The Festival will look back in tribute to composers with deep historical relationships to Ojai – Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg, and Olivier Messiaen – and will look forward to major voices of our time, including Gerard Grisey, Marc Anthony Turnage, and John Zorn.

Barbara as a conductor in semi-staged performance of Stravinsky’s Rakes Progress (complete)
Barbara as a performer singing in Gerard Grisey’s Quatre Chants pour franchir le seuill conducted by Steven Schick, singing Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 (quartet to be announced), and singing/conducting George Gershwin’s selections from Girl Crazy
Barbara as a mentor with seven young singers in residence from her recently announced mentoring initiative Equilibrium

****

As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 72nd Festival (June 7-10, 2018) with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the Festival’s 2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 73rd Festival, June 6-9, 2019. The 2019 Ojai Music Festival celebrates and explores the creative artistic force of Barbara Hannigan, as conductor, singer, and mentor.

“Barbara Hannigan is an inspiration for what a great artist should be. She is world renowned as a soprano, having sung at all the great opera houses and concert stages. She is a pioneer of the new, having championed the works of countless composers of our time including George Benjamin, Hans Abrahamsen, Gerald Barry, Unsuk Chin, Pierre Boulez, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Henri Dutilleux. She is a passionate conductor, known for her unique programming and interpretations. Through Equilibrium, her recently announced mentoring initiative for younger artists, she is committed to the next generation of musicians. Most importantly she is an entrepreneur, leading by example, unafraid of creating new paths, an advocate for issues of our time and space, and a supernova in the musical universe. Ojai will showcase all of those aspects of this remarkable artist next June, including the American debut of the incredible musicians’ collective from Amsterdam, Ludwig, with whom Barbara has a close relationship,” said Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris.

 

“I am buzzing with energy and excitement around the 2019 Ojai Music Festival. Together with Tom Morris, a longtime inspiration and friend, it has been a joy to imagine and explore beautiful collaborations and combinations of repertoire and musicians. As the 2019 Festival nears, these dreams are approaching reality! This Festival will be a synthesis of dark and light: chiaroscuro. The music we will present resonates deeply with me, and the dramatic storytelling is equally strong, as you’ll see and hear in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and other vocal works by Schoenberg, Grisey, Turnage, and Vivier. I am still pinching myself that this magical gathering exists and am thrilled to join the enormous energy that the Festival has generated for over 70 years,” shared Barbara Hannigan.

During the 2019 Festival, Barbara Hannigan will conduct works by Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Vivier. A highlight of her work from the podium will be Stravinsky’s neoclassic opera, The Rake’s Progress, a Faustian fable for our time addressing the subjects of love, laziness, and greed. Anne Truelove was one of the first operatic roles Ms. Hannigan ever sang, and the opera holds a special place in her heart. Ms. Hannigan conducts this semi-staged complete performance that features members of her Equilibrium mentoring initiative as the cast. The production, directed by Linus Fellbom, is a co-production with the Gothenberg Symphony in Sweden, the Klara Festival in Brussels, the Munich Philharmonic in Germany, plus Cal Performances and the Aldeburgh Festival.

As a singer, Ms. Hannigan will perform Gérard Grisey’s haunting masterpiece, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, a 45-minute song cycle for soprano and 16 instruments which explores the passage from live into death. Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, which was completed just days before Grisey’s death, will be conducted by Ojai’s 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. Ms. Hannigan will perform in Arnold Schoenberg’s sensual String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet in F sharp minor, Op. 10. In her own arrangement with Bill Elliot of selections from George Gershwin’s Girl Crazy, Ms. Hannigan will serve as both singer and conductor.

LUDWIG, the celebrated new music collective from Amsterdam, with whom Ms. Hannigan works closely and collaborated with on the recent Grammy and Juno award-winning album Crazy Girl Crazy (Alpha Classics), makes its Ojai and US premiere with the 2019 Festival.

Seven of Ms. Hannigan’s Equilibrium young artists will be in residence with her in Ojai. In January 2017, Ms. Hannigan launched the Equilibrium (EQ) initiative to mentor 21 young professional musicians in the first substantial phase of their careers. EQ includes intensive workshop retreats, which focus on developing and strengthening the skills needed for sustaining a fulfilling career, as well as offering performance opportunities with Ms. Hannigan and others. EQ artists are selected from an international field of applicants for their talent, musicianship, passion, drive, curiosity, discipline, versatility, and creativity. At the 2019 Festival, these young artists will form the cast of The Rake’s Progress, and will perform additional music by Igor Stravinsky, Claude Vivier, Mark Anthony Turnage, and others.

Other music to be featured during the Festival including Terry Riley’s seminal In C, receiving its second Ojai Music Festival performance and featuring 2019 Festival artists. William Walton’s entertainment, Façade, a concoction for speaker and six instruments on humorous poems by Edith Sitwell, will be narrated by Barbara Hannigan and surprise guests. Music of American composer John Zorn will also be featured during the Festival.

Purchase series passes by calling our box office at 805 646 2053 or order online. Meet Barbara Hannigan at the 2018 Festival at our early series subscriber reception on June 9. 

PURCHASE 2019 SERIES PASSES 

Here are some photos from this year’s Festival!  Many thanks to David Bazemore and Stephen Adams for images.

Live Stream

Join us for our 2018 Live Stream Broadcast

Special thanks to Lynn Bremer for underwriting support of the live streaming programs. 
Produced and filmed by Live Concert Productions.  

THURSDAY, JUNE 7

Start Time Event
8:30 PM Live with Smith & Kotcheff
9:00 PM Evening Concert
BYE BYE BEETHOVEN
10:20 PM Talk Back Q & A
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, MCO members

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

Start Time Event
1:00 PM Afternoon Concert
A Singular Vision: Part I 
2:00 PM Interview with Michael Hersch
2:30 PM Afternoon Concert
A Singular Vision: Part II
3:45 PM Interview with Barbara Hannigan
4:00 PM Video on Demand (VOD)
Music at Dawn Replay
5:05 PM Video on Demand
Ojai Talks Part 1 Replay
7:30 PM Evening Concert
Across Time: Part I
8:30 PM Interview with Patricia Kopatchinskaja
9:00 PM Evening Concert
Across Time: Part II
10:30 PM Free Community Concert
John Luther Adams: Everything That Rises

SATURDAY, JUNE 9

Start Time Event
1:00 PM Afternoon Concert
With Abandon: Part I
2:00 PM Interview with Jay Campbell
2:30 PM Afternoon Concert
With Abandon: Part II
3:45 PM Interview with Maria Ursprung
4:30 PM Video On Demand
Ojai Talks Part 2 REPLAY
5:35 PM Video On Demand
Music at Dawn REPLAY
6:30 PM Video On Demand
Ojai Talks Part 3 REPLAY
7:30 PM Evening Concert
Looking Inward
8:30 PM Interview with Ah Young Hong
9:00 PM Evening Concert
Dies Irae (West Coast Premiere)
10:30 PM Talkback Q&A
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Maria Ursprung, Jay Campbell, Christian Heubes from MCO with Tom Morris

SUNDAY, JUNE 10

Start Time Event
1:00 PM Afternoon Concert
Exploring the Expanse: Part I
2:00 PM Interview with MCO Members
2:30 PM Afternoon Concert
Exploring the Expanse: Part II
3:45 PM Interview with Anthony Romaniuk
4:30 PM Evening Concert
A Devil’s Bargain and Some Earthly Delights
5:30 PM Interview with Thomas W. Morris

Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director

Nova Scotian musician Barbara Hannigan divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras. The Berlin Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony are among the orchestras with whom she holds close relationships. Barbara has worked with the most prominent conductors, including Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, David Zinman, Vladimir Jurowski, Antonio Pappano, Alan Gilbert, and Reinbert de Leeuw. Her commitment to the music of our time has led to an extensive collaboration with composers including Boulez, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, and Abrahamsen. 

Unforgettable operatic appearances include the title role in a “chameleonic and compelling” (Gramophone) Lulu in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s staging at La Monnaie, and more recently Lulu at Hamburg Staatsoper conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Christoph Marthaler; the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande in Katie Mitchell’s staging at the 2016 Festival d’Aix-en-Province conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s more recent production at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany; and a fearless interpretation of Marie as a flame in the darkness in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at the Bayerische Staatsoper—a hugely acclaimed presentation directed by Andreas Kriegenberg and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, for which she won the Faust Award in Germany. She made her Opéra national de Paris debut in 2015 with La Voix humaine again in a Warlikowski production and returned in April 2018 to reprise the role. She created the role of Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival in summer 2017 and created the role of Agnes in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, a production which has garnered rave reviews worldwide, with most recent performances at New York’s Lincoln Center (2015) and London’s Royal Opera House (2017); and had the world premiere of  Benjamin’s new opera also at London’s Royal Opera House.

Recently appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, Ms. Hannigan made her conducting debut in 2011 at the Chatelet in Paris, and her path since that time has been a constant creative development, having created special programs for the Toronto Symphony, Danish National and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Münchner Philharmoniker, as well as the orchestra of the Munich Staatsoper.

In 2017, Ms. Hannigan released her first album as both singer and conductor, with Holland’s LUDWIG orchestra as the orchestral force, on Alpha Classics, entitled Crazy Girl Crazy. The album features works by Berio, Berg, and a specially commissioned Gershwin arrangement by Bill Elliott, as well as a bonus dvd by Mathieu Amalric. The album has won both the Grammy and Juno awards for best classical vocal album.

Ms. Hannigan’s other recordings have garnered awards from Gramophone, Edison, Victoires de la Musique and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Other awards include Singer of the Year (Opernwelt, 2013), Musical Personality of the Year (Syndicat de la Presse Francaise, 2012), Ehrenpreise (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2018), and Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts (2018).

Recently appointed as a member to the Order of Canada (2016), Ms. Hannigan’s life as an artist has been the subject of several documentaries: Accentus Music’s acclaimed documentary I’m a creative animal, produced at Lucerne Festival 2014 where she was Artiste Etoile, Dutch television’s Canadees Podiumdier (NTR 2014), as well as three films by Mathieu Amalric: C’est presque au bout du monde, Lulu Variations, and Music is Music.

In 2017 Ms. Hannigan created Equilibrium, an international mentoring initiative for young professional musicians, and chose 21 participants from a total of 350 applicants from 39 countries to participate in Equilibrium’s first season (2018/19), which will have over 20 performances with four partner orchestras in works including Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Mozart’s Requiem, and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.

 

Special Offers

omf_supper_022

Enjoy a family-style boxed dinner under the oaks in Libbey Park alongside other music enthusiasts prior to the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, 6:00pm. This gourmet boxed meal includes dinner, dessert, and wines from The Ojai Vineyard. $45/person – advance reservation required. Space is limited. Purchase online here or call our box office at 805 646 2053.

Friday Night June 8
Boxed Dinner

 

Heirloom Caprese Stack with balsamic and olive oil (2 of each item)

Sea Bass with a corn, feta, tomato-basil sauce (no cream)

Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Pilaf

Haricot Vert with Shallots & Tarragon

Dessert: Chocolate Pot de Creme

Vegetarian Option: Large Marinated Portabella Mushroom

Saturday Night June 9
Boxed Dinner 

Butter Leaf Salad with cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, fresh mint, and a creamy citrus dressing

Roasted chicken marbella with dried plums and apricots, capers and herbs in white wine sauce

Rio Gozo Farms roasted organic seasonal vegetables

Wild rice salad with sliced apples, silvered red onion, fresh herbs

Dessert: Caramel Blondie

Vegetarian Option: Roasted Stuffed Bell Pepper with roasted cauliflower and fresh herbs

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE BEAUTIFUL OJAI
A private two-day package for garden lovers
FRIDAY, JUNE 8 to SUNDAY, JUNE 10

  • Stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in a well-appointed fireplace room
  • Attend exceptional concerts of the Ojai Music Festival in the outdoor Libbey Bowl
  • Visits to some of Ojai’s finest private gardens including a personal tour of Peter Strauss’ Moroccan Garden, a Pamela Burton designed landscape in Upper Ojai, Paul Hendershot’s own house and garden, and the Turtle Conservancy and Gardens
  • Lunch under the oak trees on an historic estate, al fresco dinner in Libbey Park, and Sunday brunch in upper Ojai

One weekend
One price*
One amazing experience

Package includes: 
two nights at hotel, shuttle during your stay in Ojai, tickets for four concerts, VIP access to Festival lounge and additional surprises

There is limited space for this exclusive package.
Please respond as soon as possible to ensure your place.
Contact Gina Gutierrez at 805 646 2181 or email ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org

*$1,630 per person (double occupancy) | For single occupancy, add $630

Chad Smith

A Perfect Ojai Music Adventure: June 7-10, 2018

“The Ojai Music Festival has been raising a finely calibrated ruckus each spring since 1947.”– Alex Ross, The New Yorker

The Ojai Music Festival’s unparalleled legacy brings fearless musical innovators to share fresh and compelling sounds, ideas, and collaborations with an inquisitive audience open to new adventures. Unlike other festivals, Ojai creates a curated narrative thread over four concentrated days of surprise and wonder, giving audiences and artists an immersive artistic, intellectual, and stimulating experience.

Praised for her “savage energy” (The Washington Post) and “mesmerizing artistry” (The Strad), the Moldovan-Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja journeys to Ojai as the 2018 Music Director and shares her boundless passion for the old, the new, and the challenging. A path-breaking collaborator with timely insights on the state of our world, Patricia will provoke important conversations that venture beyond the music.

2018 Highlights:

  • Two semi-staged concerts conceived and directed by Kopatchinskaja
  • The world premiere of a commissioned work by Michael Hersch
  • Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial
  • Free music events including Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for solo instruments and two concerts for children devised and performed by Kopatchinskaja
  • Collaborations with soprano Ah Young Hong in Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments, Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello with JACK Quartet cellist Jay Campbell, and with her parents in an exploration of Moldavian folk music. The Benefits of Ordering Series Passes:
    In addition to getting the best value and the best seats for every concert, you connect with the musical journey, with the artists, and with other music enthusiasts, all in the intimate setting of Ojai for a super-charged immersive experience.
  • A planned musical journey across four days
  • Priority seating for the best seats in Libbey Bowl
  • Special seating area at the Children’s Concert
  • Flexible seat exchange policy
  • Best savings over single ticket prices
  • Access to private events throughout the year

Enjoy a series immersion pass : 4-day, 3-day, or weekend passes available. Use promo code Ojailove2018 and receive an additional discount, now until March 11, 2018. Call our box office at 805 646 2053 or purchase online here>

 

Matthias Pintscher is Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. He is currently in his seventh year as Artist in Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony and was the inaugural Artist in Residence and featured artist at the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. 

Matthias began his musical training in conducting with Hungarian Composer and Conductor Peter Eötvös during his early twenties, during which time composing took a more prominent role in his life. Soon after, he divided his time equally between conducting and composing studying with teacher and mentor Pierre Boulez, soon rising to critical acclaim and more recently is conducting as a major role.

Conducting highlights of the 16/17 season included projects with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mariinsky Orchestra, Deutsches Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as well as an extensive tour of Asia with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in celebration of their 40th anniversary. In addition, Matthias has also appeared as guest conductor with the NDR Hamburg, Danish Radio Symphony, Sydney, Melbourne Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, DSO Berlin, Mahler Chamber and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras.

Matthias is a prolific composer whose works are performed by leading orchestras and artists worldwide. The debut of his Cello Concerto Un Despertar was premiered last season by Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and in April 2017 the World Premiere of Shirim for Baritone and Orchestra with Danish singer Bo Skovhus and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester in Hamburg. Matthias is also professor at The Julliard School since 2014 and is published by Bärenreiter-Verlag.

During the 17/18 season, Matthias will return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, as well as projects with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Beethoven 9), the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra de la Suisse Romande as well as debuts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.

For further information on this artist, please contact:

EDWARD PASCALL, Senior Artist Manager
Edward.pascall@askonasholt.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7400 1725

OLLIE HAINES, Assistant Artist Manager
Ollie.haines@askonasholt.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7400 1749

Askonas Holt Limited
Lincoln House, 300 High Holborn, London WC1V 7JH, United Kingdom
T +44 (0)20 7400 1700 askonasholt.co.uk info@askonasholt.co.uk

 

Patricia Discusses the 2018 Festival

 

2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja details the upcoming Festival – she put careful thought and feeling into her planning. In this video, you can see her passion and contagious enthusiasm.

You can purchase your series passes by following this link, or by calling 805-646-2053.  

 

2018 Video

Welcome to our library of videos relating to 2018 Festival artists! Learn more about what to expect in June. 

Meet the 2017 Holiday Home Designers

Liz Samia Cohn, Forage Ojai

Elizabeth Samia Cohn is new to Ojai but not new to floral design. For the past 20 years, east coast to west coast, Elizabeth has been designing florals and event venues, and homes ranging from mountain bungalows to coastal interiors. She moved from Boston to Ventura County just three years ago and fell in love with Ojai. She recently purchased the floral design shop formerly known as Digs, and has transformed it into Forage, a beautiful juxtaposition of interior design and florals. 

Her work has been seen in Martha Stewart Weddings, Elle Décor, Style Me Pretty and many others. Some of her past clients have included Niche Media, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, and Neiman Marcus. Her design approach is to create a full experience for her clients using responsibly sourced florals and design elements, which has given her the opportunity to work in interior and exterior landscape construction, and design for luxury homes and commercial buildings.
Address: 25 Baldwin Road, Ojai, CA; Phone: (805) 646-3447; Web: forageojai.com

Louesa Roebeck, Foraged Flora

Louesa was born in the middle of Ohio in the middle of the 1960s. She grew up there and Kentucky. After studying printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design she moved to California and began working at Chez Panisse, where she learned Californian culture and its beauty working closely with Erica Tanov. Louesa then went on to open August, a seminal fashion, art, and community hub which became an early proponent of the intersection of luxury apparel and green socially responsible textile practices. In 200, she returned to her lifelong love of foraged and gleaned floral work. 

She divides her time between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and currently lived in Ojai. She has created floral installations for Vivienne Westwood, John Baldesarri, Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Carolyn Murphy for Vogue and House Beautiful. Her floral work has been featured in a number of national and international magazines and media, including Vogue, C magazine, Sunset, and Martha Stewart Living. Her latest venture, Foraged Flora (Ten Speed Press/Random House) is now available for purchase. 
Web: LouesaRoebuck.com

 

Janelle Kandziora, Janelle Interiors Design Showroom

Janelle is the owner and lead designer at Janelle Interiors Design Showroom in Ojai. She specializes in construction design, color consulting, custom furniture, lighting and much more. Janelle has a successful design career furnishing homes all over the greater Los Angeles area, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs Desert communities.

Janelle received her BA from Metropolitan State University of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her degree concentrations were specifically in Fine Arts, Art History and Psychology. Her career began with 550 Design of Minneapolis where she trained under a senior staff of highly experienced designers. Specializing in residential and hospitality design, her experience quickly brought her to Palm Desert, California in early 2004. Her desert career began with Ambiance Unlimited where she refined her residential design skills and completed the model homes for PGA West’s Greg Norman Estates Country Club. With an interest in construction design she then joined the luxurious Andalusia Country Club design team and assisted owners in the creation of their dream homes. In 2009 she then opened Janelle Interiors as an independent design corporation and has since designed homes in some of the desert’s premier clubs.

Relocating to Ojai in 2012 she opened up her design showroom where clients can view the extensive home furnishing resources. Janelle’s design approach is, “Simple but Elegant,” with attention to the planning of space and style. She prides herself in creating a look and feel that coincides with her clients
dream or vision in any project. 
Showroom: (805) 640-0194; Web: JanelleInteriors.com

Irma C. Murrillo, Angela’s Flowers

Angela’s Flowers was originally started by Angela Mc Elroy in Ventura. She decided to move to beautiful Ojai Valley, where she continued to live until recently. Angela then sold the business to Joanne Moore approximately in 1989, who owned it until about 2006, until she decided to sell it to friend Laurie Barnett who then sold it to Irma. Irma began working for Angela’s Flowers when she was just a sophomore at the local high school. It was her first job and honestly believes it will be her last. She loves what she does so much it doesn’t seem like work, and has been with the business for over 20 years. 
Address: 226 W Ojai Ave #102, Ojai; Phone: (805) 646-5404; Web: AngelasFlowersOjai.com

 

“Ojai is special. There is no fight with new music, no fear — just curiosity and hunger for fresh music of today. The Ojai audiences are completely open minded, and it’s a wonderful possibility to do music that I truly enjoy and find powerfully relevant in our present world. Ojai is magic,” Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director.

“When I first met Patricia Kopatchinskaja, I knew she was a natural to be Music Director of the Festival. She is, quite simply, a force of nature. Her unstoppable energy, blazing virtuosity, and relentless curiosity are irresistible. The 2018 Festival will showcase her wildly diverse artistic talents as a violinist, a collaborator, a director, an advocate, and as a creative force. Patricia sees music in the context of today’s social and political issues so the 2018 Festival is one that will surely offer confrontation, questioning, and healing. The 2018 Festival aims to capture Patricia’s infectious energy and virtuosity,” Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director.

The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, presents Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity and perspective in the context of today’s social and political climate. 

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) in its first extended United States residency. Founded in 1997, the Berlin-based MCO defines itself as a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With members spanning 20 different countries, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific projects in Europe and across the world. The MCO forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and maintains long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, MCO will display its versatility and virtuosity as an orchestral ensemble, in smaller chamber iterations, and also in superb solo performances from individual members.

The JACK Quartet also makes its Ojai debut at the 2018 Festival. Deemed “superheroes of the new music world” (Boston Globe), JACK is dedicated to the performance, commissioning, and spread of new string quartet music. Comprising violinists Christopher Otto and Austin Wulliman, violist John Pickford Richards, and cellist Jay Campbell, the group collaborates with composers of our day, including John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Simon Steen-Andersen, Caroline Shaw, Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher, and John Zorn. Upcoming and recent premieres include works by Derek Bermel, Cenk Ergün, Roger Reynolds, Toby Twining, and Georg Friedrich Haas. At the 2018 Festival, JACK will perform works by Georg Frederick Haas, Horatio Radulescu, Morton Feldman, George Crumb and Jorge Sanchez-Chiong.

Major projects will include two semi-staged concerts conceived and directed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first, which opens the Festival on Thursday night, is Bye Bye Beethoven. Kopatchinskaja describes the concert as a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.”  This program features a mash-up of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Joseph Haydn, György Kurtág, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto. This marks the US premiere of Bye Bye Beethoven, which was premiered at the Hamburg International Music Festival and subsequently staged in Berlin. This production marked the fourth collaboration between Ms. Kopatchinskaja and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.  Bye Bye Beethoven involves musicians in both conventional and unconventional roles, encounters with different musical genres – including a collaboration with sound designer Jorge Sanchez-Chiong – and discourse among sound, space and imagery.

The second semi-staged concert conceived and directed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja is her own provocative commentary on the consequences of global warming. Titled Dies Irae, the program is an aesthetic reflection of a time rife with global warming, wars over resources, and refugee crises. Musical selections include Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, George Crumb, Michael Hersch, Byzantine chant, Giacinto Scelsi, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s remarkable Dies Irae for eight double basses, piano, and wooden box. The evening performance on Saturday, June 9, 2018 marks its American premiere.

A new piece by American composer Michael Hersch – described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists – will receive its world premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival, with subsequent performances at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at Great Britain’s venerable Aldeburgh Festival. The Friday, June 8, 2018 premiere follows works by Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, and piano music by Bull, Byrd, Purcell as well as improvisations. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist.  He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

Featured on Friday afternoon (June 8) will be the music of Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya, described by Alex Ross as “one of the century’s grand originals.” Kopatchinskaja has long been a passionate advocate of Ustvolskaya’s music and will perform with pianist Markus Hinterhäuser her Duet and Sonata. Hinterhäuser, who is also the Intendant of the Salzburg Festival, will perform all six of her piano sonatas. Ustvolskaya’s powerful Dies irae will be featured in the Saturday evening concert of the same title.

Additional programming highlights include Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments; Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial; major chamber and piano music by Galina Ustvolskaya; as well as Roumanian and Moldavian folk music performed by Ms. Kopatchinskaja and her parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski on cimbalom and violin. The Festival closes with the Ligeti Violin Concerto performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Free Community Concerts
The 2018 Festival continues to build on its commitment to reach broader audiences with several opportunities for all to experience Ojai offerings. On Thursday June 7, following the three-part Ojai Talks dialogues, the Festival commences the first in a series of six free pop-up concerts in the Gazebo of Libbey Park, featuring performances of most of Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for solo instruments by members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.  Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, electronics, will also perform Luigi Nono’s La lontanaza nostalgica utopia future in a free concert Thursday evening in Libbey Park, preceding the Festival’s first main Libbey Bowl concert of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s semi-staged concert Bye Bye Beethoven.  Additionally, Ms. Kopatchinskaja has programmed two free concerts just for children. Children of all ages will convene in the Ojai Art Center listen to works by Berio, Biber, Cage, Holliger, Arthur Honegger, and Ferdinand the Bull by Alan Ridout for solo violin and speaker. These concerts for children are presented in association with the Festival’s BRAVO education program for schools and community. 

Ojai Talks
The 2018 Festival begins with Ojai Talks hosted by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Julliard School. On Thursday, June 7, a three-part series of discussions will begin with an exploration of Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s musical preferences and inspirations. The Ojai Music Festival’s march toward its 75th anniversary frames the second Ojai Talks, with reflections on its storied legacy, contextualization of its place on the world stage, and hints of what evolutions may impact the Festival in the future. The third part of the discussion series will speak to the reinvention of musical groups, with panelists from the JACK Quartet and from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. 

Additional on-site and on-line dialogue during the 2018 Festival includes Concert Insights, the preconcert talks at the LIbbey Bowl Tennis Courts with Festival artists hosted by resident musicologist Christoper Hailey. Preconcert interviews are broadcast through the Festival’s free live streaming program, hosted by content-expert individuals from across the nation. 

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the spring. 

New Partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival
Following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the following week’s Ojai at Berkeley presented in collaboration with Cal Performances, a new partnership with Aldeburgh will take place at the end of the Aldeburgh Festival (June 21 – 24) based at the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh in England. The collaboration with Aldeburgh follows the formation of Ojai at Berkeley as a partnership of co-productions and co-commissions that affords the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The Aldeburgh relationship launches in June 2018, for an initial four-year period.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the eighth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities, Ojai and Berkeley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org.

2018 Festival series passes are available now and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053.

 

Congratulations to our friend and collaborator Tyshawn Sorey on his appointment as a MacArthur Fellow. Tyshawn’s astonishing creativity has been so evident in Ojai for the last two Festivals – 2016 with Peter Sellars and Julia Bullock, and in 2017 with Vijay Iyer (Sellars and Iyer are themselves MacArthur Fellows). Ojai is an incubator for artists and music, and we can all be proud to see these so honored and recognized with this exciting award. Wonderful and well-deserved news, Tyshawn.” – Thomas W. Morris

The MacArthur Foundation recently announced their Class of 2017 recipients popularly referred to as a “genius grant.” This esteemed list included two-time Festival alum Tyshawn Sorey.  A release from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation cited Sorey for “assimilating and transforming ideas from a broad spectrum of musical idioms and defying distinctions between genres, composition, and improvisation in a singular expression of contemporary music.”

The Foundation website summarizes Tyshawn’s work: 

A virtuosic percussionist and drum set player who is fluent in piano and trombone, Sorey is an ever-curious explorer of the nature of sound and rhythm, ensemble behavior, and the physicality of live performance. He erodes distinctions among musical genres as well as the line between composition and improvisation and incorporates sophisticated rhythmic and harmonic phrasing, highly prescribed improvisational sound worlds, and real-time experimentation with sound, among many other structural elements. At the same time, he possesses a refined sense of restraint and balance that allows him to maintain his own unique voice while bringing a vast array of musical settings to life. He explores various World and Eastern musical and philosophical concepts on his albums Koan (2009) and Alloy (2014), employing musical languages that range from slowly developing tonally and pantonally based music to free atonal pieces that contain irregular rhythms, lyrical phrasing, and distinctive pacing. Inner Spectrum of Variables (2015) features an extended composition in six movements that merges the harmonic and melodic vocabularies of Western classical, American, and Ethiopian creative expressions, free improvisation, and twentieth-century avant-garde musical traditions. In his song cycle Perle Noire: Meditations for Josephine (2016), Sorey reimagines the legendary Josephine Baker’s works; his original recreations of songs sung by Baker reflect both the context of her contributions to the civil rights movement and contemporary incidences of racial injustice. Sorey challenges expectations of jazz piano trio performance on Verisimilitude (2017), a set of five abstract, enigmatic, and austere pieces in which the delineation between spontaneous and formal composition is even more obscured.

In addition to his own work as a composer, conductor, and ensemble leader, Sorey’s prowess as a percussionist and drum set player is well known, and he continues to be in high demand as a sideman for popular creative artists. With his genre-free approach to making music and continuous experimentation, Sorey is rapidly emerging as a singular talent in contemporary musical composition and performance.

The Ojai Music Festival congratulates Tyshawn for joining the ranks of these creative and forward-thinking individuals. Read more here >

“It’s like a dream – to be able to play and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time over the course of only a few days, and to share it with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – Ojai. These pieces changed my life; I hope ¬ they will find a very special place also in your souls.” – Patricia Kopatchinskaja

 

“When I first met Patricia Kopatchinskaja, I knew she was a natural to be Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. Her unstoppable energy, blazing virtuosity, and relentless curiosity are irresistible, as she demonstrated at the Festival’s Ears Open event in Ojai a year ago. The 2018 Festival will be a showcase of her creativity – as a violinist, as a collaborator, as a programmer, and as a commentator on our time. Patricia sees music in the context of today’s social and political issues so the 2018 Festival is one that will surely offer confrontation, questioning, and healing.” – Thomas W. Morris

The Ojai Music Festival is proud to present Patricia Kopatchinskaja as Music Director of the 2018 Festival (June 7-10) in her West Coast debut. Joining Patricia, will be the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Patricia and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director.

In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and also as a showcase for the superb solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

Major 2018 Festival projects include two staged concerts designed by Patricia. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, which she describes as a commentary on “the irrelevance of the classic concert routine for our present life.” This staged program features a mash-up of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Joseph Haydn, György Kurtág, Johann Sebastian Bach, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Her second semi-staged concert is her own provocative commentary on the inevitable consequences on the planet of global warming. Titled Dies Irae, the program includes music by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Michael Hersch, Byzantine chant, Giacinto Scelsi, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s remarkable Dies Irae for eight double basses, piano, and wooden coffin.

A new piece by American composer Michael Hersch – described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists – will receive its world premiere at the 2018 Festival, with subsequent performances at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at Great Britain’s venerable Aldeburgh Festival. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Patricia two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PNReview, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Hersch is artist-in-residence.

Additional programming highlights include Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments; Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial; major chamber and piano music by Galina Ustvolskaya; as well as Roumanian and Moldavian folk music performed by Patricia and her parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski on cimbalom and violin. The Festival closes with the Ligeti Violin Concerto performed by Patricia.

Purchase 2018 Series Passes here

Additional details will be announced in the fall. 

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director
Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s versatility shows itself in her diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque and Classical often played on gut strings, to new commissions and re-interpretations of modern masterworks. Ms. Kopatchinskaja first visited Ojai in April 2016 as a guest on the Festival’s off-season “Open Ears” speaker series.

A celebrated collaborator, guest artist, and chamber musician, Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season highlights include the opening concerts of the new SWR Symphonieorchester with whom she performed Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi Violin Concerto (with the composer himself conducting); an appearance with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra as part of the inaugural performances of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg; debuts with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and with Gothenburg Symphonys. Continuing her regular collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she appears with them in London and New York under Vladimir Jurowski. György Ligeti’s Violin Concerto is a particular focus of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s current season; she will perform the work widely including with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Ms. Kopatchinskaja serves as Artist in Residence at four major European venues and festivals: at the Berlin Konzerthaus; at the Lucerne Festival (where she will be artiste étoile); at the Wigmore Hall in London; and at the Kissinger Sommer Festival, and is an Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, performing regularly with the ensemble both in Saint Paul and internationally.

A prolific recording artist, the last few seasons have seen a number of major releases by
Ms. Kopatchinskaja. Her release for Naïve Classique featuring concerti by Bartók, Ligeti and Peter Eötvös won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year Award in 2013, an ECHO Klassik Award and a 2014 Grammy nomination. Her recently released “Take Two” on Alpha has garnered critical acclaim worldwide.

Grant Manager

Ojai Music Festival Grants Manager

Internationally regarded as one of the most influential annual classical music events, the Ojai Music Festival has long served as a creative musical laboratory for artists, composers and audiences alike to explore new and unfamiliar repertoire. The Festival uniquely combines the intimate setting of Ojai with artists performing innovative programs over an extended weekend to create an immersive experience. The Festival is committed to fostering a positive and dynamic culture among the performers, artistic staff, administrative staff, audience, volunteers, and the Ojai community. In addition, the Festival’s BRAVO education & community program actively teaches area youth about music and how it relates to other core curriculum subjects, as well as enriches the lives of the local elderly community. The Festival successfully led a community effort to raise $4 million to rebuild Libbey Bowl, which held its grand opening at the June 2011 Festival. 

The Festival’s Grants Manager reports to the Director of Development and will work directly with the President and Artistic Director as needed to write, identify and solicit funding to meet the Festival’s $250,000 foundation budget (approximately 15-20 grants annually).

Overall Scope of Responsibilities:

  • Write and develop grant proposals for foundations and other grant-making organizations, effectively communicating the Festival’s mission, programs, and goals to potential funders
  • Identify new potential sources of funding from foundations, state and federal agencies, and corporate entities
  • Manage and maintain the Festival grants calendar to ensure timely submissions of proposals, letters of inquiry, and all progress and final reports
  • Assist Director of Development to build and maintain relationships with foundation contacts and program officers
  • Ensure prompt acknowledgement of gifts in coordination with the Director of Development
  • Stay up-to-date on the Festival’s program developments and outcomes, present and future artistic plans, and organizational needs
  • Keep long-term organizational goals in mind to work to further develop and expand the Festival’s grant program
  • Be available during the annual music festival and assist as necessary (2nd Thursday-Sunday in June)

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • A BA or equivalent degree (Music, English or Business degree preferred)
  • Proven interest in the arts with music preferred
  • 3+ years of proven recent grant writing experience, background in arts/music, (contemporary music a plus)
  • Ability to write grants for both small and large regional, national, and international foundations and entities
  • Strong general knowledge of Southern California Foundations a great benefit
  • Proven ability to prioritize and manage multiple time-sensitive deadlines
  • Reputation among funders as being a well liked yet persuasive and successful advocate
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision and able resourcefully utilize necessary staff/resources to source information and find effective solutions
  • Creativity in finding new granting opportunities for the Festival’s unique location and program objectives
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Exceptional communication and writing skills

Supervisor: Director of Development

 

Part-Time position: Approximately 8-10 hours/week with generous time off.  Attendance at four-day festival essential. Ability to make visits to Ojai office a minimum of two times per month, remote working options are available for remaining days. Compensation commensurate with experience.

 

To Apply: Please submit your resume and a copy of a grant proposal written in the past 18 months to Anna Wagner, awagner@ojaifestival.org.


The Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free
and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical
music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic
collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. The
orchestra is constantly on the move: it has, to date, performed in 36 countries across five
continents. It is governed collectively by its management team and orchestra board; decisions are
made democratically with the participation of all musicians.
The MCO’s sound is characterized by the chamber music style of ensemble playing among its alert and
independent musical personalities. Its core repertoire, ranging from the Viennese classical and
early Romantic periods to contemporary works and world premieres, reflects the MCO’s agility in
crossing musical boundaries.

The orchestra received its most significant artistic impulses from its founding mentor, Claudio
Abbado, and from Conductor Laureate Daniel Harding. Pianist Mitsuko Uchida, violinist Isabelle
Faust and conductor Teodor Currentzis are current Artistic Partners who inspire and shape the
orchestra during long-term collaborations. In 2016, conductor Daniele Gatti was appointed Artistic
Advisor of the MCO. Concertmaster Matthew Truscott leads and directs the orchestra regularly in its
performances of chamber orchestra repertoire.

MCO musicians all share a strong desire to continually deepen their engagement with audiences. This
has inspired a growing number of offstage musical encounters and projects that bring music,
learning and creativity to communities across the globe. Feel the Music, the MCO’s flagship
education and outreach project, has opened the world of music to deaf and hard of hearing children
through interactive workshops in schools and concert halls since 2012. MCO musicians are equally
committed to sharing their passion and expertise with the next generation of musicians: since 2009,
they have, through the MCO Academy, worked with young musicians to provide them with a high quality
orchestral experience and a unique platform for networking and international exchange.

In recent years, the MCO’s major projects have included the award-winning Beethoven Journey with
pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who led the complete Beethoven concerto cycle from the keyboard in
international residences over four years, and the opera production Written on Skin, which the MCO
premiered at Festival d’Aix en Provence under the baton of composer George Benjamin, performed at
Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and toured, as a semi-staged concert production, to major
European cities. In 2016, the MCO and Mitsuko Uchida embarked on a multiple-season partnership
centred on Mozart’s piano concertos. Upon the conclusion of a complete cycle of Beethoven
symphonies, the MCO and Daniele Gatti continue their focus on Robert Schumann’s symphonic work.
The Mahler Chamber Orchestra looks forward to a diverse array of projects in spring 2018, including
appearances at major festivals worldwide. Highlights include two tours led by Artistic Advisor
Daniele Gatti focusing on symphonic repertoire; the launch of a long-term partnership with
Heidelberger Frühling; the MCO’s first US residency, at Ojai Music Festival, in collaboration with
its 2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja; a semi- staged concert performance of George
Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Holland Festival; and the MCO’s debut at Audi Sommerkonzerte, where
it shares the stage with violinist Pekka Kuusisto in an open-air concert.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra has been awarded the Special Mention Prize of the German Design Award
2017 in recognition of its brand identity.

 

“one of the most fertile musical minds to emerge in the U.S. over the past generation” The Financial Times 

 

“a natural musical genius who continues to surpass himself” – The Washington Post 

 

masterly modernist music of implacable seriousness” –The New Yorker

 

Hersch’s language never hesitates to leap into the abyss – and in ways that, for some listeners, go straight to parts of the soul that few living composers touch.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer

MICHAEL HERSCH

Described by The New York Times as a composer of works “often startling in their complexity, beauty and demonic fury,” Michael Hersch’s music been performed in the U.S. and abroad under conductors including Mariss Jansons, Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Carlos Kalmar, Yuri Temirkanov, Giancarlo Guerrero, and James DePreist; with the major orchestras of Cleveland, Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Seattle, and Oregon, among others; and ensembles including the String Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Ensemble Klang, the Kreutzer Quartet, the Blair Quartet, NUNC, and the Network for New Music Ensemble. In recent years he has worked closely with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who has commissioned several works from him, including his Violin Concerto. Hersch has also written for such soloists as Thomas Hampson, Midori, Garrick Ohlsson, Shai Wosner, Miranda Cuckson, Béla Fleck, and Boris Pergamenschikow.

His solo and chamber works have appeared on programs around the globe – from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in the U.S. to Germany’s Schloss Neuhardenberg Festival in Brandenberg and the Philharmonie in Berlin; from the U.K.’s Dartington New Music Festival and British Museum to Italy’s Romaeuropa and Nuova Consonanza Festivals. Performances in the far east include those with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Japan’s Pacific Music Festival.

Recent and upcoming premieres include his Violin Concerto, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Avanti Festival in Helsinki, and the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland; the NYC premiere of Zwischen Leben und Tod, at the newly established National Sawdust, new productions in Chicago, Washington, and Salt Lake City of his monodrama, On the Threshold of Winter, described by The Baltimore Sun as a work of “great originality, daring, and disturbing power.” The monodrama premiered in 2014 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Of the premiere The New York Times noted: “Death casts a long shadow over the recent work of Mr. Hersch … But in On the Threshold of Winter Mr. Hersch has given himself the space to burrow past anger and incomprehension in search of an art fired by empathy and compassion.” Over the past several years, Hersch has also written new works for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Alban Berg Ensemble Wien, the Library of Congress, and Holland’s Ensemble Klang. Other notable recent events include European performances by the Kreutzer Quartet of Images From a Closed Ward in the U.K. and Sweden, and the premiere of Of Sorrow Born: Seven Elegies, a work for solo violin commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, premiered at the orchestra’s Biennial.

Born in Washington D.C. in 1971, Michael Hersch came to international attention at age twenty-five, when he was awarded First Prize in the Concordia American Composers Awards. The award resulted in a performance of his Elegy, conducted by Marin Alsop in New York’s Alice Tul-ly Hall. Later that year he became one of the youngest recipients ever of a Guggenheim Fellow-ship in Composition. Mr. Hersch has also been the recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, and many other honors.

Also a gifted pianist, Mr. Hersch has appeared around the world including appearances at the Van Cliburn Foundation’s Modern at the Modern Series, the Romaeuropa Festival, the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Cleveland’s Reinberger Chamber Hall, the Festival of Contem-porary Music Nuova Consonanza, the Warhol Museum, the Network for New Music Concert Se-ries, the Left Bank Concert Society, Festa Europea della Musica, St. Louis’ Sheldon Concert Hall, and in New York City at Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd St. Y Tisch Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, among others. Mr. Hersch currently serves as chair of the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

The 2017 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Vijay Iyer embodied the spirit of the Festival with an openness to discovery and stretching musical boundaries. This year as Vijay expressed the 71st edition was an opportunity to bring various communities together. Relive the 2017 Festival anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts on our You Tube channel. View photos here

Feedback from our audience, artists, and members of the press is important to us. Read review excerpts, which we will continue to update as press reviews come in, or download the PDF version here.

 

[Vijay Iyer] made a festival with a history of daring and risk-taking become more vital and daring than ever. – San Diego Union-Tribune

 

The compelling feature was in what appeared to be Iyer’s own quest to find examples of how to take the next step and make the music your own.

For that he brought some of the great masters of day, with special and illuminating attention on Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music. Friday night, Iyer presented the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ brilliant 2015 opera, “Afterword,” written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of AACM” – Los Angeles Times

Over the weekend, we heard Iyer in multiple settings. He showed his ever-deepening attributes as a composer, most notably in the impressive world premiere of his engaging Violin Concerto, “Trouble,” for style-flexible virtuoso Jennifer Koh (whose late-night solo concert “Bach And Beyond,” melding Bach, Berio and others, was a bold highlight of the weekend). – DownBeat magazine

 

Proving once again that for the truly fearless, nothing is impossible, the 2017 Ojai Music Festival effectively erased the boundaries between jazz, classical, traditional Indian music, and more over the course of four sound-packed days in and around Libbey Bowl. – Santa Barbara Independent 

 

Improvisation and invention from two continents staked out new ground somewhere in between. Was it jazz? Maybe. But as a whole, this year’s gathering in Ojai thrived under its long-held, suitably broad umbrella of “music festival,” and an excellent, engrossing one at that. Ultimately, those are the only labels that matter. – Los Angeles Times

2017 Live Stream

Which are the best seats?
Since the new Libbey Bowl is a small amphitheater, virtually all of the seats are relatively close to the stage with good sight lines. Lawn seats are also available for those who prefer to spread out a bit. Blankets and beach chairs no taller than 12″ are allowed on the lawn. Lawn patrons with taller chairs will be seated on the right side of the lawn so not to hinder the view of others.

Will my seats be in the shade?
That depends on the time of the day. A shade cloth is erected to cover a large portion of the audience section, but we always recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen. A jacket or wrap may be needed for evening concerts.

How can I learn more about the programs?
One hour before each concert, ticket buyers are encouraged to join us for free Concert Insights at the Libbey Park tennis courts. Musicologist Christopher Hailey and featured artists discuss the repertoire and the interesting connections of the music.

What do most people wear?
Comfortable casual wear is entirely appropriate. Since this is an outdoor facility and the weather is often very warm, we recommend a hat or visor and sunscreen. A heavy wrap, sweater or jacket may be desired for the evening concerts.

Can you accommodate persons with disabilities?
Handicapped seating and restroom facilities are available. A small parking lot behind the post office is reserved during the Festival for vehicles displaying ADA placards. Please call our box office to inquire about the seats at 805.646.2053.

What discounts do you offer?
We offer college students a special $5 lawn ticket with a current ID. Students can also purchase reserved seats at a 30% discount. Children ages 5 to 17 are $5 on the lawn; children under 5 are free. The Festival does not offer senior discounts. Groups of 8 or more receive a group discount on tickets to a single concert. Call our box office at 805 646 2053 for information.

Children and Students
For concerts, lawn seating for children 5 to 17 is $5.00. Lawn seating for children under five years old is free. Children 10 years and under will not be admitted in the reserved section of the Libbey Bowl. Children over 10 receive a 30% discount in the reserved sections.

Can I come in and pick my seats?
Seating is done by our box office on a first come, first served basis, with priority given to donors and series pass subscribers. Single ticket holders will be seated in the remaining available seats. When purchasing tickets online, you are able to select your own seat. Please contact the box office with special seating requests and assistance. If you’re in the area, drop by our office at 201 S. Signal Street – we’d love to meet you!

Will tickets be available at the Box Office on the day of the concert?
Perhaps, but since we usually have near capacity audiences, ordering early will ensure the best seating we currently have available.

Can I reserve my seats and pay for them when I pick them up?
We can only hold prepaid tickets at Will Call. Tickets can be purchased with your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

What is your refund policy?
All sales are final for tickets and special events. There are no refunds or exchanges. In common with other outdoor venues, there are no refunds in case of rain. However, if you turn your tickets back to us for resale we can issue a receipt to you for a tax-deductible donation in the amount of the value of the tickets.

When will I get my tickets?
Ticket mailings begin in May and continue until the week preceding the Festival. After that, tickets be held in will call for pick up prior to the concert.

What if I arrive late to a performance?
Late seating is based on the discretion of the House Manager. Please note that some concerts (noted in the program book) will have no late seating.

Will food and refreshments be available?
There will be vendors for food and beverages, as well as concessions for gifts, mementos and souvenirs. You may also bring your own picnic lunch and refreshments for the lawn or our Gathering Place in Libbey Park. There is a no alcohol policy in Libbey Bowl.

May I bring my dog?
Only service animals are allowed at the concerts. Please call our box office at 805 646 2053 to make arrangements.

What about parking?
Parking is available on the streets surrounding Libbey Park and in various lots within a two block radius. All parking is free. Always allow enough extra time to find parking and have a leisurely stroll in downtown Ojai.

When should I get there to get the best lawn seats?
We open the Bowl one hour before the start of the concert. Subscribers get in first before single ticket buyers. People often begin lining up well before then. Come early, stake out your space on the lawn, and plan to attend the pre-concert lectures given 45 minutes prior to each concert. Occasionally, rehearsals may delay the opening of the gates. 

Can lawn buyers picnic on the lawn?
Yes, please bring blankets to sit, relax and enjoy a meal! As far as lawn chairs, patrons who bring camp or deck chairs are placed usually on the right side of the lawn while lower beach chairs are placed on the left side as well as picnic blankets. Ushers will be available to direct patrons to the appropriate location on the lawn. 

Can I take pictures of the concert?
The use of cameras, audio or video recording devices are not allowed during a performance.

Please contact us if you have any other questions at 805 646 2053 or boxoffice@ojaifestival.org. Thank you!

Between concerts, you can roam the downtown Ojai Arcade but also enjoy Libbey Park where you can meet up with friends, relax in our sitting areas, or have a picnic.

New this year during the Festival is our Pub in the Park, where you can have a glass of wine or craft beer provided by Attitude Adjustment. Hours are Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10, from 5pm to 10:30pm. (Must be 18-years or older. Prices will vary on wine, beer, and cider)

Throughout the 4-day Festival, patrons and the public can enjoy the awe-inspiring audio-kinetic installation, Rio Negro II, created by Douglas Ewart and Douglas Repetto with music by George Lewis, which will be located near the Libbey Park Gazebo. And in the Gazebo, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will set up shop offering free ICE Pop-U concerts with music by George Lewis, Anthony Braxton, and Mario Diaz de Leon. View the Festival schedule here.

GREEN ROOM
Another addition to this year, is our outdoor Green Room where audience members can mingle and chat with Festival artists after each concert. The Green Room will be at the the center of the park.

OUTDOOR MARKETPLACE
Take home something to help you remember your Ojai experience! Visit the Festival Pop-Up Boutique featuring merchandise from our new Patagonia® Ojai Music Festival line and Festival T-shirts, as well as essentials including baseball caps, back pillows, blankets, and tote bags. Plus, pick up the latest recordings of your favorite Festival artists. Visit other booths highlighting the best of the Ojai Valley, including the Ojai Olive Oil, Ojai Citrus Growers, Wachter Hay & Grain, and the “Inventing Ojai” exhibit of the Ojai Valley Museum.

FOOD
Need a quick bite or refreshments during intermission or before and after the concerts? Visit the Festival Grab-n-Go Market for quick snacks, including local Thacher Road Cookies, Lark Ellen Granola, and Lori’s Lemonade, plus coffee provided by NoSo Vita. Sales benefit the Ojai Music Festival.

 For details on restaurants in Ojai and other places to explore visit the Ojai Visitor Bureau here >

Special thanks to the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne for their underwriting support to foster engagement with Festival patrons, new audiences, and the community

Freelance writer/fine art and antiques broker Leslie A. Westbrook covers Ojai and Ventura County for Ventana magazine and the Ventura County Reporter among other outlets.

She had been attending the Ojai Music Festival off and on for more than three decades. Her father –  “under the radar” jazz pianist and composer Forrest Westbrook – joined her at the Festival during the later part of his life and became a fan as well. Leslie really wishes he was still alive to partake in this year’s jazzy fest— but he will be with her in spirit. We asked Leslie for some of her favorite spots and things to do in Ojai and she has a nice long list to share:

Ojai’s downtown Arcade. Photo courtesy of Michael McFadden/Ojai Visitors Bureau

Music fans cannot live on music alone (well, almost) so what to do in-between concerts? Explore the valley and all it has to offer. Here are a few more reasons (as if you needed one!) to hit Ojai for the Festival this year.

EAT
For quick, casual but tasty Mexican, two hole-in-the wall spots popular with locals:

The pineapple tamales at La Fuente (tucked into the corner of a strip mall) are sweetly addictive, but there are six other flavors ranging from cheese and chili to corn or pork.  Street tacos on homemade rosemary tortillas at Ojai Tortilla House satisfy – be prepared to wait in line and eat on the street (no tables here), or better yet, head to Libbey Park and grab a picnic table where you can also enjoy the Rio Negro II sound installation.

Azu of Ojai

Quick nibble before the tennis court pre-concert chat and evening concert? Pop into Azu for tapas and beers. Looking for a great gluten-free meal – Food Harmonics is the new “kid on the block” right on the Arcade.

For a more leisurely meal, Suzanne’s is a long time favorite for concert goers (seafood entrees at dinner; salads at lunch); Nocciola is a wonderful alternative in town. Leave plenty of time so you don’t miss a concert to indulge in the tasting menus in this charmingly restored historic Craftsman bungalow – Bravo to owner/chef Pietro Biondi for bringing a tasty bit of Italy to Shangri-La.

DRINK
Wake UP! and smell the freshly roasted coffee sourced and roasted by the owners at Beacon Coffee Co. (new since last year’s fest) and a tasty savory or grab a cuppa java at longtime fave Ojai Roasting Co. The gigantic berry muffins at Ojai Café Emporium will hold you through morning concerts.

Midday refreshment? Grab a smoothie or healthy salads from the deli case at Rainbow Bridge – and people watch from a street side table.

The Ojai Vineyard on Montgomery Street

Pop in for a  pre-concert wine tasting at The Ojai Vineyard tasting room – we’ve never had a bad wine from winemaker Adam Tolmach. At the Festival’s new “Pub in the Park” on Friday and Saturday night, Attitude Adjustment will have OV wines available for purchase.

PRAY/MEDITATE / CHILLAX

Ojai is famous as a spiritualist retreat and community, Krishnamurti lived here – visit the philosopher’s library and former home in Ojai’s East End. Or head to Meditation Mount for stunning views of the valley.

 

Meditation Mount spectacular view

LOVE ART
From contemporary fine art to handmade pottery, Ojai prides itself on the talent in the valley. If you like what you see, plan to revisit Ojai during the annual Studio Artists Tour in the fall and visit studios and meet the artists.

The Porch Gallery shows cutting edge contemporary art, During the Festival check out its current exhibit – the Ojai Invitational 2017: “California Space & Light”, a collaboration with EMS Arts featuring selected works by Kelly Berg, Brad Howe, Andy Moses and Jennifer Wolf.

 Ojai has an earthly side, too. Contemporary ceramics can be purchased at PSpace Pottery or take a drive up and over the grade to visit Ojai icon Beatrice Wood’s (1893-1998) pottery studio, who credited her longevity thusly: “I owe it all to art books, chocolates, and young men.”). We’d add good music.

Rains Department Store in downtown Ojai

SHOP 
De Kor & Co, is a great emporium for a mix of home wares, clothing and cool gifts. Rains is an old-fashioned department store and Ojai institution. Walk on through – for men and women’s clothing and a great kitchen department! Partake in olive oil tasting at former high fashion mode Carolina Gramm’s gorgeous shop – she flavors EVOO and vinegars as well with subtle flavors. Walnut balsamic vinegar is a fav, but find your own amidst the vast array.

STROLL 
Don’t miss the Sunday Farmer’s Market – Mingle with locals and check out Ventura County’s rich cornucopia of flavorful, fresh organic produce. Nibble on popsicles in unique flavors (chili anyone?), chocolates made by a mother/daughter team, baked goods and other treats and you might even find Golden State papayas – who knew these tropical treats are raised in our region?

NATURE 
Need to stretch? Hike Shelf Road – or take a drive 3 miles to stroll Taft Gardens to admire exotic and rare botanicals from Australia and beyond.

Last but not least, don’t miss Ojai’s famous Pink Moment – the magic glow at sunset that kisses the Topa Topa mountain range.

  • Leslie A. Westbrook