Take a California Coffee Break with James Freeman

SUN 06.09.24 | 1-2PM | Ojai Festival Lounge

Refresh your senses with this tasting that features three exceptional coffees grown on farms in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Blue Bottle Coffee founder, and former professional clarinetist, James Freeman will guide the tasting with help from Jay Ruskey, whose Frinj Coffee is behind the burgeoning California-grown coffee movement.

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Take Advantage of Student Opportunities

Our student discounts are a great opportunity to enjoy the Festival at any age. All discounts except our gas rebate are available for students of any grade level. Students age 12 and up are welcome to utilize our student discounts for Libbey Bowl or lawn tickets. We welcome children ages 6 to 11 on our lawn for $5. Children age 5 and under are free on the lawn.

[email protected] | 805 646 2053

30% OFF Any Tickets, Any Time

When you show your active student ID to the Box Office, either in person or via email.

College Faculty: 15% OFF Any Tickets, Any Time

When you show your faculty student ID to the Box Office, either in person or via email.

Student Rush Tickets, 50% OFF

When you show your active student ID to the Box Office 30 minutes or less before the start time of a Festival concert. Valid only for concerts at Libbey Bowl, while supplies last. In the event that a concert sells out, there is no guarantee of entry.

Gas Rebate

When you show your active student ID and a gas receipt to the Box Office prior to a concert, we will refund up to $30 of what you spent. The gas receipt must be from the same day of the concert you are attending. Valid for high school and college students only. While supplies last.


Other Opportunities to Get Involved

Whether you’re a classical music lover or simply curious about this yearly Ojai staple, look at our various perks to help welcome you to the Ojai Festival community.

Our Festival volunteers are the heart and soul of the Festival community. Thanks to our combined team efforts, we provide an exceptional setting for all to enjoy the immersive Ojai experience.

Each year, the Ojai Music Festival Arts Management Internship Program welcomes a dozen college students and recent graduates to go behind the scenes of a renowned summer music festival.

Visit our FAQ

View the 2024 Schedule

Thank you for attending Hike + Hear!

To our adventurous friends,

Our deepest thanks for joining us on Saturday for our (Hike) & Hear event with the Ojai Music Festival and the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy. 

We were all heartened that despite the rain and gloomy weather, the afternoon was a wonderful gathering, filled with joyful conversation, sublime music by oboist/singer/composer Theodosia Roussos and percussionist Fiona Digney, and even a bit of ‘nature’ brought indoors by Tom Maloney of OVLC!

And a very special thanks to our generous hosts, Cathy Zoi and Robin Roy, for opening their home to all of us.

Both organizations are grateful for your friendship, commitment, and sense of adventure! We look forward to more opportunities in the coming weeks and months to see you again. Here are a few links of resources and events:


Music from the 2024 Hike + Hear

Enjoy information about the music performed at the Hike + Hear, April 13, 2024, with Ojai Music Festival and Ojai Valley Land Conervancy.

Frederic Rzewski (1938-2021), To The Earth

“To the Earth” was written in 1985 at the request of the percussionist Jan Williams. Williams asked for a piece using small percussion instruments that could be easily transported. I decided to use four flower pots. Not only do they have a beautiful sound but they don’t have to be carried around at all: in every place where one plays the piece, they can be bought for a total cost of about one dollar.
The text, recited by the percussionist, is that of the pseudo-homeric hymn “To The Earth Mother of All,” probably written in the seventh century B.C. This simple poem is a prayer to Gaia—goddess of the Earth. The Earth is a myth, both ancient and modern. For us today as well, it appears increasingly as something fragile. Because of its humanly altered metabolism, it is rapidly becoming a symbol of the precarious human condition. In this piece the flower pots are intended to convey this sense of fragility.

The writing of this piece was triggered by reading an article on newly discovered properties of clay, the substance of which pots and golems are made. Among these properties are its capacity to store energy for long periods of time and its complex molecular structure. This idea for clay as something half-alive, a kind of transitional medium between organic and inorganic materials, led me to look at flower pots. I found, in fact, that some pots are “alive” while others are “dead”: some emit a disappointing “thunk” when you tap them while others seem to burst into resonant song at the slightest touch.”

XXX. TO EARTH THE MOTHER OF ALL

[1] I will sing of well-founded Earth, mother of all, eldest of all beings. She feeds all creatures that are in the world, all that go upon the goodly land, and all that are in the paths of the seas, and all that fly: all these are fed of her store. Through you, O queen, men are blessed in their children and blessed in their harvests, and to you it belongs to give means of life to mortal men and to take it away. Happy is the man whom you delight to honour! He has all things abundantly: his fruitful land is laden with corn, his pastures are covered with cattle, and his house is filled with good things. Such men rule orderly in their cities of fair women: great riches and wealth follow them: their sons exult with ever-fresh delight, and their daughters in flower-laden bands play and skip merrily over the soft flowers of the field. Thus is it with those whom you honour O holy goddess, bountiful spirit. Hail, Mother of the gods, wife of starry Heaven; freely bestow upon me for this my song substance that cheers the heart! And now I will remember you and another song also.

Homeric hymn No. 30, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White
Recording by Steven Schick, on Weather Systems: Vol. 2: Soundlines

Lou Harrison (1917-2003), Ariadne (1987)

Ariadne draws inspiration from the music of India. Harrison’s music combines Indian and Western influences. The opening movement, “Ariadne Abandoned,” functions like an alap-an introductory piece that introduces the mode and spirit of the work. In the second movement, “The Triumph of Ariadne and Dionysos,” Harrison employs a compositional principle related to the Indian tala, a complex repeating rhythmic pattern.

Lou Harrison: In Retrospect on New World Records (Leta Miller and William Winant) available on Apple Music and Spotify

Volunteers: Heart and Soul of the Festival

Ojai Music Festiva volunteers

Since the Ojai Music Festival’s founding in 1947, volunteers have ensured the enduring success of the organization, from our renowned four-day Festival and our acclaimed BRAVO music education program.

Ojai Music Festiva volunteers

Volunteer opportunities range from ushering, administrative office work, concessions to housing Festival artists and production team. The Festival is fortunate to have a large community of volunteers.

Besides receiving benefits to volunteer that include lawn tickets, a festival commemorative t-shirt and invitations to events, volunteers get to enjoy the camaraderie of working together and meeting interesting music enthusiasts like Jodine Hammerand!

JODINE HAMMERAND: A Return to Ojai and the Music Festival!

What brought you to Ojai? 
My family was living in Los Angeles when my parents took my siblings and I to Ojai for the week of Spring Break. We all fell in love with Ojai and our family moved here in 1972.

L-R: Wendy Gray and Jodine Hammerand at the Festival’s volunteer event in March, 2024

When did you start your involvement in the Music Festival? 
I started at Nordhoff High School as a freshman. It was probably my junior year when I started volunteering for the Ojai Music Festival as an usher. I will never forget watching a run-through with the LA Philharmonic that was being conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas!

When did you make your way back to Ojai?
After retiring from Alaska Airlines, I ultimately chose to move back to Ojai right at the height of the pandemic. I was interested in volunteering again and finally was able to usher for the 2022 Ojai Music Festival, then again in 2023. It felt like a happy reunion!

What is a recent fond memory of the Festival?
I am a lover of all music genres, especially the Blues. I really enjoyed Rhiannon Giddens being the music director in 2023 with her banjo playing. She also introduced the pipa and the  kora, two great instruments rooted deep in history. ‘The roots of the present are deep in the past’ my high school history teacher used to always say! I attended the performance of Ghost Opera and enjoyed listening to the pipa with all the instruments. I ushered at the performance of Omar’s Journey and heard the kora played by Seckou Keita. I arrived before the concert as ushers do to prepare the Libbey Bowl. I was walking down the center aisle of seats when I saw Seckou practicing on stage. When he was finished, he looked my way, and I gave him a thumbs up indicating how beautiful he played. He smiled his big smile and that made me very happy, and I will never forget it. 

I look forward to volunteering for the Ojai Music Festival. It is a joy every year, no matter the style of music. In addition, I enjoy every year when the staff and volunteers gather together before the Festival, to listen to Ara Guzelimian with his knowledge of the musicians. He is an asset as artistic and executive director.

A European Grand Tour, Resources References

Ojai Music Festival
Virtual Ojai Talks
A European Grand Tour: Gubaidulina, Lachenmann, and Saariaho

Many thanks to all who attended the Virtual Ojai Talks on the music of Gubaidulina, Lachenmann, and Saariaho led by Artistic and Executive Director Ara Guzelimian on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Here is the featured music and the resources that were discussed that we’d love to share with all! These are all readily accessible YouTube links.


Gubaidulina Interview

Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2

Clip from Helmut Lachenman: My Way documentary

Interview with Helmut Lachenman

Lachenmann: Mouvement

Trailer for Echoes of the Universe: The Music of Kaija Saariaho documentary

Saariaho: Terrestre

Learning to Love Schoenberg

Ojai Music Festival
VIRTUAL OJAI TALKS: Ara Guzelimian
Learning to Love Schoenberg
WED 02.21.24
5:30-6:30PM PT

Many thanks to all who attended the Virtual Ojai Talks on the music of Schoenberg led by Artistic and Executive Director Ara Guzelimian. Here is the featured music and the resources that were discussed that we’d love to share with all!


The Music We Heard:

These are all readily accessible YouTube links. A companion playlist in either Apple Music or Spotify appears at the bottom, for those who prefer those sources for streaming. One note – the very beautiful Matthias Pintscher/Karajan Academy live performance of the Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 1 is only available on YouTube, so the streaming playlists include a different but also compelling performance led by Simon Rattle.


Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9

Matthias Pintscher conductor with the ensemble of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic


Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 2

Barbara Hannigan and the Emerson String Quartet

Text to Litanei (third movement)
Text to Entrückung (fourth movement)


Brahms: Piano Pieces, Opus 119

Rudolf Serkin, piano


Schoenberg: Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19

Mitsuko Uchida, piano


Other Media Referenced:

Schoenberg: Mahler’s Funeral

Painting, musically represented in the Op. 19, No. 6 movement above

Salka Viertel: The Kindness of Strangers

A rich remembrance of the emigré community of artists in Los Angeles of the 1930s and 1940s

Allen Shawn: Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey

A complex but rewarding portrait of the composer and his work, if you are not daunted by extensive musical analysis


Here is the playlist:

Enjoy!

Get to Know the 2024 Festival Artists

The 2024 Festival welcomes Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Brentano String Quartet, violinist Alexi Kenney, cellist Jay Campbell, harpist Julie Smith Phillips, and introduces soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, percussionist Sae Hashimoto, accordionist Ljubinka Kulisic, and bassist Rick Stotijn to Ojai audiences.


2024 Festival Schedule Highlights

  • Mitsuko Uchida performs each Festival evening in works by Schoenberg and Mozart
  • Works by Kaija Saariaho are woven throughout the Festival, including Dreaming Chaconne, Fall, Six Japanese Gardens, and Lichtbogen, conducted by Saariaho’s daughter, Aliisa Neige Barrière
  • Concert programs include the music of John Adams, Bartók, Biber, Cage, Debussy, Sofia Gubaidulina, Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Missy Mazzoli, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Stravinsky, Jörg Widmann, and John Zorn
  • In collaboration with Baryshnikov Arts, Shifting Ground features violinist Alexi Kenney and video projections by Xuan, juxtaposing Baroque works by Bach and Matteis, with recent music by Kaija Saariaho, Angélica Negrón, Paul Wiancko, and Salina Fisher
  • The Festival features music from both the First and Second Viennese Schools, from Haydn and Mozart to Berg, Webern, and multiple works by Arnold Schoenberg in honor of the 150th Anniversary of his birth

From Ara: A Year Filled with Memories

Dear Ojai Festival friends,

As the New Year approaches, it is only fitting to take a moment to reflect on the year that was at the Ojai Music Festival. Rhiannon Giddens was at the exhilarating center of this year’s Festival, illuminating everything she does with passion, formidable commitment, and heart. She is one of those artists who uses her gifts to make our understanding of the world broader and more whole.

And what a Festival it was, with discovery, adventure, and delight around every corner, from new music to old and everything in between, from Senegal to North Carolina, from Mexico to Iran, from Haydn to Squarepusher . . .

Photo by Jack Baran

Tan Dun’s pioneering Ghost Opera brought together the remarkable Wu Man, who was in on its creation, with a new generation of collaborators in the Attacca Quartet and dancer/choreographer PeiJu Chien Pott in a completely fresh re-thinking of the work. In late September, the production traveled East for performances at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in New York, another in a long tradition of Ojai-originated projects having creative ripple effects across the performing arts world.

Back home in Ojai, we celebrated the first-ever statewide California Festival of new music with a November concert – an engrossing and hugely inventive program of music by Reena Esmail, Dylan Mattingly, M.A. Tiesenga, and Samuel Adams, showcasing the creativity of a new generation of California composers. We were mesmerized by the Hindustani vocals of Saili Oak and encountered the electronic hurdy-gurdy!

Looking back on the year, I am filled with gratitude on every level at the company we keep – the artists, the staff, the many volunteers, the endlessly open and curious audiences, our gracious and generous donors. Thank you for being part of this boundless musical adventure!

And there is much more to come around the corner.  We can happily anticipate the 2024 Festival with the profound artistry of Mitsuko Uchida, joined by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and a host of gifted young artists in a characteristically wide-ranging program from Mozart to Kaija Saariaho.

More details about the Festival to come in January. See you in 2024!

In the meantime, all the warmest good wishes for a healthy, happy, and most of all, peaceful New Year,

Ara Guzelimian

Artistic and Executive Director


The artwork, FESTIVAL, created by Christopher Noxon.
Christopher Noxon paints and writes in Ojai, California. Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara featured his work in the 2023 exhibit “Betty Lane & Christopher Noxon: From One Generation to the Next.” His work is in the permanent collection of the Ojai Valley Museum and he’s shown at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles, the Santa Paula Art Museum and the Beatrice Woods Center for the Arts. His writing and illustrations have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic and New York Times Magazine. ChristopherNoxonArt.com


Fuel Your Musical Adventure

Celebrating Our Story

Celebrating Our Story

For the first time in our history, we’ve launched a comprehensive campaign to ensure that the Ojai experience you love can be sustained for future generations of musicians and audiences. The Festival is largely dependent on contributed income, which makes up 75% of our annual budget.   

With this campaign, we are looking to ensure the flourishing of this musical treasure for the future by commissioning new work, originating important artistic initiatives that have an impact beyond the Festival, as well as expanding our music education programs for students from pre-kindergarten to college. 

Look at what we have already accomplished with the campaign:

  • Re-imagined staging of Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera presented at the 2023 Ojai Festival. It was then produced at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in New York in the fall of 2023.
  • Commissioned Dylan Mattingly’s Sunt Lacrimae Rerum for the 2021 Festival. It was recently performed at the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella as part of the California Festival.
  • Created a new BRAVO composition program called SCORE for Ojai public high school students.

Our generous Board of Directors has taken up the challenge with 100% participation by way of additional campaign gifts and planned giving. We invite each of you to take part in this next chapter of our story. Join us by renewing your annual donation, and consider making a special campaign donation. Every gift counts towards the goals of this Future Forward campaign.   

This is a moment to celebrate our shared story, your vital part in our legacy, and most importantly, the vibrant future to come. Join us in our next chapter and help bring our Future Forward.


A Small Expense with a Great Impact

Throughout the year, the Ojai Music Festival prioritizes community, artistic curiosity, and innovative programs, culminating with our treasured Festival in June. The Festival’s year-round programs are made possible by donations from our loyal audience members, like you!

Recurring gifts allow you to give at the level and timing that works best with both your budget and schedule. They simultaneously allow the Festival to rely on a consistent, year-round revenue stream. 

From Ara: Music Now and What’s Ahead

Mitsuko Uchida and Mahler Chamber Orchestra

Dear friends, 

I am writing this in the blissful quiet following Thanksgiving, a pause from the usually hectic days and a chance to reflect with gratitude. We are in a particularly troubled moment across the world, with much sorrow, animosity, and division seemingly everywhere. And yet, the enduring pleasures of life also assert themselves – the company of loved ones, a walk in the brisk autumn air, the smile of a child playing, and always, the boundless rewards of music. 

I have been heartened by multiple musical joys these past few weeks. We’ve had the pleasure of presenting a California Festival concert at the Ojai Valley School’s Greenberg Center, our first “off-season” concert of new music in Ojai, one received with great enthusiasm and cheer. We delighted in the company of four exuberant and always inventive younger composers – Reena Esmail, M.A. Tiesenga, Dylan Mattingly, and Samuel Adams.  

I then flew almost immediately to London, to spend a few days in the company of Mitsuko Uchida, our 2024 Festival Music Director. We had several rewarding visits together, putting the finishing touches together for next year. Mitsuko first came to Ojai as a guest artist at the 50th anniversary Festival in 1996. Those of us with long Festival memories will recall that as one of the hottest (literally!) festivals ever, with Mitsuko playing a hypnotically beautiful Schubert B-Flat Sonata and then capping the week with the Ravel Piano Concerto in G, with Pierre Boulez and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mitsuko’s response to the overwhelming heat was to play the Schubert with even more beauty and greater concentration, creating an intense quiet of listening that defied the weather. It was one of those unforgettable experiences, where one sensed a collective joining together of audience and artist, living fully in every moment of the piece, where nothing else mattered. 

Mitsuko has always retained a special fondness for Ojai, and we are so fortunate to have her back. She is one of the most remarkable musicians of our time, someone who is constantly exploring and finding ever-deeper insights into everything she plays. Her lifelong passion for the Mozart piano concertos will be at the center of this year’s Festival, music that is constantly revealing new dimensions and humanity in her hands. She is joined by the musicians of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, her closest collaborators in recent years – a well-honed partnership of exuberance and discovery that continues to grow.  

Although Mitsuko is perhaps best known for her championing of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, she has had a close association with a number of today’s most vibrant composers in her role as an Artistic Director of the Marlboro Festival in Vermont. Each summer, she has personally invited a great musical thinker to be in residence at the celebrated chamber music festival, creating a fascinating intersection between tradition and innovation. We will happily benefit from these associations at Ojai next year with music by a number of these composers – Sofia Gubaidulina, Kaija Saariaho, Jörg Widmann, György Kurtág, and Helmut Lachenmann among them.

Mitsuko Uchida with Ara Guzelimian and Kaija Saariaho
L-R: Ara Guzelimian, Kaija Saariaho, and Mitsuko Uchida, July 2014, Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont.

The programming that is emerging from our conversations is completely true to Mitsuko Uchida – the eternal freshness of the Mozart piano concertos, new and recent music by the composers she values most, and a focus on the composers of the Second Viennese School. Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Schoenberg, a composer who is perpetually misunderstood. We will take a fresh listen to some of his most beautiful (yes, I did say beautiful!) works in the hands of musicians who believe deeply in the expressive power of this music. 

As we make the first preliminary announcement of the 2024 Festival, I hope you will take pleasure in the characteristic Ojai mix of the expected and unexpected, the new and the old, and always, the sense of discovery. In the coming months, we will have a chance to meet the artists, beginning with Mitsuko Uchida herself and do a deeper exploration of the music to be programmed.  

In closing, I want to linger again briefly in the spirit of the Thanksgiving just past by expressing my personal gratitude to each of you for your continued support of the Ojai Festival. We are fortunate to be in this music adventure together with you. 

Ara Guzelimian
Artistic and Executive Director 


2024 Festival Schedule

2024 Festival with Mitsuko Uchida artwork
Ojai Music Festival 06.06-06.09.24, Mitsuko Uchida Music Director

Join us for a curated journey, where music is the adventure, with the characteristic Ojai mix of new and old, familiar and unfamiliar, in the company of remarkable artists who bring vitality, freshness, and a sense of discovery to all that they do. Scroll down to view the 2024 Schedule.

This symbol indicates that this is a Beyond the Bowl event, not located at Libbey Bowl. Due to the intimate setting of these events, they are not automatically included in Libbey Bowl Passes and require the purchase of an additional ticket.

ON SALE NOW:
Day passes and single tickets

3:00PM OJAI TALKS
Ojai Presbyterian Church

Two-part session with Music Director Mitsuko Uchida and featured artists, hosted by Ara Guzelimian and John Schaefer of WQXR New Sounds.

Automatically included in 4-Day Libbey Bowl Passes.

8:00PM OPENING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Lucy Fitz Gibbon, soprano
Mitsuko Uchida, piano
Brentano String Quartet

HAYDN   String Quartet in C, “Bird” Op. 33, No. 3
SCHOENBERG   Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19
MOZART   Fantasy in D minor, K. 397
SCHOENBERG   String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10


8:00AM OJAI DAWNS
Zalk Theater, Besant Hill School

Jay Campbell, cello
Sae Hashimoto, percussion  
Ljubinka Kulisic, accordion

KAIJA SAARIAHO   Dreaming Chaconne
HELMUT LACHENMANN Interieur I            
HELMUT LACHENMANN Toccatina           
SOFIA GUBAIDULINA In Croce

Ojai Dawns is a Festival Donor Circle Event. Learn more here >

10:00AM MORNING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Julie Smith Phillips, harp
Jay Campbell, cello
Sae Hashimoto, percussion
Rick Stotijn, double bass
Brentano String Quartet

KAIJA SAARIAHO   Fall            
HELMUT LACHENMANN   Pression
SOFIA GUBAIDULINA   Five Etudes        
BARTÓK   String Quartet No. 5

3:30PM SHIFTING GROUND
Greenberg Center, Ojai Valley School

Alexi Kenney, violin
Xuan, visual artist

A unique program for solo violin and video projections juxtaposing Baroque works by Bach and Matteis with recent music by Kaija Saariaho, Angélica Negrón, Paul Wiancko, and Salina Fisher. Produced in collaboration with the Baryshnikov Arts, New York.

This performance is an add-on, separate from a Libbey Bowl pass. Click here to purchase >

8:00PM EVENING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Mitsuko Uchida, piano and director
José Maria Blumenschein, concertmaster and leader
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

STRAVINSKY   Fanfare for a New Theater
WEBERN   Five Movements for Strings, Op. 5
SCHOENBERG  Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
MOZART   Piano Concerto in E flat, K. 482


8:00AM MORNING MEDITATION
Chaparral Auditorium, 414 E Ojai Ave

Jay Campbell, cello

Program to be announced.

Free and open to the public.

10:00AM MORNING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Ljubinka Kulisic, accordion
Rick Stotijn, double bass
Musicians of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

JOHN ZORN Road Runner      
MISSY MAZZOLI   Dark with Excessive Bright
JOHN ADAMS   Shaker Loops

3:30PM SHIFTING GROUND
(repeat performance)
Greenberg Center, Ojai Valley School

Alexi Kenney, violin
Xuan, visual artist

A unique program for solo violin and video projections juxtaposing Baroque works by Bach and Matteis with recent music by Kaija Saariaho, Angélica Negrón, Paul Wiancko and Salina Fisher. Produced in collaboration with the Baryshnikov Arts, New York.

This performance is an add-on, separate from a Libbey Bowl pass. Click here >

8:00PM EVENING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Mitsuko Uchida, piano and director
Vicente Alberola, clarinet
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Johannes Lörstad, leader in Debussy
José Maria Blumenschein, concertmaster and leader in Saariaho

DEBUSSY (arr. SACHS)   Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
KAIJA SAARIAHO Lichtbogen
ESA-PEKKA SALONEN   Elegy (from kínēma)
MOZART Piano Concerto in B flat, K. 595


8:00AM MORNING MEDITATION
Chaparral Auditorium, 414 E Ojai Ave

Ljubinka Kulisic, accordion

Music of John Cage

Free and open to the public.

10:00AM MORNING CONCERT
Libbey Bowl

Alexi Kenney, violin
Jay Campbell, cello
Ljubinka Kulisic, accordion
Sae Hashimoto, percussion
Brentano String Quartet

BIBER  Passacaglia for solo violin
KAIJA SAARIAHO  Six Japanese Gardens
HAYDN From The Seven Last Words of Christ
SOFIA GUBAIDULINA  In Croce

2:30PM KAFKA FRAGMENTS
Greenberg Activity Center

Lucy Fitz Gibbon, soprano
Alexi Kenney, violin

KURTÁG Kafka Fragments

Kurtág’s eloquent setting of fragments from Kafka’s diaries weaves together singer and violinist into a deeply personal dialogue, a reflection on life’s joys, trials and the “dances of time.”

This is a Donor Circle event. Learn more here >

4:00PM COMMUNITY EVENT
Libbey Park

Join us for a free concert in the park!

5:30PM FINALE
Libbey Bowl

Mitsuko Uchida, piano and director
José Maria Blumenschein, concertmaster and leader
Mahler Chamber Orchestra

HAYDN   Symphony No. 46 in B Major
JÖRG WIDMANN Chorale Quartet
MOZART Piano Concerto in G, K. 453

Programs and artists are subject to change.

Click here to download a one-page (double-sided) printable PDF of the 2024 schedule >

What the Festival Means to Me

Ojai Music Festival Audience Sunday Concert

The Ojai Music Festival is long known for being a place for experimentation, exploration, and interaction. We are in awe of our patrons, returning and new, who share the experience with the artists and community, and equally important, their feedback and insights every year.  We thank you for making the time to share your personal “What the Festival Means to You.” 


It means the joy of discovery and communication through music. It means openness to experience, willingness to engage deeply with something and give it a chance to touch your soul and change you forever…


This is a world-class musical event in a small-town atmosphere, which is a unique and delightful pairing.

The experience of live music in an outdoor setting that is more intimate than a concert hall.

“An inspirational weekend with incredible performers, devoted audience, and unpredictable concerts. We always find something weird and something wonderful throughout the events.”

Patrons entering the bowl before a concert, conversing and smiling

Do you have questions? We’ve got answers!


Creative Lab concert launches during the California Festival

The Ojai Music Festival was delighted to participate in the California Festival, a statewide initiative organized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. This showcase of 100-plus California organizations, which runs from November 3 to 19, closely aligned with the Ojai Festival mission and history in celebrating new and adventurous music.

Our performance was a “maiden voyage” of presenting a non-summer concert on November 11 at the Greenberg Center, Ojai Valley School in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With a supportive and enthusiastic audience, the program presented smaller-scale recent works by Samuel Carl Adams, Reena Esmail, Dylan Mattingly, and M.A. Tiesenga, performed by pianist Conor Hanick, clarinetist Sérgio Coelho, vibraphone player Sidney Hopson, violinist Gallia Kastner, vocalist Saili Oak, multi-instrumentalist M.A. Tiesenga, and Zelter String Quartet. These same forward-looking composers were then featured at the Green Umbrella concert, at the Walt Disney Hall, on November 14.

Take a look at some of our favorite moments from our Creative Lab concert on November 11 in Ojai. Special thanks to the Ojai Valley School.

photos by © Timothy Teague


LA Phil’s Green Umbrella: Chaparral and Interstates

photos by © Nick Rutter

That’s a Wrap!

On behalf of the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee, thank you so much for another wonderful year of this fabulous tradition! Keep your eye on your inbox for a survey from us. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you for shopping at the Holiday Marketplace! We hope this is not the last you see of the incredible vendors. Please visit the link below to connect with them on their websites and social media! 

Mark your calendar for next year: November 9 and 10, 2024

The Ojai Holiday Home Tour and Marketplace is a benefit for the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO Music Education & Community Programs. By supporting this treasured tradition, you ensure that the Festival continues providing free music education in Ojai public elementary schools and presenting the internationally renowned 78th Festival, June 6-9, 2024. Your support for BRAVO is deeply appreciated.

Creative Lab: Program Notes

Saturday, November 11, 2023 | 7:30pm
Greenberg Center, Ojai Valley School

Reena ESMAIL Ragamala (2015)
Saili Oak, vocals | Zelter Quartet: Kyle Gilner and Gallia Kastner, violins, Carson Rick, viola, Allan Hon, cello
I. Fantasie – Bihag Overlay
II. Scherzo – Malkauns
III. Recitativo – Basant
IV. Rondo – Jog

Samuel Carl ADAMS Études (2023)
Conor Hanick, piano
I. Clear, resonant
II. Rippling
III. Steady, quiet
IV. Pulsing
V. Rippling
VI. Steady, with a full sound
VII. Clear, resonant
Performed without pause

Dylan MATTINGLY After the Rain (2017)
Sérgio Coelho, clarinet | Gallia Kastner, violin | Sidney Hopson, vibraphone

M.A. TIESENGA Ganymēdēs (Arr. 2023)
M.A. Tiesenga, multi-instrumentalist | Zelter Quartet

There will no intermission during the performance. Running time of concert is apx. 80 minutes.

This concert is produced in conjunction with a Green Umbrella program by the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, featuring different, larger-scale works by the same four composers on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Visit CAFestival.Org for more information about the California Festival


Program Notes

Today’s program gives us four pieces of distinct instrumentations and characters. While unique in their own musical content, each composition invites us to listen to how a single idea or micro-structure can develop into the larger architecture of an entire piece. This may be through the magic of the repeated introduction in Reena Esmail’s Ragamala, or through the intricate, mirror-like form of Samuel Adams’ Etudes. Or perhaps more abstractly, you might experience the dilation of a single fleeting moment in Dylan Mattingly’s After the Rain, or hear how the electroacoustic hurdy gurdy in M.A. Tiesenga’s Ganymēdēs can be the centerpiece of disparate dichotomies.

Ragamala—Reena Esmail
In a synthesis of Hindustani and Western classical music traditions, Reena Esmail’s Ragamala, for string quartet and Hindustani vocal improvisation, takes us through four seamless movements of both contemplation and vivaciousness. While each movement uses a different traditional raag as its basis, they all begin with the same musical introduction—an idea inspired by the beautiful audience-artist connection that Esmail experienced during raag performances in India: “When the artist would announce the raag to be sung or played that evening…the audience would begin humming the characteristic phrases or ‘pakads’ of that raag quietly to themselves…It had a magical feeling – as if that raag was present in the air, and tiny wisps of it were already starting to precipitate into the audible world…”

This magical feeling of musical wisps in the air permeates Ragamala beyond the introductory material and is carried throughout all four of the varied movements. The piece opens with “Fantasie – Bihag Overlay,” in which the melodies of each player dance and intertwine with each other in a push-and-pull between reflection and restlessness. The second movement, “Scherzo – Malkauns” slowly unfolds into a lively, upbeat setting of the Malkauns raag. “Recitativo – Basant,” uses a raag traditionally associated with springtime, embodied here by the solo cello which leads the rest of the quartet in a soulful call and response. “Rondo – Jog,” is a varied and rhythmically complex final movement that lifts the music joyously before returning to its final, contemplative ending.

Études—Samuel Carl Adams
Études was written for a premiere at Music Academy of the West by six pianists who alternated playing each separate movement. With this in mind, Samuel Carl Adams found that “The challenge in writing the piece was to create a set of short pieces that could both work as strung together in a seamless performance with multiple pianists as well as with one pianist doing the whole thing.” This challenge led Adams to compose a long-form take on the traditionally short forms of études, or musical studies.

In Études, each movement serves as its own étude, but rather than compiling seven unrelated technical studies, Adams writes each movement in sets of corresponding pairs: 1 with 7, 2 with 5, and 3 with 6. Études 1 and 7 focus on the nuances of resonance and pedaling, while 2 and 5 “challenge the pianist to create a sustained, rippling, and polyrhythmic surface above a river of constantly shifting harmonies.” Études 3 and 6 explore the interaction of contrapuntal lines that expand and contract over an unpredictable bassline. This leaves the lone middle movement, étude 4, which “stands alone as the only movement without a twin, showcasing the extreme dynamic range of the piano. It consists of a series of brightly hued bell-like gestures that hover over an almost imperceptibly quiet pulse, serving as the keystone of the seven-movement arc.”

Because the movements are performed seamlessly without pause, the overarching form of the piece becomes that of large mirror image, with étude 4 at its center. This creates, in essence, one large étude in itself that “goes beyond the material and individual technical challenges and becomes, in addition, about a kind of study in long-form structure.”

Études (vol. 1) was commissioned by Music Academy of the West. The first performance was given by the Piano Fellows of the Music Academy on July 17, 2023 at Hahn Hall, Santa Barbara, CA.

After the Rain—Dylan Mattingly
After the Rain is part of a series of works Dylan Mattingly composed that seeks to capture the essence of those most beautiful yet fleeting moments in life. “Each work in this series is devoted to a single moment of joy, a chance to focus for an instant on the transient communal ecstasies of being alive on this planet — walking along the ocean in excited conversation, finding ourselves in the endless dark between the stars or by the midnight Pacific in the saltspray, or hearing the rise and fall of breathtides from someone still asleep in the next room, or the smell of grass after the rain.”

We can unmistakably imagine just what moment Mattingly is capturing in After the Rain, as droplets of detuned pitches and rhythmic patterns shift kaleidoscopically in the piece’s opening. In this first section, rather than following a single melody or instrument, we are instead absorbed into the luminosity of the contrasting tunings and rhythmic interplay. After building in intensity, the piece takes on a more relaxed flow, with the clarinet shining above the hushed beads of the violin and vibraphone. This easier pace is short lived, however. The music gradually builds through a clever transition that lands us back to the original buoyancy of the opening, propelling the piece toward its exuberant end.

Ganymēdēs—M.A. Tiesenga
M.A. Tiesenga’s Ganymēdēs is part of a larger project, Wheel / Orb / Body, that uses the electroacoustic hurdy gurdy to explore the space between science and divination. For Tiesenga, this unique instrument is the perfect medium for bridging the past and the present, the celestial and the tangible, and the consonant and the dissonant. They note that “Despite its complexity, its basic mechanics have remained the same for almost a thousand years. Used for generating sound in the era of music of the spheres, the vielle becomes a vehicle for divination. The sound of the instrument that we hear today is not too different from the sounds that would have been heard resonating in monasteries centuries ago.”

With the electroacoustic hurdy gurdy as the centerpiece, Ganymēdēs, is “a microtonal homage to the ascension / abduction of Ganymede by the Aetos Dios, the eagle of Zeus.” In this Greek myth, Zeus deems Ganymede the most beautiful of all mortals and abducts him to be his personal servant. The tension of the music we’ll hear in Ganymēdēs reflects the contradictions Tiesenga sees in societal interpretations of this myth: “The plot of this myth in particular is particularly interesting to me because the distillation of the horrific violence that’s described – an atrocity, by modern standards – is so starkly contrasted with the deep romanticization of the story.”

Beyond the contrasting elements of the music, the compositional components of the piece add an additional symbolic layer. According to some versions of the myth, Zeus also puts Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius. In recognition of this, the form, gestural shape, and pitch content of Ganymēdēs are derived from the shape and spatial relationships of the Aquarius constellation.

Bios

Samuel Carl Adams

Samuel Carl Adams (b. 1985) is an American composer whose music weaves acoustic and digital sound into “mesmerizing” (New York Times) orchestrations. Sought after by orchestras and contemporary ensembles alike, he has received commissions from a broad range of organizations including San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Spektral Quartet, and has collaborated with performers and conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, MTT, violinists Anthony Marwood, Jennifer Koh, Karen Gomyo, and pianists Emanuel Ax, Sarah Cahill, David Fung, and Joyce Yang. 

The 2022-23 season highlights several world premieres including Echo Transcriptions, a new work for electric violin and orchestra commissioned by the Australian Chamber Orchestra for Richard Tognetti. The work will be taken on a national tour of Australia in late 2022 and will receive North American performances in California and Toronto the following Spring. In February, pianist Conor Hanick and the San Francisco Symphony premiere a new work under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the following week, the Cincinnati Symphony premieres Adams’s Variations, a 2020 orchestral work co-commissioned by the CSO and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Other season highlights include a performance of Adams’s 2017 Chamber Concerto with violinist Karen Gomyo and the release of a new record featuring the Chicago-based Spektral Quartet.

Adams was Mead Composer In Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2015 to 2018 and in the 2021-22 season was the Composer in Residence with Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has held residencies at Civitella Ranieri (Umbria, IT), Djerassi Resident Artists Program (California, USA), Ucross (Wyoming, USA), and Visby International Centre for Composers (Gotland, SE). He is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow and lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Visit Samuel Carl Adams’ Website

Reena Esmail

Indian-American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, and brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. 

Esmail’s life and music was profiled on Season 3 of PBS Great Performances series Now Hear This, as well as Frame of Mind, a podcast from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Esmail divides her attention evenly between orchestral, chamber and choral work. She has written commissions for ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale,  Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Kronos Quartet, and her music has featured on multiple Grammy-nominated albums, including The Singing Guitar by Conspirare, BRUITS by Imani Winds, and Healing Modes by Brooklyn Rider. Many of her choral works are published by Oxford University Press.

Esmail is the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2020-2025 Swan Family Artist in Residence, and was Seattle Symphony’s 2020-21 Composer-in-Residence. She also holds awards/fellowships from United States Artists, the S&R Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Kennedy Center.

Esmail holds degrees in composition from The Juilliard School (BM’05) and the Yale School of Music (MM’11, MMA’14, DMA’18). Her primary teachers have included Susan Botti, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Christopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. She received a Fulbright-Nehru grant to study Hindustani music in India. Her Hindustani music teachers include Srimati Lakshmi Shankar and Gaurav Mazumdar, and she currently studies and collaborates with Saili Oak. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Finding Common Ground: Uniting Practices in Hindustani and Western Art Musicians explores the methods and challenges of the collaborative process between Hindustani musicians and Western composers.

Esmail was Composer-in-Residence for Street Symphony (2016-18) and is currently an Artistic Director of Shastra, a non-profit organization that promotes cross-cultural music connecting music traditions of India and the West.

She currently resides in her hometown of Los Angeles, California.

Visit Reena Ismail’s Website

Sérgio Coelho

Sérgio Coelho was born in Portugal where he started learning clarinet and piano at the age of 9. Later he became a freelance musician and instructor in his native country where he performed regularly with the Orchestra Artave, Orchestra APROARTE and the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra. He taught at the Academia da Sociedade Filarmónica Vizelense and Escola das Artes do Alentejo Litoral where he maintained his clarinet studio and conducted youth orchestras.

Presently Coelho is a freelance musician in the Los Angeles area and he is the principal clarinet of the American Youth Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly with orchestras from Los Angeles area such as Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Downey Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Sinfonietta and the Dream Orchestra. He was selected to be a substitute for the New World Symphony Orchestra and Runner-up for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Lead by passion by motion pictures, he recorded for some movies and television shows such as the Netflix show “Chefs Table”. Coelho demonstrates a great passion for new music.

As a member and founder of the woodwind trio “Sirius Trivium”, he won competitions and performed in festivals like the Harmus Festival in Oporto (2013) and the Festival Internacional de Música de Piantón during the summers of 2013 and 2014, where he performed and taught masterclasses.

Coelho made collaborated with the National Repertory Orchestra Festival and the Eastern Sierra Symphony Festival. In 2018 Coelho was invited to collaborate with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand) during one month. As a soloist he had the opportunity to perform a solo with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra and the USC Symphony Orchestra. About Coelho’s performance, Chad Lonski from the “Daily Trojan Newspaper” (Los Angeles, CA) described his interpretation of the Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto stating that, “Coelho’s performance was superb, to say the least, showcasing the heights of clarinet proficiency and taking the clarinet to its limits.” As a winner of the American Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, recently Coelho had the opportunity to perform the Corigliano clarinet concerto with this orchestra.

Coelho won prizes in national and international competitions such as: 1st Prize Winner, American Youth Symphony Concerto Competition (2018, USA), Semifinalist of the Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition (2018, Japan), 1st Prize Winner, University of Southern California Concerto Competition (2015, USA), 2nd Prize Winner, Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition (2014, USA), First Prize Winner, Inatel Prize (soloist prize from the Academia Superior de Orquestra da Metropolitana) (2013, Portugal), 3rd Prize Winner of the 8th Saverio Mercadante International Clarinet Competition (2012, Italy).

Coelho graduated with a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, studying with Mr. Yehuda Gilad. During his Masters of Music degree he became a fellow of the Latin Grammy Awards Foundation after being selected for a scholarship from this institution. Coelho received his Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet and Orchestra Performance in the Metropolitan National Academy of Orchestra, Portugal, where he studied with Mr. Nuno Silva.

Currently, he is pursuing an Artist Diploma Degree at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Mr. Yehuda Gilad.

Conor Hanick

Pianist Conor Hanick is regarded as one of his generation’s most inquisitive interpreters of music new and old whose “technical refinement, color, crispness and wondrous variety of articulation benefit works by any master.” (New York Times) Hanick has recently performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, been presented by the Gilmore Festival, New York Philharmonic, Elbphilharmonie, De Singel, Caramoor, Cal Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Park Avenue Armory, and worked with conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ludovic Morlot, Alan Gilbert, and David Robertson.

A fierce advocate for the music of today, Hanick has premiered over 200 pieces and collaborated with composers ranging from Pierre Boulez, Kaija Saariaho, and Steve Reich, to the leading composers of his generation, including Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, Samuel Carl Adams, and Anthony Cheung. This season Hanick presents recitals in the US and Europe, including performances with Julia Bullock, Jay Campbell, Joshua Roman, Seth Parker Woods, AMOC (American Modern Opera Company), and the Takt Trio. Hanick also makes his San Francisco Performances debut at Herbst Theater, joins Sandbox Percussion at 92NY, returns to the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and, in Ojai as part of the California Festival, performs a new set of piano etudes by Samuel Carl Adams, whose piano concerto No Such Spring Hanick premiered last year to wide acclaim with the San Francisco Symphony and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Hanick is the director of Solo Piano at the Music Academy of the West and serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Mannes College, and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Visit Conor Hanick’s Website

Sidney Hopson

The epitome of the citizen-artist, Sidney Hopson slams out rhythms, articulates the power of the arts, and defines how culture orgs should act, like no one we’ve ever met. Genius of the dad joke, and aspiring curry-ist, Hopson’s mic is never unmuted at the wrong time on a digital meeting. He’s built a music program in Jordan to deter refugee-artists and their communities from joining regional terror organizations (who sought to exploit their economic vulnerability and despair). He’s designed and co-produced shows that challenged archaic notions of legitimacy and power, and actively worked to develop the platform of a political candidate whom he subsequently voted for. He’s failed over and over and (he reports) “often in rapid succession,” but he’s kept going. Hopson has made music with Peter Eötvös, Adele, Stevie Wonder, Ellen Reid, Garrett McQueen, Rhianna, and John Williams. He’s currently authoring a series of essays on the case for – and against – establishing a U.S. Secretary of Culture, Media, & Sport, developing domestic and foreign arts policy platform proposals for the Biden-Harris Administration, and perfecting his panang curry recipe.

Bio from the Wild Up Website

Dylan Mattingly

Dylan Mattingly is a composer who creates music which offers ecstatic, transformative experience and provides an opportunity to alter the way we see our world and place within it. Many of Mattingly’s projects exist on a massive scale, the results of a dedication to the pursuit of bringing to life the most meaningful projects in the wild reaches of imagination — wherever that path leads — and building a path for the realization of these dreamworks from the ground up, often across many years. This practice has been informed by the decade-long process of creating, developing, and bringing to life Stranger Love, an ecstatic 6-hour durational opera, which offers a grand celebration of being alive. Stranger Love will see its premiere on May 20, 2023 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, commissioned by the LA Phil and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. At the heart of all of Mattingly’s work is a commitment to joy, and to what Hannah Arendt refers to as amor mundi — an ever-renewing quest to find the capacity to love the world, in the complex totality of its experience.

Mattingly’s music has been described as “gorgeous” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “transcendent” and “the most poignantly entrancing passages of beautiful music in recent memory” by LA Weekly, and “in the pantheon of contemporary American composers” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Additionally, Mattingly is the Executive and Co-artistic Director of the NYC-based new-music ensemble Contemporaneous. With Contemporaneous, much of his work has focused on creating an opportunity for other composers and musical creators to follow their own wildest dreams, dedicating the resources of the organization to the creation of large-scale new work and allowing artists a path to create the work they most want to create, regardless of scale and conventional practical constraints.

Mattingly’s music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ojai Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Berkeley Symphony, the Del Sol String Quartet, Sarah Cahill, Kathleen Supové, the Albany Symphony, Contemporaneous, ZOFO Duet, John Adams, Marin Alsop, and many others. Mattingly was the Musical America “New Artist of the Month” for February 2013 and was awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016. Mattingly has held residencies at the Ucross Foundation, Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology, and holds a B.A. in Classics from Bard College, a B.M. in Music Composition from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music. Mattingly lives in Berkeley, CA with his partner Hannah and dog Oly.

Visit Dylan Mattingly’s Website

Saili Oak

A native of Mumbai, began studying music at the age of 3. A finalist on the popular reality TV series “Zee Marathi SaReGaMaPa,” Oak is a senior disciple of Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a leading vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. Oak won the All India Classical music competition when she was barely 17. She completed her Sangeet Visharad from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal and has earned awards including the prestigious Pt.Jasraj Yuva Award, Pt Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Award, and the Gaanwardhan Award. Her performances have been admired for her meticulous architecture of ‘khayal,’ her systematic and well-crafted raga exploration and impressive command over the ‘laya.’

Oak is also known for her distinguished work in the Indian/Western Classical music crossover space. She has performed with notable western music ensembles including the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Tonality choir, Salastina Music Society. She has been featured on several albums including ‘Beyond’, ‘American Mirror’, ‘Sing about it’ and ‘KALA’.

Oak serves as the Programs Director of a non-profit organization ‘Shastra’, where she co-hosts the “Composing with Indian Voice” annual workshop in the U.S., and “Raga Meets Symphony” in India. She is also a Vocal Mentor for the non-profit organization Street Symphony in Los Angeles.

A passionate educator, Oak maintains a vocal studio ‘SailiMusic’ where she trains the next generation of upcoming artists and is a frequent guest speaker, panelist and workshop participant at conferences and universities across America. She has presented her work at the Composition in Asia Conference at the University of South Florida, taught master classes at the Salem State University, Smith College in Northampton MA, Kaufmann Music Center NY, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Apart from her musical training, Oak also holds a Master’s Degree in Accountancy and has completed the Chartered Financial Analyst Program by the CFA Institute, USA.

Visit Saili Oak’s Website

M.A. Tiesenga

M.A. Tiesenga is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice delves into the intricate interplay of procedure and enaction within collaborative performance contexts, deftly shaping these dynamics through various idioms. Inspired by an affinity for the outdoors and puzzles, Tiesenga draws analogies between these concepts and the art of cartography, illuminating the parallels between a map and a musical score. This exploration opens doors to musically navigate, inhabit, and realize theoretical terrains.

As a composer, interdisciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist, and improviser, Tiesenga seamlessly merges these creative identities, emphasizing the power of connection in their work. Tiesenga ventures beyond conventional score-making and interpretation, embracing the potential of expanded notation systems. Their lifelong passion for collage, maps, and asemic languages fuels an enchantment with encoding and decoding creative territories, allowing lexical approaches to transform into palpable musical expressions. Within their artistic vision, Tiesenga seeks to convey inner worlds where protocols and rules converge with intuition and mystique.

Tiesenga’s creative collaborations include work with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Wild Up, Théâtre Musical Tokyo, Long Beach Opera, Kunsthalle for Music, SPEAK Percussion, Dog Star Orchestra, Ensemble Supermusique, and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, California Institute for the Arts, Yale University, and Darmstädter Ferienkurse. 

Tiesenga holds an MFA in Experimental Sound Practices and an MFA in Experimental Animation with a Concentration in Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, where they studied with Michael Pisaro, Sara Roberts, Eyvind Kang, Alexander Stewart, Pia Borg, and Tom Leeser. Previously, Tiesenga earned a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in saxophone performance under the guidance of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin.

Visit M.A. Tiesenga’s Website

Zelter Quartet

Praised by LA Opus for their “seemingly effortless precision and blend”, the Zelter String Quartet formed in Los Angeles in 2018. Recently, the quartet was awarded First Prize of the 2023 Plowman Chamber Music Competition, as well as being the Gold Prize Winners of the 2021 Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet is comprised of violinists Kyle Gilner and Gallia Kastner, violist Carson Rick, and cellist Allan Hon. In 2019, the Zelter String Quartet was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, where they worked with members of the St. Lawrence and Danish String Quartets. They were also invited to participate in the Rencontres Franco-Américaines de Musique de Chambre as part of the USC Thornton School of Music Ofiesh Chamber Music Competition in the Saint-Gildas-des-Bois area of France in 2020. Most recently, they participated in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, and the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival, where they worked with the Pacifica, Escher, and American String Quartets.

Visit the Zelter Quartet’s Website


From Ara: Music at this Moment

Dear friends, 

I am writing on an impossibly beautiful Ojai afternoon, as a lingering summer breeze warms this autumn afternoon. The serenity of this setting is a startling contrast to the current moment, with such anguish and tragedy across the world. 

It is often tempting to regard music and the arts as either a balm or an escape from the sorrows of the world around us. In reality, music is one of the truest utterances of simply being human and, as such, reflects the entire range of our experience. In a speech that the stage director (and 2016 Ojai Music Director) Peter Sellars gave many years ago, he observed that our individual response to the arts remains one of the few truly private experiences left to each of us. 

And so, in response to the turmoil around us, I found myself listening to one of Mozart’s most personal and inward pieces, a work that seems to contain a deeply private world of sorrow.

Not coincidentally, it is also a reminder of the sublime artistry of pianist Mitsuko Uchida, who will grace the 2024 Ojai Festival as our Music Director. 

Another of our 2024 Festival artists, clarinetist Anthony McGill, found solace during the isolation of the pandemic in a work by composer Jessie Montgomery that directly reflected her experience as an artist alone. The result is a meditative, quietly personal work that has the duality of being utterly private yet creates a communicative arc that reaches outward to each of us. 

And here is the complete work: 

We are so fortunate in the company we keep. In the coming weeks, we will be making the initial announcement of the program highlights for the 2024 Festival. Stay tuned…

The Ojai Festival’s long history of musical discovery and innovation has found its match in the upcoming California Festival – co-created by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego, and San Francisco Symphonies – to celebrate new music across the state during two weeks in November. A remarkable 100 organizations are taking part across the state, vivid testimony to vibrant the creativity to be found here. We are delighted to be participating with a special concert in Ojai on November 11, at the Ojai Valley School’s Greenberg Center – a site of numerous special events during the past two summer festivals. The program celebrates four of the freshest voices in a new generation of California composers: Reena Esmail, Dylan Mattingly, M.A. Tiesenga and Samuel Carl Adams, with works composed as recently as this year. Pianist Conor Hanick, fondly remembered from his performances as a member of AMOC* in the 2022 Ojai Festival, will be joined by a group of gifted young Southern California musicians, including composer M.A. Tiesenga playing the electronic hurdy-gurdy (when was the last time you encountered that?). The evening also includes a reception with the composers and performers. Click the button below for more details:

While our response to a work of art may be the ultimate private experience, there is much joy and comfort to be found in our community of people who gather together to experience the arts. I look forward to being in your company in the coming weeks and months.  

With renewed gratitude and warm regards, 

Ara Guzelimian
Artistic and Executive Director 


Virtual Ojai Talks November 7

Meet the 2023 Holiday Home Tour Designers


Annie Mosites, Free Range Interior Design

Designer, Gwynne Cottage

Annie Mosites, founder and principal designer of Free Range Interior Design, was brought up in Pittsburgh, PA in a family that instilled in her a love of art, architecture, and design. Her upbringing nurtured a fervor for designing visually stunning environments that seamlessly blend unique and high-quality elements into a room. 

Later, a 10-year stay in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming provided her with a deep understanding of the interplay between nature and design. The rugged beauty of the natural surroundings, the use of organic materials, and the rustic charm of mountain towns all had a significant impact on Annie’s design philosophy. 

After her time in the mountains, Annie relocated to Ventura where she founded Free Range Interior Design. Her unique perspective from living in the city, mountains and now the coast is reflected throughout her designs. With projects throughout the country, Free Range’s mission is to create beautiful, timeless, and cohesive designs unique to its clients and the environment in which they are building.  

Annie believes that every space should reflect the client’s unique personality and location. She is delighted to have collaborated with the homeowner of Gwynne Cottage to add holiday floral designs to a home that reflects her love of a cozy, eclectic, and calming space, full of warm earthy color and a lifetime collection of unique treasures. 


Lila Glasoe Francese, OHI HOME

Designer, Oak Creek Oasis

Lila Glasoe Francese is the co-owner of OHI HOME, LLC an Ojai-based home staging and styling company she founded alongside her husband Dines in 2009.  Lila began her career in Los Angeles, as a personal assistant to studio heads and producers. She found inspiration from the notable designers working in their homes.  

Lila and her husband Dines began buying, redesigning, and selling homes in 2001. This allowed them to leave Los Angeles in 2006 and purchase a home in Ojai, not far from where Dines was raised. When their daughter began Oak Grove School in 2008, their vision for OHI HOME was set into motion. Almost 15 years later, they continue to create one-of-a-kind interiors.  

Lila believes when she acts as a designer, her job is to elevate her client’s vision for their home. Her pleasure is when staging clients become design clients and friends, as occurred with the homeowners of Oak Creek Oasis. After staging their former home for sale, they reconnected with her to assist in the redesign of the kitchen and bathrooms of their current home. Continuing their bond of friendship and design compatibility, they have enjoyed a rich and rewarding experience staging holiday decor for this year’s Home Tour.  

Lila’s home staging and interior design work has been featured in the Architectural  

Digest, Dwell, Ventana, and other publications. Her work can also be seen on Houzz.com and on her blog ohihomestyle.com. She is also an award-winning author, speaker and founder of Ojai’s non-profit art foundation, The Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation and it’s initiative The Ojai Institute. 


Kim Barnes

Designer, Maison Ojai

A home is a means of creative expression reflecting the changes that one goes through in life. Designer John Wheatman wrote, “a good house is never done.” Kim Barnes believes this applies to more than houses.  

Kim’s life as a San Francisco-based, hard driving publishing and internet executive took a turn when a 1998 one-week vacation evolved into a single-woman idyll revolving around a “castle” near Aix En Provence with French friends. Two years later, resolving to create “Provence in her own backyard,” Kim returned to San Francisco and became immersed in selling luxury property. While there was never a time that Kim wasn’t styling and redoing homes for friends and family, her design talents took flight making her real estate clients’ homes memorable from opening the door to closing the sale.  

Kim’s drive to beautify also led her to found and direct the successful “Friends of Lafayette Park” in Pacific Heights for which she was honored in 2009 by then Mayor Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi.   

Change happens. In 2018, Kim and her new husband, Clay Creasey who yearned for the farm of his youth, went on a quest that brought them to Ojai where they created Maison Ojai – an homage to beautiful memories. Kim’s highest values of beauty and friendship find expression in her home with its natural setting and outdoor spaces created for welcoming others to enjoy it. John Wheatman would be pleased to know that more surprises are in store at Maison Ojai.  

Lynn Malone

Floral Designs, Maison Ojai

The previous owner of Digs, one of Ojai’s favorite floral design studios, and for many years, one of the Holiday Home Tour’s stand-out designers, Lynn is happy to return this year to collaborate with homeowner, Kim Barnes, of Maison Ojai. Together they have designed an organic, yet sophisticated holiday palette inspired by the home’s natural surroundings and it’s stunning interior. So much inspiration abounds in this home and surrounding gardens, you won’t want to leave! When you do, we hope you’ll take some unique Holiday design inspiration home for yourself. 


Elizabeth Cohn, Forage Ojai

Designer, Smiley’s House

Elizabeth Cohn is a professional real estate investor, interior designer, and floral designer with over 25 years of experience. She is passionate about creating beautiful and functional spaces that reflect her clients’ unique personalities and styles.  

Liz loves to travel the world for inspiration, and her designs often incorporate elements from different cultures and traditions. When she isn’t off exploring the world, or with her family at one of their vacation rentals, she enjoys being at home in Ojai creating florals for weddings and events in her design studio, Forage Ojai.  

As a floral designer, Liz has a deep understanding of the power of flowers and botanicals to transform a space and create a mood. Liz is particularly excited to design fall and Thanksgiving arrangements for this home in Ojai. She sees this as an opportunity to create florals that are both inspired by the natural beauty of the area and reflective of the home’s unique style. 

2024 Virtual Ojai Talks – Meet the Artists 4/30

Get an inside look at the creative process with our free Virtual Ojai Talks, where we celebrate the intersection of music and ideas with the 2024 Festival artists, composers, innovators, and thinkers. Virtual Talks are free and open to the musically curious!


Meet the Artists
April 30, 2024, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom

Before the Festival, get to know a few of our featured artists making their Ojai Festival debuts – soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, accordionist Ljubinka Kulicic, and percussionist Sae Hashimoto – in conversation with Ara Guzelimian.

RSVP here >

Ojai Music Festival

VIRTUAL OJAI TALKS:
A EUROPEAN GRAND TOUR: GUBAIDULINA, LACHENMANN, AND SAARIAHO
 
WED APRIL 3
5:30 - 6:30PM
A European Grand Tour
April 3, 2024, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom

Our music exploration continues with Ara Guzelimian’s personal introduction of three fascinating composers featured at this year’s Festival. Explore the lives and music of Sofia Gubaidulina, Helmut Lachenmann, and Kaija Saariaho, illustrated with music samples and selected videos. Join us as we prepare for another adventure in Ojai this June with pianist Mitsuko Uchida as music director.

(past event)

Click here to view the resources referenced in this talk.

Ojai Music Festival
Learning to Love Schoenberg
VIRTUAL OJAI TALKS: Ara Guzelimian
WED 02.21.24
5:30-6:30PM PT
Learning to Love Schoenberg
February 21, 2024, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom

Arnold Schoenberg remains one of the most misunderstood and elusive of all composers. The stereotypical image is that of a fearsome modernist, his music shattering everything that preceded him. Ara feels differently, hearing Schoenberg’s most compelling works as a profound evolution, an outgrowth of the paths of Wagner and Mahler, among others. Join us for an insightful introduction to this towering figure, with music and even rare home movies of him in the company of Chaplin and Gershwin.

Click here to view the sources and resources referenced in this talk.


TUE NOV 7. 2023
5:30-6:30PM PT
Conversation with Ara Guzelimian
with guest host Gail Eichenthal
 
Conversations with Ara Guzelimian
November 7, 2023, 5:30-6:30pm
Zoom

It’s Ara’s turn! We’ve enjoyed our past Virtual Ojai Talks where Artistic and Executive Director Ara Guzelimian interviews guest artists and composers. Now we’ve turned the tables on him…Enjoy a conversation between Ara and host Gail Eichenthal, who are long-time friends, about returning to Ojai, working with Mitsuko Uchida, and what to expect for the 2024 Festival (June 6-9).

About Gail Eichenthal 
Gail Eichenthal is a veteran broadcast journalist and the chief engagement officer of Classical California.  

Gail’s ties to Ojai are deep: as a UCLA chorister, she sang with the LA Master Chorale at the Ojai Festival in the the mid-1970’s under Michael Tilson Thomas. She produced and hosted live Ojai Festival concert broadcasts on KUSC in the 1980s. And more recently, she helped inaugurate the Festival’s live webcasts. 

Gail began her association with KUSC as an intern. The internship turned into a job. Two years later, at 25, she became the first woman to host the national radio broadcasts of a major American orchestra as the “voice of the Los Angeles Philharmonic” for more than 20 years, during which she worked closely with Ara Guzeimian.  

From 1994 to 2005, Gail expanded her career into broadcast news and was an award-winning reporter and anchor at KNX, the CBS news affiliate in Los Angeles. Gail has written for the LA Times and many other publications.  


2023 Holiday Marketplace

UPDATE: ALL TICKET SALES FOR THE HOME TOUR HAVE NOW CLOSED11.11.23

Saturday and Sunday, November 11 & 12, 2023
10am to 4:30pm

Libbey Park in downtown Ojai

Get a head start on your holiday shopping! Enjoy a collection of curated lifestyle and fashion items from local and regional vendors, perfect for gift-giving or your own indulgence. A portion of all proceeds from every vendor at the Marketplace go towards the Ojai Festival and its BRAVO Education and Community Programs. Libbey Park will also have a “Letters to Santa” mailbox, as well as the man himself for kids to meet!

While there is no designated parking for this event, Ojai has several free parking lots, as well as free street parking. The Lower Libbey Parking Lot has the shortest walk to the park!

Marketplace admission is FREE and open to the public.


2023 Annual Ornament

This year, we welcome the new tradition of an annual ornament handmade by a local artist. We are pleased to announce that this inaugural ornament was designed and crafted by Ritual Ceramics. These beautiful ceramic treasures will be available for purchase in Libbey Park at the Marketplace Cashier. 

2023 Holiday Marketplace Vendors

Top row from left to right: Lavender Blue, Lupa Jewelry, From the Heart of Ojai
Bottom row from left to right: JC Dog Accessories, Ambrosia Long Life Linen, Tierra

Meet the vendors! All of the following small businesses, artists, and artisans will be participating in this year’s Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace. The Marketplace is free and open to the public at Libbey Park, November 11 & 12, 2023, from 10am – 4:30 pm. Come join us for gift shopping and holiday fun!

A portion of the sales from vendors benefits the Ojai Festival and BRAVO music education program.


Housewares

Bohemian Bowls
Ambrosia / Long Life Linen

Linen Produce Storage Bags

Based in Ojai!

Website

Atlantica Organics

Handmade area rugs, textiles

Based in Ojai!

Website

Bohemian Bowls

Zero-waste & sustainable global goods vendor: up-cycled & plastic free alternatives to everyday items using natural materials including bowls, utensils, hammoks, and more

Website

Jcooper Ceramics

Functional pottery

Based in Ojai!

Lavender Blue

French Provence tablecloths, napkins, runners, baskets, trays, and more

Website

Sola Ceramics

Small batch functional pottery

Sweetmello

Reusable fabric products: bowl cozies, wax food wraps, pouches and bags, reusable food bags, and more

Website

T D Rocks

Colorful banded rhyolite rock planters, spheres, slabs, and more

Based in Ojai!


One-of-a-Kind Art and Gifts

Firestick Pottery
Anacapa Ceramics

High fire ceramic goods fired in a gas kiln with a reduction atmosphere: vases, tumblers, mugs, and bowls

Website

Beca Piascik Hand Papermaker

Handmade paper products: notebooks, cards, holiday ornaments, wall hanging pieces, handmade paper mirrors

Website

Desré Resnick

Papier-mâché and knitted works

Firestick Pottery

Local handmade pottery
Based in Ojai!

Website

Gheck Eclectic Art

Paintings, collage, tote bags and Japanese tote bags, bird houses and gourds (collage and painted)

Gifts 2 Have

Journals, notepads candles, tote/handbags and hats

Kasleberry Upcycled

Sustainable upcycled clothing, accessories, and art

Website

JC Dog Accessories

Dog leashes, harnesses, collars, bandanas, bow ties, and dog cookies

Website

Laura Stitches

Embroidered goods

Based in Ojai!

Marie McKenzie Art

Coastal-minded and earth-friendly artwork, including limited edition prints of oceanic oil paintings

Website

Neil The Wandmaker

Handmade magickal wands

Website

Once Upon a Storybox

Miniature dioramas in cigar/shadow boxes, hurricane lanterns and holiday seasonal ornaments and decor

Website

Poppies Art & Gifts

Local art/gift shop full of artists that sell jewelry, prints, fiber art, ceramics, gourd art, garden art, and more

Based in Ojai!

Website

Rosehip Ramble

Dried floral wreaths

Based in Ojai!

Website

Sal y Viento

Botanical home decor and wearable art with foraged and gleaned materials from nature

Based in Ojai!

Sunrise Via Lola

Framed and unframed art prints and originals

Based in Ojai!

Website


Jewelry and Apparel

Dale Michele
Be Bindaas

Hand block printed clothes & textiles in 100% sustainable cotton clothing

Cali Bracelet

Handmade bracelets, blankets, bags

Campiello V

Beaded jewelry created locally using semi-precious stones, murano glass beads and sterling silver

Website

Cicada Made

Non-toxic, hand-dyed clothing and accessories

Website

Cindy Style Jewelry

Wire wrapped hand crafted semi precious stones

Based in Ojai!

Website

Dale Michele

Women’s clothing & matching accessories: sweaters, jackets, blouses & tops , ultra soft lounge sets, wraps, luxe faux fur trimmed capes

Website

Ever So Dainty Jewelry

Permanent jewelry

Website

Foxen

Handmade leather wallets and keychains

Website

Jolly Boy Threads

Childrens hats, tees, hoodies, adult hats, joggers, and accessories

Website

Le Meilleur Luxury

Bespoke fine gold and sterling silver jewelry, authentic designer handbags, and more

Website

Little Muse Designs

Unique handwoven jewelry utilizing tiny Japanese glass beads, gemstones and fine metals

Website

LUPA Jewelry, Lucia Pasquinelli

Fine art jewelry

Based in Ojai!

Website

Ohana Sunshine

Premium socks including hiking socks, crew socks & no-show socks

Website

Ramina Rechard

Hand made custom design pearl & gem jewelry

Website

Shari Milner Designs

Jewelry

Website

Surf Gems

Hand-crafted up-cycled jewelry made of resin waste from glassing surfboards – products include earrings, necklaces, bolo ties, key chains, and more

Website

Tierra

Handmade grounding earth-clay jewelry

Based in Ojai!

Tiffany’s House

Handmade jewelry that includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and pendants

Website

Venius

Jumpsuits, dresses, wraps, turbans, and activewear

Website

Veronica Designs

Hand-beaded jewelry, crocheted and knitted hats and scarfs, and more

Website

Wendy Glez

Curated vintage, eco lounge and ready to wear clothing and jewelry

Website


Eats and Treats

Gourmet Blends
Gourmet Blends

Barrel-aged balsamic vinegar & infused olive oil

Website

Happy Chance

Cannabis brand education with non-medicated samples and embroidered hats

Website

LuLu Belle

Small batch seasonal locally sourced fresh fruit jams, jellies, and marmalades

Website

Mission Beekeeping

Raw, local honey from Ojai, Camarillo and Carpinteria

Based in Ojai!

Website

Sweet Lorraine’s Cookies

Decorated cookies and cookie decorating kits






Bath and Body

Fig Tree Wellness
Fiamma Naturals Candle Co

Soy candles and spa products like creams, scrubs, washes

Website

Fig Tree Wellness

Skincare, essential oils, and more

Based in Ojai!

Website

From the Heart of Ojai

Hand crafted aromatherapy bath and body products

Based in Ojai!

Website

Gold and Palms Atelier

Perfume, room/linen sprays, candles

Based in Ojai!

Website

Ivy Rose Naturals

All natural soap and bath & body products

Website

Om Chanti Skin Care

All natural organic skin care

Website

Pixie Candle Studio

Handmade candles

Website

Spirit Spa Soap

Wonderfully fragrant, organic, plant based shower bars

Website

Unearthly Mind

Candles, incense, room/linen sprays, and mroe

Website

Waning Wax

Handmade candles

Based in Ojai!


If you are interested in becoming a vendor a the Holiday Marketplace, click one of the links below:

OFWC 2024 Walt Disney Hall Trip

A Century of Film
John Williams Spotlight

Sunday, February 4 2024
John Williams guides a journey through cinematic history and the soundtracks that scored Hollywood’s greatest moments

Since talkies first showed music’s power to transform moving images, composers have heightened on-screen action and illuminated unspoken drama with soundtracks as inventive and wide-ranging as the films they scored. Few have a greater appreciation for the history of film music—or a larger impact on its story—than John Williams and the maestro of the movies curates this exploration of cinematic composition featuring landmark Hollywood scores performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by David Newman.


OFWC Walt Disney Hall Trip includes:

  • Bus Transportation
  • Tiered tickets to the Concert featuring works by John Williams
    • $300 – Terrace
    • $350 – Orchestra West
    • $425 – Front Orchestra
  • Dinner at Marcello’s in Thousand Oaks
  • Snacks on the returned bus ride
  • Contribution to the OFWC

Final instructions will be sent by January 20, 2024. If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Hirsch at 805-570-0160.

Kickoff the Holiday Season!

UPDATE: AS OF 11.11.23 ALL SALES FOR HOLIDAY HOME TOUR HAVE CLOSED.

PRE-PURCHASED TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR PICKUP AT THE BOX OFFICE IN LIBBEY PARK

The Ojai Festival Women’s Committee invites you to celebrate the holidays at the Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace, on November 11 and 12.

The Ojai Holiday Home Tour and Marketplace is a benefit for the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO Music Education & Community Programs. By supporting this treasured tradition, you ensure that the Festival continues providing free music education in Ojai public elementary schools and presenting the internationally renowned 78th Festival, June 6-9, 2024.

Marketplace

Hours: 10am to 4:30pm daily

The companion event to the home tour, the Ojai Holiday Marketplace, helps kick off the holidays in Ojai’s Libbey Park with 50-plus vendors and artisans to complete the gift-giving season, from fashion and accessories to home and lifestyle items. In addition to shopping get into the holiday spirit with activities for children and parents. The Marketplace is free and open to the public.

A portion of all proceeds from every vendor at the Marketplace go towards the Ojai Festival and its BRAVO Education and Community Programs.

Tour the Homes

Hours: 10am to 4pm daily

Enjoy the experience of walking through the homes, admiring styling, artwork, and holiday decor. We enthusiastically present homes to represent the exceptional and varied architecture and lifestyles of Ojai. From an elegant 1920s-era George Washington Smith home, a beautifully updated and sophisticated home on a beautiful property, to a quaint home with peaceful views and a charming downtown cottage, we know you will be excited with this year’s selections. Check out this year’s four homes!

Home photos courtesy of Logan Hall.

SMILEY’S HOUSE

Two world class architects contribute to the design of one amazing home, and the result is stunning. Edward Drummond Libbey originally commissioned George Washington Smith to design this Arbolada spec house in 1921. Kevin Clark bought it for his dream home nearly a century later, completely renovating and re-envisioning the original house, nearly doubling the footprint. The result is this breathtaking Spanish Colonial Revival masterpiece, with the traditional red tile roofs atop thick white walls, fireplaces, wrought iron embellishments, courtyards, patios, and balconies, all combining to transport the visitor to long-ago rural Spain. The current owners felt little need for further remodeling and have curated the perfect decor to complement the design, working with interior designer Annica Howard. This decision to embrace the former owner’s stylistic elements gave Howard the artistic freedom to take a more playful and creative approach, rather than feeling confined to strict guidelines. The result is a home that weaves a tapestry of history, individuality, and the enchanting character of the location into a cohesive and lively living space Come enjoy an encounter the elegance and beauty!

Holiday Decor by Elizabeth Cohn of Forage Ojai

Smiley's House

GWYNNE COTTAGE

As you enter through the rustic gate from the street, into a flower and fruit-filled garden, up to the front door, you know you are in for an extraordinary visit to the past. Gwynne Cottage, built in 1920, exudes an aura of gentility, history, and a loving attention to detail. The owner’s storied life is on full display throughout this charming home. Outside in the backyard, one is guided to a newly restored guest house that is so complete in its comfort and charm, it would be difficult for any guest to want to leave. If ever one wanted to visit a gentler time, visiting this cottage is a way to start.

Holiday Floral Decor by Annie Mosites of Free Range Interior Design


MAISON OJAI

Maison Ojai is an homage to past idylls near Aix En Provence. A cottage exterior belies a contemporary home that harmonizes with abundant natural views over a private valley. Within, find a gallery of 60’s and 70’s period art collected from France. Roam the garden and “the Folly” near a whirling windmill and horse arena. Discover a guest cottage with pool and a shady park embraced by hedges. Wander the field ringed with mountain views. Whether waking to lacy early morning fog rising over San Antonio Creek, a luminous full moon peeking over Black Mountain or toasting Topa Topas’s Pink Moment, there is cause for celebration every day at Maison Ojai.

Holiday Interior Decor by Kim Barnes; Floral Decor by Lynn Malone


OAK CREEK OASIS

Truly nestled in the very heart of the Ojai “nest,” the mountains all around create a gorgeous display of nature’s beauty on all sides of this welcoming and warm downtown home. With its recently streamlined floor plan to reduce the owners’ carbon footprint, Oak Creek Oasis boasts a lovingly curated eclectic art collection with each space adorned with treasures discovered by the owners. The newly remodeled all-electric kitchen is a dream as well as the well-thought new master bathroom suite. Walk outside and enjoy the landscape of a terraced garden with colorful drought-tolerant bushes that delight the eye. It’s a little slice of paradise!

Holiday Decor by Lila Glasoe Francese of OHI HOME