Meet our 2022 Interns!

We are excited to share our stellar team of interns with you. These students represent the next generation of musicians and arts administrators. The Festival depends on them for critical support in a variety of management areas including production, stage management, operations, box office, marketing, and more. Our interns this year span the US from Indiana to Kansas to California. We are delighted to welcome back a few Ventura County locals to our internship program as well. Our impressive roster of interns is ready to bring their passion and experience to the Ojai Music Festival team and make the 76th Ojai Music Festival a year to remember.

Bryce Cox
Bryce Cox is a flutist and is pursuing a BM in music performance at Boston University, where she studies with Linda Toote. Throughout her pre-college and college studies, she has explored a number of musical endeavors and creative outlets.

She currently performs in the Boston University Wind Ensemble and with a flute trio. In the past, she has been involved in summer festivals such as the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in July 2021, the Curtis Institute of Music Young Artists Summer Program in the summer of 2020, and Luzerne Music Center in the summer of 2018 and 2019. She is also a finalist in the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Young Instrumentalists Competition.

In addition to being a musician, she is also an active writer and published her first book, Consigned to Oblivion, in 2020. She runs a website for her writing, as well as The Peculiarity Project, a project dedicated to giving LGBTQ+ youth a platform to share their stories.


Caleb Durant
Caleb Durant is a Los Angeles-based hornist and sound engineer focused in the fields of experimental and contemporary classical music. He believes in the enriching power of music, and always seeks to provoke thought through his musical ventures. An earnest advocate for new music, Caleb has worked extensively with composers and new music groups, such as  Thornton EDGE and the HOCKET ensemble. He is fascinated with musical innovation and experimentation, and he strives to share that same sense of wonder and amazement with all.

Originally from Fresno California, Caleb now operates out of Los Angeles. He is a student at the USC Thornton School of music, and has studied under the tutelage of Kristy Morell and Steve Becknell.


Landon Wilson
Landon Wilson is currently a third-year undergraduate pianist at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Jeffrey Cohen. He also works in the Office of Admissions at MSM and serves as a student intern with Mid-America Performing Arts Alliance (MAPAA), a non-profit organization pairing an international concert series with educationally-based performance opportunities in the Midwest. In addition, Landon is currently developing a new recital series in his native Kansas, which will feature musicians from MSM, Juilliard, and the international opera stage. His role as a festival producer is multi-faceted; Landon leads a small team that coordinates fundraising, audience outreach, and artistic programming to bring leading talent to an enthusiastic audience in the heart of the United States.



Evan Losoya
Evan Losoya is a composer, pianist and oboist based in Los Angeles. He received his BA degree in music composition and a minor in linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He currently studies composition with Michael Fink and piano with Vicki Ray at the California Institute of the Arts where he is pursuing his MFA degree in the Performer-Composer program. He performed regularly with the UCSB Ensemble of Contemporary Music and performed as 1st Chair Oboist with the UCSB Wind Ensemble. At CalArts, he works as a music theory teaching assistant in the Herb Alpert School of Music and often performs his own compositions in the OK Composer concerts. Since 2021, Evan has served as chairman of the Grand Arts Consortium (GAC) and has also worked as a transcriber and arranger for GAC’s Grand Feature Film Orchestra. He composed two full-length original film scores for two silent films in the summers of 2017 and 2019. In 2017, Evan debuted his book of original piano solos titled “At the Moment” at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA. As the 2016 winner of the Young Artists’ Competition, he performed as piano soloist with the Solano Symphony Orchestra. A pianist in a jazz band, Evan has recorded music at Skyline Studios in Oakland, CA and Capitol Records in Los Angeles.


Brendan Baker
Brendan Baker has been running live productions for the past year with his job as an instructor at Burbank Music Academy as well as his club at Cal Lutheran: Musician’s Club and he’s hoping to deepen his understanding of running live music shows as well as make connections with people inside the music industry. He has been taking vocal lessons since he was fourteen, but found a second love for Music Production when he entered college. In the last semester, he has produced 6 different live events of varying sizes with his Club, and in doing so have learned how to operate in all roles of stage management, and stage setup.


Eliana Choi
Eliana Choi is a student of Westmont College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Music. She has led many organizations and events, including the orientation committee at Westmont College. One of her goals in life is to make a positive difference wherever she is.








Juan Gonzalez
Juan Gonzalez is currently a senior at California Lutheran University and a Music Department Assistant. He has experience audio engineering from his music production classes, as well as producing outside of class. He is also president of the Musicians’ Club of CLU, which is one of six chapters of Musicians’ Club across schools in southern California.






Carissa Corrigan
Carissa Corrigan was honored to be the Valedictorian of her high school graduating class and is the proud recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Bronze Medal for Community Service. She is also an honoree of the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Carissa pursues her academic studies with rigor as an Augustinian Scholar at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, and plans to graduate in May of 2023 with a Bachelors of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Carissa began playing oboe at the age of 11, although she began her musical journey with piano at the age of six. She has been studying oboe for nine years. She is currently a student of Adelle Rodkey, alumna of Wheaton Conservatory of Music.


Kangchen Norbu
Kangchen Norbu is an undergraduate student studying International Studies and Political Science who seeks the opportunity to foster his passions and cultivate a dedication toward acts of community service. He will be returning for his second year of the Festival internship program.








Maddi Baird
Maddi Baird is a Los Angeles-based composer and sound artist who combines creative activity (performance and installation-based works) with empirical forms of research to explore connections between nature, human experience, and sound.

Maddi is currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental Composition and Sound Practices with an emphasis in Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts.




Denise Lopez
Denise Lopez is a senior at California Lutheran University where she is majoring in Music with an emphasis in Technology. She had previously earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology at UC Santa Barbara. Denise’s passion for music was integral for her to begin her studies anew in the field of music. She has had the opportunity to intern at Moorpark College while earning her AA in Music for transfer, as well as traveling abroad and performing at various venues in Central Europe. She hopes to have a career in the music industry, as she is curious about the creative and technical processes involved in the arts. In her spare time, Denise enjoys journaling and traveling with her friends and family.




Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Policy

Ojai Music Festival (OMF) is committed to providing a workplace free of sexual harassment and discrimination (which includes harassment or discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions) as well as unlawful harassment and discrimination based on such factors as race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age for individuals over forty years of age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, citizenship status, military and veteran status, denial or use of family and medical care leave, and any other factor made unlawful by federal, state, or local law.  OMF strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate unlawful harassment or discrimination against employees by supervisors or co-workers, as well as by third parties in the workplace or with whom the employee comes into contact in connection with their employment.  This policy applies to all OMF employees, paid or unpaid interns, volunteers, and any other persons providing services to OMF pursuant to a contract.

Harassment includes verbal, physical, and visual conduct, as well as communication though electronic media of any type, that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working environment or interferes with work performance.  Such conduct constitutes harassment when (1) submission to the conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of employment; (2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision; or (3) the harassment interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.  Harassing conduct can take many forms and includes, but is not limited to, slurs, jokes, statements, gestures, pictures, or cartoons regarding an employee’s sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, physical disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity veteran status, or other protected status.

Sexually harassing conduct in particular includes all of these prohibited actions as well as other unwelcome conduct such as requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, verbal conduct of a sexual nature (for example name calling, suggestive comments, or lewd talk) or physical conduct (including assault, unwanted touching, intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of sex or any other protected basis).  An employee who unlawfully harasses a co-worker may be personally liable for the harassment.

If an employee believes he/she or a co-worker has been subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, they should immediately contact their supervisor or Managing Director either orally or in writing.  A supervisor who learns of any misconduct which may be in violation of this policy or learns of an employee’s complaint or concern about a possible violation of this policy must immediately report the issue to the Managing Director.

Upon receipt of any complaint, OMF will immediately undertake a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation conducted by qualified personnel, preserving confidentiality to the extent possible.  The investigation will provide all parties appropriate due process and reach reasonable conclusions based on the evidence collected, as well as determine appropriate options for remedial action to resolve the situation.  If an employee has a complaint being investigated under this policy, he/she can find out about the progress of the investigation by contacting the Managing Director.

Retaliation against OMF employees or any other person for the good faith reporting of possible acts or incidents of discrimination or harassment, as well as participation in any workplace investigation, will not be tolerated.  If an employee believes he/she or a co-worker have been subjected to any form of unlawful retaliation, he/she should immediately contact his/her supervisor or Managing Director, either orally or in writing.  Upon receipt of a retaliation complaint, OMF will undertake an investigation consistent with the provisions of this policy.  OMF employees shown to have engaged in such retaliation will be disciplined, up to and including termination.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for opposing sexual harassment or participating in investigations of sexual harassment are illegal.  In addition to notifying the OMF about discrimination, harassment, or retaliation complaints, affected employees may also direct their complaints to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which has the authority to conduct investigations of the facts.  The deadline for filing complaints with the DFEH is one (1) year from the date of the alleged unlawful conduct.  If the DFEH believes that a complaint is valid and settlement efforts fail, the DFEH may seek an administrative hearing before the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) or file a lawsuit in court.  Both the FEHC and the courts have the authority to award monetary and non-monetary relief in meritorious cases.  Employees can contact the nearest DFEH office or the FEHC at the locations listed in OMF’s DFEH poster or by checking the state government listings on line or in the local telephone directory.


Jay Campbell, cellist

Julia Bullock, soprano

Press Images


Additional Images and Archive:

AMOC’s Music Playlist

The 2022 Festival Music Director AMOC, a collective of today’s most adventurous musicians, singers, composers, choreographers, and dancers, is as eclectic and open minded with their musical interests as one would expect. To begin the new year and expand our own musical horizons, we asked each member of AMOC to share their personal listening of the moment — a selection which is characteristically wide-ranging and very individualistic.

Listen on Spotify and Apple Music
(Preview the AMOC playlist and log on to your account to listen to the full songs)


Jonny Allen:
Jazz Crimes by Joshua Redman
This is a track that I just keep coming back to.  The groove is subtle but persistent.  Joshua Redman is such an incredible artist and Brian Blade’s drumming has always been an inspiration to me.


Paul Appleby:
My “what I’m listening to” pick is Kate Soper’s set of three songs for soprano and string quartets, Nadja.  I am a huge fan of Kate’s music because she has a language and voice that is entirely her own.  Her intellectual and literary interested are deeply personalized in her compositions and performances and her somewhat esoteric tests become vivid and immediate in her music.  This score is a great example of Kate’s incredible level of technical accomplishment as well as her imaginative and unique approach to her art.

More info


Matthew Aucoin:
Stranger Love, Act 3 (excerpt), by Dylan Mattingly, performed by Contemporaneous
Dylan Mattingly writes music of limitless jubilance and joy. This excerpt from his opera Stranger Love is a kind of dance party for the angels, built upon an unlikely echo from a Springsteen-esque “promised land.”


Doug Balliett:
I cannot stop listening to Ok ok pt 2 from Kanye’s latest album “Donda”. It’s got a heavy dark groove and guest Shenseea’s verse is jaw-dropping.


Julia Bullock:
Up From The Skies by Jimi Hendrix, from the album Bold As Love (1967)
It’s like some prophetic, post-apocalyptic love song… (honestly hope to find a way to sing it one day)


Jay Campbell:
I’m currently listening my way through Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers, a gigantic sprawling 4.5 hour collection of 19 pieces written over the course of 30+ years, each one titled after various moments, ideas, people, or places related to the Civil Rights Movement. It’s music that is very much alive in a literal sense. As in, it really feels like it is deeply meditating on the lived experience of human life itself. It’s extremely moving, exciting, surprising, and sometimes baffling. But when I listen to this highly abstract music, my ears somehow feel closer to hearing a full spectrum of complex human experience in all of its contradictions of tragedy, playfulness, rage, and joy. And maybe things that I haven’t even felt yet. And — when you consider the context of the composer himself, a Black man born and raised in segregated Mississippi — things that many of us are privileged to never have to personally feel or experience.


Anthony Roth Costanzo:
Lately I’ve become obsessed with Betty Carter and how wildly inventive and abstract she is, both in how she deploys the extremes of her voice, and how she charts the trajectory of a song. From her piercing head tones, to her forthright parlato, to her childlike upper chest register, to her impossibly rich baritone notes, I find her a total revelation. You can hear those colors set forth in this track:


Miranda Cuckson:
Wadada Leo Smith America’s National Parks
I adore this work (which I first heard a few years ago) for many reasons, including its bracing beauty, its grouping of very satisfyingly distinct utterances and instrumental presences, its continually thrilling sensations of space and texture, and the composer’s deep vision of the psychological tension in our shared natural landscapes.


Julia Eichten:
While it was an extreme challenge to choose only one song from Xenia Rubinos’ latest album, Una Rosa, Cógelo Suave has been one of many that I have on repeat.  This swirl of a song will make any day brighter, break you open and have you singing!


Emi Ferguson:


Keir GoGwilt:


Conor Hanick:
The last thing played on my music app was the first disc of Beach House’s upcoming album, Once Twice Melody, which is lush, sweeping, synthy, and grandiose.

I’ve also been enjoying Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack to the film The Power of the Dog, especially the Messiaen-esque finale Psalm 22.

Lastly, folks are rightly excited about the recent Floating Points / Pharoah Sanders collaboration, but I’ve found myself revisiting Floating Points’ 2015 album of experimental synth-jazz, Elaenia, with a particular habit of rewinding “Silhouettes (I, II, III)”


Coleman Itzkoff:
Pick: Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice
I’ll admit to a certain degree of bias for my playlist pick, Matt being a close friend and current roommate here in New York City, but I truly felt compelled to list this new opera of his, which recently held it’s Met premiere to much acclaim. I was able to attend two live performances, as well as listen to the BBC broadcast on a recent long car trip and found so much of the music staying with me, swirling around in the back of my consciousness like the really great music tends to do. The score is dazzling, deeply moving, complex, tectonic (superlatives abound!), and the performance by Erin Morley, Joshua Hopkins, Barry Banks, and more, all backed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Met Orchestra, is totally and utterly ravishing. For those already dedicated fans of Matt’s work, Eurydice is the latest and greatest contribution to his oeuvre (not to mention the latest in a 400-year Orphic opera tradition). And for those less familiar with the music of Matthew Aucoin, I can think of no better place to start!

More info


Or Schraiber:
Formidable by Stromae always makes me dance.


Bobbi Jene Smith:
La Solitude always makes me feel the dance inside of me. It has been a song that has been a starting point for many dances I have made. Thank you, Barbara, for haunting and dancing with me. I hope this song will make you feel the dance in you too.


Davónes Tines:
six thirty by Ariana Grande
Towards the end of the year I’m feeling cozy and romantic.  This song from one of my favorite artists, on her latest album, continues to evolve her special combination of crisp vocals wrapped in string-infused r&b redux.


Zack Winokur:
We Do Not Belong Together performed by Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin. I’ve been listening pretty nonstop to Stephen Sondheim since his death. It’s hard to choose just one, but this song is the devastating apotheosis of a genuinely real relationship at the core of Sunday in the Park with George, a show I was going to direct last spring until covid struck it down.

A Holiday Video Gift For You!

As we approach the end of this eventful year, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for your constant encouragement and support. We were able to gather in September and savor the deep human joy of listening to music in each other’s company, something that we had so longed for in our isolation. There was a unique freshness and intensity that was felt on both sides of the stage, an exhilarating experience to cherish and hold in the midst of such difficult times.

We wanted to give you a special gift of music with our fondest good wishes of the season and, in particular, for a better world for all in the coming new year. We asked Sasha Ishov, one of the flutists in the wonderful 2021 Ojai Festival Orchestra, to film a performance that reminds us of the adventurous spirit of the Festival and of music heard in a beautiful natural setting.

Every new year brings with it renewed hope, even in the face of our current challenges. May the coming year bring you good health, the company of those you love, and always, music.

With thanks and warm regards from all of us at the Ojai Music Festival,

Ara Guzelimian
Artistic and Executive Director

We did it … Together!

Message from Ara Guzelimian

It turned out to be a magical time of reunion and renewal, as we celebrated our 75th anniversary Festival in the best of company. As I take a breath and reflect on that beautiful September weekend, I feel boundless gratitude. We gathered together in Ojai and cherished the singular joy of being in the company of music and musicians as a communal experience.

The predominant emotion of the concerts was one of joy and optimism, particularly as defined by the energies and creativity of a new generation of composers. John Adams was so very wise in making sure this anniversary festival looked forward. All our artists embraced that spirit wholeheartedly, especially determined to do so in the face of the painful events of the past eighteen months.  Our great thanks go to John, not only for the riches of his own music, but also for the choice of artists and works which so beautifully defined the arc of this festival.

Let us take a moment to bask in just a few selected memories. Enjoy our photo gallery of Festival moments as captured by photographer Timothy Teague:

It took remarkable devotion on the part of many people to get us here, beginning with our dedicated Board of Directors who have been steadfast in their vision, generosity and clarity of purpose. I offer my heartfelt thanks to the artists, the staff, interns, volunteers and housing hosts who worked tirelessly to make this a most special festival, often in the face of unexpected challenges – did I mention that Víkingur Ólafsson was nearly turned away at the airport in Reykjavik because of confusion about his (entirely correct!) visa documentation? Somehow, there was always a solution to be found. Even the weather was ideal, with mild temperatures and soft breezes to bring Ojai enchantment 

But I reserve a very measure of thanks to each of you, for your continued faith in the Ojai Festival, for complying with the safety measures, for your generosity in supporting the festival financially, and most of all, for your irreplaceable presence at concerts (and by extension, long distance by way of our streamed concerts). You help create one of the most attentive, understanding, adventurous, and open-hearted audiences I have ever experienced.  

 And now, we begin the happy anticipation of the Festival to come in June 2022. We had a vivid introduction to two more artists from AMOC (the American Modern Opera Company), the collective of 17 instrumentalists, singers, dancers, choreographers, and composers, who together will be the Music Director in June. Violinist Miranda Cuckson and flutist Emi Ferguson, core members of AMOC, both made brilliant debuts at this year’s Festival. 

Miranda Cuckson shone in the virtuosic and expressive challenges of Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto, played a recital that ranged from Bach to Saariaho, and, in a stunning Libbey Bowl performance of Bach, created an iconic only-in-Ojai image: 

Emi Ferguson played Gabriela Ortiz’s Huitzitl with expressive power and grace, despite the distractions of another only-in-Ojai moment, the sounding of a persistent security alarm nearby. So I thought it’s only fair to revisit Emi’s mesmerizing performance, this time with the benefit of some subtle audio filtering that magically minimizes the sound of the alarm and focuses attention entirely on Gaby’s evocative music and the beauty of Emi’s playing! 

We can happily anticipate look ahead to more musical encounters with both Emi and Miranda, the return of favorite Festival favorite artists (and current members of AMOC) soprano Julia Bullock, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and cellist Jay Campbell, as well as a happy introduction to all of the brilliant creative spirits of this endlessly-creative collective in the next Festival. We will meet all of the members of AMOC in the coming months by way of special online programming and conversations. 

In the meantime, our wholehearted thanks to each of you. I look forward to seeing you all again in June 2022 or sooner! 

2021 Critical Acclaim

Ojai Music Festival 2021. John Adams, Miranda Cuckson, Rhiannon Giddens, Víkingur Ólafsson, Attacca Quartet. Photos by Timothy Teague

Thank you for joining us at our 75th Festival, September 16-19, 2021. Read review excerpts below. Relive concerts anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts. View our photo gallery of some of our favorite Festival moments.

Download PDF of reviews here

“a forward-looking survey of young artists — fitting for a festival that has long focused on the future” New York Times

“Against unsettlingly uncertain odds, Ojai’s 75th anniversary festival happened as hoped and promised, and it was special” Los Angeles Times

“In Ojai, circa 2021, themes of “homecoming” and pandemic-related dynamics struck emotional chords beyond the provocative and consoling musical goods.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Throughout its illustrious history, the Ojai Music Festival has been known for a series of unpredictable, serendipitous musical experiences that become known as quintessential Ojai moments. One such moment stood out as a highlight of this year’s festival – an “Ojai Dawns” concert… [with a program of] all Mexican composers, music by [Gabriela] Ortiz, Javier Álvarez, and Georgina Derbez.” San Francisco Classical Voice

“Pandemic-waylaid, the Ojai Music Festival finally erected its contemporary-music-geared Big Top with one of its strongest programs of late.” Santa Barbara Independent

“Rhiannon Giddens was an inspired choice to anchor the festival with… a rousing concert of her original/traditional material on Saturday night… The concert… resonated with all of the pain and struggle we have experienced over the last two years in a way that was at once healing and grounding.” Santa Barbara Independent

“arguably the most exciting music event in this country” Berkshire Fine Arts

“Music sounds fresh and very much of the moment. It both delights and moves in its Ojai setting.” Berkshire Fine Arts

“thoughtfully programmed and precisely performed” Sequenza 21

“The Ojai spirit of adventure was alive in the programming hands of music director du jour John Adams… and the new artistic and executive director Ara GuzelimianClassical Voice North America 

2021 Ojai Holiday Marketplace Vendors

We are pleased to be supported by so many wonderful Ojai vendors at this year’s Ojai Holiday Marketplace. With 40+ vendors, 2021 will be our biggest marketplace to date. Search the list below to get to know our vendors and plan out your holiday shopping experience. 

*Vendors subject to change*

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Laura Stitches
Embroidered items

Kate Russell
handmade cards

Desre Resnick
Papier Mache

Randy Meany
Yarns and yarn made products

Denise Riches Art

Etched By the Sea
seaglass art

Jalama Glass Studio
glass art

Metal Mountain
Metal art

wool dolls

Two Hand Design
Paper products and small material items

NHS Arts


Blueberry Jewelry

Little Muse

Bead Off

Broke Jewels

Charlene Biesele

Cindy Bolin Jewelry

Cindy Kalmenson Jewelry

Ramina Richard Pearl

Shari Milner Design

Global Fashion Mission
jewelry, handbags

Kate Samson Design
sea glass jewelry

This Tiny Ocean
seaglass jewelry


From the Heart of Ojai
aroma therapy and bath products
IG: fromtheheartofojai
FB: From the Heart of Ojai


Lucky Lab
Dog Products

Bonnie Lee Books

Sweet Mello
Fabric products

Charter Oaks Preserving Co
Jams and Dips

Patricia Cuenot
jewelry, shawls, blankets
IG: themudlotus

Knots to Mention
keychains and macrame

Your Needs Company
leather goods

Ojai Dirt Candy
Natural wellness products

Spirit Spa

Sugar and spoon caramels

Sorenity Rocks

Denise Rincon
skin care

Little City Designs
hand printed home apparel

Kitchen Witch Gourmet
teas and spices

For the Home

Bohemian Bowls
bowls, utensils
IG: bohemianbowls

Ojai Oaks Fallen Woods Studio
cutting boards

Pacific Wonderland

Lavender Blu

Sunday Ojai
Ojai designs

Gunays Shop
Rugs and textiles

Kevin Brooks

Terry Sharp
wooden bowls

Four Leaf Wood Shop
wooden spoons

Debra Hall Lifestyles
home goods, art, furniture

Clothing & Accessories

Akaluck Apparel
IG: akaluckapparel

Alpaca by Karim
Clothes and wraps, some jewelry

Art Couture Dominique

Gerie’s Fashion Closet

Dale Michele

Bazaar Boutique
Clothing and jewelry and candles
IG: rawheartgems

Connie Gunderson
Fabric and Cork purses

Louise’s Hats

Art Mina
Home goods and apparel

Ride or Dye Salt Ranch
Pastel tye dye

Chris West Originals
boot purses, serape purses, bels

Ambrosia Bags

DJ Giles
scarfs and wraps

Dee Dee’s Creations

Purrfect Wear

Shari Shanti

Leslie Marcus

Limelight Boutique
Womens clothing

Park Lain
IG: park.lain

Tiny Tot Threads
childrens clothing


Sespe Pottery

Firestick Pottery

Foxware Designs

NHS Ceramics

Dianas Whimsies

Esther Castillo


It is more than a festival. It is a homecoming, the recognition of a bond. On rough wooden benches — back in the day — or stretched out on the lawn, settled on a blanket, families in tow, this is a kindred fellowship, both alert and at ease. Performers get it right away because it only takes a rehearsal or two to realize that here it’s different. Young composers, cradling their newborn, often take more time. But after the jitters and anxieties of a premiere or first performance they look around and see where they are and are transformed.

For all the unseen planning of a dedicated staff (or more likely because of it) — Ojai always feels improvised, something that just happens. How easily conversations begin, over a new work, a performance, or this and that. Introductions come later, maybe after a year or two with a “remember when.” Then casual acquaintance blossoms into friendship. Yes, that’s a big part of it, the shared memories, something even initiates pick up on, when on Sunday they look back on Friday and the distance travelled in between. Something, too, about the place, the trees, the hills, the soft mists in the morning, the beating sun at noon, the evening chill. Old-timers know to come prepared, newcomers learn quickly. Then we leave, disperse, maybe one last meal and the long drive back, envying those who call Ojai home.

There are regulars, of course, true believers who attend every event. For others, however, Ojai is a smorgasbord — up for a day, perhaps, or an afternoon, or some years not at all. No matter; we all come back sooner or later, a habit formed through decades. Naturally, there have been changes. Time was, the festival was a simpler affair. Three days, five or six concerts; lots of time to spare, to chat, shop, a leisurely coffee, a bookstore browse, perhaps a walk, or bike ride. Back then Ojai sometimes felt like a coda to the Los Angeles season, to the Monday Evening Concerts, or the concerts of the Philharmonic, a showcase for the Southland’s finest, under the guidance, among others, of Lawrence Morton, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Ernest Fleischmann, not to mention resident composers such as Messiaen, Carter, or Kurtág — the legacies of giants. There was never a formula, a fixed agenda. There was freedom to pick, choose, and explore; to address the cultural and political preoccupations of the moment, to dare something new, to cozy up to something familiar, to be unapologetically eclectic. Ojai, as John Henken has written, “was always ahead of the counter- and multi-cultural curve.” Theater, dance, opera, non-Western music, and jazz have long been part of the mix. Just one thing: The music comes first.

It’s been more abuzz with activity recently. A stage rebuilt and shifted, a few trees lost, proper seats instead of sagging benches, a more forgiving sunshade, lots of bustle in the park. Tom Morris brought us events from dawn to midnight, spread around the lower and upper valley. The focus has grown from conductors and composers to include performers and ensembles; brash, innovative young artists from across the country and abroad who are rethinking music and the concert experience. New trends and fashions, our legacies in the making.
75 years — or longer? Consider a long-forgotten 1926 Ojai Valley Festival of Chamber Music, the so-called Frost-Sprague Festival with a $1,000 prize for the best new string quartet. “One of the greatest musical events that has ever taken place in America,” was the local assessment. Ah, the pride! We like to think we’re on the map, that we make a difference. No doubt we are, no doubt we have. Commissions, premieres, big names, new talents, correspondents from New York, London, and Frankfurt, weblinks, blurbs, and blogs, the world takes note. That’s all nice, good, and fine. But somehow, though we might care, Ojai itself is above such things. We listen, delight in new sounds, discover other cultures, new ways of making music, or interpretations that make us hear afresh what we thought we knew. But this place, this space takes it all in its serene embrace — the music with the birds, the crickets, the sirens, the bells, and the distant lawn mower. And because that’s so, this is a place of private epiphanies, revelations that come unbidden — we all have our favorites — moments to store quietly in our memories, to recall and share. Such are the shared moments that make each year’s festival a reunion. Together again. How good it will feel.

by Christopher Hailey 

Special thanks to Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne for their support of the Festival’s 75th anniversary season 

Ojai Holiday Marketplace


Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14, 2021
10am to 4pm each day

A benefit for 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

For this year we are putting all our energy, creativity, and time into creating the ultimate Holiday Marketplace. The Holiday Home Tour will return November 2022!

It’s the ultimate Holiday Marketplace to both celebrate and gather:
  • Begin your holiday shopping with 40+ booths that will provide the perfect find for everyone on your list, including something special for you
  • Enjoy live musical performances at the Libbey Park Gazebo 
  • Create your own decorations at the Ornament and Wreath Stations, sponsored by  Poppie’s Art & Gifts  
  • Silent auction of decorated Tabletop Trees and Menorahs created by local artists, businesses, and organizations
  • Say hello to Santa and Mrs. Santa and take a photo! courtesy of Stephen Adams 
  • Enjoy beverages and sweets at the Cafe in the Park 

Admission to the Marketplace is free and open to the public. Portion of the proceeds from the sales during the weekend will be donated to the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO education programs in the schools and community.


Special thanks to Tabletop Trees and Menorah Designers:

Bookends Bookstore| Carolyn Bennett of CDB Gardens| Cheree Edwards| Gables of Ojai| Laurel Heather Design| Lynn Malone |Ojai Blooms| Ojai Flowers | Ojai Rotary West 

Special thanks to Decoration Station sponsor: 


Ways to support:
Become a Patron Sponsor Design a Tabletop Tree or Menorah Become a Volunteer Become a Vendor
Be a shopper! See you on November 13 and 14!

Podcast Series: OJAICast

Welcome to OJAICast where we pull back the curtain to explore all-things music to satisfy musical appetites, whether you are a newcomer or longtime music fan. Special guests help shine the light on topics, ranging from concert repertoire, music of today, to their own Ojai experiences. OjaiCAST is hosted by composer, pianist and Festival Live Stream Host Thomas Kotcheff. 


Episode 1

Our first episode gives an in-depth look into the 75th Ojai Music Festival (September 16-19, 2021) repertoire and the musical threads that connect it all together, curated by Music Director John Adams. Guests include Ojai Festival Artistic & Executive Director Ara Guzelimian, Program Book Annotator Thomas May, and featured 2021 composer Gabriela Ortiz.

Thomas Kotcheff, host
Thomas Kotcheff, producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode:
Philip Glass – Evening Song No. 2 performed by Timo Andres
Gabriela Ortiz – Río de las mariposas performed by Southwest Chamber Music

N.B. John Adams was Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival in 1993 and not 1994 as stated in the podcast.


Episode 2

American composer and conductor John Adams, who leads the 75th Ojai Music Festival, has been an influence for many artists and composers, including several of our 2021 collaborators.  The second episode invites pianists Vicki Ray and Joanne Pearce Martin, composer Dylan Mattingly, and chairman emeritus and longtime president of Nonesuch Records Robert Hurwitz to discuss their personal connections with John Adams.


Thomas Kotcheff, host 
Thomas Kotcheff, producer 
Louis Ng, recording engineer  

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks  

Music used in this episode: 
John Adams – Hallelujah Junction performed by Nicolas Hodges and Rolf Hind  
John Adams – Road Movies: III. 40% Swing performed by Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek  
Dylan Mattingly – Magnolia performed by ZOFO duet (Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi)   
John Adams – The Dharma at Big Sur, Pt. II: Sri Moonshine performed by Tracy Silverman, John Adams, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra  
John Adams – I Still Play performed by Timo Andres


Episode 3

Classical music can be intimidating to newcomers and frequent concertgoers alike, even more so, new contemporary music. Host Thomas Kotcheff discusses this topic with the help from his guests, Musicologist Lance Brunner and composer and Festival Live Stream host Veronika Krausas, on finding meaning and confidence in the process of listening to classical music.

Thomas Kotcheff, host 
Thomas Kotcheff, producer 
Louis Ng, recording engineer  

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks  

Music used in this episode: 
Rachmaninoff – Isle of the Dead  performed by Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 
Glass – Glassworks, Opening (Reworked By Christian Badzura) performed by Víkingur Ólafsson 
Knut Nystedt/Johann Sebastian Bach – Immortal Bach performed by Maulbronner Kammerchor, Benjamin Hartmann


Episode 4

The Ojai Music Festival has been around since 1947, but rather than sticking to status quo, it continues to evolve and surprise with unusual intersections of musical styles and genres. Invited to talk about their Ojai experiences will be alum – Matthew Duvall of Eighth Blackbird, Music Director of the 2009 Festival, and Steven Schick, percussionist, conductor and Music Director of the 2015 Festival.

Thomas Kotcheff, host 
Thomas Kotcheff, producer 
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music used in this episode: 
Missy Mazzoli – Still Life with Avalanche performed by Eighth Blackbird
Xenakis – Rebonds B performed by Steven Schick


About Thomas Kotcheff:
Thomas Kotcheff is a Los Angeles based composer and pianist. His compositions have been described as “truly beautiful and inspired” ( and “explosive” (Gramophone magazine), and have been performed internationally by The Riot Ensemble, wild Up, New York Youth Symphony, Sandbox Percussion, violinist Jennifer Koh, the Argus Quartet, the Lyris Quartet, the Alinde Quartett, The Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, HOCKET, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble amongst others. Thomas has received awards and honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presser Foundation, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, BMI, ASCAP, the New York Youth Symphony, the National Association of Composers USA, and the American Composers Forum. Thomas has been a composition fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composers Intensive, the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. He has been artist in residence at the Byrdcliffe Art Colony, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, the Studios of Key West, the Blackbird Creative Lab, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Thomas holds degrees in composition and piano performance from the Peabody Institute and the University of Southern California. For more information visit



Join Us for Suppers in the Park


Enjoy a family-style boxed dinner under the oaks in Libbey Park alongside other music enthusiasts prior to the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, 6:30pm. This gourmet boxed meal includes dinner, dessert, and wines from The Ojai Vineyard. $55/person – advance reservation required. Space is limited. Purchase Friday or Saturday online. Or call our box office at 805 646 2053.

Friday Night September 17: Santa Barbara Catering Connection
Boxed Dinner

Cold Poached Salmon with Lime & Chili Aioli
Red Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Baba Ganoush and Grilled Flatbread
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries

Vegetarian Option
Grilled Vegetable and Marinated Tofu on Rosemary Skewer Skewer
Couscous and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Lemon Aioli
Baba Ganoush and Grilled Flatbread
Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with fresh raspberries

Saturday Night September 18: Ojai Rotie
Boxed Dinner 

1/2 Rotie Chicken
Cardamom Carrots, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Harissa
Tater Salad
Pickled Turnips & Toum
Manouche (Lebanese Flatbread) –
Baklava w/Lemon, Walnuts, Lavender

Vegan Option
Grilled Eggplant Napoleon – Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella, Baby Kale, Roasted Tomato, Chervil Pesto
Cardamom Carrots, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Harissa
Purslane Tabooli
Manouche (Lebanese Flatbread)
Baklava w/Lemon, Walnuts, Lavender



Ojai Farmers Riff on the Culture of Growing Things

Ojai gets called the “verdant valley” a lot, for reasons made clear when you gaze down on it from the Highway 150 lookout or drive along its narrow roads lined with citrus orchards and avocado trees.

Stop to chat with a farmer at one of Ojai’s two certified farmers’ markets about what goes into creating those Instagram-ready views, and you may hear more about agriculture than you bargained for. Growing food in this gorgeous valley, with its Pink Moment-making east-to-west orientation, is a challenge. Drought is one reason. Rising property values, plant-wilting heat waves, fruit-dropping freezes and increasing competition are others.

And yet the region is home to dozens of farms, ranches and orchards. They vary in age, size and focus, tied together by their owners’ shared curiosity in answering: “What happens when we try this?”

It’s the same spirit of experimentation that has drawn creatives of all types to this ripe-with-promise valley through the decades. Read on to meet some of them.

Elizabeth Del Negro had ties to Ojai’s food scene long before she and husband John Fonteyn started Rio Gozo Farm, now located on eight acres at Besant Hill School in the Upper Ojai: Her father was once the chef at The Ranch House. Rio Gozo originally focused on direct-to-consumer sales through a CSA, or community-supported agriculture program. A decade later, most of its herbs, flowers and vegetables are instead destined for restaurants (Osteria Monte Grappa and Sage Ojai, among them) and for Besant Hill School when it’s in session.

Farmer and the Cook in Meiners Oaks is a one-stop shop for anyone looking to meet a local farmer, grab a bite to eat and buy some organic veggies. Now in its 20th year, the combination café, bakery, smoothie bar and market is owned by the husband-and-wife team of farmer Steve Sprinkel and registered dietitian “cook” Olivia Chase. Their 10-acre plot at the former Honor Farm supplies not just the cafe and market but an in-house CSA, the new Thursday-afternoon Ojai Community Farmers’ Market(Sprinkel is on the board) and other restaurants in partnership with Rio Gozo Farm. The farm’s newest project involves growing specialty crops for Ojai-based Plant Good Seed Co., available online and at select retail locations.

Veteran farmer Robert “BD” Dautch produces more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables (culinary herbs are a specialty) at his 12-acre Earthtrine Farm in Ojai’s Arbolada neighborhood. The results show up in dishes at the newly opened Meiners Heritage Table and other local restaurants. On Sundays, look for Dautch at the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market. Saturday mornings find him at the Santa Barbara Downtown Market, where Dautch has been a vendor since its debut in 1979.

A 400-acre ranch in the Ojai Valley is just one of several grazing spots used by Watkins Cattle for what it ultimately sells at farmers markets, select grocery stores and its own butcher shop in Meiners Oaks, where patrons can order fresh-off-the-grill sliders from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. Pasture-fed beef from Watkins Cattle is also featured at Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill and other Ojai restaurants.

Avocado root rot swept through the region in the late 1970s, inspiring the roughly 15-acre Churchill Orchard to replant with Pixie tangerines and Kishu mandarins. (The latter are a personal favorite of chef José Andres, a repeat mail-order customer.) When the early days of the pandemic forced temporary closures for restaurants and some farmers markets, grower Jim Churchill and crew launched a Cyber Market for Locals, offering scheduled pickups at the orchard barn. Sign up now for email alerts about the 2022 harvest.



  • Lisa McKinnon is a former Ventura County Star journalist who continues to write about local food (and the people who grow, prepare and serve it) for 805 Living and Central Coast Farm & Ranch magazines. She’s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok as 805foodie, and blogs at

Look-Back: Ojai’s Musical Pop-Ups


Celebrating 75 Years of Music in Our Home Town!
To mark the beginning of our 75th anniversary, the Festival shared free musical offerings as a thank you to the community, and welcome the return of live music in Ojai.
This series of surprise Musical Pop-Ups featured Festival collaborators – harpist Shelley Burgon, percussionist Fiona Digney, violinist Helen Kim, Kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, and flutist Laura Walter. Special thanks to LoveSocial Cafe, Porch Gallery Ojai, the City of Ojai, and the Ojai Chamber of Commerce. 
Photos by Stephen Adams. 

Thursday, June 10
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh (bowed fiddle of the Middle East and Central Asia)
11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

Friday, June 11
Shelley Burgon, harp
11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

Saturday, June 12
Helen Kim, violin
10:00am at Love Social Cafe (205 No. Signal St)

BRAVO event with Laura Walter, flute
2:00pm at Libbey Park near the Fountain 

Sunday, June 13
Fiona Digney, percussion
10:00am at Porch Gallery Ojai  (310 E Matilija Street)
11:30am at Libbey Park Gazebo 


The health and safety of our patrons is paramount to the Festival. We will be following current state and local health protocols during our events.



Virtual Ojai Talks


Welcome to the Festival’s continuing series of Virtual Ojai Talks, where we celebrate the intersection of music, ideas, and the creative process with 2021 Festival artists, composers, innovators, and thinkers.



Musical Pop-Up with Niloufar Shiri


Celebrating 75 Years of Music in Our Home Town!
To mark the beginning of our 75th anniversary, the Festival will give free musical offerings as a thank you to the Ojai community.
This series of surprise 20-minute Musical Pop-Ups will feature Festival collaborators – harpist Shelley Burgon, percussionist Fiona Digney, violinist Helen Kim, Kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, and flutist Laura Walter.
Please join us as we embrace the return of live music and the beginning of our celebration leading to the September Festival. View the full Musical Pop-Up schedule >

Thursday, June 10
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh (bowed fiddle of the Middle East and Central Asia)

11:30am at the Fountain area at Libbey Park 
Avaz-e Dashti
Abolhassan Sabā   Zard-e Malijeh


5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza
Abolhassan Sabā   Kārehvān
Avaz-e Dashti

Niloufar Shiri is a kamancheh player and composer from Tehran, Iran, trained in Iranian classical music. Niloufar is a graduate in kamâncheh performance of the Tehran Music Conservatory and received her bachelor degree with honors in composition from UC San Diego.

She is an imaginative interpreter of Iranian music and uses story-telling and poetry as a source of inspiration for her deeply textural and often ghostly music. Her compositions use aspects of contemporary Iranian poetry to incorporate the enigmatic complexity of Iranian literature and culture.

As a kamancheh player and composer, she has received commissions and collaborated with numerous ensembles and festivals inside and outside of the United States including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Long Beach Opera, Mostly Mozart, Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, Atlas Ensemble among others. In conjunction with her studies at UC San Diego, she has also been directly studying and researching Iranian classical music with the research team of maestro Hossein Omoumi at UC Irvine and in 2012, the research received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology at UC Irvine.


2021 Festival Schedule >
Purchase Festival Passes >

The health and safety of our patrons is paramount to the Festival. We will be following current state and local health protocols during our events.