Music For Our Time

A Message from Ara Guzelimian, Artistic & Executive Director 

I write this on a bright November day, the air fresh with the crispness of the season. It has been a time of extraordinary events, marked a few days ago by an election of extreme division. We continue to be in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, which has brought much loss, separation, and isolation. All of that is compounded by the racial and economic fissures made apparent by events of the past year.
 
How do we measure this time in our innermost thoughts? Many years ago, I first met Peter Sellars at a conference in San Diego where he was giving a talk. His remarks have stuck with me, growing in importance with the passage of time. Peter said that our response to the arts is one of the few truly private experiences we have at a time of very little privacy. We encounter a book, a play, a piece of music, a work of art, a dance; we may express a public opinion and may even try to second-guess what a “correct” and “sophisticated” opinion might be. But when all is said and done, when the lights are out and our head hits the pillow, we are left alone with our experience of the art. We love it or we don’t, it speaks to us or it doesn’t, we understand it or we are left confused. But, in the end, we feel what we feel and think what we think.

Like so many of us, I have turned to music of every variety imaginable to keep me company in this roller-coaster time. I’ve found myself returning to a Smithsonian anthology of the blues that I’ve had for years but had overlooked more recently. There is such richness in this tradition and, as B.B. King observed, “blues is a tonic for what ails you. I could play the blues and not be blue anymore.” One of the most moving discoveries among these old recordings is this one, sung and played by Blind Willie Johnson (inset photo), that summons up a well of human expression without a single word being uttered. Here is a recording made nearly 100 years ago that reaches out across time and speaks to us with amazing currency. This is the raw power of music in its ability to express deep emotion.

My other constant has been the music of Bach, especially in the hands of great pianists. Bach’s music is informed by his unshakable faith, an abiding humanity, as well as a sense of order and design. In working with John Adams to plan the 2021 Ojai Festival, I have been listening intently to the recent recordings by one of our artists, the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, a pianist as at home in Bach as he is in the music of Philip Glass. His recent Bach recording is one of exceptional beauty, and I have returned to it often to provide a grounding in this disrupted time. As Víkingur wrote, “everything is there in Johann Sebastian’s music: architectural perfection and profound emotion.” Here is the Adagio from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974:

I happily anticipate Víkingur’s participation next year and am so grateful to John Adams for suggesting him as one of the first guest artists to invite. John himself has had an uncanny ability to give voice to American experience throughout his career – he is a musical chronicler of our times. In recent days, I found myself thinking about The Wound Dresser, a 1989 setting of Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name. In it, Whitman documents his experiences tending to the Civil War wounded in makeshift field hospitals. 
 
In listening recently to The Wound Dresser, I have been so struck by the resonances with our own moment in time – the deep divisions in the country on one hand and the boundless generosity of so many health workers and caregivers in this pandemic on the other. Whitman writes “Thus in silence in dreams’ projections, / Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals, / The hurt and the wounded I pacify with soothing hand.”

John wrote about the work, “It is a statement about human compassion that is acted out on a daily basis, quietly and unobtrusively and unselfishly and unfailingly.” Another [Whitman] poem in the same volume states its theme in other words: ‘Those who love each other shall become invincible . . . ‘”
 
And so, we are reminded that artists are our truth-tellers and our chroniclers, their work our necessary companions through thick and thin. I am also reminded that we turn to the arts particularly in trying times. As we approach the 75th Festival in June, it is meaningful to recall that the Festival was founded in 1947, when the world was just barely emerging from World War II. The Festival’s very existence comes from an act of hope and optimism at a time of rebuilding in the face of adversity. In that spirit, we hold the promise of the next Ojai Festival as a similar act of faith. 

When we gather together to listen to music, we assert our humanity, our belief in the arts, and in community. Thanks to each of you for creating the warm and welcoming spirit of community that defines the Festival. I am so gratified to be working with the musicians who will bring to life the 75th Festival. And I relish the promise of listening to their music in your company.
 

 

About The Holiday Homes

Learn more about this year’s must-see properties that will be adorned with floral inspirations created by local designers.

Register to Join the Tour

This historical landmark in Ojai’s charming neighborhood, the Arbolada, designed by George Washington Smith, is a classic example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style reminiscent of simple Andalusian farmhouses. Commissioned by Edward Drummond Libbey in the early 1920s as “Spec House A” the house has hosted many fascinating residents, including mafioso Jimmy (the Weasel) Fratiano, the Huyler family of chocolate factory renown, and the son of spy novelist John LeCarre.

Owners Tiese and Robert Quinn describe it in more picturesque terms – ¨elegant simplicity.¨ There is a feeling of understated sophistication with many original architectural details such as the tile roof over high beam ceilings, polished rich wood and old world imported Spanish tile floors that grace the rooms of the home.

The Native American-themed art throughout creates the perfect artistic atmosphere. There are bronzes in several rooms by Allan Houser, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, and Charles Russell. On the walls are a watercolor by actor/artist Buck Taylor and oils by Z.S. Liang as well as local favorite and friend of the owners, Sharon Butler. 

The upstairs, now the master suite, has been created from the two original upstairs rooms. Looking down from the wrought iron balcony, or passing through the trio of French doors below, you feel transported to the Spanish countryside. The centerpiece courtyard fountain, adorned by bright Tunisian tiles imported from Spain 100 years ago, welcomes you to a tranquil setting. A saltwater pool is lined with tile by local artisans RTK Tiles.  A separate weaving studio completes the sanctuary, making it the ideal home for the owners, who moved to Ojai after instantly falling in love with a picture as seen in a magazine. When you see this beautiful abode, you will understand why!

Footnotes from the owners Tiese & Bob Quinn:

SPEC HOUSE “A” — Passing through the wrought iron gate covered by Cecil Brunner roses opens a view of the front of the house sheltered by the majestic oaks which fill the property.  For many years this property was known as “Kathy’s Oaks” for the daughter of Harry Finley, a successful Beverly Hills florist who owned the property at the time.  Many long time Ojai residents still refer to the property this way.  The Peace Guy quietly watches visitors approach.

The approach to the house is on original brick walkways passing the fountain which was placed in front of the covered cloister and the front door.  Although the jar on the fountain is not original, the tile is just as placed in 1921 – 1922 when the house was built.  This tile, along with that of the living room floor and the tile which circles the living room, is original to the house and already old when imported from Spain for the home.

On the east side of the cloister is one of two Hillside Pottery vases belonging to the owners.  Hillside Pottery was a local company located up Foothill Road.  Adjacent to the entry is the official plaque for Ojai Historical Landmark No. 16.  At the west end of the cloister is a bronze sculpture by Francisco Zuniga.

LIVING ROOM — Enter one of the three sets of French doors facing the cloister to be met by the expanse of living room that remains as designed by George Washington Smith with its vaulted and beamed ceiling and fireplace, protected by the large bronze created by Cyrus Edwin Dallin in 1910, called “The Scout.”  The large collection of Native American art is visible throughout the home, much of which is historical.  In a place of honor over the fireplace is an oil painting by contemporary artist, Z.S. Liang, while an oil by Roy Anderson on the facing wall provides a splash of color and action.  An antique bronze of wolves is supported by a Stickley Library Table, one of several pieces in the living room handed down from the owner’s grandparents.

LIBRARY — This cozy room was added in about 1996 along with the three bedrooms and two baths behind it.  Although designed to complement the original, it is just enough different to not be confused as original to the house.  The room contains an oil collage by local artist and friend Sharon Butler which is over the fireplace and an oil by Francis Livingston over the couch. 

DINING ROOM — Featuring French doors to the patio and many gardens, the dining room showcases the Steven Handelman lighting fixtures which are throughout the house, the small alcove with a 17th century figure, a printer’s cabinet that was in the owner’s father’s print shop in Los Angeles, and an oil painting featuring Harvest by Tim Soliday over the Stickley sideboard.

The table is set for a time of harvest Thanksgiving during the period of the Harvest Moon.  Wedgwood China “Cream Color on Celedon,” Wallace sterling silver “Lily” from the early 1900’s and inherited from the owner’s grandmother, and Libbey “Mosque Rose” glassware also from early 1900 and hand cut in the basement of the Libbey Glass.  The owners always include an unused place setting for those who have walked on.

MASTER BEDROOM — The master suite was created from the two bedrooms and bathroom that originally were the only bedrooms in the home with the exception of the maid’s quarters.  A Billy Scheck oil faces the bed while dolls made by the owner’s mother during WWII are above the bed.  Over the bathtub is a painting by Bill Bender called Bringing home Christmas.  

OUTDOORS — The Pool is salt water and the pool tile is by local RTK Tile Studio.


After receiving the prestigious Rome Prize in 2008, architect Fred Fisher and his wife, Jennie Prebor, along with sons Henry and Eugene, spent a transformative year in Rome. Returning to Los Angeles, they found nine acres with an olive grove hidden away at the edge of Ojai with gorgeous mountain and valley views that inspired them to choose the site despite its derelict condition. While the house was being planned Jennie established a store on the Arcade, BlancheSylvia, and the boys attended Ojai Valley School.

This is the home a renowned architect designs for his own family – an oasis of comfort for their friends as well as a gorgeous venue for community fundraisers.  The three-story “box on a hill.” covered with rusted corrugated metal, is reminiscent of the Tuscan villas on hilltops that left such an impression on them. From this perch, the views on all sides are breathtaking, and the light dances throughout – the perfect spot to savor a Pink Moment.

Unique touches abound in every corner – brightly colored rugs and pillows delight the eye, accenting the bright primary colors – a fire-engine red kitchen island, custom cabinetry by artist Roy McMakin, a yellow Dutch door, and purple sofas.  The home is adorned with an eclectic collection of works by Ojai artists including John Nava, Guy Webster, and Beatrice Wood. The furnishings were carefully curated for aesthetics and ambiance. A cozy upstairs nook with fireplace and bookshelf-lined sitting area invites quiet reflection or family interaction. The laser-cut steel stair railing is a work of art in itself. A stargazing deck adjoins the bedroom. The home respects the ¨legacy¨ property that they are committed to preserve for the Ojai we all value so dearly.

Footnotes from the owners, Fred Fisher and Jennie Prebor:

ARTWORK — The Cougar & Bird painting in vestibule is by Tim Ebner, and the tapestry is by Ojai artist John Nava. The piece is a test weaving for a Commission in Princeton’s Firestone Library, for which we designed the renovation.

The flag is a family heirloom, an 1874 ensign. My great grandmother (Fred’s) was married under it. The map is a print of a high resolution scan made by the “Nolli Map project “ of University of Oregon and Stanford led by Erik Steiner. The photo on metal in the vestibule is by William Bailey and small Chuck Arnoldi by window.  

The green photo in the library is by Guy Webster & used for a Procol Harum album cover, next to Karl Blosfeld flower photo.  

Over the living room fireplace blue painting by Eric Orr. Pair of Donald Judd prints left of fireplace. Kim McCarty watercolors of boys in stairwell.

Ed Ruscha print over kitchen fireplace. Richard Hamilton print over library fireplace. Sam Watters ink drawings beside my desk. Marc Swanson drape sculpture over main bedroom fireplace. Guy Dill figure drawing next to our bed.

(Fred’s) My watercolor of house concept on black chest next to dining table. 


In 1929, Austen Pierpont designed this Spanish Colonial style home on four of the original 60 acres of Country Club Estates, to recreate the look of Santa Barbara in Ojai. Original owners Mary and Roger Bard, who christened the place La Tranquilidad, planted many oaks, as well as the pomegranate tree which still adorns the courtyard. Pierpont recreated the traditional Monterrey style of whitewashed walls, with balconies running the full length of the house in front and back. Large windows set in thick adobe walls make the bedrooms bright and offer splendid views of the scenic mountains and upper Ojai Valley, framed by lush trees and bright landscaping. Contrasting the white walls are dark hardwood floors and bannisters, built-in cabinetry and bold original tiles, all adding to the charm and authenticity of the home.

The house is currently home to Linda Granat. She and her late husband Frank purchased the home in 1991 when they were looking for a retreat from their life in New York where they own the legendary Knickerbocker Restaurant. Linda knew the minute she walked up to the house it was where she wanted to live. Around every corner are serendipitous spots inviting moments of peaceful respite or social gatherings – coffee patios, outdoor dining and picnic spots, book nook window seats, four swings suspended from huge trees – and stone pathways meandering in every direction, beckoning you to wander and discover. An old rock oven sits sentinel over the tranquil view, while notes from the Steinway grand piano waft on the breeze.

Linda has brought a bit of French flavor to the Spanish home, including a collection of French posters collected by her husband Frank. The poster once hung in their New York apartment but now lines the elegant stairwell of the home. Whimsical folk art adds color and charm to every room. Not far from the center of town, but feeling like miles away from everything, this iconic piece of Ojai architecture personifies its original name, La Tranquilidad.

Footnotes from the owner, Linda Granat:

The painting in the living room is by local Ojai artist Mick Reinman, also in the living room above the fireplace is a painting by Robert Guerra which we (Linda and late husband Frank) commissioned for that particular spot.

In the dressing room art by Ojai artist Elisse Pogofsky-Harris and her work is also in the dining room between the windows. 

ABOUT FRANK GRANAT — Born in San Francisco, Frank was the son of one of the founders of Granat Brothers Jewelers. After graduating from Stanford University in 1950, Frank went on to a long and successful career as a Broadway producer and restauranteur in New York City, establishing the famous Knickerbocker Bar & Grill. A favorite in Greenwich Village, the Knickerbocker was known for its jazz and was a favorite among many celebrities from Alec Baldwin and Chris Noth to Ben Stiller, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. 

 

 

Register to Join the Tour

Home Tour & Marketplace – Virtual Edition

THE SAVE-THE-DATE 
Premiering on Saturday, November 21, 2020 

The Ojai Women’s Committee invites you to join in a creative and “cinematic” celebration of the renowned architecture of Ojai. This challenging year has opened an opportunity for the Women’s Committee to re-imagine the beloved event by presenting Ojai Valley homes – virtually – that would not have been on our traditional tour due to logistical or geographical restrictions. 

Guests will enjoy an online tour of must-see properties with holiday floral inspirations created by local designers. The digital edition allows guests to learn about architectural details and will include intimate stories of each home. With the tour hosted by celebrated designer and author Brooke Giannetti and renowned architect Steve Giannetti (Patina Farm) and filmed by Square Productions, the Home Tour will continue as an awe-inspiring experience.

The Holiday Marketplace also rises to the challenge with a virtual marketplace, featuring many loyal vendors from markets past as well as new options from local retailers and artists. 

The ease of accessing an online tour and marketplace will keep this treasured tradition front of mind with ardent followers and hope to gain new friends to celebrate the joys of the holiday seasons.

Entering its 24th year, the event continues to benefit the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO education and community program, which offers free music workshops to the Ojai Valley public schools and the community even throughout these challenging times. 

Now more than ever, the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee’s role to support the Festival and music in the schools is critical. Help these programs thrive by becoming an event sponsor, which will give complimentary access to the video portal.

Click Here to become a Sponsor

 

Fall Lessons: Song & Play

Welcome back to school…in the virtual world! Working with the Ojai Unified School District, the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO education & community program offers online classes with Ms. Laura.

LESSON 9 | 08.27.20

HERE WE ARE TOGETHER 
Our first day back, and it’s so glorious to be together, even though it can only be virtually for now! We are going to set ourselves up to be the most successful we can be, through singing and playing, and starting to learn each other’s names. How important is a name? It is how we are known. It is an avenue for attachment. It leads us into community. 

 

HOT CROSS BUNS, THE STORY
This song is often the first experience children have playing on an instrument. We approach this folk song through a story. Why did people not make signs to advertise what they were selling? How did people sweeten their food 1,000 years ago? What was the importance of singing in the streets? We also add the hand signs for the music notes.

 

CLICKETY CLACK
Movement causes our attention systems to click on. Adding movements helps lower distractibility. When we create a train somewhere and move to it, our brain kicks into participation. Participating physically in a basic way is a direct route to play. When we couple the movements with the words (notice the syllables in the fingers), we move the student into stabilization, and the emergence of intelligence.

 

LESSON 10 | 9.3.20

 

This week’s play involves the balance between repetition and variation.

TIDEO
The brain loves repetition. Up to a point. It looks for patterns. Then it delights when there is novelty, something different. Balancing these two helps to stabilize a child’s emotional state. The song stays the same. It is predictable. The fingers popping up are a surprise. Looking for a Hot Cross Buns pattern is always fun!

LESSON 11 | 10.01.20

 

Taking a look at proprioception, puzzling, and the playfulness of Mozart.

WHEN I WAS ONE
One thing that children need is tons of proprioceptive input. This is how they orient themselves to the world—jumping, skipping, stomping, spinning. They develop their spatial awareness, both of themselves and their environment. This song is a great way to play with rhyming words, and get the body up and moving.

 

SOMEONE’S WEARING
Here’s a fun way to connect visual art and music. When we are together we sing about someone’s clothing. Sometimes the clue is very hard to spot, but an amazing thing happens; the children become focused on each other in a positive way, hoping they can find who is wearing, for instance—”unicorns”, or “something delicious”. This positive social regard for other is important for gathering in community and building the tools of empathy.

 

MOZART CUCKOO CANON 
Have you ever wondered where Mozart got his sense of playfulness? Here is the first stage of learning his “Cuckoo Canon”. When we sing it in a round, using the hand signs, there is a wonderful symbiosis of challenge, skill and the delight in doing it. And we can hear the cuckoo bird. Genuine play has a characteristic of being autotelic—doing it for its own sake. It is so joyful to feel this!

LESSON 12 | 11.05.20

FARMER IN THE DELL – TRACKS FOR READING
Using a secret song triggers the brain’s memory and recall. The brain looks for an auditory match. It searches previous experiences and pictures it has made, based on our play of this game. We represent the song by acting it out in the classroom. Here is an extension of that—new verses to explore rhyming and phrasing patterns. The prosody of our language is reflected in our songs, and this assists with the development of language and listening skills.

 

SEE SAW
This folk song has a rich history, being used by lumberjacks who were using a saw together. They would sing the song to keep their sawing movements in sync. It is about an apprenticeship relationship, when there were master electricians and plumbers, etc. that would take on a young person to learn the trade. I think poor Jack liked to goof off, to which we can all relate! True to its nature, this song sung by a room of children and adults cause the group to sync together, matching awareness, skills, and action.

 

COME GOOD RAIN
We are learning to use the sign language symbols for this song. Children share why the rain is good. Being interested in nature, and the cycles of rain, growth, and plants is good for all of us to remember. Later on in school, this is a beautiful song to sing in canon, and as a partner song that goes with other songs. But first, we explore its meaning.

 

 

 

Special Thanks To

Musical Segues: Where they are now

 

Musical Segues is a new segment of the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO education & community program that introduces our amazing alumni, who either went through the BRAVO program via the Ojai Valley public schools or participated in our Festival Arts Management Internship program.

Every month we will give glimpses into their world, personal journeys, and how music made an impact on their lives.

 

Emily Persinko

Meet Emily Persinko, who interned with the Ojai Music Festival from 2016 to 2018. After graduating from San Diego State University, Emily has been working in various arts administrator roles for performing arts organizations, which have included the San Diego Symphony, Art of Elan, La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Youth Symphony, and San Diego State University School of Music and Dance.  Emily currently leads the operation of the San Diego Symphony’s learning and community engagement programs and serves as a director on the board for the San Diego Flute Guild.

Adryon de León

Nordhoff High School Graduate 
Adryonmusic.com

Adryon de León was born and raised in Ojai, CA. Over formative years, musical theater infused her life. She has performed background vocals for Macy Gray, Patti Austin, The Growlers, and George Clinton. In 2013, she joined the acclaimed Los Angeles-based soul & funk group Orgone. Orgone’s most recent release, 
Reasons, features tracks spotlighting de León in a main writing and collaborative role. She also lends her voice to commercial studio sessions worldwide, demoing tracks for production companies. In Spring 2019, Adryon appeared as “Alana” in a production of The Little Mermaid: Live-to-Film at the Hollywood Bowl, featuring Lea Michele, Harvey Fierstein , Peter Gallagher, Cheech Marin, and Leo Gallo.

What BRAVO programs did you participate in during K-6th grade when you attended school in Ojai?  What do you most remember?
I went on an Ojai Music Festival-sponsored field trip to the Imagine Concert at the Libbey Bowl to see LA Philharmonic perform “Peter & the Wolf” for the students!  The exposure to this performance captured the attention of every single child in the audience, for the entire sitting. Sonically, the feeling of the orchestra for the first time was overwhelming. It made me want to pick up my instrument and make some noise.  I played flute in concert band, grades 4-6!  

How has music impacted your life? What is your involvement with music now? Do you see yourself being involved in music in your future? What are your hopes around that? 
Music is now my entire life. I transitioned to full time professional vocalist in 2011, touring worldwide with my band Orgone, working in Los Angeles providing vocals for film, television, demos, background vocals, and live performances. Eight years ago was cast at the Disneyland resort as a featured principal performer. 

I can’t imagine myself not fully immersed in a music career in the future, whether it be as an instructor, mentor, or performer. My hope is to foster a comprehensive music career while I am able and to leave a positive legacy.  

How did your early experiences influence your life now? What are you working in?
Music infiltrated every aspect of my life as a child. My mom is musical, my siblings are involved in various projects, and Ojai fostered a beautiful community of artistic kids just like me. I’m currently majoring in Business Administration and working as many studio projects from home as I can. I’m also working on my solo record and collaborating with other artists.  

Dominque Wright

Arts Management Intern
Occidental College, Class of 2020

What interested you in applying to the Festival?
I applied to the Festival the summer after my freshman year as my Chamber Music coach told me about the program. I had just gotten into social media marketing at my school (Occidental College) and we agreed this would be a great opportunity to improve those skills as well see what happens behind the scenes – there’s A LOT that goes on.

Eventually, I went on to intern at the Festival for three years: 2017, 2018 and 2019. During those formative summers, I was able to work in three different areas: marketing, retail and the box office.

Enjoying time away from the office with the 2017 Festival interns.

What was your favorite Ojai experience?
I have to say my favorite Ojai experience were outings the interns did together. While we all had busy days, we always had time – at least before the Festival started – for ourselves, and most of the time we would go out for dinner, go to the beach or on a hike. These are your colleagues for the two to three weeks while we are in Ojai, so these outings felt like co-workers hanging out and just recharging for the next day.

L-R: Kathryn Carlson, Dominque Wright, Lucy McKnight

What was an “a-ha” moment working in any of the Festival departments?
Working in the box office, I was able to interact with patrons and the ticketing system which helped me see where our guests were coming from. There were people who would travel hours to come to the Festival. It was an amazing discovery because it showed the impact it had on people and how music brings people together. That’s something I aim to achieve in my career, whatever that may be!

What are you up to now?
This past May, I graduated from Occidental College with a BA in Flute performance and a minor in media studies. Currently I am applying to grad programs for arts administration as well as marketing and looking for jobs to gain more experience, and honestly, keeping myself busy in quarantine. Working in the arts field was never a future I saw for myself until interning at the Festival. I’m aware that my future jobs may not be the same as a festival environment, but this internship was what I always looked forward to throughout the school year; knowing that at the end, I get to go back and be with my Ojai family.

In fact, I’m not the only one who has these career goals, some intern alumni have already started making their mark in the arts workplace, some of which you’ll be hearing from very soon. I look forward to sharing their stories these next several months!

About the Arts Management Internship program

Joan Kemper Way

On a characteristically hot and sunny Ojai September day, a small group of people gathered in Libbey Park to honor Joan Kemper, a true community hero. The path connecting the Ojai Art Center with Libbey Park was officially renamed Joan Kemper Way, honoring a woman who has been central to so many community organizations and so many worthy endeavors throughout Ojai. She is one of those treasures who makes the quality of life better not only for those around her but also for so many people she may never meet.

Joan was a relatively recent arrival to Ojai when she stepped in to serve as Executive Director of the Ojai Festival in the early 1990s. I had the huge pleasure of working with her for several years and marveled at her boundless gifts for making things happen. She is one of those remarkable people who has never met a problem she couldn’t solve. The Festival was floundering without leadership at the time she took it over – there was no task to large or small for Joan, who is one of the most persuasive and creative problem solvers I’ve ever met.

In one of my fondest memories, Peter Sellars was directing a fresh re-thinking of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez conducting in 1992. Peter wanted to capture Stravinsky’s original intent of a certain street-theater atmosphere, updated to the present time. And so he wanted to have a full-size pickup truck on stage at Libbey Bowl to capture that spirit. How to find a loaner pickup truck and get it up on stage? Leave it to Joan to draw upon friends across the community to help with getting the truck, creating a series of safe ramps, and getting it up on stage.

Good things happened whenever Joan is around, particularly throughout the Ojai community. She has a way of rallying people to a common cause, with music and theater being especially close to her heart. She gets you to pitch in and then she makes the whole thing such great fun that you end up thanking her. These days, Joan may slyly say, “you know, I’m basically a hundred years old” – it’s only a slight exaggeration – but her wonderful indefatigable spirit seems to me as lively and inspiring as it was on the day I met her.

I am grateful, like so many others, to travel on Joan Kemper Way! Long may you brighten our lives, Joan.

  • Ara Guzelimian, Artistic & Executive Director

Ojai photos by Stephen Adams, Peter Sellers and Pierre Boulez by Betty Freeman

Play Music on the Porch – A Virtual Global Effort

 


Now more than ever, creative expression is important to join together even in the virtual world! 

The Ojai Festival’s BRAVO education & community program is delighted to partner with Porch Gallery Ojai by organizing performances of Ojai-area musicians and students for #PlayMusicOnThePorchDay on Saturday, August 29, beginning at 10am.

For the fifth time, Porch Gallery Ojai will join in this global effort to continuing the tradition of singing and playing to re-establish music as an inclusive, shared and participatory celebration of life. Set your calendar for August 29 when we will launch music videos, played in porches across the Ojai Valley! Videos can be accessed, here, on our website or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ojaifestival/.

“The BRAVO program is pleased to work with the Porch Gallery Ojai in this year’s Music on the Porch project. Local musicians enrich the BRAVO program throughout the year, and we feel deeply grateful for their contributions once again, to help us all connect through music. The arts can help us build bridges of hope,” shared BRAVO coordinator Laura Walter.

What is Play Music On The Porch Day?
In 2013 the founder, Brian Mallman, of Play Music on the Porch Day decided to share the idea – “What if for one day everything stopped…and we all just listened to the music?” –  with the world.  Since then, thousands of musicians from at least 75 countries and over 1450 cities have participated and this movement continues to grow every day with artists, regardless of their differences, are finding common ground through music. Learn more here >

Ojai’s line-up of wonderful musicians providing music for all to enjoy, and inspire us to revive the tradition of gathering, singing and playing music outside with friends and family virtually and safely social distancing! 

Chaparral Swing Band
Celtic Nut (Eilam, Noahm and Edaan Byle)
Licity Collins
Fran Gealer
Coree Kotula 
Ruby Skye
Kaylie Turner 
Babette & Bob Vasquez
Jess Wayne

 

special thanks to our partner:

Let us help: read our FAQ

The Ojai Music Festival is extremely grateful for our community’s support. We’ve addressed some potential questions that you may have as a result of these unprecedented times. As always, please feel free to reach out to us. 

Is your office open?
While our physical offices are closed to the public at this time, our team is available Monday-Friday, 10AM-5PM if you need assistance. Contact us by email at info@ojaifestival.org or by phone at (805) 646-2094.

How can we stay connected with the Festival now?
We are looking forward to seeing you once allowed to have in-person events. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our concert archives on our website and our 2020 Virtual Festival with talks and music. In addition, we plan to continue serving our Festival family with more digital offerings beginning in the fall. If you would like to receive our monthly e-newsletters for updates, please email us at info@ojaifestival.org.

When will the 2021 Festival be announced? When will tickets go on sale?
We are excited to share what to expect from Music Director John Adams and Ara Guzelimian’s programming. Additional schedule details will be announced later in the fall. 2021 series passes are currently available. Click here to order online. Or, download the PDF form. Please contact our box office at 805 646 2053 if you have any questions.

I am a returning subscriber. Will I be able to reserve my usual seats for the next Festival?
First, thank you for your support! As always, our renewing subscribers receive first choice seating.

What measures will the Festival take to protect patrons when in-person events can resume?
When we are able to be together for live events again, we will carefully adhere to guidelines in collaboration with local and federal health authorities. Details regarding new health and safety protocols will be communicated to patrons prior to any live events and information will available on our website.

I requested that my 2020 Festival series passes be rolled over to the 2021 Festival. How do I make sure that this has occurred?
Subscribers will receive a confirmation about their series passes from our box office later in August. You can also call us at 805 646 2053 if you have any questions.  

With the evolving challenges of the pandemic, what is the Festival’s ticket policy?
Purchasing your series passes is risk-free. As we navigate this time of uncertainty you can feel confident that we will be flexible in handling ticket policy options for our patrons. Please contact us at 805 646 2053 if you have any questions.

How can I support the Ojai Music Festival during this time?
We deeply appreciate the support of our donors. Your generosity powers the Festival through thplanning of the upcoming 75th anniversary season featuring Music Director John Adams and his celebration of young and emerging composers, as well as digital offerings during the year. Your generosity also ensures our BRAVO education program remains an essential part in Ojai schools, including virtual programs for schoolchildren.  These are uncertain times; however,  we know that we can always count on our Festival family! Ojai is Real People …. And we appreciate your devotion and commitment. Click here to donate >

Calder Quartet in a “Quarantine Style” Performance

With works by Cage, Stravinsky, Ockeghem interspersed with arrangements by Kurtág, and Beethoven to reflect on the new and old.

Ojai Music Festival shares Five Subscriber Experiences

At the Ojai Music Festival, we value our patron’s experiences. This New Year we are kicking off an exclusive feature of five questions with five dedicated subscribers.

Bonnie Wright

First, tell us a little about yourself – what do you do? Do you play an instrument? I present the Fresh Sound concert series and have been doing this for 22 years.  Its all contemporary music not matter what the genre.  And, all musicians from out of town.  My goal is to bring music to San Diego that they wouldn’t otherwise get to hear.  Here’s the link to the website:http://www.freshsoundmusic.com

How many Festivals have you attended?

Im not quite sure – probably 2008 and will continue to do so until I drop-dead. 

How did you first hear about Ojai Music Festival?

 I don’t remember that either.  But since I am in the music-world, I’m guessing that somehow I got on your mailing list or heard about it from one of my friends.  OR,  Maybe in 2008 because Steve Reich was involved in and I’ve been a huge admirer of his since “Music for 18 Musicians” was out in the world in 1976.

How would you describe your Ojai experience?

 Delightful in every way.  The town, the restaurants, my Inn where I stay every year,  Libby Bowl, the friends I connect with while there and, of course, the music. And, Gina Gutierrez has become a friend over the years. She is wonderful,  efficient  and happily I get my same seat every year (P112)   It feels like it’s become my second home.    

What is the most surprising thing you learned or experienced at the Festival?  

Hmmm,  I always learn more about the music especially from Christopher Hailey and Ara Guzelimian.  


What is your favorite Ojai hangout between concerts – places to eat, visit, see?   

Osteria Monte Grappa where I/we can sit outside and enjoy.  Also, the Festival Place for members. 

Any recommendations for a Festival first-timer?  

GO . . .   Be sure to go to everything – Dawn concerts,  any and all talks, suppers in the Park and All the concerts. A good friend is coming there for the first time and he got a seat right next to me.  Yippee.  I will show him around.  

Glenn and Ida Mercer


(Pictured Above: John Adams, Glenn Mercer, and Ida Mercer) 

First, tell us a little about yourself – what do you do? Do you play an instrument?

Glenn: self-employed in the field of automotive research

Ida: professional musician (cellist) who performs (solo, chamber music, orchestral), teaches (Cleveland Music School Settlement), and manages (Executive Director, Cleveland Cello Society)

How many Festivals have you attended?

Six

How did you first hear about Ojai Music Festival?

A friend told us about it.

How would you describe your Ojai experience?

Off the charts, in every way.  The music selection is fantastic, the performances almost always absolute top tier, the setting (Ojai itself and the individual venues) wonderful, the staff supremely competent (this is a VERY well-run festival), and the audience so supportive. It is almost otherworldly (where else do we hear listeners in their 70s or 80s griping that the program “isn’t modern enough this year!”).

“This past year (2019) we brought our adult son Ian along, as he is very interested in new composed music, as are we.  (Ian works in operations at The Cleveland Orchestra.)  He was especially taken with the precision and commitment of the JACK Quartet morning performances, and the power of the Grisey “Quatre Chants…”  And he has been a fan of Barbara Hannigan for a very long time.  He, as will we, will be back in 2020, for Matthias Pintscher and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.”

What is the most surprising thing you learned or experienced at the Festival?

Musicians are approachable here.  As a small community forms around the Festival for its brief term of existence, anyone and everyone walks through the park, and can be met and talked to.  Almost anywhere else, featured artists are hustled off by their handlers to a hotel room, or just glimpsed briefly at the stage door.  Here, the musicians are available out in the open as it were, and seem delighted to interact with the audience.

What is your favorite Ojai hangout between concerts – places to eat, visit, see?

Believe it or not, we cannot answer this question in a satisfactory way, and it is not because the town does not offer numerous wonderful spots.  This is because one reason we come back is for the full immersion: we go to EVERY concert you make available.  As a result, we don’t hang out anywhere, but just go home and sleep, until the next event!  That being said, we daily raid Rainbow Bridge for snacks and meals to go.

 Any recommendations for a Festival first-timer?

Seriously consider the 4-day series pass.  If you’re going to hear music of this quality, why not go for it and treat yourself to a year’s worth of excellence, in just four days!  If you are a fan of modern composed music, you cannot touch this Festival for abundance.

 

Lucy McKnight

Last week, Perry and Tricia La Marca gave us their feedback into the Ojai Music Festival advising all of us to “dive in and embrace the experience.”  

This Week, Lucy McKnight gives us her insight into her festival experience.

First, tell us a little about yourself – what do you do? Do you play an instrument? How many Festivals have you attended? 

I am a composer and singer and a senior at USC Thornton School of Music. I have attended eight Ojai Music Festivals since I was 12 years old.

How did you first hear about Ojai Music Festival?

My parents brought me because I love music and because, at that time, just my older sibling was composing. Now we both compose, and our younger brother composes and arranges jazz music. The Ojai Music Festival has been a huge part of my–and my siblings’–education and growth as listeners, performers, and composers.

How would you describe your Ojai experience?

We dive in and swim around in it. I love the early morning concerts at Besant Hill School, and the large-scale John Luther Adams pieces that involve walking around Libbey Park. I love the satisfying exhaustion of days filled to the brim with music. 

What is the most surprising thing you learned or experienced at the Festival?  

You can fall asleep two feet from Steven Schick and Claire Chase and Sarah Rothenberg! I know because I have done it while they were performing For Phillip Guston, an incredible 4.5 hour long piece by Morton Feldman. It started at 5 am and I lay down with my siblings on the blankets and pillows provided on the floor and drifted gently in and out of sleep. Asleep or awake, it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

What is your favorite Ojai hangout between concerts – places to eat, visit, see? 

Bonnie Lu’s diner on Ojai Avenue where they have chicken-fried steak for breakfast! The Ojai Meadows Preserve is a nice place to walk and listen to the birds. Renting bikes at The Mob Shop or Bicycles of Ojai and going on the bike trails down toward Ventura – I try to do that every year.

Any recommendations for a Festival first-timer?

Go to everything. Talk to the people next to you during intermission. Buy or bring a seat cushion, a broad-brimmed serious sun hat and lots of sunscreen. Settle in and open your ears.

Perry & Tricia La Marca

Tricia & Perry La Marca

First, tell us a little about yourself – what do you do? Do you play an instrument? How many Festivals have you attended?

Perry is a film/TVcomposer and pianist. Tricia has an undergraduate degree in Music and is a former music teacher and current businesswoman. We both attended the Festival in 2019 and 2018.

Question:
How did you first hear about Ojai Music Festival?

We learned of the Festival and its programming from friends/colleagues during their respective University years.

Question:
How would you describe your Ojai experience?

Amazing; sublime; wonderful. In addition to thoroughly enjoying the performances and lectures by world class talent as well as the opportunity to experience esoteric and rarely performed pieces, we were genuinely touched by the community and new friends made. 

Question:
What is the most surprising thing you learned or experienced at the Festival?

I think we were surprised to find such a diverse and down to earth group of Festival regulars. The Ojai family is very different than what you typically experience at classical music events.

Question:
What is your favorite Ojai hangout between concerts – places to eat, visit, see?

We love to eat at Azu and Osteria Monte Grappa. We also love to sample the vinegars and olive oils at Carolina Gramm.

Question:
Any recommendations for a Festival first-timer?

Dive in and embrace the experience.  It’s a lot to see, but you’ll regret it if you miss something. Also, do the pre-concert Suppers in the Park!  It’s a great way to meet festival newcomers and regulars.  

Join us as a subscriber for the 2020 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Matthias Pintscher!

Ara Guzelimian

Ara Guzelimian is Artistic and Executive Director of the Ojai Music Festival, beginning in that position in July 2020. The appointment culminates many years of association with the festival, including tenures as director of the Ojai Talks at the Festival and as Artistic Director 1992-97.

Ara Guzelimian stepped down as Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School in New York City in June 2020, having served in that position since 2007. At Juilliard, he worked closely with the President in overseeing the faculty, curriculum and artistic planning of the distinguished performing arts conservatory in all three of its divisions – dance, drama and music. He continues in a transitional role at Juilliard as Special Advisor, Office of the President.

Prior to the Juilliard appointment, he was Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall from 1998 to 2006; in that post, he oversaw the artistic planning and programming for the opening of Zankel Hall in 2003. He was also host and producer of the acclaimed “Making Music” composer series at Carnegie Hall from 1999 to 2008. Mr. Guzelimian currently serves as Artistic Consultant for the Marlboro Music Festival and School in Vermont. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Music Awards, the Artistic Committee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in London, and a Board member of the Amphion and Pacific Harmony Foundations. He is also a member of the Music Visiting Committee of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.

He has given lectures and taught at the invitation of the Metropolitan Opera, the Salzburg Easter Festival, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Chicago Symphony, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Taipei and the Jerusalem Music Center. Previously, Ara Guzelimian held the position of Artistic Administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado and he was long associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the beginning of his career, first as producer for the Orchestra’s national radio broadcasts and, subsequently, as Artistic Administrator. As a writer and music critic, he has contributed to such publications as Musical America, Opera Quarterly, Opera News, Symphony magazine, The New York Times, the Record Geijutsu magazine (Tokyo), the program books of the Salzburg and the Helsinki Festivals, and the journal for the IRCAM center in Paris.

Mr. Guzelimian is editor of Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (Pantheon Books, 2002), a collection of dialogues between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. The Chicago, Boston, and London Symphony orchestras, conducted by Bernard Haitink, have performed Mr. Guzelimian’s performing edition of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In September 2003, Mr. Guzelimian was awarded the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his contributions to French music and culture.

Support the Music you Love

“It saddens us to miss this year’s event, however, we understand the need to cancel. The efforts the organization puts into its success pales in the face of our humble contribution.”   “The effort that it takes for all of you to make this week happen every year behind the scenes is just unimaginable. Please …

2020 Festival T-Shirts

The Ojai Music Festival is often cited as a creative laboratory for artists and audiences, and our famously engaged and adventurous patrons are key to each Festival experience. After the cancellation of the 74th Festival, we appreciated the wonderful messages of support from our patrons. Now, we will honor the unrealized Festival, June 11 to 14, 2020, with virtual offerings on our website, OjaiFestival.org. In addition to joining us online for these events, purchase a commemorative shirt to add to your collection! We are beyond grateful to each and every person who comprises our Festival family. Thank you for your support! (Deadline to order is June 15, 2020.)

Click Here to Purchase > 

Views of Ojai

While we can’t be together in Ojai for our traditional four days and four nights of music, discovery and gatherings, we have put together this brief photo gallery from local Ojai friends and photographers. When the time comes to leave our homes and neighborhoods feeling safe and healthy, the picturesque Ojai Valley will be there to enrich our souls.

Thanks to the Ojai Chamber of Commerce for these local resources.
See  local restaurants >
See shops >
See hotels >

Thanks to Cindy Pitou Burton, Cathy Diorio, Gillian McManus, Meditation Mount, Caitlin Praetorius, and Ben Hoffman of Square Productions for photos, Featured image on home page by Ray Powers.

The Art of Transitions

 

How do we listen to music now? That question might at first prompt a quick checklist of our tech gear — the tools of mechanical reproduction and propagation that have become ever more refined over the 143 years since Thomas Edison first introduced the wax cylinder. But several months into the coronavirus pandemic — with our experience of live performances at best limited to streaming — many of us have been forced to rethink our relationship to music itself.  

How we listen now comes with a fresh awareness of the fragility, the vulnerability of this art — the very traits that make it so transformative. For music exists most fully as a live, present-tense exchange among what Benjamin Britten famously termed the “Holy Trinity” of audience, performer, and composer. Music is an art of transitions. It travels between these vertices in unrepeatable ways, tracing interactive pathways that are unique to each performance. And, in the process, music moves from the material to the immaterial. By definition bound to time, it exists through ephemeral sounds that reverberate in a specific space. Yet music simultaneously occupies a realm, inscribed in memory, that defies time and physical distance.  

All of these topics come into play in the program that Matthias Pintscher planned for the 2020 Ojai Festival. Against the backdrop of the current crisis, his vision has an added resonance that is uncanny, since Pintscher’s core approach to music is to shake away facile assumptions, inviting the audience to question again the very basis of how they listen, and to listen with heightened awareness — to intriguing discoveries from contemporary composers and familiar repertoire alike. The metaphor of a landscape appears frequently in his discussions of music:  

“Landscapes are mostly diverse. Landscapes hold surprises and are deeply human in the end. Music somehow has the same vulnerability and sensitivity as a landscape. You have to care deeply when you put together a program or cultivate a landscape. These are all works that have been part of my life for a long time. As music director, you bring works and flavors and personalities that people have never heard of, and you present pieces they know in a new light.”  

Landscapes, like music, are also about transitions. Various kinds of transitions emerge from the underlying threads that link Pintscher’s intricately designed sequence of programs. Take the transition from his own mentor, Pierre Boulez, to himself and other peers who have navigated paths unforeseen by the postwar Modernists. Pintscher stands as a prime exemplar of these, combining formidable gifts as a composer, conductor, curator, and teacher. A self-described wanderer who was led by curiosity to leave his native Germany as a teenager and who lived in England and Israel in his 20s, Pintscher now divides his time, when not on the road, between Paris and Manhattan. His compositions often explore the transition from indistinct noise to the most refined timbral combinations. They draw on his love of visual art, poetry, and theater, transitioning among these different artistic media without betraying music’s inherent self-referentiality. The 2020 program encompasses a de facto retrospective of Pintscher’s instrumental writing, from an early string quartet that responds to Gesualdo’s late-Renaissance spiritual strife to his recent piano concerto Nur (the Hebrew word for fire), in which impulses from today’s young American avant-garde are discernible.  

As a conductor educated in the fine details of Boulezian aesthetics, Pintscher fondly recalls the first score he studied with the Frenchman Debussy’s exquisite late ballet Jeux. Boulez’s simultaneous command of surface and structure, detail and design, “informed my insight into sound production, into what it means to tackle a style to conduct an orchestra.” Boulez himself proved to be a master of the “art of transition” in the sense in which Wagner used the phrase: with reference to Tristan und Isolde, where he described his ability to shift gradually from one extreme state to another as perhaps his “finest and deepest art.”  

Pintscher ascribes Boulez’s outlook to a “consciousness of detail” that he associates with French culture (and with cooking, another passion). But this also coexists for Pintscher with a love of surprises, with unexpected juxtapositions. Olga Neuwirth’s music could hardly be more different, yet Pintscher, who has long felt a close rapport with his Austrian peer, is one of her most steadfast champions. He recently conducted the world premiere of her Virginia Woolf–inspired opera Orlando — the first opera commissioned from a female composer by the storied Vienna Staatsoper. The moment he began thinking up his ideal programming choices for Ojai, Pintscher says, he knew he wanted to spotlight Neuwirth. Before the pandemic, the plan was for him to conduct the U.S. premiere of Le encantadas, her immersive response to Herman Melville, in Los Angeles — a prelude to set the stage for the Ojai Festival.  

A fiercely original and independent musical thinker, Neuwirth is well represented here in works that respond, variously, to Billie Holiday, the ascetic outsider artist Henry Darger, and J.S. Bach. She relishes theatrically animated hybrids of style, genre, and mood, always showing an urge to reinvent herself and her inspirations. As a young student, Neuwirth spent formative years in San Francisco and developed an abiding fascination with American culture — especially its subversive trends in film and music. Yet she is also a “deeply Austrian” artist Pintscher notes, sharing the obsessions of Schubert and Alban Berg and rebellious in her critiques of philistine conformity by her fellow Austrians. For this she was often marginalized early in her career, when Boulez became one of the few in power to offer his support.  

What was intended as the long-overdue Ojai debut of the Ensemble intercontemporain (EIC) further underscores the complexity of the Boulezian-Pintscher lineage and brings to mind key moments of transition in Ojai’s history as well. As the embodiment of Boulezian values in practice today, EIC would have given the 2020 Festival a striking historical footprint — even though the ensemble had never previously appeared here. Starting in 1967, Boulez served as music director for seven summers at various points in the Festival’s history up to 2003.  

photo by Robert Millard

Boulez’s repeated attraction to this special place — over a period spanning some 36 years — is a remarkable phenomenon, according to Chad Smith, artistic director of the 2020 edition. “Southern California might seem an unlikely place for a Parisian intellectual who brought such a sense of rigorousness to music.” Yet Ojai provided a kind of freedom to breathe that the French master lacked elsewhere. Ojai, a place of natural perfection that conjures paradise for so many, beckoned to Boulez with his own concepts of musical perfectibility, as Smith points out. It was here that he could make an attempt at “perfecting paradise.” In this sense, Pintscher’s Ojai programs posit another transition — an invisible bridge — between concepts of new music in Europe and in the US, from the linearity of discarded notions of “progress” to the riotous, chaotic crazy quilt of diverse possibilities that are a young composer’s to choose from today. The chance to encounter sur Incises, arguably the French master’s most satisfying composition, in the beautiful setting of the Bowl promised to spark a very different understanding of this music, its dazzlingly planned intricacies of texture coming closer to the complex freedoms of jazz — or of the skeins of melody Steve Reich liberates from amplified voices and tuned percussion in Tehillim. The presence of Reich and other American composers, incidentally, helps to right a notable shortcoming of Boulez’s Ojai programming, which notoriously skipped over the work being done by Americans in those years, particularly those animated by the energy of Minimalism.  

The Reich title is one of several Hebrew words that pop up in Pintscher’s programs, beginning with The Beginning — bereshit, the name of Pintscher’s fascinating meditation inspired by the first word of Genesis — and continuing with an entire program built around the biblical Creation story, including a new Ojai commission from Toshio Hosokawa treating the Flood, which sets the whole process back in motion again. Pintscher’s own catalogue is replete with Hebrew titles. Those chosen for the Festival programs in turn suggest a thread of spirituality — in counterpoint to Boulez’s resolutely materialist secularism — that subtly emerges alongside references to J.S. Bach’s divinely inspired quest for compositional perfection, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Gospel-based calls for justice (Olga Neuwirth), and American Transcendentalism (Charles Ives). Steve Reich’s Tehillim itself implicitly asserts the ancient link between words and music as an organized ritual of praise.  

As an art of transitions, music is blessed/condemned to be an art of transience: the notes, colors, combinations which it comprises are destined to fade into nonexistence. Like immortality, music that did not die would rob us of any sense of meaning. This is the paradox Mahler, another traveler between worlds (Old and New, Jewish and Christian, composer and performer) explores so movingly in his late Das Lied von der Erde. The longing for eternity, given voice in the final, longest movement, is at its most acute in a scene of leave-taking.  

—THOMAS MAY 

Thomas May is a freelance writer, critic, educator, and translator. He has written for The New York Times and regularly contributes to the program books of the Lucerne Festival, Metropolitan Opera, and Juilliard School. His books include Decoding Wagner and The John Adams Reader. Visit Thomas May’s website at https://memeteria.com/ 

Ojai Talk Live Stream

Ojai Talk Live Stream

Steve Reich, Composer

Olga Neuwirth, Composer

Patrons Bring Added Assurance

We, like all of our communities, are grappling with a very different way forward these days.  After cancelling the 2020 Ojai Music Festival, we were not able to share “building a musical bridge between Europe and America” – the vision of composerconductor and 2020 Music Director, Matthias Pintscher.  In reaching out to all of you and to our wonderful artists with the cancellation news, we were greeted by kindness and by the solidarity that binds us together in raising up music to the world.  Here are some generous words of support that we received:

“We will miss out on the potentially Life Changing experiences that happen almost every year.” 

 

“Over the past few weeks, there has been a depressing wave of cancellations, but this one hurt the most. The Ojai Music Festival is always my favorite event of the year.”  

 

“The effort that it takes for all of you to make this week happen every year behind the scenes is just unimaginable. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you….Please know that your devotion to the cause of bringing the arts to all of us is recognized and appreciated.” 

 

“These are definitely extraordinary times.  In the past 46 years, my husband & I missed only one festival due to an accident.  Every year, the festival is such a special experience for us & we will miss it greatly this year.”

 

To honor each of our patrons and the artists who share in this work, we have created weekly online offerings from our archives of past Festivals called Tune in Tuesdays And just as each of you misses the chance to connect at the Festival, so do our Ojai Valley studentswho now relish coming together in Song and Play with Laura Walter, virtually, each Thursday. 

“Thank you, Laura. Your smile and those cute, funny songs make the kids so happy during these lonely days. We love and miss you. Your music classes make my week!” 

While we cannot be together in Ojai, in Libbey Bowl, or in our classrooms with Laura, we can continue to bring you these memories and moments, until it is safe for us all.  In this liminal space we invite you to consider making a gift to support this work, this music, this community.  Together, we will rise above this time, to gather again in celebration of transcendent music in 2021, for the 75th Ojai Music Festival. 

Vendor Agreement