive experience between audiences and artists.
Last year’s performance of Inuksuit is an example of how the Festival continues to create a mutual, interactive experience between audiences and artists.

After last June’s Festival with Leif Ove Andsnes, and as plans were developing for 2013 with Mark Morris, and for 2014 with Jeremy Denk, I realized that Ojai is increasingly about being a laboratory for great artists to experiment – to reinvent themselves. It is not a place where artists come to trot out the programs they do elsewhere. In many ways, the very essence of Ojai stems powerfully from the fact that artists are part of the experiment themselves so audience and performers join at the hip in the mutual experience.

All the final touches are now in place for 2013 and we will have, indeed, a seamless and continuous party of music, dance and conversation. Get your rest ahead of time! With Mark Morris as our irrepressible guide, we have a festival that will look and feel different with more than 30 distinct events over 4 days:

• We start with 8 major concerts – more than in the past as we cut some previous 2-hour concerts into 2 1-hour concerts: 1 concert Thursday night, 2 Friday night, 1 Saturday morning, 1 Saturday evening, 1 Sunday morning, and 2 Sunday evening.

• We will have 2 Ojai Talks, each with 2 sessions, on Thursday and Friday.

• We will have 7 free extra events, subject only to getting an advance reservation: 3 film screenings at the Ojai Playhouse, 1 on Thursday and 2 on Saturday; 2 Ojai Late Night concerts in the Libbey Bowl on Friday and Saturday nights; Ojai Sunrise concerts on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Meditation Mount and at Two Tree Hill on the Besant Hill School in Upper Ojai

• We will have 7 community events – free and open to the public: 2 gamelan concerts in the Libbey Park Gazebo on Friday and Saturday; a 30-minute concert of music for toy piano to be performed on the Libbey Park playground Friday between the 2 evening concerts; public fitness classes led by dancers from the MMDG Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings in the Libbey Park; a “Dance with the MMDG” Saturday afternoon at the Ojai Arts Center where members of the MMDG will teach you a movement of Lou Harrison’s Grand Duo which is being performed on Friday night

• We will have 3 special events for donors: Social Dancing with Mark Morris at the opening night party Thursday night at the Ojai Arts Center; Open-mic karaoke with Mark Morris and The Bad Plus at Agave Maria’s late Friday night; a special performance by American String quartet on Sunday afternoon at the Ojai Arts Center

• The Legacy Lunch Saturday afternoon at the Lavender Inn when Chris Hailey will interview several veteran members of the MMDG

6 Concert Insights with Christopher Hailey, 4 of which will be with Mark Morris

A Reception for 2014 subscribers.

• And there just might be a few other surprises!!!

This will be a festival that truly reflects what Mark Morris stands for in all of his work. It will be infused with his infectious energy, his extraordinary artistry, his supreme ability to delight, and his playful sense of fun. As he has said:

“….thrilling, raucous, serene, contemplative, serendipitous, and surprising. As Lou Harrison put it: ‘music is a song & a dance.’”

Buy Festival Passes Now!

Updated 2013 Festival Schedule

Choose your own Festival Experience: Buy Series Tickets

There are many benefits to purchasing series ticket packages:

  • The same best seats for all concerts – and the ability to make special seating requests
  • Substantial savings over single ticket prices
  • One-stop shopping: the convenience of getting concerts, talks, and late night tickets at the same time
  • Advance program notes and an invitation to the Festival Preview event in the spring
  • AND, best of all, you get the satisfaction of being a part of the complete celebration during the entire four days

Purchase your tickets online here >>

Listen to Excerpts From The 2013 Festival Programming

composersThe 67th Festival will feature the work of Lou Harrison, John Luther Adams, Terry Riley, and much more. Click here to listen to excerpts from the 2013 program >>

Mark Morris Branches Out: Read the Recent Symphony Article

Taking risks and gettng outside of your comfort zone are qualities that are reflected in many of our past Festival music directors – from soprano Dawn Upshaw, composer/conductor George Benjamin, ensemble eighth blackbird to choreographer Mark Morris, who leads the upcoming 67th Festival in June 2013. Symphony Magazine recently interviewed Mark Morris on another venture he has successfully embarked on – conducting. Click here for article >>

An Open Invitation to Explore: Highlights of Ojai 2013

by Christopher Hailey

Walk right in, sit right down/Daddy, let your mind roll on. Not that we’ll be hearing Gus Cannon’s 1929 country blues classic at the 2013 Ojai Music Festival, but his lyrics are a perfect fit for what Mark Morris has in store for us. It’s an informal, open-ended invitation to explore some of the most mind-expanding music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. American voices mostly, mostly West Coast, and very in the box: Lou Harrison, his teacher Henry Cowell, his friend and colleague John Cage, their patron saint, Charles Ives, and a couple of latter-day disciples in Terry Riley and John Luther Adams. Names we know, music we don’t. These are composers who have all challenged conventional High/Low, East/West, Music/Noise dichotomies and embraced what Morris calls a more inclusive idea of “Culture”.

Accordingly we’ll hear unusual mixtures of styles and instruments as in Harrison’s Concerto for Piano and Gamelan, Cowell’s Atlantis for voices, percussion and strings, and John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs for percussion, piccolos and celesta (performed by red fish blue fish, the MMDG Music Ensemble, and UC Berkeley Gamelan Sari Raras). In the same spirit, we’ll see the Mark Morris Dance Group performs to string quartets by Cowell (played by the legendary American String Quartet), hear little-known songs by Cage, Cowell, Harrison, and Ruggles, and experience Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in an arrangement by the amazing The Bad Plus jazz trio. Morris has even re-imagined the concert experience itself by separating shorter, discrete musical segments with generous intervals that encourage the audience to discuss and explore. And there will be lots to explore because Morris aims to make year’s Ojai Festival a “valley-wide” experience with scheduled and spontaneous events scattered about town – extra concerts, films, talks, social dancing, toy pianos, and possibly even a marching band down Ojai Avenue. People on the move, taking notice, getting involved: Everybody’s talkin’’bout a new way of walkin’. And listening – thanks to Lou, Henry, John, and Charles.

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