OFWC 2024 Walt Disney Hall Trip

A Century of Film
John Williams Spotlight

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

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

OFWC Walt Disney Hall Trip includes:

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

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

Kickoff the Holiday Season!



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

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


Hours: 10am to 4:30pm daily

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

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

Tour the Homes

Hours: 10am to 4pm daily

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

Home photos courtesy of Logan Hall.


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

Holiday Decor by Elizabeth Cohn of Forage Ojai

Smiley's House


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

Holiday Floral Decor by Annie Mosites of Free Range Interior Design


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

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


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

Holiday Decor by Lila Glasoe Francese of OHI HOME

2023 Festival Press Coverage

Ojai Music Festival, 06.08-06.11.2023 Rhiannon Giddens Music Director, photos of performers from during the Festival
Thank you for joining us at our 77th Festival, June 8-11, 2023, featuring Music Director Rhiannon Giddens. Our audience, volunteers, and team’s enthusiasm, curiosity, and openness give life to the Festival every year.  Take a look at excerpts from the press – from previews to reviews. 

…an annual pilgrimage for the musically open-minded. The nearly 80-year-old event, held in the valley city of Ojai in the mountains east of Santa Barbara, has proved chameleonlike, adopting a new tone every year thanks to its tradition of selecting a new music director annually. What remains consistent, however, is the dedication to experimental, boundary-pushing art that challenges listeners’ ears and minds.

Alta Online

“We’re not trying to turn the festival upside down,” says Giddens. “We’re looking to bring many musical threads together under the same umbrella.” “The element of surprise is part of the Ojai Festival’s identity,” says Artistic and Executive Director Ara Guzelimian.

SF Classical Voice

“There is an element of uncertainty about a program like this,” she [Rhiannon Giddens] says, “which is the point. There will be years where everything has been written out, and every concert has all pieces programmed, and they’ve been practiced and everything. This is not that year. … I think everybody will have moments of, like, ‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen right now.’ But I think that’s powerful.'”

Los Angeles Times
Francesco Turrisi, Rhiannon Giddens, Karen Ouzounian on the stage of Libbey Bowl, all smiling

Ms. Giddens is a boundary breaker, a quality this 77-year-old festival has variously celebrated since its inception.

Wall Street Journal

Rhiannon Giddens’s own multifaceted talents mostly held the floor.  She is a remarkably versatile singer, soaking up diverse vocal styles like a highly-absorbent sponge and pouring them out in timbres unmistakably her own

Musical America

[Rhiannon] Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, her partner and musical collaborator — a Sicilian whose specialties are jazz piano and early music — intriguingly mixed genres, happily and sometimes successfully ignoring perceived musical borders.But that kind of thing is usual for Ojai, which prides itself on pushing the musical envelope.

Classical Voice North America

Creative Lab: November 11 Program & Bios

November 11, 7:30pm performance
Greenberg Center, Ojai Valley School lower campus

The Ojai Music Festival presents a special concert celebrating the unique musical creativity of a new generation of California composers, produced as part of the statewide California Festival: A Celebration of New Music. Our program brings together a new work for solo piano by Samuel Carl Adams for the brilliant pianist Conor Hanick (fondly remembered for his performances as part of AMOC at the 2022 Ojai Festival) and a kinetic trio for violin, clarinet, and vibes by Dylan Mattingly (whose work featured prominently at the 2021 Ojai Festival). M.A. Tiesenga’s Ganymedes brings together the otherworldly sound of an electronic hurdy-gurdy playing with amplified string quartet. And Reena Esmail’s Ragamala adds the mesmerizing sound of Hindustani vocals to a string quartet, evoking the tradition of sounding the raga as a starting point for elaboration and reflection.

This is an all-ages event. Join us for a drink and mingling with the composers at 6:30pm. Concert begins at 7:30pm.

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


Reena ESMAIL  Ragamala

I.    Fantasie – Bihag Overlay
II.   Scherzo – Malkauns
III.  Recitativo – Basant
IV.  Rondo – Jog

Saili Oak vocals | Zelter Quartet 

Samuel Carl ADAMS  Études

I.    Clear, resonant
II.   Rippling
III.  Steady, quiet
IV.  Rippling
V.   Steady, with a full sound
VI.  Clear, resonant

Conor Hanick piano

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

Dylan MATTINGLY  After the Rain

Sérgio Coelho clarinet | Gallia Kastner violin | Sidney Hopson vibraphone

M.A. TIESENGA  Ganymēdēs

M.A. Tiesenga electronics | Zelter Quartet | hurdy gurdy

Artist & Composer Bios

Samuel Carl Adams

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

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

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

Visit Samuel Carl Adams’ Website

Reena Esmail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Reena Ismail’s Website

Sérgio Coelho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conor Hanick

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

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

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

Visit Conor Hanick’s Website

Sidney Hopson

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

Bio from the Wild Up Website

Dylan Mattingly

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

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

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

Visit Dylan Mattingly’s Website

Saili Oak

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Saili Oak’s Website

M.A. Tiesenga

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

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

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

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

Visit M.A. Tiesenga’s Website

Zelter Quartet

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

Visit the Zelter Quartet’s Website

From Ara: Summer Reflections

Dear friends,

I hope this finds you enjoying the pleasures of summer. I have the good fortune to be at the Marlboro Music Festival as I write this, tucked away in a particularly idyllic corner of southern Vermont – which mercifully was spared the worst of the recent torrential rains elsewhere in the state.

I have had the luxury of time to reflect on the recent Festival and find myself immensely grateful for the company we keep, including each one of you who create such a unique and open-hearted community at each Festival.

The 2023 Ojai Festival is now a happy memory to be savored and cherished. We were so fortunate to be in the company of the wondrous Rhiannon Giddens and all the extraordinary artists she brought to create a particularly joyous Festival community. It is next to impossible to single out individual highlights in a Festival full of them. I will only dare mention a few — Rhiannon singing Paul Simon’s American Tune with an eloquence and a to-the-moment timeliness that brought tears to the eyes, the absolutely essential American story of Omar Ibn Said as told in Rhiannon and Michael Abels’ Omar’s Journey, the indelible musical and visual images created by Wu Man, PeiJu Chien-Pott and the Attacca Quartet in a new production of Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera, the encounter with the enormous creativity and fresh voices of the Iranian Female Composers Association, Kayhan Kalhor’s spellbinding artistry, the infectious joy of Seckou Keita, and Francesco Turrisi’s boundless musical imagination in creating the special Early Music program for a Sunday morning. OK, I’ll stop at that as my own list could go on for another 30 or more highlights. If you are so inspired, please write to me with your own list of highlights.

Here at Marlboro, I delight in the company of Mitsuko Uchida, a co-Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music Festival and our Music Director for the 2024 Ojai Festival. Mitsuko, one of the most eloquent and probing musicians of our time, is making a long awaited return next year, joined by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (who themselves are returning to Ojai since their 2018 visit with Patricia Kopatchinskaja). Her close collaboration with this immensely creative and spirited ensemble is central to her work in recent years, as they have embarked on a multi-year exploration of the Mozart piano concertos together. She explains the importance of their partnership in this video:

MCO & Mitsuko Uchida: A New Chapter

Mitsuko has long been a champion of and mentor to several generations of young musicians at the Marlboro Festival. We will have the good fortune of being joined in Ojai with some of the most gifted artists on the American musical scene — clarinetist Anthony McGill, Brentano String Quartet, soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon, and violinist Alexi Kenney — all of whom have rich Marlboro history. More about each of them in the months to come.

Prior to coming to Marlboro, I had the pleasure of serving on the jury of the Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany. Marina Mahler, the granddaughter of Gustav Mahler, graced the proceedings as patron of the competition. When I first met Marina some years ago, I started a painstaking description of where and what Ojai is — she interrupted me to tell me that she had attended Ojai Valley School during her most formative years! So, there you have it — a direct link between the legacy of Gustav Mahler and Ojai! We became fast friends with this knowledge of our Ojai ties. I also had the deep pleasure of serving on the jury alongside Barbara Hannigan (2019 Music Director), who continues to light up the musical world wherever she goes. While there, I discovered that Barbara had assembled a very personal playlist for Apple Music, which characteristically documents her wide-ranging imagination and generosity of spirit. She has curated a list of performances by favorite musicians who, in her words, “allow audiences into a ‘heart-to-heart’ connection with whatever music they perform.” In a lovely confluence of Ojai artists, her list includes Rhiannon Giddens!

Finally, a reflection of loss. Kaija Saariaho, who died at the age of 70 in early June, made an indelible impression with her music and her presence at the 2016 Ojai Festival with Peter Sellars. Kaija was a singular creative force in our musical world, writing with a voice that was intensely personal and affecting, a sound world unlike any other composer. She was also a cherished friend to so many of the Festival musicians over the years. We can only be grateful for having her and her music in our lives. To bid farewell, here are the final three movements of her choral work Nuits, Adieux (1991) in a recording released just this month:

Nuits, adieux (Version for 4 Voices) : VIII. Adieu III – IX. Adieu IV – X. Adieu V

We are most fortunate in the company we keep.
With thanks and warm greetings,

Ara Guzelimian
Artistic and Executive Director

Meet our 2023 Interns

We are excited to share our stellar team of interns with you. These students represent the next generation of musicians and arts administrators. The Festival depends on them for critical support in a variety of management areas including production, stage management, front of house, operations, box office, marketing, and more. Our impressive roster of interns is ready to bring their passion and experience to the Ojai Music Festival team and make the 77th Ojai Music Festival a year to remember.

Hitesh Benny
Hitesh Benny is a student transferring to the University of California, San Diego to study Music and Economics. He is the Front of House Intern at this year’s Festival. Over the past two years, Hitesh has attained associate degrees in Music and Economics from Moorpark College. He has been a part of various ensembles including the Moorpark College Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and the Come Together Ensemble. In the choir, he served as a student conductor, leading them in their Fall and Winter concerts. In the Symphony Orchestra, he also served as the percussion section leader and had transcriptions performed and recorded by the ensemble. Through the Come Together Ensemble, he premiered his compositions. Hitesh was fortunate to have been mentored by Richard Danielpour, the head of composition at UCLA. Hitesh has a steadfast dedication to helping small businesses in his community. Through these experiences, he earned various entrepreneurial and managerial lessons. He also remains committed to the musical community by serving as a volunteer at the Hear Now Festival, the Music Academy of the West Summer Festival, and the Ojai Music Festival.

Elizabeth (Liz) Callahan is a violinist who grew up in Ventura, California and began playing violin at the age of 10 at a children’s string ensemble at her church. Elizabeth has played violin in numerous ensembles including the Ojai Youth Symphony, Ventura High School Honors String Orchestra, and the Westmont College Orchestra. She thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to perform during the orchestra tour to Austria and Prague as Principal violinist and as a selected soloist. Elizabeth is so grateful to have studied classical violin with fantastic faculty members including Dr. Han Soo Kim and Professor Isaac Kay, and traditional Irish violin technique with Grammy- and Emmy- nominated Celtic violinist, Máiréad Nesbitt. Elizabeth has participated in Westmont College Choir and she has had the opportunity to be an Assistant Conductor for the College Choir and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony while studying conducting with Dr. Daniel Gee. She has been actively involved in music education in Santa Barbara while being Personnel Manager for the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. Elizabeth will graduate from Westmont College in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Music Education and will continue to pursue a career in music education.

Eliana Choi is a recent 2023 Westmont College graduate who majored in psychology and minored in kinesiology and music. She utilized her minor in music to become on of the box office interns again at the Ojai Music Festival. Eliana is back in the Ojai intern family because she had a fabulous time with the staff, performers, volunteers, and interns last year (#RunningAMOC2022). Eliana specifically cherished working on Festival mobile app and updating the Festival website while at the box office. In her free time, Eliana enjoys playing video games, working out, and practicing her acoustic guitar and violin. She will pursue a doctoral degree in occupational therapy at Keck Graduate Institute in late August. Eliana is open to answering any questions and hopes that everyone will enjoy their time at the Festival!

Mia Condon has worked as a Stage Manager for the past four years. Throughout her experience, she has sought out positions that allow her to experience new genres of live entertainment and learn new strategies which she can utilize in future endeavors. She has a background in vocal and instrumental music in multiple genres and has a deep love for music, especially that which has a connection to things greater than and deeper than the individuals creating it. She Is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to experience Ojai for the first time and looks forward to engaging with everyone involved! Currently, Mia attends CalArts in Santa Clarita, CA.

William Jae is a composer and pianist raised in Los Angeles, California. William’s music can be described as both chaotic and sublime. His openness to learn new kinds of music allowed him to push the limits of what he can do with his own music. Between 2019 to 2020, he was a fellow at the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program, where he studied with renowned composers such as Andrew Norman, Sarah Gibson, and Thomas Kotcheff. It was during this time that he first experienced the world of contemporary classical music. In 2019, his string trio composition, “Alabaster Wool”, premiered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and was performed by members of the Lyris Quartet. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, he received the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists Award and made an appearance at Blanket Fort 2 hosted by Peter Dugan at From The Top. He was also the semi-finalist in the 2020 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award that same year. William is currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music pursuing a dual degree in music composition and psychology at the University of Rochester. Outside of the classroom, he is the artistic director of the Eastman Chamber Orchestra. During his free time, William enjoys spending time with his friends and colleagues as well as exploring various film and video game genres.

Sophie Little is currently pursuing a BA in Theater Technology and a minor in Music Technology at Chapman University, strongly focusing on sound engineering and theater design. Furthering this passion, she hopes to apply her knowledge and love for music by designing and assisting with sound for music festivals and concerts in the future. In the past, Sophie has been involved in countless productions throughout high school and college, most notably being her involvement with various music festivals in her home state of Michigan. Most recently, Sophie worked as the Sound Engineer and Designer for Chapman’s student-run production of  It Shoulda Been You by Brian Hargrove. Sophie is very excited to join the Ojai Music Festival team as a sound intern and continue growing her love and knowledge of sound.

Niav Maher is a virtuosic soloist spanning several musical genres, combining personal sensitivity with insightful interpretation. She has been the recipient of many scholarships throughout her career at the Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory Prep, and Manhattan School of Music. Niav received the Michael B. Packer Scholarship of Excellence in Piano Studies at the Longy School of Music. From 2012-2019, Niav studied with Jonathan Bass at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School. In 2016, Niav was the first-prize winner of the NEC Preparatory Concerto Competition playing the Mendelssohn Concerto No.1 and went on to perform in Jordan Hall with the NEC YSO. She has participated on scholarship in NEC Prep tours through Germany, Italy, and Norway as a soloist, and orchestra member. In 2019, Niav received the Seth Kimmelman Scholarship given to a NEC Prep student who combines a commitment to the piano with intellectual curiosity. She then received the Piano Department award upon graduation.

Most recently, Niav was a winner of the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition at Manhattan School of Music. Niav holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Classical Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Daniel Epstein on the Glen K. Twiford Piano Department Scholarship. At the recommendation of the faculty, the Provost of MSM selected Niav as the recipient of the Helen Cohn Award, which is given upon graduation to a pianist in recognition of outstanding work in chamber music. Niav will begin her Master of Music Degree this fall, studying with Daniel Shapiro at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Meet Diego Martinez, a talented musician, and audio engineer based in Chula Vista, California. Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music technology, Diego is dedicated to building a career in music composition and audio engineering. His coursework has given him a deep understanding of the technical aspects of music production, from recording and mixing to mastering and post-production. He is eager to apply his knowledge to real-world scenarios and is excited to learn from experienced professionals in the industry. As an accomplished artist, Diego has released several singles, collaborations, and three albums under his stage name, P-Wave. His hard work has paid off, as two of his albums have even received physical cassette releases – one independently, and the most recent under the popular indie music label, Stratford Ct.

Diego’s dedication to mastering his craft is evident in his constant pursuit of knowledge. He is always on the lookout for opportunities to learn and grow, attending conferences and workshops and seeking out mentorship from industry experts. In addition to his musical talents, Diego has honed his communication and networking skills, which have proven invaluable in his career. With his exceptional talent, dedication, and drive, Diego is sure to make significant contributions to any organization he is a part of, including the Ojai Music Festival sound department.

Mariah Divianne Musni is an undergraduate student pursuing Interdisciplinary Computing for the Arts and Music (ICAM) at the University of California, San Diego. Moving from the Philippines to the United States at 16, she sought new opportunities and personal growth. At UCSD, she  combines her love for technology and artistic expression. This program allows Mariah to explore the convergence of computation, art, and music, pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation. Through immersive coursework, she develops technical skills while nurturing her artistic sensibilities to create transformative experiences. As a novice audio intern at KSDT, the campus radio station, Mariah gained valuable hands-on experience in setting up audio equipment for live events, ensuring seamless sound quality.

Mariah’s passion for the arts originated in the Philippines, where she actively participated in dance and choir competitions. These experiences honed her creativity, discipline, and admiration for the performing arts.With a diverse background, unwavering determination, and a passion for innovation, Mariah aims to make a profound impact in ICAM, Speculative Design, and beyond. Mariah is committed to shaping the future of interdisciplinary creativity, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

As a Junior at the University of California Los Angeles, Dani Nollenberger is currently pursuing a major in Music History and Industry Studies. Passionate about music, Dani has a deep interest in both performing and writing music. In addition to their musical pursuits, Dani is also dedicated to bringing excellent live music experiences to others and sharing the joy of music with those around them. With an unwavering commitment to the world of music, Dani has refined her skills and is working towards a career in the music industry. Dani plans to apply her knowledge and passion to make a meaningful impact in the world of music and her community.

Margaret Rodenburg is a flutist and 2023 Bachelor of Music major graduating with Highest Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studied Flute Performance with Jill Felber. A native of Seattle WA, Margaret began playing flute at age 9, and has since found immense joy in the musical ensembles and communities throughout her life, including the Seattle Rock Orchestra, Seattle All-City Marching Band, Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, UCSB Wind Ensemble, UCSB Flute Choir, and UCSB Chamber program. While her musical journey began as an instrumentalist, Margaret has both volunteered in and taught private flute lessons to beginners in the greater Seattle and Santa Barbara areas and has worked in a variety of administrative positions in the UCSB Music Department. Throughout her time in undergrad, Margaret has recognized that her passion for playing music will continue to be bolstered by community ensembles and individual experimentation and that her desire for a long-term role in the live music industry is actually one backstage—she hopes to soon enter the industry in a managerial, administrative or organizational capacity.

Baritone and Arts Administration leader, Kevin Spooner, is pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Kevin received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music and has performed a diverse breadth of roles in the operatic repertoire ranging from Mozart to Sondheim. During his time at Eastman, Kevin worked as an Admissions Ambassador, where he was responsible for guiding musicians and their families during their visit to ensure a comfortable and rewarding time at Eastman.

Passionate about non-profit organizations and presenting recitals, in 2018 Kevin organized and produced a recital featuring local musicians and himself to raise money for The Great Swamp Conservancy in Canastota, NY. Kevin is also performing a recital entitled Songs and Arias of Love the week before the Ojai Music Festival in his hometown of Oneida, NY.

During the 2022/2023 season, Kevin made his professional debut as Marchese D’Obigny in Verdi’s La Traviata with Piedmont Opera. Kevin also performed the role of Rodomonte in Joseph Haydn’s Orlando Paladino with the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute in February. Last summer, Kevin performed the role of Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème with Opera Steamboat and performed the role of Paul’s Father in Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case with the Ad Astra Music Festival. Outside of the arts, Kevin enjoys running, tennis, golf, and reading Stephen King novels.

As a pianist, producer, and composer, Mateo Thacher is pursuing a dual degree in Economics and Music at Claremont McKenna College. Throughout college and high school, he has engaged in a number of musical interests including music production and live performances. A member of the Pomona College Choir, Mateo is working on an arrangement for his second original fashion show soundtrack. In the winter of 2018, he began making music with his hometown friend here in Ojai, California and continues to publish music under the name Krandank, which is accessible on all streaming platforms.

Aside from his creative endeavors, Mateo manages a team of student research analysts at the Roberts Environmental Center. We focus on consulting and providing research analytics for clients across all fields of sustainability and environmental education. He hopes to continue his interest in music, economics, and the environment in his career, seeking a life that blends his many passions. In his spare time, Mateo loves to surf, climb, work out, skate, and get together with friends and family.

Landon Wilson is a pianist and arts administrator based in New York City. He is the Artistic Associate of AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company) and studies at Manhattan School of Music as an undergraduate President’s Award recipient. Landon’s interests in creating interdisciplinary and socially-confrontational work have led him to develop THE RASA PROJECT, an artificially intelligent, generative piece responding to the climate crisis through music by John Cage, Reena Esmail, and inti figgis-vizueta. Uniting a creative team of musicians, software engineers, neuroscientists, and visual artists from Manhattan School of Music, Columbia University, Royal College of Art (London), and Tsinghua University (Beijing), THE RASA PROJECT will premiere in October 2023 at National Sawdust as part of their 2023-24 Emerging Artists Series.

With AMOC*, Landon has worked with venues such as The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, The 92nd Street Y, The Clark Art Institute, Tina Kim Gallery, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. In the 2022-23 season, he produced an ‘Up Close’ collaboration between AMOC* and Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall featuring the quiescent, evocative work of the Wandelweiser Collective.

Residing at International House New York, Landon received the Thea Petscheck Iervolino Foundation Award and is developing a lecture panel with Peter Sellars about finding hope for the future in a post-pandemic world. He returns to the Ojai Festival as the 2023 Steven Rothenberg Production Fellow after interning in Public Relations and Marketing last summer.




Live Stream

The Ojai Music Festival offers the world the experience of Libbey Bowl through free, high-quality live streaming. To watch the Live Streams of the 2023 concerts, click the following link:

Live Stream Replays Here!


Welcome to OJAICast, where we pull back the curtain to take a sneak-peek at the upcoming Ojai Music Festival, June 8 to 11, in beautiful Ojai Valley, California. All are welcome here, from newcomers to long-time music fans. In-depth insights and special guests will help introduce this year’s programming and whet your musical appetites for what’s to come with host Emily Praetorius.

Stream our podcast here!

Virtual Talks

Get an inside look at the creative process with our free Virtual Ojai Talks, where we celebrate the intersection of music and ideas with the 2023 Festival artists, composers, innovators, and thinkers. Virtual Talks are free and open to the musically curious!

Watch past Virtual Ojai Talks here!

2023 Live Stream Replays

Seven of the 2023 concerts are available at no cost via live streaming… [continue reading]

Podcast Series: OJAICast 2023


Welcome to OJAICAST, where we pull back the curtain to take a sneak-peek at the upcoming Ojai Music Festival, June 8 to 11, in beautiful Ojai Valley, California. All are welcome here, from newcomers to long-time music fans. In-depth insights and special guests will help introduce this year’s programming and whet your musical appetites for what’s to come with host Emily Praetorius.

Episode 1

Our first episode gives an in-depth look into the 77th Ojai Music Festival (June 8 – 11, 2023), curated by Music Director Rhiannon Giddens. Special guest Artistic and Executive Director Ara Guzelimian will give us some insights into the creation of this year’s festival programming and background on some of pieces being played.

Ojai Virtual Talks, Rhiannon Giddens
Uncovering the History of the Banjo with Rhiannon Giddens

Emily Praetorius, host and producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in this Episode:
I’m on My Way – Rhiannon Giddens 
Performed by Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

Liquid Borders – Gabriela Ortiz
Performed by red fish blue fish

Clock Catcher – Flying Lotus
Performed by Attacca Quartet

Ghost Opera – Tan Dun
Performed by Kronos Quartet

Episode 2

Our second episode takes a look at the idea of composing across boundaries with 2023 Festival composers Niloufar Nourbakhsh and Carlos Simon.

Shawn Okpebholo
Ojai Virtual Talks: Lei Liang and Steve Schick
Niloufar Nourbakhsh and IFCA
Carlos Simon, Requiem for the Enslaved
Bill Traylor 

Emily Praetorius, host and producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in this Episode:
mi sueño: afro-flamenco – Shawn Okpebholo
Performed by Clare Longendyke

The Willows are New – Chou Wen-Chung
Performed by Gloria Cheng

Veiled – Niloufar Nourbakhsh
Performed by Amanda Gookin

Between Worlds – Carlos Simon
Performed by Julia Mirzoev

Episode 3

Our final episode welcomes kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, pipa player Wu Man, and multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi to the podcast, where they discuss the history of their instruments, how they are played in contemporary music today, and what we can look forward to in this year’s Festival programming.

Niloufar Shiri Performs at Ojai Meadows Preserve
Niloufar Shiri
Pop Up Pipa with Wu Man
Francesco Turrisi: Playlist & Ojai Talk
Francesco Turrisi
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi Met Museum Concert

Emily Praetorius, host and producer
Louis Ng, recording engineer

OJAICast theme by Thomas Kotcheff and Louis Weeks

Music Excerpts in this Episode:
Niloufar Shiri Improvisation
Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi Met Museum Concert

Also available on SPOTIFY and APPLE PODCASTS

Emily Praetorius, former Ojai Music Festival intern and Rothenberg Intern Fellow, is a current Composition DMA candidate at Columbia University. She previously studied composition and clarinet performance at the University of Redlands (BM) and composition at Manhattan School of Music (MM). She has studied with Kathryn Nevin (clarinet), Susan Botti, Georg Friedrich Haas, George Lewis, and Anthony Suter. Emily is from Ojai, CA and lives in New York City where she is a proud co-owner of Kuro Kirin Espresso & Coffee.

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Ojai Music Festival!

A hallmark of groundbreaking musical experiences in idyllic Ojai, we welcome Grammy-winning Rhiannon Giddens to lead the 77th edition of our annual Festival. The four-day event includes Omar’s Journey based on Gidden’s new opera Omar and Carlos Simon’s Between Worlds inspired by the works of painter Bill Traylor. Get 15% off tickets when you enter the code CAAM15 at checkout.


The CAAM15 discount code has a 2-ticket minimum and only applies to 2023 Ojai Music Festival tickets. The code will expire on June 12, 2023. Discount codes cannot be applied to ticket orders that have already been purchased. All ticket orders are non-refundable. If you can’t attend a concert, contact the Box Office at least 24 hours prior to the concert start time to turn your tickets into a donation. Contact the Box Office for any other questions or concerns.

Box Ofice:
Open 10 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday
[email protected]
805 646 2053

Music Sounds Better in Ojai Winner Announced!

And the winner is Jules Weismann for our Design Challenge!

Thanks to the participants for submitting their artwork to our design challenge and to the panelists for helping us select the winning design.

We appreciated the heartfelt and imaginative spirit of all the designers, and we landed with our favorite by Ojai artist Jules Weismann.

About Jules Weismann
Jules Weissman works with digital and multimedia mediums to explore themes of identity and connection. With a background in graphic design and a love for experimentation, she often finds her inspiration in Ojai, where she lives with the oldest cat in the world.

View some of our honorable mentions from other designers:

Look for new limited edition merchandise with some of these designs at the upcoming June Festival!

2023 Music Director Rhiannon Giddens and Artistic Director Ara Guzelimian Share Updates to the 77th Ojai Music Festival

“I am so excited to get to work with the Ojai Music Festival as Music Director for 2023. With Ojai, I am able to sit at the crossroads of all that I am artistically and feel fully supported by the Festival team and by Ojai’s audiences. With the artists that we’re bringing out next June, the future is in celebration of how we come together as humans – despite boxes, boundaries, and borders thrown up with the intent to keep us apart.” – Rhiannon Giddens, 2023 Ojai Festival Music Director

Ojai welcomes guest artists to the 2023 Festival, including Wu Man (pipa), Kayhan Kalhor (kamancheh/composer), 2015 Ojai Music Director Steven Schick (conductor/percussion), Francesco Turrisi (multi-instrumentalist), Seckou Keita (kora), Gloria Cheng (piano), Emi Ferguson (flute), Justin Robinson (fiddle), Michi Wiancko (violin), and Leonard Hayes (piano); featured singers Cheryse McLeod Lewis (mezzo-soprano), Limmie Pulliam (tenor), and Michael Preacely (bass-baritone); guest ensembles Attacca Quartet, red fish blue fish (percussion), and members of the Silkroad Ensemble: Mazz Swift (violin), Mario Gotoh (violin/viola), Karen Ouzounian (cello), and Shawn Conley (double bass)

Highlights of the 2023 Festival programming:
• The Festival opens with Gabriela Ortiz’s Liquid Borders performed by red fish blue fish directed by Steven Schick alongside the Attacca Quartet in works of John Adams, Flying Lotus, Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Haydn, Kayhan Kalhor, and Squarepusher
• World Premiere of Omar’s Journey, an Ojai commissioned suite for voices and chamber ensemble drawn from the opera Omar by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels with Giddens (soprano) singing the role of Julie. The new work, placed in the context of the journey of Omar Ibn Said (1770-1864), is contextualized by the music of Senegal and the Carolinas
• World Premiere of an Ojai Music Festival commission by Aida Shirazi, founding member of the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA), for kamancheh and electronics; and Festival-wide programming in honor of the IFCA with works by Niloufar Nourbaksh, Nina Barzegar, Nasim Khorassani, and Golfam Khayam
• A reimagining of Tan Dun’s pioneering Ghost Opera for pipa and string quartet with Wu Man, Attacca Quartet, PeiJu Chien-Pott (dancer/choreographer), and Jon Reimer (director)
• An acoustic concert with Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi with music ranging from the Baroque to Appalachian ballads and traditional Black American songs as well as excerpts from Songs of Flight by Shawn Okpebholo
• Carlos Simon’s Between Worlds, four solo string works placed in visual context by their source of inspiration: the paintings of self-taught artist Bill Traylor (1853-1949) whose lived experience spanned the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Great Migration
• An “Early Music” concert curated by Francesco Turrisi with music spanning from ancient pipa music to works of Dowland and Monteverdi
• “Strings Attached” concert – a festive finale of string instruments from cultures across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East
• Activities designed to welcome and engage the community throughout the Festival include four free events – two early morning concerts with Niloufar Shiri (kamancheh) and Mario Gotoh (violin), and with Seckou Keita (kora); an interactive community concert performance of Elliot Cole’s Flowerpot Music led by Steven Schick; and a reading/musical performance by Rhiannon Giddens of her new children’s book Build a House

Additional works featured throughout the Festival by Margaret Bonds, Chou Wen-chung, Tyson Gholston Davis, Ge Gan-Ru, Lei Liang, Jessie Montgomery, Shawn Okpebholo, and Edgard Varèse

OJAI, California — March 15, 2023— The 77th Ojai Music Festival, June 8 to 11, 2023, welcomes acclaimed musician and composer Rhiannon Gidden as Music Director. Along with Festival Artistic Director Ara Guzelimian, Giddens shares additional details for the upcoming Festival which will include more than 20 music events in the beautiful setting of the Ojai Valley.

“Rhiannon Giddens has an extraordinarily wide embrace of music, history, and culture. She uses her art to tell essential stories, to illuminate, and to create deeper understanding, dissolving false boundaries between people and cultures,” adds Guzelimian. “Rhiannon’s programs for the 2023 Ojai Festival touch on so many of her interests across musical genres, from Baroque music to Black traditions in American roots music, from classical music from China and Persia to the influence of non-Western music on American contemporary works. This is a Festival that celebrates liquid borders between cultures and musics, so we appropriately begin the programming with Gabriela Ortiz’s work of the same name. I am thrilled to be working with all our 2023 Festival artists and with Rhiannon as we bring her range of musical interests to Ojai audiences.”

One of the 2023 Festival program anchors will be Omar’s Journey, an Ojai-commissioned suite for voices and small chamber ensemble drawn from the recently premiered and widely acclaimed opera Omar by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels. For Ojai, this intimate concert version of Omar will be placed in the context of the journey of Omar Ibn Said (1770-1864), a Muslim scholar who was captured from his native Senegal and enslaved in North and South Carolina. Omar’s Journey will pair the new Giddens/Abels suite with the musical traditions of Senegal and the Carolinas of his lifetime. This world premiere features Giddens, soprano, singing the role of Julie for the first time, joined by Cheryse McLeod-Lewis (mezzo-soprano), Limmie Pulliam (tenor), and Michael Preacely (bass-baritone).

During this 77th edition of the Ojai Festival, additional music centerpieces include a reimagining of Tan Dun’s pioneering Ghost Opera performed by Wu Man and Attacca Quartet. Written in 1994, Tan’s Ghost Opera evokes the spirits of Bach and Shakespeare, standing with the ancient folk traditions of traditional shamanistic Chinese music. Ojai’s reimagined performance of Tan’s work is directed by Jon Reimer with dancer/choreographer PeiJu Chien-Pott.

Gabriela Ortiz’s Liquid Borders performed by red fish blue fish directed by Steven Schick opens the Festival. Liquid Borders will be followed by works of John Adams, Flying Lotus, Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Haydn, Kayhan Kalhor, and Squarepusher curated and performed by the Attacca Quartet.

A complete performance of Carlos Simon’s Between Worlds, a quartet of string works placed directly in the visual context of the art of Bill Traylor (1853-1949), will be performed by members of the Silkroad Ensemble – Mazz Swift, Mario Gotoh, Karen Ouzounian, and Shawn Conley – with projection mapping by Ross Karre. Traylor’s lived experience spanned the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Great Migration. Carlos Simon wrote, “Themes of mystical folklore, race, and religion pervade Traylor’s work. I imagine these solo pieces as a musical study; hopefully showing Traylor’s life between disparate worlds.”

The Saturday morning concert, “The Willows are New,” celebrates a range of works by Niloufar Nourbakhsh, one of the founding members of the Iranian Female Composers Association (IFCA), Lei Liang, Ge Gan-Ru, and Chou Wen-chung followed by solo improvisations by renowned kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor.

Ojai’s “Early Music” concert on Sunday, June 11, curated by Francesco Turrisi, plays on the idea of “old music and on music for the first hours of the day.” Turrisi’s program celebrates thousand-year-old works for solo pipa, to Renaissance consort music, from ancient Persian melodies to modal jazz improvisations.

The 2023 Festival concludes with an exuberant musical summit performed by Rhiannon Giddens, Wu Man, Kayhan Kalhor, Seckou Keita, Justin Robinson, Francesco Turrisi, Michi Wiancko, and members of the Silkroad Ensemble – Mario Gotoh, Karen Ouzounian, Mazz Swift, and Shawn Conley. This family jam session “Strings Attached” features solos and collaborations among the bowed and plucked string instruments from cultures across the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

In honor of what would have been his 100th birthday, the Festival will feature works of Chinese American composer Chou Wen-chung coupled with the music of Edgard Varèse who was Chou’s mentor. The Festival will also present music by Michael Abels, John Adams, Nina Barzegar, Margaret Bonds, Tyson Gholston Davis, Flying Lotus, Ge Gan-Ru, Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Kayhan Kalhor, Golfam Khayam, Nasim Khorassani, Lei Liang, Jessie Montgomery, Niloufar Nourbakhsh, Shawn Okpebholo, and Caroline Shaw.

2023 Featured Artists
Rhiannon Giddens’ 2023 collaborators include a mix of Festival debuts and returning artists. Audiences will be introduced to Leonard Hayes (piano), Kayhan Kalhor (kamancheh/composer), Seckou Keita (kora), Justin Robinson (fiddle), Michi Wiancko (violin), members of the Silkroad Ensemble including Mazz Swift (violin), Mario Gotoh (violin/viola), Karen Ouzounian (cello), and Shawn Conley (double bass), and singers Cheryse McLeod-Lewis (mezzo-soprano), Limmie Pulliam (tenor), and Michael Preacely (bass-baritone).

Making welcome returns to Ojai will be percussionist/conductor Steven Schick, Music Director for the 2015 Festival, and pipa player Wu Man who last appeared with Schick. From the 2021 Festival will be multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, Emi Ferguson (flute), and the Attacca Quartet (violinists Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni, violist Nathan Schram, and cellist Andrew Yee), as well as Gloria Cheng (piano) and red fish blue fish (percussion ensemble), both last seen at the 2015 Festival.

Community Offerings
An integral part of the immersive Ojai Festival experience are the free community activities that occur in the Libbey Park and throughout Ojai. The 2023 Festival will include two morning Meditations at Chaparral Auditorium, the first begins Saturday, June 10 with Niloufar Shiri, kamancheh and Mario Gotoh, violin. On Sunday, June 11 the Morning Meditation features Seckou Keita, kora.

Percussionist/conductor Steven Schick welcomes everyone to make music together in the Libbey Park on Sunday afternoon. Led by Schick, the Ojai community and patrons will be invited to participate in an interactive performance of Elliot Cole’s Flowerpot Music.

On the same Sunday afternoon at Libbey Park, Rhiannon Giddens offers a special family event for children of all ages. Giddens will do a reading and musical performance of her debut book Build a House. The picture book, published by Candlewick Press, was inspired by a song that Giddens wrote and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma to commemorate Juneteenth 2020.

Beyond Ojai: Online Offerings
The Ojai Music Festival lives beyond the flagship four-day festival in June, allowing further engagement with audiences worldwide. These include the Festival’s state-of-the-art live streaming and archived library of concerts; Virtual Ojai Talks with featured Festival artists and alum leading up to the Festival; and OjaiCAST, the podcast series that provides insights on upcoming programming. The Festival’s digital projects are available at OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai on the Air with WQXR/New Sounds with host John Schaefer continues this year. The series of programs connects audiences and artists who engage deeply with adventurous new music. The first program, which debuted in October 2022 and is archived and available at NewSounds.org (episodes 4668-4671) featured discipline colliding collective AMOC, Ojai’s 2022 Music Director. Details of the second installment with 2023 Music Director Rhiannon Giddens will be announced soon. Sign up for the New Sounds newsletter to be informed of dates and about other musical adventures also at NewSounds.org.


Single Tickets for the 2023 Ojai Music Festival
Single Tickets are available and may be purchased at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Single tickets range from $150 to $50 for reserved seating in the Libbey Bowl. General admission for the Lawn in Libbey Bowl is $20. Add-on event prices range from $35 to $50. Student discounts, OjaiNEXT young professional discounts, and group sales are available by inquiring with our Box Office.


The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. She most recently won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for They’re Calling Me Home and was also nominated for Best American Roots Song for “Avalon” from They’re Calling Me Home, which she made with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Giddens is now a two-time winner and eight-time Grammy nominee for her work as a soloist and collaborator.

They’re Calling Me Home was released by Nonesuch last April and has been widely celebrated by the NY Times, NPR Music, NPR, Rolling Stone, People, Associated Press and far beyond, with No Depression deeming it “a near perfect album…her finest work to date.” Recorded over six days in the early phase of the pandemic in a small studio outside of Dublin, Ireland – where both Giddens and Turrisi live – They’re Calling Me Home manages to effortlessly blend the music of their native and adoptive countries: America, Italy, and Ireland. The album speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death.

Giddens’ lifelong mission is to lift people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. Pitchfork has said of her work, “few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration,” and Smithsonian Magazine calls her “an electrifying artist who brings alive the memories of forgotten predecessors, white and black.”

Among her many diverse career highlights, Giddens has performed for the Obamas at the White House and received an inaugural Legacy of Americana Award from Nashville’s National Museum of African American History in partnership with the Americana Music Association. Her critical acclaim includes in-depth profiles by CBS Sunday Morning, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and NPR’s Fresh Air, among many others.

Giddens was featured in Ken Burns’ Country Music series, which aired on PBS, where she spoke about the African-American origins of country music. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black female banjo players, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, and Amythyst Kiah, and co- produced their debut album Songs of Our Native Daughters (2019), which tells stories of historic black womanhood and survival.

Giddens is in the midst of a tremendous 2022. She recently announced the publication of her first book, Build a House (October 2022). Lucy Negro Redux, the ballet Giddens wrote the music for, had its premiere at the Nashville Ballet (premiered in 2019 and toured in 2022), and the libretto and music for Giddens’ original opera, Omar, in collaboration with Michael Abels, based on the autobiography of the enslaved man Omar Ibn Said, premiered at the Spoleto USA Festival in May. Giddens is also curating a four-concert Perspectives series as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2022–2023 season. Named Artistic Director of Silkroad Ensemble in 2020, Giddens is developing new programs for that ensemble, including one inspired by the history of the American transcontinental railroad and the cultures and music of its builders.  As an actor, Giddens had a featured role on the television series Nashville.

Rhiannon Giddens made her debut at the Ojai Music Festival in September 2021 with Music Director John Adams.


Ara Guzelimian is Artistic and Executive Director of the Ojai Music Festival, having begun in that position in July 2020. The appointment culminates many years of association with the Festival including tenures as director of the Ojai Talks and as Artistic Director from 1992–97. Guzelimian stepped down as Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School in New York City in June 2020, having served in that position since 2007. At Juilliard, he worked closely with the president in overseeing the faculty, curriculum, and artistic planning of the distinguished performing arts conservatory in all three of its divisions: dance, drama, and music. He continues at Juilliard as Special Advisor, Office of the President.

Prior to the Juilliard appointment, he was Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall from 1998 to 2006. Guzelimian serves as artistic consultant for the Marlboro Music Festival and School in Vermont. He is a member of the steering committee of the Aga Khan Music Awards, the artistic committee of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust in London, and a board member of the Amphion and Pacific Harmony Foundations. He is also a member of the music visiting committee of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. In 2020, Guzelimian was appointed to the advisory panel of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation in Sweden.

Previously, Guzelimian held the position of Artistic Administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado, and he was long associated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the beginning of his career, first as producer for the orchestra’s national radio broadcasts and, subsequently, as Artistic Administrator. Guzelimian is editor of Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (Pantheon Books, 2002), a collection of dialogues between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. In September 2003, he was awarded the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his contributions to French music and culture.


The Ojai Music Festival represents an ideal of adventurous, openminded, and openhearted programming in the most beautiful and welcoming of settings, with audiences and artists to match its aspirations. Marking its 75th anniversary season last year, the Festival remains a creative laboratory for thought-provoking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic outdoor setting. Each Festival’s narrative is guided by a different Music Director, whose distinctive perspectives shape programming — ensuring energized festivals year after year.

Throughout each year, the Ojai Music Festival contributes to Southern California’s cultural landscape with in-person and online Festival-related programming as well as robust educational offerings that serve thousands of public-school students and seniors. The organization’s apex is the world-renowned four-day Festival, which takes place in Ojai, a breathtaking valley 75 miles from Los Angeles, which is a perennial platform for the fresh and unexpected. During the immersive experience, a mingling of the most curious take part in concerts, symposia, free community events, and social gatherings. During the intimate Festival weekend, considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai welcomes up to 5,000 patrons and reaches 35 times more audiences worldwide through live and on- demand streaming of concerts and discussions throughout the year.

Since its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has presented broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of new and rarely performed music, as well as refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles. Through its signature structure of the Artistic Director appointing a different Music Director each year, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including the multi-disciplinary colliding collective AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company), Vijay Iyer, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and Barbara Hannigan in recent years; throughout its history, featured artists have included Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kent Nagano, Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, Eighth Blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, Matthias Pintscher, and Peter Sellars.

Press contacts:

Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, [email protected] (805) 646-2181 National/International: Nikki Scandalios, [email protected] (704) 340-4094

In the Life of an Intern

by Landon Wilson, Manhattan School of Music, Ojai Alumnus 2022

2022 Festival Interns gather under one of the iconic arches of Libbey Park, which is decorated with an Ojai Music Festival Pennant

The Ojai Music Festival’s Arts Management Internship Program is entering its 15th year of providing career opportunities for young stewards of boundary-bending music. Our internship program supports college students from a variety of fields and interests. From production, to the box office, to marketing, to technology, interns have become a vital part of what makes the Festival happen each year, finding themselves deeply entwined in every department.  

This article follows Landon Wilson’s story of his time as one of our 15 Arts Management Interns for the 2022 Festival. Landon was Managing Director Gina Gutierrez’s right-hand-intern working in areas of social media, marketing and press relations, but as you will read, this role involves much more! Since the internship in June 2022, Landon has been able to utilize the skills developed at the Ojai Music Festival as the Artistic Associate for AMOC*, while completing a degree at the Manhattan School of Music.  

Introduction by Madeline Grass Doss, Patron Services & Office Administrator, Ojai Alumna 2021

Arriving in Ojai

It was day one in SoCal! After touching down at LAX, a few other interns and I made our way up the Pacific Coast Highway to meet the Festival’s Intern Coordinator, Laura Walter, who showed us around palm-lined Ojai Ave upon arriving in town. 

We settled into our homestays at the Taormina Theosophical Institute and met up with the other interns for a welcome dinner at Jim and Rob’s Fresh Grill. This was a wonderful moment for us to get to know one another. Like me, many interns had traveled across the country to spend a few weeks working in picturesque Ojai! 

Getting Acquainted

The next day, the internship program kicked off with a breakfast hosted by Festival leadership and staff. This included meeting my fabulous mentor, Gina Gutierrez. (the Festival’s Managing Director), who would guide my time in Ojai as the Marketing and Social Media Intern. We immediately jumped into preparing a social media and communications calendar and discussing creative ways to promote the Festival’s 18 events with Music Director AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company). Gina encouraged me to explore Ojai and use the liminal time to capture content. 

In this spirit, many of the interns and I took advantage of this short opportunity for downtime before the Festival to discover greater Ojai. This included locals taking us on thoughtful guided tours of the Ojai Valley Museum, hiking trails, and even the Ojai Olive Oil Company, where we had a delicious afternoon tasting their 50+ varieties. A personal highlight was spending some time browsing a quintessential Ojai spot—Bart’s Books.  

The energy in the Festival office was palpable as more staff arrived. The iconic green lanterns began to appear across the street in Libbey Park, signifying the town’s overnight transformation from an idyllic bohemian getaway to the center of the classical music world! Much to my delight, it soon became apparent that I would be able to diversify my experience and work across departments, often with Mary Ann Makee with the Front of House staff, and with Producer Fiona Digney with the production team.  

It was during this time that I also met AMOC* whose 17 members could be found in the Libbey Bowl and across Ojai in rehearsals. They would occasionally pop their heads into the office, adding to the kinetic energy in the air that made me all the more excited to develop the marketing materials with Gina. The start of the Festival was rapidly approaching! 

Unique mentorship experiences with the Festival’s staff allowed me to explore different facets of the industry and deepen my commitment to further developing as a well-rounded arts administrator.” 

 —LANDON WILSON, Manhattan School of Music, Ojai Alumnus 2022 

Ojai Runs AMOC*: the 76th Festival Weekend

The Festival was finally here! Being used to navigating my home base NYC on foot, I loved starting the day with an early-morning walk to the office with an avocado toast and pistachio rose latte (shoutout to Café BōKU!) before beginning the busy work day ahead. Upon arriving at the office, I got a call from Fiona asking me to turn pages for a rehearsal in Libbey Bowl, which led to me sitting on stage with AMOC* for three performances! Gina and I regrouped at lunch and developed a plan for the rest of the day, which included meeting with the Festival’s publicist to prepare press packets for the visiting media and attending several performances and world premieres. 

As the weekend progressed, Ojai seemed to be teeming with increasing anticipation for each concert. The Festival featured many afternoon performances in the Libbey Bowl, where I worked with the unflappable Front of House staff and interns as an usher, getting to welcome the loyal and enthusiastic patrons of the Ojai Music Festival. I was always surprised to see who was mingling between concerts, whether it be composer John Adams or architect Frank Gehry, everyone brought an appetite for curiosity to discover new musical ideas. 

The Festival culminated with a rousing finale concert, featuring all of AMOC* and a particularly catchy Julius Eastman tune that embodied the mood of the Festival and my experience as an intern. Rewatch that last concert here, and you’ll know what I mean! 

Host Family

The internship ended as quickly as it began. It was time to say goodbye to the Festival team, my new intern friends, and my lovely hosts. The Dierdre Daly connected me with a wonderful couple from NYC that had relocated to Ojai during the pandemic. Carol, Anan, and their sweet dog Anbu were incredibly welcoming hosts that attended many of the performances, making for stirring evening conversations and my time in Ojai all the more enjoyable. 

Looking Forward

I don’t think a day has passed since last June that I haven’t reminisced on my time in Ojai. Interning with the Festival was a whirlwind two weeks of immersive learning opportunities that helped shape my professional aspirations. Unique mentorship experiences with the Festival’s staff allowed me to explore different facets of the industry and deepen my commitment to further developing as a well-rounded arts administrator. I can’t wait to return this June for the 77th Ojai Music Festival! 

More content captured by Landon

Music Sounds Better in Ojai

Calling all artists, illustrators and music enthusiasts:
Enter our Design Challenge!

The Ojai Valley is known to be a special place that inspires the arts to flourish like music! The Festival is asking you to show us how music sounds better in Ojai by submitting your original artwork incorporating the words “Music Sounds Better in Ojai” to our 2023 Festival Design Challenge. The winning design will be shared on limited edition merchandise like stickers and t-shirts, plus on our website and social media platforms.

Ignite your imagination!

Your design should reflect creative innovation, the spirit of adventure, and surprise, as these are synonymous with the Ojai Music Festival for the last 77 years!

How it works:

Submission Guidelines and Deadlines
February 17: Call for artists is announced
March 10 PST by midnight: Submissions due
March 17: Winner announced

The final winners from each age category will be announced March 16 and receive two free 4-day series passes to this year’s Festival, plus limited-edition merchandise, and your work featured on our website, Instagram, and newsletter. Our second and third prize winners will receive a pair of lawn tickets and their designs will also be listed on our Instagram and Website.


  • All entries must be submitted on or before midnight March 10 PST
  • All entries must include the phrase “Music Sounds Better in Ojai”
  • There is no fee to submit
  • The winning design will receive two series passes to the 2023 Festival, merchandise with design
  • There are two categories: middle school to high school and adults 18+ (Entrants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the application)
  • Submission must be accompanied by the completed form (see link below)
  • Incomplete entry forms will be deemed invalid, and artwork will not be judged
  • All submitted designs and source images must be the original work of the person submitting the application. Third-party artwork or images, including clipart or copyrighted graphics, may not be used
  • By submitting an entry, the person agrees that the Ojai Music Festival will become the rightful owner of the image and may alter and or reproduce the image at its discretion
  • All entries will be judged on the artwork’s creative ideas that reflect the uniqueness of the Ojai Music Festival
  • Judging decisions are final and may not be appealed
  • Entries may be shared by the Ojai Music Festival included but not limited to the Festival’s website, email communications, and its social media platforms
  • To participate, please complete form and artwork below:

Francesco Turrisi: What’s On My Playlist

Francesco Turrisi

Grammy award winning multi-instrumentalist and 2023 Festival artist Francesco Turrisi has been defined a “musical alchemist” and a “musical polyglot” by the press. Enjoy this wide-ranging music playlist curated by Francesco especially made for the Ojai Music Festival!

PLUS, watch the conversation with Francesco and Festival Artistic Director Ara Guzelimian during our Virtual Ojai Talks in December. Click here >

Preview Francesco Turrisi’s playlist here, and log into Spotify or Apple Music to hear the full songs




Click HERE to listen on Apple Music


1. Slide Dance
by Tamer Pinarbasi, Ismail Lumanovski, Ara Dinkjian


2. Per ogni sorte di strumenti musicale, Op. 22: Passacaglio
composed by Biagio Marini, performed by Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI


3. Yo Vivo Enamorado
by Pedrito Martinez


4. Eliasong
by Christian Wallumrød Ensemble


5. Pucciniana
by Guinga


6. Lament for Linus
by Brad Mehldau


7. Sonata Da Chiesa No. 1 in D Major, Op. 5: I. Grave – Adagio – Grave – Allegro – Adagio
composed by Arcangelo Corelli, performed by Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone, and Stefano Montanari


8. Como al Pie del Suplicio Estuve
by Efrén López


9. La Tarantella dell’Avena
by Zahr


10. Sareri Hovin Mernem
by Lena Chamamyan

BONUS track. Here’s an added piece of music requested by Ojai listeners! Spotify – Passacaglia – song and lyrics by Francesco Turrisi

ENJOY Francesco’s Mom’s delicious “lean” lasagna recipe! Click here >

New Sounds: Ojai On The Air

We are delighted to announce a renewed partnership with WQXR Radio and its remarkable New Sounds program, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary with John Schaefer, one of the most adventurous guides to creative and innovative music anywhere.

This week-long series of programs will connect audiences with the many facets of the Festival’s 2022 collaboration with the discipline colliding collective AMOC*, Ojai’s 2022 Music Director.  Imagined as a vehicle to connect audiences and artists who engage deeply with the world’s most adventurous, new music, WQXR/New Sounds Presents: Ojai On The Air looks toward ongoing programming leading up to and during the 2023 Festival with Music Director Rhiannon Giddens.

Check out the episodes below along with featured clips:

Davóne Tines and New Sounds host John Schaefer discuss Julius Eastman’s work, Tines’ connection to Eastman’s lineage, and how the program Tines and AMOC* prepared honors Eastman as a complete human, exploring the breadth and depth of his life and influence.

Listen to members of AMOC* performing Little Jimmy by violinist and composer Andrew McIntosh (of new music band Wild Up), and songs of drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey and American composer Margaret Bonds, performed by bass-baritone Davóne Tines.

AMOC* member and pianist Conor Hanick plays and discusses The Book of Sounds by the late German pianist, composer, and broadcaster, Hans Otte.

Listen to a program of J.S. Bach which upends expectations, as arranged by AMOC* member, flutist and composer Emi Ferguson and the period instrument band Ruckus. Plus, from the 2022 Festival Finale, a performance of Julius Eastman’s work of resistance as an act of joy, Stay On It.

Rhiannon Giddens, 2023 Music Director

The acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens uses her art to excavate the past and reveal bold truths about our present. A MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Giddens co-founded the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. She most recently won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for They’re Calling Me Home, and was also nominated for Best American Roots Song for “Avalon” from They’re Calling Me Home, which she made with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Giddens is now a two-time winner and eight-time Grammy nominee for her work as a soloist and collaborator.

They’re Calling Me Home was released by Nonesuch last April and has been widely celebrated by the NY Times, NPR Music, NPR, Rolling Stone, People, Associated Press and far beyond, with No Depression deeming it “a near perfect album…her finest work to date.” Recorded over six days in the early phase of the pandemic in a small studio outside of Dublin, Ireland – where both Giddens and Turrisi live – They’re Calling Me Home manages to effortlessly blend the music of their native and adoptive countries: America, Italy, and Ireland. The album speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death.

Giddens’s lifelong mission is to lift people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country’s musical origins. Pitchfork has said of her work, “few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration,” and Smithsonian Magazine calls her “an electrifying artist who brings alive the memories of forgotten predecessors, white and black.”

Among her many diverse career highlights, Giddens has performed for the Obamas at the White House and received an inaugural Legacy of Americana Award from Nashville’s National Museum of African American History in partnership with the Americana Music Association. Her critical acclaim includes in-depth profiles by CBS Sunday Morning, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and NPR’s Fresh Air, among many others.

Giddens was featured in Ken Burns’s Country Music series, which aired on PBS, where she spoke about the African American origins of country music. She is also a member of the band Our Native Daughters with three other black female banjo players, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell, and Amythyst Kiah, and co-produced their debut album Songs of Our Native Daughters (2019), which tells stories of historic black womanhood and survival.

Giddens is in the midst of a tremendous 2022. She announced the publication of her first book, Build a House (October 2022),  Lucy Negro Redux, the ballet Giddens wrote the music for, had its premiere at the Nashville Ballet (premiered in 2019 and toured in 2022), and the libretto and music for Giddens’ original opera, Omar, in collaboration with Michael Abels, based on the autobiography of the enslaved man Omar Ibn Said, premiered at the Spoleto USA Festival in May. Giddens is also curating a four-concert Perspectives series as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2022–2023 season. Named Artistic Director of Silkroad Ensemble in 2020, Giddens is developing a number of new programs for that ensemble, including one inspired by the history of the American transcontinental railroad and the cultures and music of its builders.

As an actor, Giddens had a featured role on the television series Nashville.

photo by Ebru Yildiz

2022 Festival Photos

Photos by Timothy Teague


Photos by Joshus S. Rose


Festival Patron Photos by Timothy Teague

2022 Festival Critical Acclaim

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you for joining us at our 76th Festival, June 9-12, 2022. It was an exhilarating time! The energy and boundless creativity of AMOC* was vividly present across the Ojai Valley, giving all of us an extraordinary artistic adventure. 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

“The Ojai Music Festival has always been more than the sum of its considerable parts, thanks to its compact duration (little more than a long weekend), eclectic classical programming, embrace of other disciplines (including theater, dance and spoken word), and sustained ability to attract luminaries to its still delightfully rustic outdoor setting—Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland and Pierre Boulez remain the most famous of its annually appointed music directors. Yet this year, something else pervaded, too: a feeling that the center of the classical-music universe, at least from June 9 through 12, was right here.”  – Wall Street Journal

“Davóne Tines, in a program note describing amoc’s approach to Eastman’s unswervingly radical music, wrote, “What is possible if all members of a performing ensemble are present for every step of the creation of a performance?” Ojai made the possibilities clear.” – The New Yorker

“There is nothing in music quite like Ojai, now three-quarters of a century old, with that packed morning-to-night-schedule, its variety of spaces and the stalwart curiosity of its audience. Led by Ara Guzelimian with a steady hand, the festival is Southern California relaxed — T-shirts and shorts, maybe a hoodie at night — but the repertory tends rigorous and recondite.” – New York Times

“This Utopian collective of 17 extraordinary artists happily reinventing opera was the communal music director last weekend for the 75th anniversary of this ever-quixotic festival.” – Los Angeles Times

“Eastman’s beloved half-hour Gay Guerilla was a standout moment during the program — and the festival. The dizzily ecstatic work came off as a musical statement at once unruly and internally logical, raucous and yet reflective, as was Eastman’s complex musical wont. Among other distinguishing marks at Ojai 2022, Eastman now joins the ranks of the festival’s ever-expanding songbook of 20th- and 21st-century greats whose music left a mark in this dreamy outpost of a town.” – San Francisco Classical Voice 

“Open Rehearsal, directed by the choreographer and dancer Bobbi Jene Smith, felt more nuanced. An outgrowth of Smith’s recent work “Broken Theater,” it is a wry, sometimes uproarious and poignant metatheatrical riff on the process of creation.” – New York Times

“For all its worldly trappings, as an annual gathering point for internationally-respected musicians, composers, conductors, plus visitors and press from near and far, the unique power of the Ojai Music Festival (ojaifestival.org) is partly rooted in its “village” concept. As the cliché goes, it “takes one” to pull all the festival pieces together and it is one, a golden west coast destination spot.” – Santa Barbara Independent 

“With AMOC’s boundary-pushing tenure at an end, Ojai has once more proved the most elastic of music festivals. And it seems clear that Mr. Guzelimian intends to continue stretching things.” – Wall Street Journal

“Compositional styles ran a wide gamut at the festival, from the ethereal simplicity of Cassandra Miller’s “About Bach” to the riotous, pop-flavored eclecticism of Doug Balliett’s mini-opera Rome Is Falling.” – The New Yorker

“Everything for AMOC is sacred in that it needs to perform at the highest level, but nothing is so sacred that it can’t be rethought musically, socially, racially, sexually, theatrically, physically.” – Los Angeles Times

“Many in the arts these days talk a big game about interdisciplinary collaboration, but few walk the walk like AMOC– New York Times

LADP Gallery – March 26, 2022