The 73rd Festival celebrates Hannigan as conductor, singer, and mentor; welcomes resident ensemble LUDWIG and members of Hannigan’s Equilibrium (EQ) mentoring initiative in their US debuts, and pianist Stephen Gosling and pianist/conductor Edo Frenkel in their Ojai debuts; and  the return of JACK Quartet and conductor/percussionist Steven Schick

Works by composers central to Ojai’s history and future are featured, including John Luther Adams, James Dillon, Gerard Grisey, Oliver Knussen, Catherine Lamb, Olivier Messiaen, Terry Riley, Marc Sabat, Arnold Schoenberg, Tyshawn Sorey, Igor Stravinsky, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Claude Vivier, and John Zorn, with highlights:

  • Semi-staged production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with Hannigan conducting, director/designer Linus Fellbom, and members of EQ as the cast
  • Hannigan performs as singer in Gérard Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet, the US premiere of John Zorn’s Jumalattaret,Girl Crazy Suite, a special arrangement by Bill Elliott of songs from the Gershwin musical;and as narrator in William Walton’s whimsical Façade: An Entertainment
  • Hannigan conducts Vivier’s Lonely Child, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Stravinsky’s complete ballet Pulcinella
  • Chamber works by John Zorn with Stephen Gosling and the JACK Quartet include Hexentarot, Ghosts,and The Aristosfor piano trio, The Unseen, and The Alchemist for string quartet
  • Concert in memoriam to 2005 Music Director Oliver Knussen 
  • John Luther Adam’s The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies performed by Steven Schick in the Libbey Park Gazebo, free for the community 

Second year of partnership with Great Britain’s Aldeburgh Festival in Snape continues June 19-21, 2019

After shaping Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years, the 2019 Festival marks the conclusion of Thomas W. Morris’ defining tenure

Download PDF version 

(OJAI CA – November 13, 2018) – The 73rd Ojai Music Festival, June 6-9, 2019, celebrates and explores the creative breadth of Music Director Barbara Hannigan, as conductor, singer, and mentor. Joining Ms. Hannigan will be the US debut of her mentoring initiative for young professional artists, Equilibrium (EQ), as well as the US debut of the orchestral collective from Amsterdam, LUDWIG, with whom Ms. Hannigan made her Grammy Award-winning conducting debut CD “Crazy Girl Crazy” in 2017.

2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan shared,

“What does the Ojai Music Festival mean to me? Possibility. Embrace. Challenge. Electricity. Resonance. The Ojai Festival is an atelier where we are invited to gather, as audience and performers, where we are in communion with one another, witnessing the act of live performance. Storytelling, dramaturgy, heart to heart exchange are at the center of my programming choices. This Festival will be a synthesis of dark and light – chiaroscuro – and brings the human voice to the forefront of many events, exploring the various ways composers have been inspired to express themselves through the interplay of text and music. 

 

The Ojai Festival is a more than a playground: it is a circus tent, a jungle gym, an obstacle course, a field of dreams. There are risks being taken, and we open ourselves with curiosity, to possibilities of sound, of flying and falling, of being overwhelmed. Performers always have a degree of courage, but the same must be said of the loyal, curious and inspiring audiences of the Ojai Festival. I simply can’t wait.”

The 2019 Festival marks the sixteenth and final year under the artistic direction of Thomas W. Morris. As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future, the innumerable contributions by Mr. Morris will continue to be realized through the 2019 Festival and beyond. Under his creative watch, the Festival pushed boundaries and scope; explored each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities; invited an ever-broadening roster of artists; expanded in scope into an immersion experience over four days; introduced live and archival video streaming of concerts and talks; and built connections across musical communities with through-curated programming for each Festival.  

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris said,

“One of the most rewarding parts of my artistic director responsibilities has been selecting the annual music director – an ever-evolving process informed by the extraordinary resilience and receptivity of the Ojai Music Festival and its audience, as well as the astonishing wealth of artistic talent that exists. The world of music is so different than it was sixteen years ago with the artistic possibilities exploding, the breadth and depth of creative talent expanding, artificial boundaries between genres disappearing, and the appetite for audiences for more intense and distinctive musical experiences increasing. It is those forces that have propelled the sequence of music director appointments over the years – from a singer, to a pianist, to a choreographer, to a pianist/author, to a percussionist/conductor, to a stage director, to an improviser/composer, to a violinist, and to a singer/conductor/mentor. I would be less than honest to admit that this was a sequence well thought out in advance; in fact, the process was organic – an evolving adventure as each music director opened up new possibilities for the next in the context of an ever-changing environment. In many ways, Ojai is an ever self-reinforcing and regenerative flywheel of creativity. 

 

I am thrilled that Barbara Hannigan is my creative partner in 2019, my last after sixteen glorious and stimulating years. Barbara, a dear friend and a great artist, is a beacon of extraordinary creativity through her incredible artistry and ceaseless curiosity and commitment to the future. She represents everything an artist of the future must be. A renowned soprano, conductor and musician, she demonstrates the values that define the next generation of great artistic leaders with her new Equilibrium mentoring initiative for young artists. It will be a festival of provocative new sounds, imaginative productions, palatable energy, and outright fun – what I see as a fitting capstone to what has been an invigorating, stimulating, and daunting adventure for me over these years.”
 

Launching the Festival concert line-up on Thursday, June 6 will be Ms. Hannigan’s work from the podium, Stravinsky’s neoclassic opera, The Rake’s Progress, a Faustian fable for our time addressing the subjects of love, laziness, and greed. Anne Truelove was one of the first operatic roles Ms. Hannigan ever sang, and the opera holds a special place in her heart. Ms. Hannigan conducts this semi-staged performance featuring members of her Equilibrium mentoring initiative as the cast and the Los Robles Master Chorale in their Ojai debut. The production, directed by Linus Fellbom, is a co-production with the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, the Klara Festival in Brussels, the Munich Philharmonic in Germany, plus the Aldeburgh Festival. The Rake’s Progress is new to Ojai with the exception of a performance in 1962 of one scene from the opera, and has been very rarely performed in Southern California.During the Festival, Ms. Hannigan also conducts works by Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Claude Vivier.

As a singer, Ms. Hannigan will perform Gérard Grisey’s masterpiece, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil,a 45-minute song cycle for soprano and 16 instruments which explores the passage from life into death. Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, completed just days before Grisey’s death, will be conducted by Ojai’s 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. Ms. Hannigan will perform in Arnold Schoenberg’s sensual String Quartet No. 2 for soprano & string quartet with the JACK Quartet. Ms. Hannigan will serve as both singer and conductor in Girl Crazy Suite, a touching and infectious arrangement by Tony-award winning Bill Elliott, which is part of Hannigan’s 2017 Grammy-winning album Crazy Girl Crazy, that will close the Festival on Sunday, June 9. Also featured will be Ms. Hannigan and pianist Stephen Gosling performing the US premiere of John Zorn’s Jumalattaret, an extraordinary quest for soprano and piano inspired by the goddesses of Finland’s Kalevala saga. 

In January 2017, Ms. Hannigan launched the Equilibrium (EQ) initiative to mentor 21 young professional musicians in the first substantial phase of their careers. EQ includes intensive workshop retreats, which focus on developing and strengthening the skills needed for sustaining a fulfilling career, as well as offering performance opportunities with Ms. Hannigan and others. EQ artists are selected from an international field of applicants for their talent, musicianship, passion, drive, curiosity, discipline, versatility, and creativity. Seven of these young artists will form the cast of The Rake’s Progress, as well as perform additional music by Igor Stravinsky, Claude Vivier, Mark-Anthony Turnage. On Saturday, June 8, the singers will participate in a special program of folk songs from their diverse native countries entitled, Rites of Passage.

LUDWIG, the celebrated collective from Amsterdam, with whom Ms. Hannigan works closely and collaborated with on the recent Grammy and Juno award-winning album Crazy Girl Crazy(Alpha Classics), makes its Ojai and US debut with the 2019 Festival. Formed in 2012, LUDWIG distinguishes itself artistically and in terms of its range and flexibility. Varying in size from a single soloist to a full-scale symphonic orchestra, LUDWIG carefully crafts its diverse programming. In 2015, LUDWIG received The Art of Impact grant for their pioneering research project Ludwig and the Brain, which, in cooperation with leading scientists, explores innovative ways music can have positive effects on health and education. 

The JACK Quartet, which made its Ojai debut at the 2018 Festival, returns performing Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 with Ms. Hannigan as soprano, Marc Sabat’s Euler Lattice Spirals Scenery, Tyshawn Sorey’s Everything Changes, Nothing Changes, Catherine Lamb’s String Quartet, and a two-part concert of works by John Zorn, including three piano trios with Stephen Gosling, and two quartets The Unseenand The Alchemist. 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 and was recently named the 2018 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

Oliver Knussen, who passed away at the early age of 66 on July 8, 2018, was Ojai’s Music Director in 2005, and worked extensively with Barbara Hannigan in the 1990s. In tribute, the Festival will offer a program of Mr. Knussen’s music including ensemble and piano pieces. Thomas W. Morris said on his passing, “Olly, as he was known to everyone, was a giant musician – figuratively and literally –  a bear of a man with the gentlest and kindest disposition of anyone I have ever known.  I was always amazed about the breadth of his openness and curiosity for music, and he simply knew and loved more music than anyone I knew. His music was meticulously crafted, finely etched, and deeply inspired. He is profoundly missed professionally and personally.”

Additional featured music includes Terry Riley’s seminal In C, receiving its second Ojai Festival performance and featuring 2019 Festival artists and William Walton’s entertainment, Façade, a concoction for speaker and six instruments on humorous poems by Edith Sitwell, will be narrated by Barbara Hannigan and surprise guests.

Free Community Concerts 
The Festival continues to build on its commitment to reach broader audiences with several opportunities for the community to experience Festival offerings. Over the course of the first three afternoons of the 2019 Festival, percussionist Steven Schick will perform the eight movements of John Luther Adams’ The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies. Works by John Luther Adams have been performed for Ojai audiences and have included Sila, Inuksuit (co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival), and recently Everything that Rises performed at the 2018 Festival.  

Ojai Films 
For the first time since 2014, the Ojai Music Festival welcomes the return of Ojai Films, a series of two screenings during the weekend at the Ojai Presbyterian Church, while the Ojai Playhouse continues its reconstruction. On Friday, June 7 the Festival will include, I’m a creative animal: A Portrait of Barbara Hannigan produced in 2014 by SRF and directed by Barbara Seiler. On Saturday, June 8, the Festival will present the US premiere of Taking Risks, a documentary produced by Accentus Music on the birth of Equilibrium which follows its inception through all stages of the casting and production, and culminating in the world premiere of the semi-staged production of The Rake’s Progress (which is performed in Ojai June 6) in Gothenburg in December 2018.

Ojai Talks 
The 2019 Festival begins with Ojai Talks hosted by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School. On Thursday, June 6, a three-part series of discussions will begin with an exploration of Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium (EQ) initiative, with Ms. Hannigan and EQ artists. Mr. Guzelimian will interview Thomas W. Morris on his sixteen-year tenure as Ojai’s Artistic Director for the second part, and the third part of the discussion series will speak to the reinvention of musical groups, with members of LUDWIG.  

Additional on-site and online dialogue during the 2019 Festival includes Concert Insights, the pre-concert talks at the Libbey Bowl Tennis Courts with Festival artists led by resident musicologist Christopher Hailey. Pre-concert interviews with artists are broadcast through the Festival’s free live streaming program, hosted by content-expert individuals.  

Further details for Ms. Hannigan’s 2019 Festival will be announced in the spring. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies, and photos, visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org.

Partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival, June 19-21, 2019 
The new partnership with Aldeburgh was launched following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The collaboration showcases select Ojai Music Festival concerts during the Aldeburgh Festival at the acclaimed Maltings in Snape near Aldeburgh, England. The partnership features co-productions and co-commissions affording both the Ojai Music Festival and Aldeburgh Festival the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately.  Launched in June 2018 for an initial four-year period, the 2019 edition takes place June 19-21.

Ojai at Berkeley Concludes 
Ojai at Berkeley, the robust eight-year partnership between the Ojai Music Festival and Cal Performances, began in 2011 and allowed such collaborations as The Classical Style by Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk, Josephine Baker Portrait by Tyshawn Sorey and Julia Bullock, and George Lewis’ Afterword the Opera to be performed. With the leadership transitions at both institutions, it has been decided to conclude the venture. The final installation of Ojai at Berkeley took place in June 2018 following the Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director
Nova Scotian musician Barbara Hannigan divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras. The Berlin Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony are among the orchestras with whom she holds close relationships. Ms. Hannigan has worked with the most prominent conductors, including Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Kirill Petrenko, David Zinman, Vladimir Jurowski, Antonio Pappano, Alan Gilbert, and Reinbert de Leeuw. Her commitment to the music of our time has led to an extensive collaboration with composers including Boulez, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, and Abrahamsen. She has recently been appointed as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, following Kent Nagano’s tenure in that position.

Unforgettable operatic appearances include the title role in Lulu in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s staging at Brussels’ La Monnaie, and more recently at Hamburg Staatsoper conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Christoph Marthaler; the title role of Pelléas et Mélisandein Katie Mitchell’s staging at the 2016 Festival d’Aix-en-Province conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s more recent production at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany; and Marie in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at the Bayerische Staatsoper—a hugely acclaimed presentation directed by Andreas Kriegenberg and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, for which she won the Faust Award in Germany. She made her Opéra National de Paris debut in 2015 with La voix humaine again in a Warlikowski production and returned in April 2018 to reprise the role. She created the role of Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamletat the Glyndebourne Festival in summer 2017 and created the lead soprano roles in both of George Benjamin’s full scale operas: Written on Skin, and Lessons in Love and Violence.

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

Ms. Hannigan’s previous recordings have garnered awards from Gramophone, Edison, Victoires de la Musique and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Other awards include Singer of the Year (Opernwelt, 2013), Musical Personality of the Year (Syndicat de la Presse Francaise, 2012), Ehrenpreise (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2018), and Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts (2018), and she was recently appointed as a member to the Order of Canada (2016).

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

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 he shapes the Festival’s programming. During Mr. Morris’ tenure, the scope and density of the Festival has expanded, the collaborative partnership Ojai at Berkeley with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley launched, a partnership with England’s Aldeburgh Festival was initiated in 2018, and a comprehensive program of video streaming of all concerts was instituted. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the longtime 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 in NYC and served as the project’s artistic director. He served ten years on the board of trustees of Interlochen Center for the Arts, most recently as Vice Chair, and he is also an accomplished percussionist. In November 2018, 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, 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, Vijay Iyer, Barbara Hannigan (2019), and Matthias Pintscher (2020).

As the Ojai Music Festival approaches its 75th anniversary and looks toward the future, Thomas W. Morris concludes his remarkable 16-year tenure as Artistic Director following the 73rd Festival in 2019. With the appointment of Chad Smith as the next Artistic Director, Ojai’s artistic momentum is clearly poised to continue. Mr. Smith will succeed Mr. Morris as Artistic Director with the 2020 Festival (June 11-14).

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival 
The Ojai Music Festival allows the world beyond Ojai’s Libbey Bowl to experience the music and ideas expressed at the Festival through state-of-the art live streaming access during the four-day Festival and later archived at OjaiFestival.org

Series Passes for the 2019 Ojai Music Festival 
2019 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $165 to $925 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $75. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2019.

####

 

 

 

 

The Ojai Music Festival Welcomes New Board Members

The Ojai Music Festival and Board Chair David Nygren announces the appointment of two new members of its Board of Directors, as well as the full slate of officers for the 2018-19 season voted in at the September annual meeting. Joining the 18-member Board of Directors is Stephan Farber and Judith Hale Norris.

Stephan Farber is a private wealth advisor working closely with multi-generation families who encounter distinctive challenges in managing and stewarding their wealth. Farber works with leading collectors of musical instruments and art. He has particular depth in wealth transfer strategies and tax-sensitive philanthropic initiatives. Prior to his career in banking, he worked for many years in the music industry with a wide range of artists including Philip Glass, David Bowie, and The Rolling Stones. A string instrument enthusiast, Stephan collects and plays pre-war Gibson mandolins and serves on the board of Arco Collaborative, established by internationally renowned violinist Jennifer Koh. He received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. from Oberlin College. Currently, he lives with his family in Houston, Texas.

Judith Hale Norris is the President of the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Ojai Education Foundation, the Steering Committee of the Ojai Women’s Fund, and as Co-Chair of the Council of Distinguished Advisers, Straus Institute of Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law. She recently retired as an Adjunct Professor and Associate Director of the Investor Advocacy Clinic at Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law. Prior to her appointment in 2010 as Associate Director of the Investor Advocacy Clinic, she served as Vice President and Director for the Western Region of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Dispute Resolution with regional headquarters in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Before joining FINRA in 1986, She served as Chief Staff Counsel for the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (DC) and for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Boston). She also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and as a trial and appellate attorney for the U. S. Department of Justice in Washington, D. C. Norris received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine and her Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law. She received her Mediator Certificate from the Institute of Conflict Management.

The 2018-19 Board Officers are David Nygren, chairman; Barry Sanders, vice-chair strategic planning; David Oxtoby, vice-chair governance; Cathryn Krause, secretary; and Jerrold Eberhardt, treasurer.

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, symposia, and social 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. 

73rd Ojai Music Festival
The Festival’s 73rd installment – June 6-9, 2019 – celebrates and explores the creative artistic force of Music Director Barbara Hannigan as conductor, singer, and mentor. The four-day immersive experience will be a synthesis of dark and light: chiaroscuro with music curated by Hannigan that resonates deeply with her interests and collaborations. Music will include Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and other vocal works by Schoenberg, Grisey, Turnage, and Vivier. The Festival will also feature the American debut of LUDWIG orchestra and members of Hannigan’s new Equilibrium mentoring initiative.

Series Passes for 2019 Ojai Music Festival 
Advance 2019 series subscriptions are available for purchase at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Ticket prices range from $165 to $925 for reserved seating and lawn series start at $75.

 

 

 

 2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan Shares Initial Programming for 73rd Ojai Music Festival

download pdf version

(OJAI CA – June 4, 2018) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 72nd Festival (June 7-10, 2018) with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the Festival’s 2019 Music Director Barbara Hannigan and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 73rd Festival, June 6-9, 2019. The 2019 Ojai Music Festival celebrates and explores the creative artistic force of Barbara Hannigan, as conductor, singer, and mentor.

Following the 2019 Ojai Music Festival, Ojai at Berkeley continues for the ninth season June 13-15 and the Festival’s partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival for the second season June 19-21. The 2019 Festival marks the sixteenth and final year under the artistic direction of Thomas W. Morris. Chad Smith succeeds Mr. Morris as Artistic Director with the 2020 Festival.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional details of the 2019 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org.

Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, and Kopatchinskaja’s parents, Viktor and Emilia. Major 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.

Live video streaming of 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. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 7 and run through June 10. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the webcast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff.

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. The 2019 edition of this partnership will take place June 19-21.

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, 2018 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org. Following the 2019 Ojai Music Festival, Ojai at Berkeley will take place June 13-15.

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 longtime 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 2018, 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, 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), 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. 

Series Passes for 2019 Ojai Music Festival 
Advance 2019 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2019 Festival and online immediately following at OjaiFestival.org.

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

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and information on other Ojai activities are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 

 

 

Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CHAD SMITH NAMED ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

Download a PDF Version of the Announcement Here

“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 organization 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

(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

Joining Kopatchinskaja are 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 

2018 Festival presents the multi-facets of Kopatchinskaja as: 

  • 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 and two concerts for children devised and performed by Kopatchinskaja

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

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

download PDF version of press release 

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

(OJAI CA – October 25, 2017) – The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, presents Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity and perspective in the context of today’s social and political climate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the spring. 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 21 – 24) based at the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh in England. The collaboration with Aldeburgh follows the formation of Ojai at Berkeley as a partnership of co-productions and co-commissions that affords the Ojai Music Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and Cal Performances the ability to present more complex and creative artistic projects than could be conceived by each partner separately. The Aldeburgh relationship launches in June 2018, for an initial four-year period.

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

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

Kopatchinskaja’s 2017-18 season commenced with the world premiere of her new project Dies Irae at the Lucerne Festival in the summer, where she was ‘artiste étoile’. Dies Irae is her second staged program following the success of Bye Bye Beethoven with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in 2016 and uses the theme from the Latin Requiem Mass as a starting point for her new concept featuring music from Gregorian Chant and Early Baroque to Giacinto Scelsi and Galina Ustvolskaya.

The Stravinsky Violin Concerto will be a particular focus in her 2017-18 season – performances include the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Alain Altinoglu in London and on tour around Europe, Teodor Currentzis and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and with Gustavo Gimeno and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Kopatchinskaja will also appear with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Rafael Payare, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, and she will be part of the Southbank Centre’s Ligeti weekend performing his Violin Concerto with Aurora Orchestra under Nicholas Collon and the Horn Trio with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Marie-Luise Neunecker.

Chamber music is immensely important to Kopatchinskaja and she performs regularly with artists such as Markus Hinterhäuser, Polina Leschenko, Anthony Romaniuk and Jay Campbell appearing at such leading venues as the Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. A prolific recording artist, her latest release Death and the Maiden for Alpha is with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra with whom she is an Artistic Partner.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival, and is committed to the Ojai Music Festival through 2021. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. Over his fourteen-year tenure, he has brought as music director Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, eighth blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars. Over this period, 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 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 a member 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 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, 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, and Peter Sellars. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

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. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org.

Series Immersion Passes for 2018 Ojai Music Festival
2018 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2018 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $165 to $925 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $75. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2018.

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Following 72nd Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja

Ojai at Berkeley continues for 8th season June 15-17, 2018

It’s like a dream to be able to play over the course of only a few days and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time, and to share with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – OJAI. These pieces changed my life – I hope they will find a very special place also in your souls. I am delighted we can share some of these programs with Berkeley and with Aldeburgh.”  Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director. 

(OJAI CA – June 9) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 71st Festival (June 8-11, 2017) with Music Director Vijay Iyer, the Festival is proud to announce a new partnership with the renowned Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings. 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, the new partnership will take place during the Aldeburgh Festival (June 8th – 24th) based at the acclaimed Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

Ojai Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris said, “The Aldeburgh Festival has long been a beacon of music festivals – sharing Ojai’s commitment to adventure, innovation, and creativity. It is an enormous pleasure to announce our new partnership for co-productions and co-commissions with Snape Maltings, joining with our eight-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley. Roger Wright, Chief Executive of Snape Maltings which runs the Aldeburgh Festival, is a long time friend and colleague, and his enthusiasm for new music, creative programming, and many of the same artists we enjoy in Ojai made the partnership inevitable.”

“I am delighted at the prospect of this new partnership between the Aldeburgh Festival and Ojai, and to join in the creation of new work and innovative programming for which both our Festivals are acclaimed. It will be a pleasure to work with Tom Morris, an inspirational colleague, and to continue to develop distinctive programming and build new audiences for significant new work,” said Chief Executive of Snape Maltings, Roger Wright.

“Ojai is more than a musical gathering — it is a festival of distinctive artistic ideas,” commented Matías Tarnopolsky, Executive and Artistic Director of Cal Performances, home of Ojai at Berkeley.  “That’s the essential reason Cal Performances chose to create a now longstanding partnership with the Ojai Music Festival to bring the focused and concise best of each year’s programs to Berkeley. Aldeburgh Festival, a jewel among Britain’s summer festivals, is Ojai’s peer in intellectual stature and in its superb setting, and the perfect onward journey from Ojai at Berkeley.  Cal Performances is proud to join hands with Aldeburgh Festival and the Ojai Music Festival in expanding Ojai’s musical horizons.”

The collaboration with Snape Maltings 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 relationship launches in June 2018, for an initial four-year period.

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival
The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world.  Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and showcased the solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

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

American composer Michael Hersch will premiere at the 2018 Ojai Music Festival a new piece, described by him as a dramatic cantata for two sopranos and eight instrumentalists. It will then be performed at Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley and at the Aldeburgh Festival. Mr. Hersch, who wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Kopatchinskaja two years ago, is considered one of the most gifted composers of his generation and is a formidable pianist. He currently serves on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. This new work is a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances Berkeley, the Aldeburgh Festival, and PNReview, the prominent British poetry magazine at which Mr. Hersch is artist-in-residence.  

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

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concert, etc., visit website Ojaifestivals.org

Advance 2018 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2017 Festival and online immediately following on June 12 at OjaiFestival.org

Ojai at Berkeley
Next week marks 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. 

Aldeburgh Festival
Aldeburgh Festival was founded in 1948 by composer Benjamin Britten, and is centered in a collection of renovated mid-nineteenth century malthouses in England’s East Anglia, northwest of London along the coast in the village of Snape, a few miles inland from the town of Aldeburgh. Celebrating its 70th Festival in 2017, the two-week Aldeburgh Festival emphasizes the presentation of new and distinctive repertoire and performances and features the music of Britten. Music theatre and opera form part of the program, as does the presentation of a visual arts program.  The Festival is run by Snape Maltings, which is a unique creative campus running a year-round residency and performance program including the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, Aldeburgh Residencies, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme and the Snape Proms.

# # #

  

Download PDF version of the press release >>

(OJAI CA – June 5, 2017) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the 71st Festival (June 8-11, 2017) with Music Director Vijay Iyer, the Festival’s 2018 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 72nd Festival, June 7-10, 2018. Ojai at Berkeley continues for the eighth season June 15-17, 2018.

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

“It’s like a dream to be able to play over the course of only a few days and hear my most beloved musical pieces of our time, and to share with the audience members of the most vibrant and progressive festival on the American continent – OJAI. These pieces changed my life – I hope ­ they will also find a very special place in your souls,” Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director.

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in its first extended United States residency. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 based on the shared vision of being a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With 45 members spanning 20 different countries at its core, the MCO works as a nomadic collective of passionate musicians uniting for specific tours in Europe and across the world. Based in Berlin, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra forms the basis of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and has long and fruitful artistic relationships with major artists, including Ms. Kopatchinskaja and Mitsuko Uchida, Ojai’s 2021 Music Director. In Ojai, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will be featured both as an orchestral ensemble, and showcased for the solo and chamber music artistry of its members.

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

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

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

Additional details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in the fall. For up-to-date Festival information, artist biographies and photos, and access to concerts, etc., visit the Ojai Music Festival website at OjaiFestival.org. Series tickets will go on sale for the 2018 Festival on June 11 at the Festival.

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

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

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

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

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)
The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 edition include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the west coast premiere of Afterword, an opera by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Live video streaming of 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. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 and end June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the web cast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival streaming and concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org

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, 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, and Peter Sellars. Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

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.

Series Passes for 2018 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2018 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the 2017 Festival and online immediately following on June 12 at OjaiFestival.org.

 2017 Festival Tickets
Limited 2017 Festival single tickets are still available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival ticket prices range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $20. Student and group discounts are available.

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and information on other Ojai activities are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook, and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 ####

WQXR’s Q2 Music offers 4-day program of 2016 Ojai Music Festival performances hosted by 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars at q2music.org/ojai 

Q2 Music’s 2016 Ojai Festival Series begins Monday, June 5 prior to the 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11)

OJAI, CA – June 1, 2017)  The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.  Prior to the upcoming Festival, WQXR’s Q2 Music launches immersive access to select new-music concerts from the 2016 Festival beginning Monday, June 5 at q2music.org/ojai.  This four-day series is hosted by Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars.

Q2 Music, WQXR’s online home for new music, will offer on-demand audio from concerts from the 2016 Festival, including performances of works by a number of composers, including Kaija Saariaho, Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, and many more.

Imagined as a multi-year collaboration, the Ojai Music Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences and connect respective communities.  In addition to this series hosted by Peter Sellars, Ojai Music Directors Mark Morris (2014) and Steven Schick (2015) have hosted the series in prior years. Past festival shows can also be found at q2music.org.

A highlight of Ojai’s partnership with Q2 Music is the annual spring event in New York at The Jerome  L. Greene Performance Space which advances the Ojai Music Festival through an evening of performance and discussion with Ojai music directors and artists.   On April 13, the Festival and Q2 Music presented an evening of discussion and performance at the Greene Space. Q2 Music’s Helga Davis hosted Ojai’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer, alongside collaborators, violinist Jennifer Koh, composer/trombonist George Lewis, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey in conversation and performance.

This marks the second year of Ojai Music Festival events presented by Q2 Music at The Greene Space. Last spring’s event featured Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars, guitarist Dan Lippel of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), soprano Julia Bullock, and vocalist/pianist Leila Adu. The Greene Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts, and politics of New York and our world.

Part of WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, Q2 Music is a listener-supported, online home dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles, and live webcasts from the City’s leading new-music venues. The live 24/7 music stream available at www.wqxr.org/q2music/, includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts and composers, full-length album streams, in-depth interviews with trend-setting artists and special live events at The Greene Space at WQXR. Q2 Music is also available via the free WQXR app.

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 edition include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the west coast premiere of Afterword, an opera by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Live video streaming of the 2017 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. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 through June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the webcast. Hosting this year will be Director of Publications for National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org. 

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, 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, and Peter Sellars.  Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja in 2018, Ojai will welcome Music Director Barbara Hannigan (2019).

Ojai at Berkeley

Marking the seventh 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

# # #

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

 

Vijay Iyer is joined by a community of artistic collaborators, including Ojai Festival alumni 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey

Iyer introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell

Highlights of the 2017 Festival include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Trouble, a violin concerto written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan

Six free performances for the community feature works by Bach, Berio, Anthony Braxton, Courtney Bryan, Mario Diaz de Leon, Vijay Iyer, George Lewis, Missy Mazzoli, and Esa-Pekka Salonen

Audio-kinetic installation, Rio Negro II, created by Douglas Ewart, Douglas Repetto, and George Lewis, on display at Libbey Park

Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is slated for June 15-17, 2017 following the Ojai Music Festival

(April 10, 2017 – Ojai, California) – The Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaboration in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris stated, “Vijay Iyer is usually described as a composer, a pianist, an improviser, a collaborator, and a teacher. What really distinguishes him, however, is not just what he does but who he is and what he stands for. Vijay believes a life in the arts is a life of service in imagining, building, and enacting community that transcends heritage, nation, and creed. The 2017 Festival reflects these beliefs in the range of collaborators joining us – from Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam to percussionist/composer Tyshawn Sorey, to the virtuosic ensemble ICE, to trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith; in the breadth of roles Vijay will play – from composer, to performer, to collaborator, to intellectual guide; and in the historical and social perspectives represented by the music and artists – from how so much of the Festival’s foundation is based on the groundbreaking Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM), to young composer Courtney Bryan’s powerful tribute to Sandra Bland, a vivid testimony to music’s ability to bring communities together in healing.”

Vijay Iyer commented, “When I was invited to take on the role of Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, it was a shocking but validating proposition. As an artist, I like to insert myself into situations where some might not necessarily imagine I belong. I have many different affinities musically, and also very real associations across different musical communities, generations, geographic locations, and traditions that speak to me and through me. Our 2017 Festival feels like a good opportunity to update the idea of what music is today. I know the hallowed history of this Festival and I’ve seen different versions of what it can be. I’m just glad that Tom Morris invited me to intervene, and to bring my people with me. I’m going to learn so much over those few days in June, and I believe everyone there will discover a great deal – not just about music, but about themselves.” 

Watch Vijay Iyer Discuss the 2017 Festival

Much of the four-day Festival programming revolves around the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an organization founded in Chicago in 1965 by a group of African-American experimentalists. Musicians of the AACM were not only committed to an adventurous synthesis of music making strategies – contemporary and ancient, familiar and faraway – but their very being responded to the Civil Rights struggles of that era. The New York Times, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the AACM a year ago said, “The AACM has been one of the country’s great engines of experimental art, producing work with an irreducible breadth of scope and style.”  Some of the early and founding AACM members, including Wadada Leo Smith, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Roscoe Mitchell will be featured 2017 Ojai artists, as will composer/trombonist George Lewis, whose book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music tells the definitive history of the AACM. Lewis’ opera Afterword, which is receiving its West Coast premiere, is based on the organization’s inception.

The 2017 Festival begins on Thursday, June 8 showcasing Vijay Iyer’s creative breadth. The program features two recent works by Mr. Iyer, the American premiere of Emergence, performed by ICE and the Vijay Iyer Trio conducted by Steven Schick; and the world premiere of his violin concerto Trouble, Commissioned by Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, and Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, music director. Trouble is composed for and will be performed by violinist Jennifer Koh. The premiere will feature the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble along with ICE and conductor Steven Schick. The evening closes with a duo comprising Mr. Iyer and the celebrated trumpet player and a founder of the AACM, Wadada Leo Smith. Described by Mr. Iyer as his “hero, friend, and teacher,” Mr. Smith collaborates with the pianist on music that is “spellbinding and traverses musical identities.” The duo will perform selections from their critically acclaimed album A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke, released on ECM Records in 2016.

The two-part Friday afternoon concert on June 9 features flutist Claire Chase performing a selection from Density 2036, an ambitious 22-year project conceived by Ms. Chase in 2014 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse groundbreaking 1936 flute solo, Density 21.5. Each season between 2014-2036, Ms. Chase will premiere a new 60-minute program of solo flute works commissioned that year in a special performance at The Kitchen in New York City and on tour in select cities thereafter. Joining Ms. Chase for Ojai’s Density 2036 will be Pauchi Sasaki (violin and vocals) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). A highlight of the program, which includes works by Suzanne Farrin, Vijay Iyer, Pauchi Sasaki, and Varèse, is an excerpt from Marcos Balter’s Pan, which calls for audience participation. Following Density 2036 will be a rare performance by Tyshawn Sorey’s Double Trio in a program called “The Inner Spectrum of Variables,” named after the Double Trio’s 2016 album. Mr. Sorey made his Ojai debut last year composing music for and performing in the Josephine Baker Portrait. 

Friday evening’s concert features the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ Afterword, an opera for a small ensemble and three singers, performed by ICE with soprano Joelle Lamarre, contralto Gwendolyn Brown, and tenor JuIian Otis, all of whom performed in the 2016 American premiere of the work in Chicago. 2015 Music Director Steven Schick returns to Ojai and will conduct. A 2002 MacArthur Fellow, George Lewis is a composer, theorist, musicologist, and virtuoso trombonist with an endowed chair at Columbia University. His A Will to Adorn was performed during the 2015 Ojai Music Festival. Mr. Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, a prizewinning, comprehensive cultural history of this influential organization and its members. The opera Afterword draws from the book’s own afterword, consisting of transcribed dialogues and testimonials about the AACM’s founding in 1965. Afterword will be semi-staged and directed by Sean Griffin.

Saturday, June 10’s afternoon concert begins with a program by the Brentano Quartet. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in new music. The concert features music by György Kurtág and Mozart, as well as Vijay Iyer’s Mozart Effects, written for the quartet. The Brentano Quartet’s century-spanning performance will be followed by Conduction®, led by Tyshawn Sorey, who is widely considered to be among the most important young artists at the intersection between composed and improvised music. Conduction®, is a gestural language invented by the acclaimed cornetist and composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris. As defined by the composer, “Conduction® is the practice of conveying and interpreting a lexicon of directives to construct or modify sonic arrangement or composition; a structure-content exchange between composer/conductor and instrumentalists that provides the immediate possibility of initiating or altering harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, progression, articulation, phrasing, or form through the manipulation of pitch, dynamics (volume/intensity/density), timbre, duration, silence, and organization in real-time.”  Featured in the Conduction® program with be Autoschediasms for Creative Chamber Orchestra, a 60-minute piece of new music for an ensemble of 20 players being composed in real time – none of the performers nor conductor have a note of music in front of them.

The Saturday evening centerpiece is Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, commissioned five years ago by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to celebrate the centennial of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi is a vivid and mesmerizing multimedia collaboration by Mr. Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava (who passed away in 2015 at the age of 42), exploring another sort of rite of spring, the Hindu festival of Holi, famous for its revelry of color in celebration of the love between the divine Krishna and Radha. In northern India, Mr. Bhargava captured ravishing hi-definition footage of the eight-day Holi festival, later editing the footage into a finished 37-minute film with Stravinsky’s Sacre musical structure as the basis for its film structure. Mr. Iyer composed a new score as the musical complement to Mr. Bhargava’s visual ballet, drawing at times on the rhythms and chants of the Holi festival. The result is one of Mr. Iyer’s warmest, most colorful creations to date, as rich melodically as it is texturally. The work is for an ensemble of 13 players that will be performed by ICE and conducted by Steven Schick, who will accompany the projected film live on the Libbey Bowl stage. The first half of the concert will be the West Coast premiere of a new version of Le Sacre du printemps, arranged by composer Cliff Colnot for the same instrumental forces.

Sunday, June 11 closes the Ojai Music Festival with a mini-festival of improvisation. It begins in the early morning with a free concert of living legends that will be one of the historical highlights at Ojai – The Trio featuring octogenarian pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis on trombone and electronics, and Roscoe Mitchell on assorted woodwinds. Mr. Abrams and Mr. Mitchell were among the founders of the AACM. The afternoon concert presents Vijay Iyer and his close collaborator for more than twenty years, the award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, joining forces with two living giants of Indian classical music: celebrated Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam and tabla maestro and world music pioneer Zakir Hussain. This day realizes one of Vijay Iyer’s dreams for the 2017 Festival, to create a new musical fabric with these remarkable artists together in Ojai. The Festival closes with Vijay Iyer and his all-star sextet including bassist Stephan Crump, Tyshawn Sorey on drums, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn, and tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, an ensemble The New York Times has said, “addresses original music with a gripping sense of purpose.”

In addition to the main concert lineup there will be two Daybreak Concerts both starting at 9am at Zalk Theatre at Besant Hill School in the upper Ojai for Ojai Music Festival members. On Friday, June 9 the performance features Jen Shyu, experimental vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and Fulbright scholar, who will perform her own work, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths. Saturday, June 10 features three world premieres by Nicole Mitchell, flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Ms. Mitchell’s music celebrates African-American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop, and African percussion. She formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Free Community Concerts and Events

Ojai continues to build on its commitment to reach an ever-broader audience, and the 2017 Festival offers two free Late Night Concerts in the Libbey Bowl, in addition to the Sunday morning community concert by The Trio with Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell. Friday evening (June 9) at 10:30pm features a free recital by Jennifer Koh, entitled “Bach and Beyond” in which Ms. Koh will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Missy Mazzoli, Luciano Berio, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Saturday night (June 10) at 10:30pm brings Vijay Iyer together with the Brentano Quartet to perform his Time, Place, Action. The Brentano Quartet opens the concert with selections from Bach’s Art of the Fugue, and the concert closes with the American premiere of a new version of Yet Unheard by the versatile composer and pianist Courtney Bryan. Written for chorus, orchestra, and the vocalist Helga Davis, Yet Unheard sets a new text by poet Sharan Strange memorializing Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Her death was classified as a suicide, though many dispute the cause of death and allege racial violence. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Ms. Bryan’s recent compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. 

Newly added to the Festival schedule are three free Pop-Up Concerts that feature members of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). The Thursday evening (June 8) Pop-Up features George Lewis’ Emergent. On Friday morning (June 9), the Pop-Up includes Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music. The final Pop-Up on Saturday morning (June 10) includes two works by Maria Diaz de Leon, including Labrys. These concerts will take place in the Libbey Park Gazebo nestled in the Libbey Park.

On Saturday, June 10, at 11:30am, the Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO education program will offer an interactive demonstration featuring its “Education Through Music” (ETM) program with Ojai elementary school students and will include audience participation. ETM uses song, play and movement in the classroom, and it is one of the Festival’s seven types of free education workshops.

Ideas: Ojai Talks, Concert Insights and Festival 2018 Preview 

The 2017 Festival begins with Ojai Talks presented by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School. On Thursday June 8, the first session topic is “The Art of Improvisation” with Vijay Iyer. The second part of the Thursday Talks features a panel discussion of “Music as Community” with Mr. Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith and Steven Schick. On the evening of Friday, June 9 the Ojai Talks will be held prior to the 8pm concert of George Lewis’ Afterword on the Libbey Bowl stage. The session will feature a discussion with Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Tyshawn Sorey, and Claire Chase regarding the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and its ongoing impact.

Concert Insights with Christopher Hailey interviewing featured artists, including Courtney Bryan, Claire Chase and Tyshawn Sorey, will take place prior to select performances. 

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris joins Christopher Hailey for an early exploration into next year’s Festival. This exclusive event for renewing series subscribers will take place on Friday, June 9, 11am at the Ojai Art Center.

Art Installation in Libbey Park: Rio Negro II

Rio Negro II, an audio-kinetic art installation, will be on display in the Libbey Park for the duration of the 2017 Festival, open to the public for interaction. Rio Negro II, created by Douglas Ewart, Douglas Repetto, and George Lewis, reflects the spirit and legacy of the AACM, internationally recognized for its multidimensional approach to American experimental music. From text offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art, “Douglas R. Ewart and George Lewis are both longtime members of the AACM. In 1992, the two joined together to produce Rio Negro. That first version was commissioned in Chicago by Experimental Sound Studio, a long-standing nonprofit organization. It was presented at the now-defunct Randolph Street Gallery. In 2007, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Lewis collaborated with sound artist Douglas Repetto on an enhanced version of the sound environment. According to Mr. Lewis, the title of the work references the Rio Negro in Brazil, a major tributary of the Amazon River, and the largest black-water river in the world. “Rio Negro” references both indigenous people and notions of blackness. The name also suggests the sounds of rain forests, and the work’s strategically conceived silences enhance the nature of the work as a space for contemplation”.

Ojai at Berkeley

Marking the seventh 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.

Vijay Iyer, Music Director

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. 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. As Artistic Director, Morris is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. During his decade-long tenure, audiences have increased and the scope of the Festival has expanded, most recently to include a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

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, 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, and Peter Sellars.
The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. The Board Chairman is David Nygren and President is Jamie Bennett.

Live video streaming of 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. This year’s live streaming will begin on Thursday, June 8 through June 11. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the web cast. Hosting this year will be editor of Log Journal and longtime journalist Steve Smith, Classical KUSC Alan Chapman, and LA-based composer/musician Thomas Kotcheff. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org. 

Single Tickets for 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival single tickets are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival ticket prices range from $45 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $20. Student and group discounts are available.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and information on other Ojai activities are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

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

2017 Festival Schedule

 

Ojai’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer and Q2 Music Host Helga Davis will highlight the upcoming Festival, along with Jennifer Koh, George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Tyshawn Sorey      

For tickets to the April 13, 7:00pm event, visit TheGreeneSpace.org or watch a live video stream of the event at Q2Music.org 

“I’m honored, as Music Director of the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, to convene this gathering of some of the most brilliant and important music-makers that I know. Our evening of music and conversation at The Greene Space offers a glimpse of the scope of this four-day event in Southern California, with a few of the incredible artists who will be on hand: George Lewis, whose opera Afterword will have its west coast premiere at the Festival; composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, a collaborator and mentor of mine, will join me in duets from our project A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke; the dazzling violinist Jennifer Koh will perform some of the ancient and cutting-edge solo music from her sprawling repertoire; and multi-instrumentalist-composer Tyshawn Sorey will offer some of his latest creations.”  – Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

(OJAI, CA – March 29, 2017) — In advance of the upcoming 2017 Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11), the Festival and media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music present an evening of discussion and performance on April 13, at 7pm, at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in New York as part of their three-year partnership.

Q2’s Helga Davis will host Ojai Music Director Vijay Iyer to discuss and explore the upcoming 2017 Festival. Joining Mr. Iyer in performance and conversation will be violinist Jennifer Koh, composer/trombonist George Lewis, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey.

Helga Davis, also a 2017 Ojai Music Festival artist in Courtney Bryan’s Yet Unheard, will focus the April 13 evening around the intersection of music composed and improvised. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) has engaged this dichotomy since its inception, and the AACM serves as an underlying thread in the April 13 event as well as the upcoming Ojai Music Festival. The evening will feature solo performances by Vijay Iyer and duets by Mr. Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey, as well as Mr. Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith in excerpts from their acclaimed release A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke. Rounding out the evening, Jennifer Koh will perform Esa-Pekka Salonen’s chaconne for solo violin Lachen verlernt (Laughing Unlearnt). Composer George Lewis will join the artists in discussion with Ms. Davis.

This marks the second year of Ojai Music Festival events presented by Q2 Music at The Greene Space. Last spring’s event featured Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) Dan Lippel, soprano Julia Bullock, and vocalist/pianist Leila Adu. The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts, and politics of New York and our world.

Tickets, April 13 at 7pm
Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased at TheGreeneSpace.org where the event will be webcast live.

Ojai Music Festival and WQXR’s Q2 Partnership 
Launched in 2015, additional highlights of the 2017 partnership with WQXR’s Q2 Music feature immersive access to select new music concerts at Q2Music.org beginning May 1, 2017, as well as a three-part series of special programs showcasing performances from the 2016 Festival, hosted by Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars. Q2 Music audiences can also access performances from prior Festivals with hosts Mark Morris (2013 Music Director) and Steven Schick (2015 Music Director). Imagined as a multiyear collaboration, the Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences and connect respective communities.

About Q2 Music 
Q2 Music is WQXR’s online platform dedicated to contemporary classical composers, innovative ensembles and musical discovery. Its programming includes immersive festivals, insightful commentary from hosts such as composer Phil Kline and vocalist Helga Davis, full-length album streams, live webcasts and exclusive concert audio from local and national venues, and special events in front of live audiences at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in downtown New York City. Q2 Music produces Meet the Composer with host Nadia Sirota, a Peabody Award-winning interview podcast which mines the brains of today’s leading composers, as well as LPR Live, a podcast which shares dynamic new-music performances from Greenwich Village’s Le Poisson Rouge. Q2 Music is streamed live 24/7 at WQXR.org/Q2Music and is also available via the free WQXR App.

Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017

Of the upcoming Ojai Music Festival, Vijay Iyer commented, “When I was invited to take on the role of Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, it was a shocking but validating proposition. As an artist, I like to insert myself into situations where some might not necessarily imagine I belong. I have many different affinities musically, and also very real associations across different musical communities, generations, geographic locations, and traditions that speak to me and through me. Our 2017 Festival feels like a good opportunity to update the idea of what music is today. I know the hallowed history of this Festival and I’ve seen different versions of what it can be. I’m just glad that Tom Morris invited me to intervene, and to bring my people with me. I’m going to learn so much over those few days in June, and I believe everyone there will discover a great deal – not just about music, but about themselves.” 

For complete 2017 Ojai Music Festival information, please see the Festival calendar at OjaiFestival.org. Experience the Festival in Ojai (June 8-11) or remotely via Ojai Live webcast (June 8-11); or visit Ojai at Berkeley (June 15-17).

Ojai Music Festival Tickets 
Festival single tickets \ may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and are $15 for lawn tickets. Student and group discounts are also available.

Directions to Ojai and performance venues, as well as information regarding lodging, a concierge service, and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Ojai Music Festival web site.

Ojai Live webcast of 2017 Festival 
Ojai Live begins on Thursday, June 8 with the evening concert at Libbey Bowl. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world with live broadcasts of performances and interview segments. Watch Ojai Live at OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai at Berkeley 
Marking the seventh 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 follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, 2017 Ojai Music Festival Music Director 
Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

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, 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, and Peter Sellars.

The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. David Nygren serves as the board chairman, Jamie Bennett is the president, and Thomas W. Morris serves as Artistic Director.

PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA TO BE MUSIC DIRECTOR IN 2018

(OJAI CA) — Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced today updated future Festival Music Director appointments. Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will take the helm as the 2018 Music Director for the 72nd Festival (June 7-10, 2018).  Previously, she was scheduled to serve as Music Director in 2020. Ms. Kopatchinskaja replaces Esa-Pekka Salonen, who was originally slated as Music Director for the 2018 Festival. Mr. Salonen, who previously served as music director in 1999 and 2001, has withdrawn due to his composition schedule.

Following Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and as previously announced, Ojai will welcome Music Directors soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan in 2019 and pianist Mitsuko Uchida in 2021. The Ojai Music Festival will name its 2020 Music Director later this spring. 

Initial details for Ms. Kopatchinskaja’s 2018 Festival will be announced in early June 2017.

Patricia Kopatchinskaja, 2018 Music Director

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

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

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

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

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11, 2017)

The 71st Ojai Music Festival (June 8-11) celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection. Music Director Vijay Iyer will be joined by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey – returning members of the Ojai Music Festival family. Mr. Iyer also introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell. Highlights of the 2017 Festival include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan. Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2017
Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival, and is committed to the Ojai Music Festival through 2021. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. Over his fourteen-year tenure, he has brought as music director Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, Robert Spano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, David Robertson, 8th blackbird, George Benjamin, Dawn Upshaw, Leif Ove Andsnes, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, Steven Schick, and Peter Sellars. Over this  period, 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 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 a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and he is also an accomplished percussionist.

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, 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.

Series Passes for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $140 to $860 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $60. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2017. Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and other Ojai activities, are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 

Vijay Iyer is joined by a community of artistic collaborators, including returning Ojai family members 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey 

Iyer introduces Ojai to master musicians from various backgrounds and communities: Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; vocalist/composer Jen Shyu; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; Tyshawn Sorey Double Trio; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell

Highlights of the 2017 Festival include the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, written for and performed by Jennifer Koh; the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence for trio and ensemble; RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan

Cal PerformancesOjai at Berkeley is slated for June 15-17, 2017 following the Ojai Music Festival

download pdf version 
download 2017 schedule 

(November 16, 2016– Ojai, California) – The Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, with Music Director Vijay Iyer celebrates diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection.

Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris stated, “Vijay Iyer is usually described as a composer, a pianist, an improviser, a collaborator, and a teacher. What really distinguishes him, however, is not just what he does but who he is and what he stands for. Vijay believes a life in the arts is a life of service in imagining, building, and enacting community that transcends heritage, nation, and creed. The 2017 Festival reflects these beliefs in the range of collaborators joining us – from Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam to percussionist/composer Tyshawn Sorey, to the virtuosic ensemble ICE, to trumpet legend Wadada Leo Smith; in the breadth of roles Vijay will play – from composer, to performer, to collaborator, to intellectual guide; and in the historical and social perspectives represented by the music and artists – from how so much of the Festival’s foundation is based on the groundbreaking Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM), to young composer Courtney Bryan’s powerful tribute to Sandra Bland, a vivid testimony to music’s ability to bring communities together in healing.”

Vijay Iyer commented, “When I was invited to take on the role of Music Director for the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, it was a shocking but validating proposition. As an artist, I like to insert myself into situations where some might not necessarily imagine I belong. I have many different affinities musically, and also very real associations across different musical communities, generations, geographic locations, and traditions that speak to me and through me. Our 2017 Festival feels like a good opportunity to update the idea of what music is today. I know the hallowed history of this Festival and I’ve seen different versions of what it can be. I’m just glad that Tom Morris invited me to intervene, and to bring my people with me. I’m going to learn so much over those few days in June, and I believe everyone there will discover a great deal – not just about music, but about themselves.” 

Watch Vijay Iyer Discuss the 2017 Festival

Much of the four-day Festival programming revolves around the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an organization founded in Chicago in 1965 by a group of African-American experimentalists. Musicians of the AACM were not only committed to an adventurous synthesis of music making strategies – contemporary and ancient, familiar and faraway – but their very being was framed out of the Civil Rights struggles of that era. The New York Times, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the AACM a year ago said, “The AACM has been one of the country’s great engines of experimental art, producing work with an irreducible breadth of scope and style.”  Some of the original founding AACM members, including Wadada Leo Smith, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Roscoe Mitchell will be featured 2017 Ojai artists, as will composer/trombonist George Lewis, whose book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music tells the definitive history of the AACM. Lewis’ opera Afterword, which is receiving its West Coast premiere, is based on the history of the organization.

The 2017 Festival begins on Thursday, June 8 showcasing the talents of Vijay Iyer. The program features two recent works by Mr. Iyer, the American premiere of Emergence, performed by ICE and the Vijay Iyer Trio conducted by Steven Schick; and the world premiere of his Violin Concerto, a co-commission by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Violin Concerto was composed for and will be performed by violinist Jennifer Koh. The evening closes with a duo comprising Mr. Iyer and the celebrated trumpet player and a founder of the AACM, Wadada Leo Smith. Described by Mr. Iyer as his “hero, friend, and teacher,” Mr. Smith collaborates with the pianist on music that is “spellbinding and traverses musical identities.”

The two-part Friday afternoon concert on June 9 features flutist Claire Chase performing a selection from her recent Density 2036 project, a 22-year program conceived by Ms. Chase in 2014 to commission an entirely new body of repertory for solo flute each year until the 100th anniversary of Edgard Varèse groundbreaking 1936 flute solo. Following Density 2036 will be a rare performance by Tyshawn Sorey’s Double Trio in a program called “The Inner Spectrum of Variables.” Mr. Sorey made his Ojai debut last year composing music for and performing in the Josephine Baker Portrait. 

Friday evening’s concert features the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ opera Afterword, for a small ensemble and three singers, performed by ICE with soprano Joelle Lamarre, contralto Gwendolyn Brown, and tenor JuIian Otis, all of whom sang in the 2016 American premiere of the work in Chicago, and with Steven Schick conducting. A 2002 MacArthur Fellow, George Lewis is a composer, theorist, musicologist, and virtuoso trombonist with an endowed chair at Columbia University. His A Will to Adorn was performed during the 2015 Ojai Music Festival. Mr. Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, a prizewinning, comprehensive cultural history of this influential organization and its members. The opera Afterword draws from the book’s own afterword, consisting of transcribed dialogues and testimonials about the AACM’s founding in 1965. Afterword will be semi-staged and directed by Sean Griffin.

Saturday afternoon’s two-part concert on June 10 begins with a program by the Brentano Quartet. In addition to performing the entire two-century range of standard quartet repertoire, the Brentano Quartet has a strong interest in both old and new music. The concert features music by György Kurtág and Mozart, as well as Vijay Iyer’s Mozart Effects, written for the quartet. Following this will be Conduction® led by Tyshawn Sorey, who is widely considered to be among the most important young artists at the intersection between composed and improvised music. Conduction®, is a gestural language invented by the acclaimed cornetist and composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris. As defined by the composer, “Conduction® is the practice of conveying and interpreting a lexicon of directives to construct or modify sonic arrangement or composition; a structure-content exchange between composer/conductor and instrumentalists that provides the immediate possibility of initiating or altering harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, progression, articulation, phrasing, or form through the manipulation of pitch, dynamics (volume/intensity/density), timbre, duration, silence, and organization in real-time. Conduction® is a 60-minute piece of new music for an ensemble of 20 players being composed in real time – none of the performers nor conductor have a note of music in front of them.”

The Saturday evening centerpiece is RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, commissioned five years ago by Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to celebrate the centennial of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi is a vivid and mesmerizing multimedia collaboration by Mr. Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava (who passed away in 2015 at the age of 42), exploring another sort of rite of spring, the Hindu festival of Holi, famous for its revelry of color in celebration of the love between the divine Krishna and Radha. In northern India, Mr. Bhargava filmed ravishing hi-definition images of an eight-day Holi festival, later editing the footage into a finished 37-minute film with Stravinsky’s Sacre musical structure as the basis for its film structure. Mr. Iyer composed a new score as the musical complement to Mr. Bhargava’s visual ballet, drawing at times on the rhythms and chants of the Holi festival. The result is one of Mr. Iyer’s warmest, most colorful creations to date, as rich melodically as it is texturally. The work is for an ensemble of 13 players that will be performed by ICE and conducted by Steven Schick, who will accompany the projected film live on the Libbey Bowl stage. The first half of the concert will be the West Coast premiere of a new version of Le Sacre du printemps arranged by composer Cliff Colnot for the same instrumental forces.

The final day of the Festival on Sunday, June 11 is a mini-festival of improvisation. It begins in the early morning with a free concert of living legends that will be one of the historical highlights at Ojai – The Trio featuring octogenarian pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis on trombone and laptop, and Roscoe Mitchell on assorted woodwinds. Mr. Abrams and Mr. Mitchell were among the founders of the AACM. The afternoon concert presents Vijay Iyer and his close collaborator for more than twenty years, the award-winning saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, joining forces with two living giants of Indian classical music: celebrated Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam and tabla maestro and world music pioneer Zakir Hussain. This day realizes one of Vijay Iyer’s dreams for the 2017 Festival, to create a new musical fabric with these remarkable artists together in Ojai. The Festival closes with Vijay Iyer and his all-star sextet including bassist Stephan Crump, Tyshawn Sorey on drums, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn, and tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, an ensemble The New York Times has said, “addresses original music with a gripping sense of purpose.”

In addition to the main concert lineup there will be two Daybreak concerts both starting at 9am at Zalk Theatre at Besant Hill School in the upper Ojai for Ojai Music Festival members. On Friday, June 9 the performance features Jen Shyu, experimental vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, and Fulbright scholar, who will perform her own work, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths. Saturday, June 10 features Nicole Mitchell, flutist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Ms. Mitchell’s music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop, and African percussion. She formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).

Free Community Concerts

Ojai continues to build on its commitment to reach an ever-broader audience, and the 2017 Festival offers two free Late Night concerts in the Libbey Bowl, in addition to the Sunday morning concert. Friday evening at 10:30pm features a recital by Jennifer Koh, entitled “Bach and Beyond” in which Ms. Koh will perform works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Missy Mazzoli, Luciano Berio, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Saturday night at 10:30pm brings Vijay Iyer together with the Brentano Quartet to perform his Time, Place, Action. The Brentano Quartet opens the concert with selections from Bach’s Art of the Fugue, and the concert closes with the American premiere of a new version of Yet Unheard by the versatile composer and pianist Courtney Bryan. Written for chorus, orchestra, and the vocalist Helga Davis, Yet Unheard sets a new text by poet Sharan Strange memorializing Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who died in police custody in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Her death was classified as a suicide, though protests dispute the cause of death and allege racial violence. Focusing on bridging the sacred and the secular, Ms. Bryan’s recent compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. 

Ojai Talks

The 2017 Festival begins with Ojai Talks hosted by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Juilliard School. On Thursday June 8 the first part session topic is “The Art of Improvisation” with Vijay Iyer. The second part of the Talks features a panel to discuss “Music as Community” with Mr. Iyer and other prominent guests. On Friday evening, June 9 the Ojai Talks will be held prior to the 8pm concert of George Lewis’ Afterword on the Libbey Bowl stage. The session will feature a discussion on the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) with special guests. Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Ojai at Berkeley

Marking the seventh 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 follows the 2017 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Vijay Iyer, Music Director

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. He was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, and 2016, and he received a 2016 US Artists Fellowship, 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, including A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) in duo with legendary composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year; the live score to the film RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi (ECM, 2014) by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings, 2013), his third politically searing collaboration with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.

Mr. Iyer’s compositions have been commissioned and premiered by Bang on a Can All-Stars, The Silk Road Ensemble, Ethel, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, American Composers Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, Matt Haimowitz, and Jennifer Koh. Mr. Iyer serves as Director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. 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. As Artistic Director, Morris is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom he collaborates on shaping the Festival’s programming. During his decade-long tenure, audiences have increased and the scope of the Festival has expanded, most recently to include a collaborative partnership, Ojai at Berkeley, with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music at New York’s Carnegie Hall and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

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, 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, and Peter Sellars.

The Festival, which enters its 71st year in 2017, is a nonprofit organization based in Ojai, California. The Board Chairman is David Nygren and President is Jamie Bennett.

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. Festival concert archives can also be heard on media partner Q2 Music’s website at WQXR.org. 

Series Passes for 2017 Ojai Music Festival

2017 Festival series passes are available and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2017 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $140 to $860 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $60. Single concert tickets will be available in spring 2017.

Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors, and other Ojai activities, are available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

# # #

Application deadline: March 1, 2017
Download application form

bonding-2

(Ojai, CA) —  Applications are now being accepted to participate in the Ojai Music Festival’s arts management internship program coinciding with the 71st Ojai Music Festival slated for June 8-11, 2017 with Music Director Vijay Iyer.  Entering its tenth year, the Festival’s three-week program provides hands-on experiences to college students.

Ojai’s arts management internship program offers select students direct experience as they are immersed in areas of administration, operations, special events, merchandising, production, marketing, public relations, and patron services.

Students from varying fields and walks of life enjoy access to different opportunities which give them new skill sets and experiences that they take with them throughout their careers. The internship program also provides them to interact with leaders in the music industry and create lasting friendships with other students. 

Applicants must be 18 or over and enrolled in a two or four year accredited college. The Festival provides housing for the duration of the internship as well as a stipend. Applications are due by March 1, 2017. 

The 71st Ojai Music Festival, June 8-11, 2017, will celebrate diverse communities of music, artists, and collaborations in a weekend of stimulation and reflection curated by this year’s Music Director Vijay Iyer. A genre-transcending composer, pianist, improviser, and musical thinker, Iyer’s programming vision will make connections across genres to help audiences discover how composers, performers, and improvisers make music together.

Joining him will be a community of artistic collaborators, including returning Ojai family members 2015 Music Director Steven Schick, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, flutist Claire Chase, and composer/percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. Master musicians from various backgrounds making their Ojai debuts include Brentano Quartet; violinist Jennifer Koh; Vijay Iyer Trio; Vijay Iyer Sextet; tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain; saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; and The Trio featuring Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Roscoe Mitchell.

The 2017 Festival will also feature the world premiere of Vijay Iyer’s Violin Concerto, the American premiere of Iyer’s Emergence; Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi with music by Iyer and film by Prashant Bhargava; the West Coast premiere of the opera Afterword by George Lewis; and Yet Unheard (world premiere of chamber version) by Courtney Bryan.

For more information regarding the internship program for the Ojai Music Festival, please call the main office at 805 646 2094 or email info@ojaifestival.org.  For more information on the 70th Ojai Music Festival, visit OjaiFestival.org.