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*

Art

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

Boridolls
wool dolls

Two Hand Design
Paper products and small material items

NHS Arts

Jewelry

Blueberry Jewelry

Little Muse
Jewelry

Bead Off
Jewelry

Broke Jewels

Charlene Biesele
Jewelry

Cindy Bolin Jewelry

Cindy Kalmenson Jewelry
www.cindystylejewelry.com

Ramina Richard Pearl
Jewelry

Shari Milner Design
Jewelry

Global Fashion Mission
jewelry, handbags

Kate Samson Design
sea glass jewelry

This Tiny Ocean
seaglass jewelry

Gifts

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

Fiamma
candles

Lucky Lab
Dog Products

Bonnie Lee Books

Sweet Mello
Fabric products

Charter Oaks Preserving Co
Jams and Dips

Patricia Cuenot
jewelry, shawls, blankets
www.themudlotus.com
IG: themudlotus

Knots to Mention
keychains and macrame

Your Needs Company
leather goods

Ojai Dirt Candy
Natural wellness products

Spirit Spa
spiritspasoap.com
Soaps

Sugar and spoon caramels
caramels

Sorenity Rocks
crystals

Denise Rincon
skin care

Little City Designs
hand printed home apparel

Kitchen Witch Gourmet
teas and spices

For the Home

Bohemian Bowls
bowls, utensils
www.bohemianbowls.com
IG: bohemianbowls

Ojai Oaks Fallen Woods Studio
cutting boards

Pacific Wonderland
Furniture

Lavender Blu
linens

Sunday Ojai
Ojai designs

Gunays Shop
Rugs and textiles

Kevin Brooks
wood

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
clothing

Gerie’s Fashion Closet

Dale Michele
Clothing

Bazaar Boutique
Clothing and jewelry and candles
www.shopbazaarboutique.com
IG: rawheartgems

Connie Gunderson
Fabric and Cork purses

Louise’s Hats

Art Mina
Home goods and apparel
www.artmina.com

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
Clothing

Purrfect Wear
Clothing

Shari Shanti
scarves

Leslie Marcus
Scarves

Limelight Boutique
Womens clothing

Park Lain
IG: park.lain

Tiny Tot Threads
childrens clothing

Pottery

Sespe Pottery

Firestick Pottery

Foxware Designs

NHS Ceramics

Dianas Whimsies

Esther Castillo

REUNION

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

A WEEKEND OF HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES IN OJAI, CALIFORNIA

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.

SHOW NOTES / CREDITS:
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.

SHOW NOTES / CREDITS: 

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.

SHOW NOTES / CREDITS:  
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.

SHOW NOTES / CREDITS:  
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” (icareifyoulisten.com) 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 www.ThomasKotcheff.com

 

 

Join Us for Suppers in the Park

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, 6:30pm. 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 805foodie.com

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 
REPERTOIRE 
Avaz-e Dashti
Abolhassan Sabā   Zard-e Malijeh

 

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

ABOUT THE ARTIST 
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.


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

Musical Pop-Up with Shelley Burgon

 

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 >
 

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 

REPERTOIRE
CAGE   In a Landscape 
Colorado 
SHELLEY BURGON  Prospect

ABOUT THE ARTIST 

Shelley Burgon is a harpist, composer and sound artist who writes and performs ambient
songs for harp, voice and electronics. She has an extensive history as an improvisor and
interpreter of classical new music; performing the works of composers such as Pauline
Oliveros, John Cage, Yoko Ono, James Tenney, Berio and Earle Brown. After many years
of living in NYC where she had the pleasure to perform at renowned institutions such as the
Whitney Museum, MoMA and Issue Project Room Shelley now resides in Ojai, CA. Shelley
has recorded harp for, Bjork, Anthony Braxton, William Tyler, Roberto Lange, Miho Hatori
and for her former band Stars Like Fleas.

Her music has been commissioned by The Merce Cunningham Dance Company for the
Hudson Valley Project at the Dia Museum, Ne(x)tworks, and multimedia artist Katherine
Behar. Film credits include harpist on First Cow, Mission Blue and We Steal Secrets. She will
be releasing her first full length record this year on Thin Wrist Recordings and is working on a
harp meditation series. Visit her website at www.shelleyburgon.com

 

 


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

Musical Pop-Up with BRAVO & Laura Walter

 

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 >
 

Saturday, June 12
Laura Walter, BRAVO education coordinator

2:00pm at Libbey Park 

REPERTOIRE
DEBUSSY   Syrinx
HU JIEXU  Here Comes the Cuckoo 
MESSIAEN   Blackbird

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST 

Laura Walter received a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Kentucky. She studied flute with various members of the Cincinnati Symphony, New York Philharmonic and the London Symphony.  She serves on the faculty of Westmont College and also performs with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Opera Santa Barbara, as well as local choral societies. Laura has performed with several orchestras across the country, is active as a clinician and competition adjudicator, and has established and conducted flute choirs at colleges and festivals across the country.

In her work with students and teachers she uses the experience of interactive play to develop motivation and promote community building and conflict resolution skills. This method, called “Education Through Music”, or ETM, builds the acquisition of language and movement to enhance the imagination and stabilization of the child.

Children in ETM classes create beauty, which leads to empathy and hope, embracing the important contribution of arts education. Teachers often say, “ETM has taught these children to be kind and respectful by creating beautiful music with each other.”

  Learn more about the Festival’s BRAVO program >

 


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

Musical Pop-Up with Fiona Digney

 

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 >
 

Sunday, June 13
Fiona Digney, percussion 

10am at Porch Gallery Ojai 
11:30am at the Gazebo in Libbey Park 

REPERTOIRE
CAGE   I Ching 
Michael GORDON   XY

ABOUT THE ARTIST 

Fiona Digney in an Australian-born percussionist, educator, and producer based in San Diego. Fiona has spent the last decade in the United States, The Netherlands, and London, becoming an internationally recognized percussionist with highly-profiled accomplishments across a wide range of percussive styles from experimental, improvisatory, and world music styles to orchestra, chamber, and theatrical contexts, Fiona’s thrilling performances have been described as “compelling and authoritative” by Christian Hertzog (San Diego Union-Tribune) and garnered praise from the premier music critic of the United States, Alex Ross (The New Yorker, 28th June 2018). Having recently received her doctorate in percussion performance at UCSD, exploring the decolonization of a personal performance praxis, Fiona now enjoys a wide-ranging freelance career in Southern California, where she engages in various percussive styles from experimental, improvisatory, and world music styles to orchestra, chamber, and theatrical contexts. In addition to her performance career, Fiona champions her fellow musicians through her artistic administrative roles as managing director & production manager of Art of Elan, and as producer & artistic administrator of the Ojai Music Festival.

 


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

Musical Pop-Up with Helen Kim

 

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 >
 

Saturday, June 12
Helen Kim, violin 

10am at Love Social Cafe (205 North Signal Street)

Repertoire
Carlos SIMON   Between Two Worlds 
G.P. TELEMANN  Fantasia No. 10 
PIAZZOLLA  Tango Etude No. 3

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST 
Violinist Helen Kim joined the San Francisco Symphony as Associate Principal Second Violin in 2016. A member of the Saint Louis Symphony from 2011 to 2016, she made solo appearances with that orchestra in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. She has spent her summers teaching and performing at festivals including Aspen, Yellow Barn, Luzerne, and the Innsbrook Institute. Ms. Kim received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, where she was Presidential Scholar, and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. 


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

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 
5:00pm at the “Pocket Park” at the Arcade Plaza 

REPERTOIRE
Abolhassan Sabā   Zard-e Malijeh   
Avaz-e Dashti

ABOUT THE ARTIST 
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.


QUICK LINKS

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.

 

 

Musical Pop-Ups Around Town

 

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. 
 

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.

 

 

ARTS MANAGEMENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

THE 75th OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 16-19, 2021  
Application deadline: JUNE 15, 2021 

click here for application 

 

 

As an intern for the Ojai Music Festival, you become a messenger for the organization’s purpose: to dare the audience to be innovative listeners of new music. – Emily Persinko, intern alum

The Ojai Music Festival’s arts management internship program is now accepting applications for the Ojai Music Festival slated for September 16 to 19, 2021 with composer and conductor John Adams as music director.  

The Festival’s sought-after program provides hands-on experiences to college students as they are immersed in areas of production, administration, operations, special events, merchandising, live streaming, marketing, public relations, and patron services.  
 
Students from varying fields and walks of life enjoy access to different opportunities which give them new skill sets and experiences that they take with them throughout their careers. The internship program also provides them to interact with leaders in the music industry and create lasting friendships with other students.   

Applicants must be 18 or over and enrolled in a two or four year accredited college. The Festival provides housing for the duration of the internship as well as a stipend.  Applications are due by June 1, 2021. The 75th Ojai Music Festival, September 16 to 19will be led by composer/conductor John Adams as Music Director with a program that will honor the Festival’s role as a champion of a new generation of composers and artists. Joining John Adams will be Attacca Quartet, singer Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, violinist Miranda Cuckson, and recorder player Anna Margulespianist/composer Timo Andres, and members of the LA Phil New Music Group2021 Festival composers include Samuel Adams, Timo Andres, Dylan Mattingly, Gabriela Ortiz, Rhiannon Giddens, Carlos Simon, and Gabriella Smith   

For more information regarding the internship program for the Ojai Music Festival, please call the main office at 805 646 2094 or email [email protected]