2018 Festival Reviews

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja brought something new as it was dark with “bursts of brightness shining through a celebration of death and renewal.” This year, as Patricia expressed, the 72nd edition was an opportunity to bring the town and visitors together with the modernity that was presented during the four-day festival. Relive the 2018 Festival anytime by watching our archived live streaming concerts on our YouTube channel. View photos here

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

“…the Ojai Music Festival, America’s most vibrant new-music gathering.” – The New Yorker

“Kopatchinskaja is a great violinist on a great mission. The Ojai Festival has maybe been this good, but it has never been more inclusive. It has never crammed more ideas and ideals into four days. And, at its best, it has never been better.” – Los Angeles Times

“There’s nothing quite like Ojai. The festival is to the music world what the town is to the rest of Southern California: a lovably eccentric jewel, a tiny explosion of beauty, weirdness and overkill. The art is rigorous, but the vibe is relaxed, smiling and uncrowded — part weekend getaway, part laboratory.” – New York Times

“Right from the start, early on a Thursday evening, we knew where Kopatchinskaja and this compulsively progressive-minded festival stood. Scattered around the park outside the festival’s outdoor Libbey Bowl were styrofoam replicas of tombstones of the great totems of concert life – J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler – some with their tops sawed off. A crowd gathered in the park, and Kopatchinskaja came strolling slowly down a path from the town’s main street., staring down and silently maneuvering around bewildered onlookers.” – Musical America

[reg. Bye, Bye] “The performance itself was distinguished by fresh insight, fascinating dynamics and the violinist’s pixyish personality. The resounding finale was quickly followed by the musicians nonchalantly tossing their music stands to the ground, but as someone immediately observed, not their instruments. All came forward for a very long standing ovation from an audience delighted by the innovation and passion they had witnessed.” – Ventura County Star

“This is complex, nuanced music, with stretches of quiet tension mixed with sharply phrased passages brimming with anxiety. I first heard La lontanaza performed indoors, in a converted warehouse and the atmosphere there gave the piece a sense of tension that was distinctly urban. Outdoors in Libbey Park the music lost none of its power, but rather emerged as more rustic and primal.” – Sequenza 21

“Ojai Music Festival’s mixture of aesthetics with nature gives off mellow vibes, especially at Libbey Bowl, the primary venue where concerts are held in a park surrounded by oak trees. Just go with the flow: sit or crumple in a blanket on the grass, where discreet monitors with speakers were positioned.” – Miroirs

“From its opening cadenza to its closing cadenza, this was an Ojai Festival that raised issues, had remarkable moments of musical illumination, and pushed buttons in the name of an art ideal that raises consciousness. Some found it provocative. Some were angry. Everyone was talking.” – San Francisco Classical Voice

“She is a fast-rising figure on the international music scene, an organically inspired virtuoso and naturally rebellious innovator, keen to shake things up on many levels…” – Santa Barbara News Press

“He dazzled with a sequence of performances on piano, of Shostakovich, Crumb, and Ligeti. The finale of this portion of the evening came when Romaniuk was joined by the JACK Quartet for Henry Purcell’s Fantasia No. 10 in C Minor, a brilliant and moving preview of the blend of eras that would characterize Saturday evening’s early program as well. – Santa Barbara Independent

 

 

 

Report From Aldeburgh

REPORT FROM ALDEBURGH
Thomas W. Morris
June 21, 2018

I am writing this to you from the miraculous concert Hall at the Maltings Snape, home of the Aldeburgh Festival. The artists all arrived from San Francisco on Monday and enjoyed a well-deserved day of rest on Tuesday in this incredible seaside fishing town on the Suffolk coast, northeast of London. The first rehearsal and concert was yesterday (THU) and featured the Bartok/Stravinsky/Machaut/Ligeti program that closed the Ojai Music Festival June 10. The concert was a dramatically energetic success, with extended curtain calls and applause from the sold out hall. I was proud to showcase our distinctive Ojai programming to this discerning audience.

The artists are still absolutely glowing about their experience in Ojai – they all continued to express wonder at the intensity of the musical experience, the stunning beauty of the place, and the totally unique energy of our audiences. On June 12, we all traveled to Berkeley for the eighth Ojai at Berkeley, in which four concerts were performed with our partners Cal Performances in Zellerbach Hall. Featured were Bye Bye Beethoven, the Michael Hersch commission, Bartok/Stravinsky/Machaut/Ligeti closing concert as well as the concert of Moldovan folk music with Patricia and her parents. These same programs have been brought to Aldeburgh. As part of the ongoing creative process for a new piece, Michael made some significant changes to his piece for Berkeley that really heightened its emotional impact. Berkeley audiences were thrilled with all the concerts. The visit did have a bittersweet element for me as it represented the concluding concerts in Cal Performance’s Director Matias Tarnopolsky’s remarkable nine-year tenure in Berkeley. Matias departs shortly for his new position as President & CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I thank Matias for his friendship and strong advocacy of our partnership, which not only extends the Ojai brand but makes our programming available to even wider audiences.

Last night I saw the first Ojai performance at the three-week Aldeburgh Festival. This remarkable festival was founded 71 years ago – very similar to Ojai’s 72-year heritage. The founder and guiding spirit of the Festival was composer Benjamin Britten who lived in Aldeburgh. Home for the Festival since 1967 has been the Maltings in Snape, a small inland town five miles from Aldeburgh. Prior to 1967 concerts were held in various small town venues and churches. The Maltings is an enormous collection of buildings that once housed a brewery. The 850-seat concert hall, the first Maltings building acquired and renovated, is home to the most remarkable acoustics of almost any concert hall in the world, and is the favored performance and recording venue for many of the world’s greatest artists and ensembles. The Festival gradually acquired the rest of the Maltings site over the years, building several additional performance and studio spaces, as well as hotel, condominium and retail facilities.

Activities at the Maltings have been expanded year round through performances and a massive educational program. The whole site has indeed become a self-contained artistic village and is a destination each year to almost 500,000 people. Snape and Aldeburgh have the same magical atmosphere as Ojai, as well as the same programming profile and a devoted, engaged audience. Listening last night clearly demonstrated the acoustic of this magical room are indeed overwhelming. Aldeburgh is perfect new partner for Ojai. It was great to see our artists – Patricia, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Ah Young Hong and Kiera Duffy – actively and enthusiastically touting their Ojai experiences to others. The bond we form with artists is indeed unique, palpable, and real.

– Thomas W. Morris

“The Ojai Music Festival is a place for discoveries……This year’s musical director is Patricia Kopatchinskaja, a Moldovan violinist who’s been called the “wild child of classical violin.” And Kopatchinskaja has a special affinity for the music of Ustvolskaya.”

Discover the Music of Galina Ustvolskaya at the Ojai Music Festival

2018 Festival Photos

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

The Lawn Experience: Tips and FAQ

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Thank you for being a part of our Festival lawn area! The lawn is a special experience for Festival patrons – it’s the place to enjoy a picnic before the concert; meet with a group of friends or family; and lie down to stargaze while enjoying the Festival’s music.

To help you enjoy the lawn, here are some things to know:

  • The right side of the lawn is designated for taller chairs and the left side for low-rise chairs.  (A low-rise, beach-style chair is a chair with legs of 10 inches or shorter and an overall height limit of 28 inches.) Patrons with higher-rise chairs, such as camping or deck chairs, will be asked to move to the right side or rear of the lawn so as not to hinder the views of others.
  • Line up early! Lawn lines start as early as two hours before a concert begins. There are two lines for lawn patrons – the left is designated for lawn series subscribers with an access pass and the right for single pass holders.
  • Save your place! Lawn series pass subscribers have the opportunity to save their spot on the lawn between the morning and evening concerts; please use the “Save My Spot” card mailed with your passes.
  • Store it! If you are attending two concerts in one day, you can also place your lawn chairs and blankets near the lawn entrance gate between concerts.  Please do not leave personal belongings as Festival staff cannot be responsible for items left unattended.
  • The Libbey Bowl and Park is a no-smoking and alcohol-free zone designated by the City of Ojai.
  • Ojai weather can be quite unpredictable! During the evening concerts we highly recommend bringing a warm blanket and for the day bringing sunscreen and wearing a hat in case it gets too hot.
  • At the Festival there are food vendors who will have a variety of light food options and beverages. For a greater variety, you can head to the various eateries within walking distance from the Bowl. Visit www.OjaiFestival.org for suggestions.
  • We’re happy to have children enjoy concerts; however, we know they can become restless! If your child needs to stretch their legs, please take them outside the Bowl so as not to disrupt the concert experience for other lawn patrons.

 

Thank you and enjoy!

 

Meet Our 2018 Interns!

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. We are very excited to introduce this year’s wonderful interns!

Glenna Adkins:
Glenna Adkins is a cellist and improviser who grew up in Los Angeles. She currently studies music and writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. As an instrumentalist, composer, and avid music listener, she is passionate about the performance of new music, as well as the collaborative process between artists. Inspired by the intersection of different art forms, Glenna also composes and performs for works of derived theater and dance, exploring ideas of musical narrative through extended techniques. She has worked at REDCAT and at Reisinger Concert Hall and has recorded as a session musician in several film soundtracks. Additionally, Glenna is interested in issues of sustainability and has served as an Education Intern at the Science Barge in Yonkers, NY, giving school children guided tours of the institution’s hydroponic growing systems.

 

Peter Appleby:
Peter Appleby is a resident of Santa Paula and has developed a great appreciation for community events and local music festivals. After graduating from Villanova Prep School this spring, Peter will be studying International Relations at California Lutheran University in the fall. An amateur musician himself, Peter has had the privilege of participating in Claire Chase’s performance of PAN in 2017 through the Ojai Music Festival. He is excited to return to Ojai this summer and is eager to help with the festival.

 

 

Zoe Appleby:
Zoe Appleby is a Southern California resident who is lucky enough to have been involved in the Ojai Music Festival for three years now. For undergraduate school, Zoe attended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA, where she studied the greatest works of Western thought and literature in a Great Books Program. After spending six weeks in the summer of 2017 in Rome, Italy, studying art history, she decided that the academic field of art history was where she passions lay. Zoe has since been accepted into UC Riverside’s Art History department as an MA student studying medieval art history. After eventually completing her Ph.D. at a different institution, she would be interested in both teaching and researching at the college level and perhaps curating at a museum. She is passionate about bringing the arts to the public, and she has found the Ojai Music Festival to be an amazing event for her to experience the worlds where art and business meet to make something truly beautiful. She recently held a curatorial internship at the Santa Paula Art Museum, an institution which, like the Ojai Music Festival, embodies the spirit of artistic progress and public outreach. Zoe can usually be found swimming at one of the Southern California beaches, or rock-climbing in the cliffs above Ojai.

Maddi Baird:
Maddi Baird is an undergraduate music composition major at San Diego State University. She has had a passion for music and the arts from a young age, and has carried this passion by playing French horn, bass guitar, and by playing in SDSU’s Javanese Gamelan. While studying under Dr. Joseph Waters and Dr. Chris Warren, she has developed a passion for synthesis and analog synthesizers. In the future, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in film scoring. Within her first semester at SDSU, she has acquired a position at their student union as an Audio-Visual technician and is the recipient of the Frank McCarty Endowed Scholarship in Music Composition. Maddi spends her free time volunteering at Ship in The Woods, a nonprofit art museum. She also has a radio show for KCR College Radio.

Byron Beasley:
Byron Beasley studies music technology at San Diego State University. He has been playing musical instruments since the age of 9 and currently composes music for the Trombone Ensemble at San Diego State. Byron also works as a studio technician at San Diego State, and has experience working with a variety of clients on a daily basis. At the studio, Byron’s job consists of assisting clients with audio and visual productions.
In high school, he worked as a section leader of the brass section, and has performed with a variety of ensembles. Byron also has experience playing in jazz band, marching bands, and wind ensembles (with jazz band being his favorite). He loves to listen to jazz in his free time and enjoys exercising as well. Byron has also composed music for a few video games, and so his diverse experiences in music make him a well-rounded musician, producer, and composer. His greatest aspiration is to work in the music and entertainment industry. Byron loves working behind the scenes to ensure that a product can come to fruition.

Kathryn Carlson:
Kathryn Carlson is a cellist who will soon be receiving her diploma for her Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Performance with cello emphasis from the UCSB music department. She is interested in pursuing new music, which she became involved in during her sophomore year of high school after being introduced to it by her music theory teacher Mr. Hertzog (composer for the kung-fu film Bloodsport). She has been a member of the UCSB Ensemble for Contemporary Music (ECM) throughout her time at UCSB and has performed new works in various concerts, including the 2016 UCSB Summer Music Festival, and the Beethoven, New Music, and Cupcake Bar concert hosted by the Now Hear Ensemble. In 2016 she was awarded the ECM Distinguished Performance Award and has recently performed in master classes hosted by The Knights and the Juilliard String Quartet. Having been an intern for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, she is looking forward to joining the fantastic Ojai Music Festival team once again.

Alberto Cruz:
Alberto Cruz is a composer and recording engineer, currently studying composition at the California Institute of the Arts. During his time there, he has studied with, and continues to work with, Anne LeBaron, Matthias Webber, Karen Tanaka, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, John Baffa, and Bob Clendenen. He has fully committed himself to a curriculum at CalArts consisting of composition for film and media, as well as recording and mixing in both live and studio settings. Currently, Alberto works for the School of Film/Video at CalArts running various recording sessions for ADR, spoken word, foley, and music. He also works for the Herb Alpert School of music, recording for live and studio musicians, running a webcast/lighting board for live shows, and acting as a producer/promoter for various shows. When not at CalArts, he works as a studio intern for Matthew Snyder at Allegro Recordings. 
During his time at CalArts so far, Alberto has produced six shows, played clarinet and other instruments in numerous ensembles, written music for seven films, worked as a sound designer for two films, handled music preparation/orchestration for various established composers around LA, run countless recording sessions for animators, directors, solo musicians, large ensembles, and a large variety of people from other backgrounds, and written over ten performed works for the concert stage. Entering his fourth year of higher education, Alberto’s passion for film music and recording has been fully realized into a reality that he intends to pursue throughout the rest of his life.

Jamie Leidwinger:
Jamie Leidwinger is a Baltimore-based composer. She received her MM in Composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins, a BA in Music from Dickinson College, and her teachers include Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun, Amy Beth Kirsten, Douglas Buchanan, and David Smooke. Jamie previously interned with the Ojai Music Festival, Q2 Music (NYC, now NewSounds), the Artistic Director of Symphony Space (NYC), and recently produced Q2 Music’s Instagram takeover series, “A Day in the Life,” as a freelance contributor; she is currently an Associate Artist Fellow with Amy Beth Kirsten’s music-theatre ensemble HOWL. Current projects include a podcast featuring interviews with Peter Sellars, Alex Ross, and more (release: Summer 2018), a collaboration with Baltimore-based street choir Voices Rise, co-founding a women’s vocal chamber octet, and co-founding SENSE, a Baltimore-based interdisciplinary, immersive, and inclusive arts series.

Emily Persinko:
Emily Persinko has interned at the Ojai Music Festival for the past two years, working closely with the marketing department and the box office. Emily graduated from San Diego State University (SDSU) this spring where she studied music entrepreneurship and business and is currently pursuing a career in arts administration. Emily is an event stage manager for La Jolla Music Society, a production assistant at San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, and Assistant Operations Coordinator at Art of Élan. Emily has also recently interned at the San Diego Symphony in the development department and The Broad Stage in Santa Monica as an artistic intern. Emily has held positions as the principle flutist of the SDSU Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. She also teaches at a private flute studio in San Diego and recently performed her senior flute recital.

 

 

Molly Tucker:
Molly Tucker, from Thousand Oaks, California, is currently in her third year at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she is pursuing degrees in Violin Performance and Economics. As a violinist, she has participated in such festivals as Bowdoin International Music Festival, Madeline Island Chamber Music Camp, The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, and the Montecito International Music Festival. Additionally, Molly has been a soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic and the California State University Northridge Youth Philharmonic. Her musical explorations have taken her to contemporary and Baroque music, as well as folk traditions. She has performed in an Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble performance of Hans Abrahamsen’s Schnee, as well as an Oberlin premiere of Celso-Garrido Lecca’s String Quartet No. 2, and has led and soloed with the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra. Molly has also fiddled since the age of seven and has attended Ashokan Music and Dance Camps and The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. As a lover of contra dance, she has played dances in both California and New Hampshire, and regularly plays for the monthly dances at Oberlin. Molly is a co-founder of Quartet Davis, a string quartet that plays original arrangements of folk and jazz, which was one of the recipients of Oberlin’s Flint Initiative Grant for a three-week Midwest and East Coast tour in January 2018. She is also a part of Caraway House, a fiddle and voice duo that performs tunes from Scandinavian and Old Time traditions. In January 2017, she traveled to Amman, Jordan with an Oberlin string quartet to play at schools and public venues, including a performance with the Jordan Orchestra sponsored by the United States Embassy. She has studied with Marilyn McDonald, Linda Rose, and Kim Kilgore, and has had the opportunity to work with renowned musicians such as Kikuei Ikeda, the Punch Brothers, Fabian Almazan, The Calder Quartet, Billy Childs, and Christian Howes. Outside of her musical life, she is active in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, organizes the Oberlin Quaker Student Group, and works for Oberlin Conservatory Admissions.

Sarah Voshall:
Sarah Voshall is a pianist, collaborator, and teacher based in Los Angeles county. She is currently a third year piano performance major at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. In high school, she studied improvisation with Daniel Hopkins, who remains a constant source of inspiration. At CalArts, she is privileged to study piano with Ming Tsu, and greatly appreciates the mentorship of Vicki Ray. She has also studied harpsichord with Tisha Mabee. Sarah’s current interests lie in methodically exploring the keyboard works of Bach alongside the surprisingly parallel piano pieces of Bartok. Recently, Sarah has found an interest in learning and performing chamber works with a trio of fellow CalArtians. As a means of cultivating a culture of music (and paying the bills), Sarah has been giving private piano lessons to students of all ages for the past decade. Sarah also teaches piano classes at West Creek Academy to second and third graders, a group of musicians whose youthful enthusiasm continues to delight and exasperate her in equal parts. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her little sister who educates her in the memes of the day and forces her to listen to musical theatre soundtracks.

Madeleine Wilmsen:
Madeleine Wilmsen is a flute student at the University of Kansas and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Psychology in May of 2018. While attending undergrad, Madeleine participated in numerous ensembles and chamber groups. Between the years 2015 and 2017, Madeleine was a member of a flute and percussion duo that premiered new works by in-residence composers. She performed as principal player of the KU Symphony Orchestra during the Spring of 2017 and is currently the principal flutist of the KU Wind Ensemble. This spring, KUWE will perform a Reach Out Kansas commissioned piece at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and will be recording a new album. For the last three years, Madeleine has served as President and founding member of the KU Flute Club. She was instrumental in the creation of the club and worked to establish many yearly events, including the annual KU Flute Day in the spring. During the fall of 2017, Madeleine worked as a Development intern at the Kansas City Symphony where she learned the ins and outs of a major non-profit and frequently communicated with symphony donors. She plans on earning a MM in flute performance and furthering her career in music (whether it be performing, teaching, or arts management).

Dominique Wright:
Dominique Wright just finished her sophomore year at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA where she is an Economics Major and Flute Performance Minor. She is interested in continuing her work in social media marketing and is eager to work for larger companies and to gain further experience in management.
Dominique has also played the flute for ten years. When she was just beginning her musical studies, she lost her flute at school. When a mother at her school heard about the lost instrument, she went home to find her old flute and brought it back to school so that Dominique could continue playing. Since experiencing that gesture of kindness, Dominique has not wanted to stop playing music. This June will be her second time working with the Ojai Music Festival and she cannot wait to take a part in the festival again.

2018 Live Stream Schedule

Join us for our 2018 Live Stream Broadcast

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

THURSDAY, JUNE 7

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

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

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

SATURDAY, JUNE 9

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

SUNDAY, JUNE 10

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

2018 Festival Program Notes

Get yourself ready! Read our 2018 program notes by resident musicologist and program book annotator Christopher Hailey. You can also join Chris and featured guest artists before concerts on the Libbey Park tennis courts for “Concert Insights.” View the schedule for details

 

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Free Festival Events

Thanks to donations from our generous supporters and sponsors, we are able to provide free concerts to the community. Please join us for these one-of-a-kind events during this year’s Ojai Music Festival. 

POP-UP CONCERTS

11:30am and 6:00pm | Libbey Park Gazebo
Members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be performing Berio Sequenzas in the Libbey Park Gazebo throughout the Festival. Come visit the gazebo at 11:30am and 6:00pm every day of the Festival for these remarkable short pieces! (Please note – the Festival begins at 1:00pm on Thursday, June 7) 

10:00 – 11:00am, Friday June 8 and Sunday June 10 | Ojai Art Center
MUSICAL MINIATURES (Children’s Concert) 
Patricia introduces our youngest listeners to music that soars, leaps, creeps, crawls, chirps, screeches, squawks, meows… and to top it all she tells a story about one very gentle, poetic bull. Seating will be on a first come, first serve basis. 

10:30 – 11:30pm, Friday June 8 | Libbey Bowl
COMMUNITY CONCERT OF RENEWAL
To celebrate the renewal of the Ojai Valley, JACK Quartet will perform John Luther Adams’ recent piece Everything That Rises

Special Offers

Ears Open Event with Patricia Kopatchinskaja

The Ojai Music Festival, along with partner Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles, welcomed guests at an Ears Open event on April 30, featuring 2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The evening began with a wine reception in the community garden followed by a conversation between Patricia and Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. 

Enjoy Patricia and friends at this year’s 72nd Festival – June 7 to 10, 2018. For more information click the schedule 

Trailer for Bye Bye Beethoven

Enjoy this trailer for our opening program, Bye Bye Beethoven. This staged concert will have its American Premiere in Ojai on Thursday, June 9

Click here to buy tickets.

First-Timer Package

Join Us for Suppers in the Park

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

Friday Night June 8
Boxed Dinner

 

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

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

Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Pilaf

Haricot Vert with Shallots & Tarragon

Dessert: Chocolate Pot de Creme

Vegetarian Option: Large Marinated Portabella Mushroom

Saturday Night June 9
Boxed Dinner 

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

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

Rio Gozo Farms roasted organic seasonal vegetables

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

Dessert: Caramel Blondie

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

 

 

2018 Festival Update Announcement

 

Ojai Music Festival 2018: Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Music Director
Festival Update June 7-10, 2018

 The 2018 Festival presents many dimensions of Kopatchinskaja:

  • Violinist in works by Luigi Nono, Beethoven, Tigran Mansurian, and Ligeti
  • Collaborator with soprano Ah Young Hong in Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments, Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello with JACK Quartet cellist Jay Campbell, and with her parents in an exploration of Moldavian folk music
  • Advocate for music by Michael Hersch and Galina Ustvolskaya

 Highlights of the 2018 Festival:

  • Two semi-staged concerts conceived and directed by Kopatchinskaja
  • The world premiere of a commissioned work by Michael Hersch
  • Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial
  • Free music events including Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for solo instruments, two concerts for children devised and performed by Kopatchinskaja, and John Luther Adams’ new string quartet “everything that rises” as a tribute to Ojai Valley renewal following the Thomas Fire

 Joining Patricia Kopatchinskaja are close artistic collaborators, all of whom are making their Festival debuts:  Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency, JACK Quartet, composer/pianist Michael Hersch, pianist Markus Hinterhäuser, pianist/harpsichordist Anthony Romaniuk, pianist Amy Yang, composer/sound designer Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, and Kopatchinskaja’s parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinsky

 The new partnership with Great Britain’s Aldeburgh Festival launches June 20-23, 2018

 Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is June 15-17, 2018

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

Download PDF version 

(OJAI CA – April 17, 2018) – The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, presents Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity in the context of today’s social and political climate. The Ojai, Ventura, and Santa Barbara areas continue to replenish from the devastation of the Thomas Fire. The Topa Topa Mountains surrounding the Ojai Valley have already given rise to new growth, and the Festival honors this renewal with new works, debuts, and free community concerts.

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

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

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

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

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

A new work, I hope we get a chance to visit soon by American composer Michael Hersch – described by him as a dramatic narrative for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists – will receive its world premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival, with subsequent performances at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at Great Britain’s venerable Aldeburgh Festival. Performing in the premiere will be sopranos Ah Young Hong and Kiera Duffy, alto saxophone player Gary Louie, and members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Tito Munoz. Set to poetry and text by Rebecca Elson, Mary Harris O’Reilly, and Christopher Middleton, the new work is commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, Aldeburgh Festival, and PN Review. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.  The Friday, June 8 premiere follows works by Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, and piano music by Bull, Byrd, and Purcell performed by Anthony Romaniuk.

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

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

Free Community Concerts
The 2018 Festival continues to build on its commitment to reach broader audiences with several opportunities for all to experience Ojai offerings. On Thursday June 7, following the three-part Ojai Talks dialogues, the Festival commences the first in a series of five free concerts in the Gazebo of Libbey Park, featuring performances of Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for solo instruments performed by members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. On Saturday morning (June 9), Viktor Koptachinsky will perform in works for cimbalon at the Gazebo hosted by his daughter Patricia and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, electronics, will perform Luigi Nono’s La lontanaza nostalgica utopia futura in a free concert on Thursday evening in Libbey Park, preceding the Festival’s first main Libbey Bowl concert of Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s semi-staged concert Bye Bye Beethoven.

New to the schedule is on Friday evening (June 8), the JACK Quartet will perform John Luther Adams’ everything that rises, a work commissioned by the quartet, in a free community concert in tribute to the Ojai Valley renewal following December’s devastating wild fires. Additionally, Ms. Kopatchinskaja has programmed two free concerts just for children. Children of all ages will convene in the Ojai Art Center listen to works by Berio, Biber, Cage, Holliger, Arthur Honegger, and Ferdinand the Bull by Alan Ridout for solo violin and speaker. These concerts for children are presented in association with the Festival’s BRAVO education program for schools and community. 

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

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

For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concerts, etc., visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org.

New Partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival 
Following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the following week’s Ojai at Berkeley presented in collaboration with Cal Performances, a new partnership with Aldeburgh will take place at the end of the Aldeburgh Festival (June 20 – 23) based at the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh in England. The collaboration with Aldeburgh follows the formation of Ojai at Berkeley as a partnership of co-productions and co-commissions that affords the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The Aldeburgh relationship launches in June 2018, for an initial four-year period.

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

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director 
Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s (Ko pat chin sky yah) 2017/18 season commenced with the world premiere of her new project Dies Irae at the Lucerne Festival where she was ‘artiste étoile’. The second staged program which follows the success of Bye Bye Beethoven with Mahler Chamber Orchestra in 2016, is conceptualized using a theme from the Latin Requiem Mass and features music from composers such as Scelsi, Biber and Ustwolskaja. The North American premiere will take place at the Ojai Festival in June 2018 where she is Music Director.

Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s was awarded the prestigious Swiss Grand Award for Music in September 2017 and continues to move from strength to strength adding a Grammy award to her list of accolades in the 17/18 Season. The Violinist was presented with the award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for her disc Death and the Maiden, recorded with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and released on Alpha Classics.

Concert highlights in 17/18 include; performances of Stravinsky’s concerto with Currentzis and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and the same repertoire with Gimeno and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She has played with Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Payare and will perform with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and Geneva Camerata for Berg’s violin concerto.

Chamber music is immensely important to Ms. Kopatchinskaja and she performs regularly with artists such as Markus Hinterhäuser, Anthony Romaniuk and Jay Campbell. With pianist, Polina Leschenko she has recorded and released ‘Deux’ for Alpha Classics. Together the duo reimagines the sonatas of Ravel, Poulenc, Bartok and Dohnányi.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director 
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival.  As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom shapes the Festival’s programming. During Mr. Morris’ tenure, audiences have increased, the scope and density of the Festival has expanded, the collaborative partnership Ojai at Berkeley with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley has started, a new partnership with England’s Aldeburgh Festival will be initiated this year, and a comprehensive program of video streaming of all concerts has been instituted. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He is currently vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he is also an accomplished percussionist. In November, Mr. Morris announced his decision to retire as the Festival’s Artistic Director following the 2019 Festival with Music Director Barbara Hannigan, after shaping Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years.

About the Ojai Music Festival 
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and works by today’s composers. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, talks, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, 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, Peter Sellars, and Vijay Iyer.  Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019), Matthias Pintscher (2020) and Mitsuko Uchida (2021).

As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future with recently appointed Artistic Director Chad Smith, who will take the helm in 2020, the innumerable contributions by Thomas W. Morris will continue to be realized through the 2019 Festival and beyond. Under Mr. Morris’ creative watch, the Festival continues to push boundaries and scope; explore each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities; invite an ever-broadening roster of artists; and build connections across musical communities with through-curated programming for each Festival. 

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival 
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Festival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org.

Tickets for the 2018 Ojai Music Festival 
2018 Festival single tickets are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2018 Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets for $20.

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Chad Smith Named Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival

 

CHAD SMITH NAMED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

“For nearly 75 years, the Ojai Music Festival has been Southern California’s home for the most probing, adventurous, and visionary musicians, and I couldn’t be more excited to be joining this or

ganization as its next Artistic Director. I first experienced the unique spirit of Ojai in 2001, when Esa-Pekka Salonen was the Festival’s Music Director. I was struck by the uncompromising programming, the incredibly devoted and informed audience, and the pure joy in the performances emanating from the Libbey Bowl. In that weekend, in that first experience with Ojai, I came to understand the special nature of making music in this part of the world, and I was hooked. From my seat in Los Angeles, I have watched as Tom Morris has expanded the possibilities of what this Festival could be, making it more international, more inclusive, and ultimately more relevant year by year. Tom is one of the lions in our field, and I could not be more humbled, but also inspired, to take the reins from him. This Festival is poised for even greater things; I am thrilled to be a part of that future.” – Chad Smith

Download a PDF Version of the Announcement Here

(March 21, 2018 – Ojai, CA) – Today, the Ojai Music Festival announces the appointment of Chad Smith as its next Artistic Director. Mr. Smith begins his initial three-year tenure with the 2020 Festival, in partnership with Ojai’s 2020 Music Director Matthias Pintscher. Mr. Smith’s collaboration with the Ojai Music Festival will be concurrent with his post as Chief Operating Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He will join the ranks of such distinguished predecessors as Lawrence Morton, Ara Guzelimian, and Ernest Fleischmann. He succeeds Thomas W. Morris who will have shaped Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years when he retires from the Festival following the 73rd Festival in 2019.

Festival Board Chair David Nygren said, “I am honored to welcome Chad Smith to the Ojai family. Chad’s depth of experience and artistic sensibilities are in perfect alignment with where the Festival is today as we approach our 75th anniversary celebration in 2021 and 2022, and as we look toward the future. I have complete confidence that Chad will build on the momentum that Tom has set in motion over these last fifteen years. This seamless transition in artistic leadership will enable Ojai to continue to meet the demands of our supremely curious audiences, to build on the Ojai aesthetic of discovery, adventure, and engagement, to foster an environment where great artists can experiment, and perhaps enter a new stage in their own artistic development. The rich heritage of this glorious Festival and sublimely beautiful place have a way of melding with great musical personalities, leaving behind lasting impressions. Chad and Tom are collaboratively planning already for a seamless transition as we anticipate the Festival’s milestone anniversary.”

Thomas W. Morris commented, “I am thrilled that Chad Smith will succeed me as Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival. I have known Chad for many years, and have always been impressed with his distinctive creativity in programming, his insatiable curiosity in the broadest range of music, and his deep relationships with artists. The Ojai Music Festival stands as a pillar of musical creativity and adventure, and I can think of no one better than Chad to follow this tradition through and well beyond Ojai’s 75th anniversary.”

Chad Smith
Chad Smith is the Chief Operating Officer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Mr. Smith joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in 2002, serving as VP of artistic planning for over a decade before becoming COO in 2015. As COO, he is responsible for the artistic oversight and coordination of the orchestra’s programming, as well as the organization’s strategic planning, marketing, PR, production, orchestra operations, media and educational initiatives.
During his tenure, Mr. Smith has implemented an expansive vision of what an orchestra can be through a deep commitment to living composers, the development of multi-disciplinary collaborations, and thematic festivals which have positioned the Philharmonic at the center of the city’s cultural discourse. Committed to making classical music more inclusive, he has overseen the launch of many of the organization’s defining educational programs, including YOLA, a program which has provided daily after-school music training to thousands of children in several of LA’s most underserved communities.

He currently serves as a trustee of New England Conservatory of Music, as a member of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Prize executive committee and on the artistic advisory board for the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Smith began his career in 2000 at the New World Symphony, after receiving his B.M. (Vocal Performance) and B.A. (European History) in the NEC/Tufts dual degree program. He received his M.M. in 1998 in Vocal Performance from NEC.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has become a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of new and rarely performed music, as well as refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.
Through its signature structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including 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, Peter Sellars, and Vijay Iyer. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019), Mathias Pintscher (2020) and Mitsuko Uchida (2021).
As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future with Chad Smith, the innumerable contributions by Thomas W. Morris will continue to be realized through the 2019 Festival and beyond. Under Mr. Morris’ creative watch, the Festival continues to push boundaries and scope; explore each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities; invite an ever-broadening roster of artists; and build connections across musical communities with through-curated programming for each Festival. Over the years, Mr. Morris has also expanded the Festival’s reach beyond Ojai with ongoing partnerships with Cal Performances in Berkeley and this year, the Aldeburgh Festival in England, as well as through live and archival video streaming of performances, available on the Festival’s website.

2018 Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10
The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, will present the dynamic violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja as music director. Praised for her “mesmerizing artistry” (The Strad) and “savage energy” (The Washington Post), Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity will be in full force as a soloist, collaborator, and new music advocate. Joining her will be close artistic collaborators making their Festival debuts, including the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency, JACK Quartet, composer/pianist Michael Hersch, pianist Markus Hinterhäuser, pianist/harpsichordist Anthony Romaniuk, composer/sound designer Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, and Kopatchinskaja’s parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinsky. Major 2018 Festival projects include two staged concerts conceived by Ms. Kopatchinskaja. The first is Bye Bye Beethoven, a musical commentary that challenges the clichés and conventions of classical music. Her second concert, Dies Irae, is her own provocative view on the inevitable consequences of global warming. Receiving its world premiere will be a dramatic narrative by American composer Michael Hersch, I hope we get a chance to visit soon, after texts of Rebecca Elson, Mary Harris O’Reilly and Christopher Middleton. For more information on programs and tickets, visit OjaiFestival.org

Thomas W. Morris Announces Retirement as Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival

Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org (805) 646-2094
National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com (704) 340-4094

Thomas W. Morris announces retirement as Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival
Following the 2019 Festival with Music Director Barbara Hannigan, Mr. Morris will conclude his distinguished 16-year tenure as the Festival’s Artistic Director

(Ojai November 17, 2017) – Thomas W. Morris has announced his decision to retire as the Ojai Music Festival’s Artistic Director following the 73rd Festival in 2019, after shaping Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years.

Under the creative watch of Mr. Morris, the Ojai Music Festival has been called “a finely calibrated ruckus each spring” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Mr. Morris expanded the Festival’s programming boundaries and scope, exploring each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities. Mr. Morris has offered adventurous through-curated programming for each Festival and between Festivals, and audiences have come to anticipate a four-day immersive musical, intellectual, and creative adventure. The Ojai Music Festival, under Mr. Morris, has also expanded its reach beyond Ojai with ongoing partnerships with Cal Performances in Berkeley and the Aldeburgh Festival in England, as well as through live and archival video streaming of performances, which are available on the Festival’s website.

Over the years, Mr. Morris has invited an ever-broadening roster of artists, building connections across musical communities. Music Directors of the Ojai Music Festival who have partnered with Mr. Morris since the start of his tenure in 2004 are Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, Robert Spano, David Robertson, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Eighth Blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer, as well as Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Barbara Hannigan in upcoming Festivals. The Festival has welcomed close collaborators, including John Luther Adams, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Claire Chase, George Crumb, Caroline Shaw, Roomful of Teeth, The Bad Plus, Aruna Sairam, Trimpin, George Lewis, Calder Quartet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Tyshawn Sorey, and Kaija Saariaho, among others.  Programming highlights featured in Ojai during Mr. Morris’ tenure include site-specific works and premieres by John Luther Adams – Sila and Inuksuit, world premieres including The Classical Style by Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk and Slide by Rinde Eckert performed by Eighth Blackbird, and most recently, the world premiere of Trouble by Vijay Iyer, performed by Jennifer Koh.

Mr. Morris continues to expand the footprint of the Ojai Music Festival, most notably with Ojai at Berkeley, the partnership with Cal Performances that is now in its eighth year, and the recently announced partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival in England, based in the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh. These partnerships with accompanying co-productions and co-commissions allow the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The Aldeburgh relationship launches in June 2018. 

“Each year, I find new possibilities to meet the demands of our supremely curious audiences. As Ojai has quite a legacy, my job has been to build on the Ojai aesthetic of discovery, adventure and engagement, creating an environment where great artists can experiment, and perhaps enter a new stage in their own artistic development. The rich heritage of this glorious Festival and sublimely beautiful place have a way of melding with great musical personalities, leaving behind lasting impressions,” commented Mr. Morris. “The Festival is an irresistible, exhilarating challenge and my work here has been enormous fun. The decision to finish my work here was a difficult one, but I’m confident it is the right one for Ojai and for me. The timing allows the Festival to find a successor in time to play a central role in all the artistic and institutional planning well through the 75th celebration in 2021 and 2022. For me, sixteen wonderful years in Ojai have led me into previously unanticipated artistic realms. I love the music, the place and the people. Working alongside Ojai’s extraordinary family of artists has been an honor and a privilege.”

Chairman of the Board David Nygren said, “Words are simply insufficient in expressing our deep gratitude for Tom’s innumerable contributions not only to the Festival, but to the entire field. Tom’s delight in the creative process is infectious and with each Festival, he has brought us – audiences and artists alike – along on intensive and transformational artistic journeys. He has fearlessly pushed boundaries of genre and community, and has designed through-curated Festivals rich with adventurous programming, frequent surprises, and lively discussion. In his retirement from Ojai, we will be celebrating his unrivaled creative genius and an entire career of superior artistic expression that has mesmerized hundreds of thousands of people. The Festival is recipient of a lifetime of Tom’s work, connections, creativity, and expressive discipline. Tom’s successor will inherit a brilliant platform on which he or she will continue to build, but for now we hope you will join us as we salute Tom during the upcoming Festivals with music directors Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Barbara Hannigan.” 

Mr. Morris shared his decision with the Festival’s Board of Directors at a recent Board meeting. The Board has begun forming a search committee to secure Mr. Morris’ successor, who will become the Festival’s sixth Artistic Director in its 72nd year history. 

Thomas W. Morris
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom shapes the Festival’s programming. Over Mr. Morris’ tenure, audiences have increased, the scope and density of the Festival has expanded, the collaborative partnership Ojai at Berkeley with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley has started, and a compre-hensive program of video streaming of all concerts has been instituted. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He is currently vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he is also an accomplished percussionist.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has become a place for groundbreaking musical experiences, bringing together innovative artists and curious audiences in an intimate, idyllic setting 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Festival presents broad-ranging programs in unusual ways with an eclectic mix of new and rarely performed music, as well as refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles. The four-day festival is an immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the international music summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape for seven decades.

Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing an annual Music Director, Ojai has presented a “who’s who” of music including Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Olivier Messiaen, 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, Peter Sellars, and Vijay Iyer.  Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, will present the dynamic violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja as music director. Praised for her “savage energy” (The Washington Post) and “mesmerizing artistry” (The Strad), Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity will be in full force, showcasing her as a soloist, collaborator, and new music advocate. Joining her will be her close artistic collaborators, all of whom are making their Festival debuts: the Berlin-based Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency, JACK Quartet, composer/pianist Michael Hersch, pianist Markus Hinterhäuser, pianist/harpsichordist Anthony Romaniuk, pianist Amy Yang, composer/sound designer Jorge Sanchez-Chiong, and Kopatchinskaja’s parents, Viktor and Emilia Kopatchinski. For more information on programs and series passes, visit the 2018 Festival Schedule

 

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A Guide For First-Timers

Meet the Mahler Chamber Orchestra

On a recent visit to Berlin, Musicologist Christopher Hailey visited the offices of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.  Below, he recounts his conversation with Annette zu Castell, first violinist and founding member; Maggie Coe, Director of Artistic Planning; and Elaine Yeung, Communications Manager.

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Berlin is perhaps Europe’s most resolutely international city, a magnet for enterprising and innovative spirits drawn to its bracing climate and to the forthright, sharp-witted character of its populace. It is therefore no surprise that this bustling city is the headquarters of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, one of the finest, most innovative ensembles performing today. But Berlin is a home base rather than a home, because this orchestra – which describes itself as a “nomadic collective” – is a movable feast. It was founded in 1997 by members of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, who wanted to continue to make music together after reaching that orchestra’s age limit. Annette Castell remembers, “Our goal was to maintain that level of excitement, discovery and excellence we had experienced in the Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado” (who remained a valued collaborator and made the MCO the core of his Lucerne Festival Orchestra). 

Today the MCO has roughly 45 members from 20 countries who join each other for concerts in a variety of international cities each year. “Creative collaboration lies at the heart of our philosophy and activities,” Annette continues. “That includes finding the right partners,”

Maggie interjects, “Partners – conductors, soloists, presenters – who share the orchestra’s values and enthusiasm.”

“We don’t rehearse in Berlin,” Annette continues, “unless we’re performing here. Rather we meet at each venue, generally for two days of rehearsals followed by concerts on tour.”

The orchestra’s repertory is broad, from the classical canon to world premieres, chamber and orchestral fare to opera. So what is the defining characteristic of the orchestra, of its sound, I ask? And like a shot Annette answers: “Our flexibility! And by that I mean: a responsiveness that grows out of the capacity to work together as a chamber ensemble, to be aware of what everyone else is doing.”

“Not to mention the constant need to adjust to different venues, to a variety of acoustic spaces,” Maggie adds, “this gives the MCO its distinctive personality.”

Annette again: “It was Claudio Abbado who stressed this kind of flexibility, of listening actively and taking individual responsibility.”

To this day, Abbado’s philosophy is still very present in the MCO’s music making: it frequently performs conductor-less concerts, often in programs combining orchestral repertory with chamber music. Some of the orchestra’s major projects have also been play/direct programs, featuring the soloist leading from his/her instrument. When the orchestra once found itself without a conductor for a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, it was precisely this spirit that led the musicians to perform the piece on their own, under the leadership of their concertmaster and without a conductor. 

Rising to new challenges is part of the orchestra’s DNA, what keeps it vibrant. That includes developing close working relationships with, among others, several former Ojai Music Directors: Daniel Harding (1997) was the group’s Music Director for many years before becoming its Conductor Laureate and Mitsuko Uchida (1998) is one of the orchestra’s current artistic partners.

Annette explains, “The idea of having multi-year artistic partners began with our work with [2012 Ojai Music Director] Leif Ove Andsnes. We did a project called Beethoven Journey, involving recordings and performances of all five piano concertos and were surprised, devoting four years to the concertos, to see the way we and Leif Ove evolved, developed together – it was always fascinating to the end.  She adds, “CDs and DVDs are important documents of our work, but the live musical experience is the most important.”

Maggie now: “One outgrowth of the Beethoven Journey was working with deaf and hearing-impaired students through Feel the Music, to introduce them to the world of music to demonstrate other ways in which communication functions apart from hearing.”

 “It relates to the fact that Beethoven himself also lost his hearing Annette points out, “and it shows how musical communication also happens on the visual, visceral and emotional level.”

Elaine adds, “MCO musicians are also keen to share their experience with the next generation of musicians, especially through the MCO Academy – this initiative encompasses coaching, mentoring sessions, workshops and an annual orchestra project involving students from partner institutions from five countries.”

“The MCO’s current collaboration with Patricia Kopatchinskaja grew out of initial encounters which we really enjoyed,” Maggie recalls. “We only enter into long-term partnerships when we’ve worked with an artist and found a special connection. The chemistry has to be right.”

The chemistry was obviously right with Patricia who in 2016 invited the orchestra to join her in Hamburg for a project she called Bye Bye Beethoven (which we’ll hear this year in Ojai). “Patricia was questioning the whole nature of the concert experience,” Annette recalls, “and that was the kind of thinking we enjoy. We share the need to feel challenged, to really learn something new from each project, to engage in artistic dialogue.” 

The MCO is a self-sustaining, resolutely democratic organization governed collectively by its five-member orchestra board and the Berlin-based management team. “It’s a real community,” Elaine insists. “The Members are involved in a variety of tasks in addition to music making: from programming to talking to sponsors and doing interviews to photo and video documentation, and all the players are involved in key decisions.” This included, of course, the decision to participate in this year’s Ojai Festival, with its follow-up concerts in Berkeley and Aldeburgh.

Once that decision was set, Maggie and violist Delphine Tissot were dispatched to the 2017 Ojai Festival to scout the venue and the audience, reporting back to the orchestra during their summer residency in Lucerne. “What we found,” Maggie says, “was the perfect match for our kind of music making. An idyllic venue, a very attentive, interested, and welcoming audience, and an openness to new experiences.”

There will be challenges, of course: performing outdoors, in and around the Ojai Valley, tackling an extraordinary range of repertory (about half of it new, including world premieres), and the concentrated intensity of so many concerts, for both the orchestra and individual players, over a nearly month-long period. “But challenges such as these,” Annette insists, “brought us together in the first place and keep our music making fresh and alive.”

“And in 2018,” Maggie continues, “we celebrate our 21st year.”

Elaine adds: “In this vein, we are constantly asking ourselves: what does it mean to be an orchestra of the 21st century? How do we stay relevant and connected to each other? What are our responsibilities, and what do we want to achieve?”

“So the orchestra will celebrate, as is only appropriate, by doing something it has never done before,” concludes Annette – “though without me! My husband [American first violinist Tim Summers] gets to go but our son is still in school and I’ll be here in Berlin.”

So those bright-eyed youth orchestra members of 1997 now have families of their own, but they have lost none of their youthful passion for the musical exploration that brought them together – a passion that now brings them to Ojai.

 

For more on the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, its members and its activities, visit their witty, informative – (and award-winning) – website: http://www.mahlerchamber.com

BRAVO Starts the Year Off Right

The Bravo Program is so very grateful to the Ojai Women’s Fund for all of their support on behalf of the children of the Ojai Valley. This grant will further our goal of having weekly music classes for all kindergarten, first, second, and third graders, now including Sunset Elementary.

In human development we know that imagination, intelligence, and play are the same thing. They strengthen the brain. In music class, the teachers come with us and they get to play. It is an important opportunity for them to observe their children as we create the habit of singing, participation, and cooperation.

Recently we played Bombalalom, which is a word from Brazil meaning “our place of peace and happiness”. We sang the song with the words, and the solfeggio hand signs (do, re, mi, etc.). Sometimes we find a partner and put our hands together with them while we sing. We look into each other’s eyes. Joy sprouts forth! The children raise their hands and offer their own places of peace that have meaning to them. Some children say, “My treehouse”, “In my bed with a book”, “Being with my class”, “On my grandma’s lap”. Then one child raised his hand, and I asked where his Bombabalom place was. He shared very softly, his eyes gazing up to the ceiling, “The whole earth”. An entire class of 6 year-old children sighed, and nodded, and smiled.

Laura Walter
Education Coordinator

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Patricia Kopatchinskaja on Interpretation

Watch 2018 Music Director, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, explain her vision for the Festival. Audiences can expect innovative staged concerts, premieres of new work, and important works of the past – works that will be given new life.