2016 Audience Survey Results

The Festival continues to be a place for experimentation and discovery for both artists and audiences. Each year after the Festival, we send out an electronic survey to ticket buyers. For those who participated, we thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your experience.
As we continue to comb through the results and comments, we would like to share some initial findings.

We collected 931 emails of ticket buyers. 41% responded by completing the survey.


Geographic reach


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Ages of survey respondents


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How satisfied were you with the gathering place at the park?


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How satisfied were you with the Festival Merchandise Concessions?


supper chart

How satisfied were you with the Supper in the Park?


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Overall ratings compared to last year


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Returning vs. New


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Do you plan to attend next year’s Festival with 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer?




Survey respondents also shared their memorable moments from the 2016 Festival. Here is a selection from both returning and new ticket buyers. Thank you for participating in our survey!


“This year’s festival introduced me to music and artists unfamiliar to me. It all excited me. I attended only the Thursday and Friday concerts and I am looking forward to streaming the concerts I missed. I loved the talks; they helped me understand the intentions of the composers as they created their pieces. Thank you Peter Sellers for an exquisite program!”

“Experiencing music within my community is so much richer than listening to music alone. The community, seeing friends and acquaintances, is as important as hearing the pieces.”

“Aruna Sriram was magnificent. I love and study Indian classical… It was great to be in the presence of a master.”

“Roomful of Teeth was truly exciting! Peter Sellar’s enthusiasm was contagious and inspiring!”

“The Friday June 10 ‘The Mystic House’ program with Caroline Shaw’s Partita for 8 Voices, and Carla Kihlstedt’s ‘All Night We Walk in Circles…’ was as electric, exciting and all-consuming a program as I have heard in years. I was totally absorbed musically and emotionally. I returned home on a cloud of inspiration and joy.”

“Davonne’s version of Caroline Shaw’s three songs: the reaction that Caroline displayed after having heard that performance of the songs she has heretofore sang herself was reflective of the high level of artistry of the people gathered for the Festival, and inventive programming provided the artists. It doesn’t get better than this, folks!”

“I found magnetic energy in the engagement of the audience. I will not forget the look on my young daughters face when Dina El Wedidi sang, with a voice clear and bright and so full of life.”

“Watching the Sunday afternoon performance of ICE and YOLA debut their collaborative graphic score with my 5-year-old son.”

“Seeing a female conducting a piece composed by a woman about Simone Weil featuring a woman of color as a soloist was just amazing. The talk beforehand was stunning. I can’t applaud the festival and Peter Sellars enough for choosing to foreground women. The fact that this year’s festival touched on both Simone Weil and Claudia Rankine is a testament to the depth of the artistry of all involved.”

“The friendliness, camaraderie of the Music Festival. It is truly like a big family!”

“I have enjoyed watching this festival evolve as I have attended off and on since high school in the 1960s to now and it just gets better.”

“The entire experience is unique and transporting. Maddening and magical.”

Relive The Festival Experience

Watch videos of concerts and artist interviews from the 2016 Ojai Music Festival.

2016 Festival Reviews


The 2016 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Peter Sellars embodied the spirit of the Festival with an openness to exploration and risk-taking, adventure and surprise, embracing the new and welcoming the unfamiliar. Relive the 2016 Festival anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts here.

Feedback from our audience, artists and members of the press is important to us. Read excerpts here or download the full PDF version.

In part because this 70-year-old festival’s musical leadership changes each year, its audience — loyal and attentive, with a bourgeois-bohemian vibe that aptly reflects the sheltered, fragrant Ojai — is unusually open to variation and exploration. And just four days long, the event is compact enough to give the sense that its offerings are the product of a single mind rather than a committee. This was Mr. Sellars’s personal playlist, leave it or — more often — take it. – The New York Times

As the great Southern California music retreat, the Ojai Music Festival offers venturesome refuge from normal life for locals and visitors to this blissed-out valley. – Los Angeles Times

Passion finds sustaining nourishment and intimacy in Saariaho’s exquisite chamber score, demonstrating her signature sensitivity to timbre and balance and offering affectingly dark-hued instrumental colorings – Musical America

The role of the work’s narrator (a fictitious sister for Weil created by the librettist, Amin Maalouf) was assumed by the rising soprano Julia Bullock, who lent the performance controlled vigor, tonal purity and fierce commitment – The Wall Street Journal

Her captivating Partita for 8 Voices was a close-harmony vocal exploration by Roomful of Teeth (in which Shaw is a vocalist) of four antique dances that sway and stretch in surprising and captivating contemporary ways. The work won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for composition. Baritone Davóne Tines and the Calder Quartet’s later performance of Shaw’s By and By (freely set bluegrass and gospel texts) galvanized all present. In the fine acoustics of the Besant Hill School’s Zalk Theater, the rendering by Tines induced tears from many — the composer and Sellars himself among them. – Classical Voice North America

It is not only Saariaho’s work that is gripping, but the entire array of composers on “the front edge” of the next generation that Sellars celebrates. As it happens, most of those brought together for the festival are women, a disparate group with distinctive ideas for the future of music. They, and many of the performers, also represent many countries and multiple continents, brought together to illuminate musical possibilities for the 21st century. – Ventura County Star

If all this sounds like a recipe for confusion, that’s only partly the case. Despite his deliberately esoteric approach, there’s an emotional center to Vivier’s work that this performance managed to communicate very directly to the audience, and many were visibly moved by both the music and the occasion, proving once again that certain musical experiences could only happen in Ojai. – Santa Barbara Independent

Chase silently appeared on stage, an ominously chilly electronic soundscape rising in the background. She launched herself at a tam-tam, rattling and grinding metal sticks along the surface at full fury, before picking up her bass flute. Throwing her whole body into the music, slowly breathing in and whisper-shouting into her instrument, she demonstrated why she is truly one of the most vibrant performers on the concert stage. – I Care If You Listen

2016 Festival Moments

Taken through the lenses of Katurah Ashby and Salt Arts Documentation, here are some moments from the 70th Ojai Music Festival.

Jennifer Koh, violin

jennifer-koh-bioViolinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. With an impassioned musical curiosity, she is forging an artistic path of her own devising, choosing works that both inspire and challenge. She is dedicated to performing the violin repertoire of all eras from traditional to contemporary, believing that the past and present form a continuum. She is also committed to exploring connections in the works she performs, searching for similarities of voice among diverse composers and associations within the works of a single composer. For her forward-thinking approach to classical music, presenting a broad and eclectic range of repertoire and fostering multidisciplinary collaborations with artists of all types and styles, Ms. Koh has been named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year.

Steve Lehman, saxophone


Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.

From New York: Tom Morris Shares an Inside Look into Rehearsals


May 27, 2016
I spent the last day at our first rehearsals in New York for Ojai 2016. Most of artists are in New York so it is most efficient to do much of our preparation work there. We will be holding rehearsals there through June 1, and then the artists then come to Ojai June 3 to resume preparations June 4.

Yesterday started with a rehearsal for Josephine Baker A Portrait at ICEhaus, ICE’s home in Brooklyn. Soprano Julia Bullock has long been an advocate of Josephine Baker, the astonishing black American singer who in 1925 emigrated to Paris and became one of the most famous entertainers in the world. For Ojai, Peter Sellars and Julia Bullock have devised a very unique musical portrait of this remarkable artist with new and mind-bending arrangements by composer/drummer/trombonist/pianist Tyshawn Sorey. I first heard of Tyshawn from Vijay Iyer in planning for the 2017 Ojai Festival. Claire Chase suggested last summer that Tyshawn collaborate for the Baker project. The results are simply amazing – fresh, insightful, moving and powerful. The work is scored for Julia Bullock and a small ensemble of ICE payers – violin, flute, bassoon, oboe, and guitar – plus Tyshawn himself4e419ced-64c9-42e0-b0ce-35931fde08af on piano and drums.

This was followed by the arrival of singer/composer/violinist Carla Kihlstedt to rehearse her At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire. Carla thrilled Ojai audiences in 2009 with her unforgettable performance of Lisa Bielawa’s Kafka Songs for soprano and violin, in which Carla unbelievably performed both parts simultaneously. Carla’s work, a setting of dreams, involves herself as singer with a nine-piece ensemble of ICE, and will be performed Friday afternoon at 3pm. The work is magical.

Finally, I went to the Park Avenue Armory to hear two the first two rehearsals of Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus. This fiendishly difficult work is scored for seven vocalists (all from the remarkable Roomful of Teeth) and seven members of ICE, all masterfully conducted by Eric Dudley, also a member of Roomful of Teeth. As Christopher Hailey has written in the program book, “Kopernikus, more an oratorio than an opera, is a series of scenes depicting the journey of the alto soloist, Agni (the name of the Hindu god of fire), as she encounters, in death, a succession of mythical and historical gures (sung by the other six solo singers), including Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a sorceress, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of the Waters, and Copernicus and his mother. “ As Vivier himself writes, “these characters are perhaps the dreams that accompany Agni during her initiation and finally into her dematerialization.” The composer has urged “we not try to read any meaning
into what happens but try to feel what’s happening. Not try to understand, but 
to enjoy what’s happening. It’s for this reason that it’s written in large part in
an invented language of phonetic sounds”.


Despite the staggering difficulty and complexity of the music, I was totally unprepared to experience the sheer exhilarating beauty of the music live (I had only previously heard a DVD of a staged performance from Amsterdam), the result of the absolutely incredible virtuosity and commitment of Roomful of Teeth and ICE. Watching Peter Sellars coax, explain, and give meaning to text was a revelation. In planning this festival, Kopernikus was clearly a priority of Peter, who has long believed in the piece, but never done it before. I cannot wait to hear how the many rehearsals develop (there are three more full days of in New York, before three days in Ojai. The work is the final concert in the Libbey Bowl on Sunday June 12 before everyone heads off for the festival finale in Santa Paula.

We are in for some incredible musical experiences week after next!

– Tom Morris

Aruna Sairam, vocalist

arunasairamPadma Shri Aruna Sairam, a renowned music ambassador of India, is one of the great classical music voices of India. Her style is rooted in tradition, yet continues to evolve. She belongs to the Veenai Dhanammal school of Carnatic music, known for its strict adherence to tradition and form. After her initial learning from her mother, who was a classical singer, Aruna, at the age of 10, became a disciple of the legendary T. Brinda. (T. Brinda is from the family of T. Balasaraswathi and T. Viswanathan—pioneers who brought South Indian classical music to the United States.) She was the first to introduce the Abhang, a distinctive folk music form from Western India, into a traditional Southern Indian Carnatic concert. She has also collaborated with leading musicians such as Dominique Vellard of France (classical liturgical, medieval, and Gregorian chants); Noureddine Tahiri of Morocco (Arabo-Andalusian music); Christian Bollmann of Germany (neo-classical music); Bollywood singer Shankar Mahadevan; mandolin virtuoso U.Srinivas, dancer Chandralekha; and multi-instrumentalist Ranjit Barot.

Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet

wadada-in-austria_d200A trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith has been active in creative contemporary music for over forty years. His systemic music language Ankhrasmation is significant in his development as an artist and educator.

Born in Leland, Mississippi, Smith’s early musical life began in the high school concert and marching bands. At the age of thirteen, he became involved with the Delta Blues and Improvisation music traditions. He received his formal musical education with his stepfather Alex Wallace, the U.S. Military band program (1963), Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Mr. Smith has studied a variety of music cultures: African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American.

He has taught at the University of New Haven (1975-’76), the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY (1975-’78), and Bard College (1987-’93). He is currently a faculty member at The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is the director of the African-American Improvisational Music program, and is a member of ASCAP, Chamber Music America, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.

The Ojai Music Festival Makes Musicians of All Children


Third graders at Topa Topa as BRAVO music teacher Laura Walter helps them identify a song by reading notes.

The Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO program is laying the foundation for all of Ojai’s public school children to become musicians, starting at a very early age.  In first and second grades, the students experience songs, games, rhythmic activities and simple sound/symbol matching.  This year, BRAVO has expanded its reach to third graders, who are beginning to read musical notes.  Weekly lessons are taught by Laura Walter using the principles of ETM (Education Through Music).

Next year, when these students are in fourth grade, they will be given the opportunity to sample a variety of instruments, provided by BRAVO. These early musical opportunities are paying dividends, as students are inspired to play instruments or sing in chorus at the intermediate, junior and senior high school level. Students who do not move into further music training have developed an appreciation of music which will serve them well throughout their lives.

According to Kathy Broesamle, ETM volunteer and grandparent of three public school music students, “it’s no wonder that Nordhoff High School has such a strong music program that encompasses classical, jazz, choral and theatrical elements. We are blessed with highly talented and devoted teachers, as well as students who, thanks to BRAVO have a solid music background.”

BRAVO, made possible by the Ojai Music Festival, is funded by community donations and the proceeds from the Holiday Home Look-in and Holiday Marketplace, which will be on November 12-13, 2016.


Watch Peter Sellars and 2016 Artists with our YouTube Playlist

Watch videos with 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars and other Festival artists who will be in Ojai this June! Use the playlist below to browse and play, or watch more videos from past years on our YouTube channel >>


Q2 Music and WQXR Present: Ojai Music Festival and Peter Sellars

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Q2 Music and WQXR

Ojai Music Festival and Peter Sellars

Hosted by Helga Davis
Music and Conversation with 2016 Ojai Music Festival Director and Performing Artists

Friday, May 13, 2016
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
44 Charlton Street (corner of Varick Street)
New York, New York 10013

$30 general admission

Please join us for an evening of live performances from artists featured in the upcoming 2016 Ojai Music Festival and a conversation with the world-renowned music director, Peter Sellars. He will also share insights and anecdotes from a prodigious, colorful and unique career as a driving force in the creation of new music and bringing 20th and 21st century operas to the stage.

Champagne Reception to Follow
Kindly respond to Alex Spinks by Monday, May 2, 2016
646 829 4274 | aspinks@nypublicradio.org




New Collaboration With The Wallis

The Ojai Music Festival and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts are excited to announce An Evening With Peter Sellars, 2016 Ojai Festival Music Director with Alex Ross, on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 7:30pm.

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts joins forces with the Ojai Music Festival for the first time to present a lively Arts & Ideas conversation between groundbreaking opera and theater director Peter Sellars and The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. The conversation will take place on the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater on Monday, May 16 at 7:30pm.

Sellars, Music Director of the 2016 Ojai Music Festival in June, has gained international renown for his transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces such as John Adams’ Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, as well as for his distinctive collaborations with an extraordinary range of artists including Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, dance pioneer Reggie Gray and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. Ross, a 2008 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, is the author of The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

“I am delighted that we can welcome Peter and Alex to our stage for this event,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ new Artistic Director who takes the reins full time next month in April 2016. “Our Arts & Ideas series has enjoyed great success this season, and our exciting new affiliation with the Ojai Music Festival will surely deliver another great night captivating discussion between these two brilliant men.”

“We are delighted to be collaborating with The Wallis for this exciting event with Peter Sellars, our 2016 Music Director and a passionate advocate for the intersection of music and community, and Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker and acclaimed writer on music of our time,” expressed Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival are now available for $25 – $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.


Explore 2016 Festival Artists On Spotify

Prepare for June by listening to upcoming Festival artists using our Spotify playlists.

Don’t have Spotify? Follow these easy instructions: click here sign up for a free account using your email or Facebook account. Once you have signed in, click on one of the tracks below to listen.


Creating And Connecting With Music

Imagine a world where wonder happens every day. March is “Music in the Schools Month” and the Ojai Music Festival is bringing that to life. The Festival’s BRAVO Education and Community Program brings the joy of music into classrooms throughout the Ojai Valley and two Ventura area schools with the Imagine Concert, the Music Van, Flutes Across the World, Artists-in-Residence programs, and weekly Education Through Music workshops in every Ojai Unified Elementary school. The children are filled with wonder!

Bravo16115-300x200When we create music, the brain uses many networks to process phrases, melody, rhythm, and timbre, or tone color. The brain’s auditory areas light up, but so do areas responsible for motor skills, emotions, and creativity. Music employs many sensory systems at once. We are seeing, we are hearing, we are saying, we are doing. Because of this, memory and intelligence improve.

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris – Remembering Steven Stucky


We are all terribly saddened with the news of Steve Stucky’s untimely death Sunday, after a virulent battle with cancer over the last few months.

Steve is of course most well known to the Ojai community for The Classical Style, his comic opera written with librettist Jeremy Denk for the 2014 festival and premiered to critical acclaim. Finding the right composer to set Jeremy’s somewhat unbelievable idea for an opera about musicology was at first a daunting task, but Steve brought exactly the right blend of ingenious new music, reverence for past music (the story after all is about Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven), and a sublime sense of emotional meaning to the story through his music. Watching the creative partnership between them over the two years of project development was an inspiration and joy.

What I remember most was Steve’s infectious and uncontrollable sense of humor. During those long working rehearsals for The Classical Style, he would suddenly burst into laughter at one of Jeremy’s wry turns of phrase, and just as easily chuckle at his own musical jokes imbedded in the score. But Steve was also a deeply caring and emotional man who didn’t hide tears at the touching entrance of Robert Schumann at the end of the opera signaling both the end of the classical style and the birth of the romantic era.

Steve was a great composer, a marvelous musician, and above all a superior human being. He was well known to Southern California audiences through his long association with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I got to know him through his work as board chair of the American Music Center and subsequently New Music USA. He was always a delight to be with.

Our hearts go out to his wife, Kristen, and all the members of his family, and we are thankful for his indelible role in the Ojai Festival. We still had so much more to do together.

Photo: Steven Stucky at the 2014 Festival premiere of The Classical Style (Timothy Norris)

Luke Martin, 2016 Steven Rothenberg Internship Fellow

We are thrilled to announce Luke Martin as the 2016 Steven Rothenberg Internship Fellow. Luke is a composer pursuing his M.F.A. at CalArts and was first an intern at the 2015 Festival. The Rothenberg Fellow and Festival Internship Program are made possible by the generous support of Fred and Ila Rothenberg, in memory of their son Steven Rothenberg.

Luke Martin (b. 1992) is an experimental composer, musician, and poet currently living in Valencia, CA. His work focuses on the concepts of liminality, neutrality, and lukefragility and is primarily interested in exploring limits of perception. More specifically, he is interested in the use of silence, listening, text, and sound as equally considered elements in the compositional practice; for instance, the composer’s task is not only to consider the parameters of determined sound making (both text and instrumental), but also the parameters of how we listen, and how we may interact with and frame silence. The composer, then, seeks to create situations of possible events which the audience, performer(s), and composer all experience concurrently. Further, Luke considers the social and political disposition of a performance a very connected aspect of his work: how can one critically think about the hierarchical roles and power relations at work in a given performance, and then potentially subvert or support them. Recently inspired by David Dunn’s notations for listening and Lasse Thoresen’s spectromorphological analysis of electronic music and sound, Luke is in the beginning stages of developing a notation for silence (i.e., incidental sounds, contingency).

Among his many influences, Luke is particularly inspired by the work of Samuel Beckett, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Peter Ablinger, Luigi Nono, the Wandelweiser Collective, and Gertrude Stein. He is currently in his final year of the M.F.A. music composition program at California Institute of the Arts, studying with Michael Pisaro. Originally from Massachusetts, Luke received his B.A. in English and Music from Colby College in Maine, graduating magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, and with honors in music composition/theory. He has received awards ranging from a Kennedy Center Award for Music Composition to the Mollie Seltzer Yett Prize for Music Academics. Aside from composing, Luke performs in a noise/no-input feedback duo ‘sinecure,’ plays tennis, guitar in both jazz and experimental music settings, enjoys canoeing with family and friends in Maine, and always appreciates a good game of cribbage.

Learn more about the Festival Internship Program >>

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris – Remembering Our Dear Friend Pierre Boulez


Dear Ojai Festival Friends:

We are all saddened by the news this morning of Pierre Boulez’s death at the age of 90. He passed away peacefully and quietly in his sleep last night.

That Pierre was one of the seminal thinkers and musical intellects of our time goes without saying, his legacy as a composer is unquestioned, and his setting of standards as a conductor and programmer are unparalleled.

My deepest thoughts this morning go to Pierre Boulez as friend and mentor. He was relentless in forging close and long-lasting relationships with organizations and individuals with whom he felt the common bond of beliefs and commitment. One of those was the Ojai Music Festival, which he considered as one of his important artistic homes. He holds the record for the most times as music director in the Festival’s history – seven times between 1967 and 2003, spanning over half of the Festival’s history and over half of his life. He had close personal creative relationships with four of the Festival’s artistic directors – Lawrence Morton, Ara Guzelimian, Ernest Fleischmann, and myself, which means his ties to Ojai reach back as far as 1954. I am so proud that we appropriately celebrated his 90th birthday last June.

Knowing and working with Pierre through the years fundamentally influenced my own sense of programming and love of musical adventure. While ill health curtailed his performing and traveling over the last four years, he always expressed, in my frequent visits to him in Baden Baden, a profound interest in what was happening at Ojai, and was always misty-eyed with the recollection of his first visit to Ojai in 1967 in Lawrence Morton’s convertible and of the wall of pungent orange blossom scent as he crested the Upper Ojai Valley. The fact that Ojai thrives today with its fearless embrace of the new, its stellar heritage of innovative artists, and its lively and engaged audiences is a tribute to Boulez’s beliefs, his considerable commitment as a conductor/composer/collaborator, and his deep abiding love of Ojai.

Thank you with all my heart, dear Pierre.

Thomas W. Morris
January 6, 2016

Learn more:
View photos of Pierre from our archives >>
See a timeline of Pierre’s Festivals in Ojai >>

Music Director Peter Sellars Statement on the 2016 Festival



“The Ojai Valley has long been recognized as a rare and beautiful natural site that invites retreat, renewal, and regeneration, from Chumash ceremonial life to Krishnamurti’s legendary talks under the trees. The valley has both a grandeur and a human scale that inspire and allow the deepest human questions to resonate, and create a setting for the most personal search for answers. The magical play of light across the canyon and the heady aroma of orange blossoms bring the senses to life, awaken the mind, and create a profound aura of openness and well-being.

Music incites many of the same thoughts and emotions, with similar immensity and intimacy and awe. The 70th Ojai Music Festival will gather this powerful energy and spirit of inquiry and reflection into a weekend of peak experiences and secret revelations.

KAIJA_SAARIAHO_06web1-smallFor the first time the composer Kaija Saariaho will come to Ojai. We will feature two of her most potent and visionary works. Her new chamber version of The Passion of Simone, a meditation on the life of the courageous French philosopher Simone Weil, written to a wise and humane text by Amin Maalouf, will receive its American premiere with the extraordinary young soprano Julia Bullock. It is a work of startling integrity and permanent challenge in dark times, with a flame of hope that burns brightly and intensely in the darkness. The fierce commitment and brilliance of that flame will be embodied by ICE and Roomful of Teeth, conducted by Joana Carneiro.

Kaija Saariho’s newest operatic creation is a sequence of two Japanese Noh plays in versions by Ezra Pound, entitled Only the Sound Remains. Again Ojai will offer the American premiere. These two plays will be performed in the tradition of Japanese Takigi Noh, outdoors, lightly held in the gentle grasp of a protective arroyo under a radiant early morning sky for Feather Mantle, a play of illumination, transcendence and evanescence, and just before midnight under an intense starlit sky for Always Strong, the harrowing and haunted story of a young warrior’s spirit struggling to return to life on earth.

This year’s festival will have its rituals. Mornings will begin with liberating and exhilarating Sonic Meditations by Pauline Oliveros realized by the glorious and willing musicians of ICE. At mid-day there will be concerts of the kaleidoscopic and more rarely performed chamber works of Kaija Saariaho. The later afternoons will offer music of longing and consolation. Caroline Shaw’s works will be paired with Carla Kihlstedt’s phosphorescent exploration of dream worlds, At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire, and Du Yun’s peeling away the surface of the world in An Empty Garlic.

Apply To Be A 2016 Festival Intern!

The Festival is currently accepting applications for its 2016 Internship program. Each year, the Ojai Music Festival Arts Management Internship Program welcomes 12-14 college students and recent graduates to go behind the scenes of a renowned summer music festival. Interns work closely with the staff and production team, providing critical support and gaining invaluable hands-on experience and skills for their future careers.

Click here to learn more and download an application >>

Thank You For Joining Us At The Holiday Home Look In!


Thank you to everyone who joined us this past weekend for the Holiday Home Look In and Marketplace! We’re so glad you were able to attend and hope to see you next November. Thank you to all the volunteers, musicians, and home owners who helped to make the home tour and marketplace so special. And an extra special thank you to the Ojai Festivals Women’s Committee for all their tireless work to put on such a spectacular event.

Watch Peter Sellar Discuss Plans for 2016

Click on the video to watch 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars preview his plans for next June.

Series tickets are now on sale – to click here to order online or call 805 646 2053 for personal assistance.


Meet The 2015 Holiday Home Look In Designers

Each year the Holiday Home Look In welcomes local designers and florists, each of whom are assigned a home on the tour and tasked with bringing their own vision of décor and the holidays to life. This year, designers Digs Floral and Botanical Designs, Angela’s Flowers, Kitty Bartholomew, and Teri Formanek and Sandy Sylslack will be showcased. And if you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, you can do so online here >>