72nd Ojai Music Festival: June 7-10, 2018
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Music Director

 

Download PDF Version of Release

The 2018 Festival presents many dimensions of Kopatchinskaja:

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

Highlights of the 2018 Festival:
· Two semi-staged concerts conceived and directed by Kopatchinskaja
· The world premiere of a commissioned work by Michael Hersch
· Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat on the occasion of its centennial
· Free music events including Luciano Berio’s Sequenzas for solo instruments, two concerts for children devised and performed by Kopatchinskaja, and John Luther Adams’ new string quartet “everything that rises” as a tribute to Ojai Valley renewal following the Thomas Fire

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

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

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

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

(OJAI CA – UPDATE May 24, 2018) – The 72nd Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10, 2018, presents Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s unbounded musical creativity in the context of today’s social and political climate. The Ojai, Ventura, and Santa Barbara areas continue to replenish from the devastation of the Thomas Fire. The Topa Topa Mountains surrounding the Ojai Valley have already given rise to new growth, and the Festival honors this renewal with new works, debuts, and free community concerts.

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

The 2018 Ojai Music Festival welcomes the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) in its first extended United States residency. Founded in 1997, the Berlin-based MCO defines itself as a free and international ensemble, dedicated to creating and sharing exceptional experiences in classical music. With members spanning 20 different countries, the MCO works as a nomadic collec-tive 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.  At the 2018 Festival, JACK will perform works by Georg Frederick Haas, Horatio Radulescu, Morton Feldman, George Crumb, and John Luther Adams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ojai Talks
The 2018 Festival begins with Ojai Talks hosted by Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and current Dean and Provost of The Julliard School. On Thursday, June 7, a three-part series of discussions will begin with an exploration of Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s musical preferences and inspirations, followed by a discussion with composer Michael Hersch and soprano Ah Young Hong.  The third part of the series will speak to the reinvention of musical groups with  the JACK Quartet. 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, and live stream interviews between concerts.

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

New Partnership with the Aldeburgh Festival
Following the 2018 Festival in Ojai with Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the following week’s Ojai at Berkeley presented in collaboration with Cal Performances, a new partnership with Aldeburgh will take place at the end of the Aldeburgh Festival (June 20 – 23) based at the acclaimed Maltings Concert Hall and in the town of Snape near Aldeburgh in England. The col-laboration 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 Berke-ley are both known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. Ojai at Berkeley will take place from June 15-17 in Berkeley, CA, following the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, visit CalPerformances.org.

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

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

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

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

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. As Artistic Director, he is responsible for artistic planning and each year appoints a music director with whom shapes the Festival’s programming. During Mr. Morris’ tenure, audi-ences 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 partner-ship with England’s Aldeburgh Festival will be initiated this year, and a comprehensive program of video streaming of all concerts has been instituted. Mr. Morris is recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry and served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is currently active na-tionally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer. Mr. Morris was a found-ing 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 accom-plished percussionist. In November, Mr. Morris announced his decision to retire as the Festival’s Artistic Director following the 2019 Festival with Music Director Barbara Hannigan, after shaping Ojai’s artistic direction for sixteen years.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival has created a place for groundbreaking musi-cal 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 unu-sual 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 inter-national 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 re-cently 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 be-yond. Under Mr. Morris’ creative watch, the Festival continues to push boundaries and scope; explore each music director’s individual perspective, creativity, and artistic communities; invite an ever-broadening roster of artists; and build connections across musical communities with through-curated programming for each Festival.

Remote Access to the Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai includes free access to the Fes-tival experience through live and archived video streaming at OjaiFestival.org. The live streaming includes guest interviews throughout the web cast. Hosting this year will be director of publications at National Sawdust and longtime journalist Steve Smith and LA-based composer/musician and host of Underscore.FM podcast Thomas Kotcheff.

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

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
June 7-10, 2018

  

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

 

2017 Ojai Music Festival Music Director Vijay Iyer Shares Initial Programming for 71st Festival: June 8-11, 2017

“Musical genre is a twentieth-century concept. Today we can move beyond the dated classification of music into genres like ‘jazz,’ ‘classical,’ ‘experimental,’ and so on; instead there are only communities, and their different ways of making, sharing, and experiencing music. Communities are fluid, porous, and dynamic and can intersect or overlap; you might participate in multiple communities at once. What you will see and hear next year at Ojai is a spectrum of master musicians from disparate communities – composers, performers, improvisers – whose work spans many different systems and approaches. What they have in common, and what binds all of us, is that we listen to each other, and we find ways of making music together.”
– Vijay Iyer, 2017 Music Director

download pdf version >>

(June 7, 2016– Ojai, California) – As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates this week’s 70th Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars, the Festival’s 2017 Music Director Vijay Iyer and Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris share initial programming for the 71st Festival, June 8-11, 2017.

“Vijay Iyer is one of the most creative artists I know, and his breadth of musicianship, intellect, and curiosity made him an irresistible choice to be the 2017 Music Director. Not only does Vijay possess an extraordinary range of musical collaborators, many of whom will join him in Ojai, but he is devising a program centered on the very creativity of producing music – from composition to performing to improvising,” said Thomas W. Morris. “Joining him will be returning Ojai family, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with conductor, and Ojai’s 2015 Music Director, Steven Schick, Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam, and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. Among the artists who will make their Ojai debuts in 2017 are violinist Jennifer Koh, the Vijay Iyer Trio and Sextet, and composer-performers Wadada Leo Smith and Steve Lehman.”

2017 Festival programming will feature the world premiere of a commissioned violin concerto by Vijay Iyer for violinist Jennifer Koh; the West Coast premiere of George Lewis’ Afterword: The AACM (as) Opera, based on his award-winning book A Power Stronger than Itself; Stravinsky’s Le Sacré du Printemps in a new arrangement for ICE by Cliff Colnot; and Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi – film by Prashant Bhargava with music by Vijay Iyer, performed with ICE. Additional programming will be announced in the fall.

Vijay Iyer
The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. A Grammy nominee, Iyer was named DownBeat Magazine’s 2015 Artist of the Year and 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. He has released over twenty recordings under his own name. The latest, on the ECM label, include A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016), a duo recording with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith; Mutations, featuring his compositions for piano, string quartet, and electronics; Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a film by Prashant Bhargava, with Iyer’s score performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); and Break Stuff, featuring the Vijay Iyer Trio. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. His compositions have been commissioned by Arturo O’Farrill, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, ICE, Jennifer Koh, Matt Haimovitz, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. He is a Steinway artist.

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 of the 70-year-old Festival, 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 a complete 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, and Steven Schick. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer in 2017 (June 8-11). Future music directors are Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018), soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan (June 6-9, 2019), violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja (June 11-14, 2020), and pianist Mitsuko Uchida (June 10-13, 2021).

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 now includes free digital access to the Festival experience through live video streaming at www.Ojaifestival.org and on the radio with media partners Classical KUSC and WQXR’s Q2. Visit www.Ojaifestival.org for more details.

Series Passes for 2017 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2017 series subscriptions will be available for purchase during the Festival weekend and online immediately after the 2016 Festival at www.Ojaifestival.org.

Single Tickets for 2016 Ojai Music Festival
Single tickets for the 2016 Ojai Music Festival, June 9-12, are on sale online at OjaiFestival.org and by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.

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).

# # #

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

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL NAMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS: JERROLD EBERHARDT AND DAVID OXTOBY

Download PDF version >>

(OJAI, CA, May 24, 2016) – David J. Nygren, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ojai Music Festival, is pleased to welcome Jerrold L. Eberhardt and David W. Oxtoby to its Board of Directors. As the Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th anniversary with the upcoming Festival (June 9-12), Mr. Oxtoby and Mr. Eberhardt begin their tenures as the organization looks toward the future and begins a strategic planning process.

“On behalf of my Board colleagues and the entire Festival family, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Jerry and David,” said Nygren. “I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the extraordinary talents, generous support, and unwavering commitment of our Board, and I extend the warmest welcome to our newest Board members. I am honored to serve the Festival at this milestone moment and to work with my esteemed friends on the Board, with our artistic heart and visionary Tom Morris and President Jamie Bennett as we look toward the Festival’s future.”

Jerrold L. Eberhardt, Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, had a distinguished 40-year career at Smith Barney. He and his family moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1997 when he was named Senior Executive Vice President and Divisional Director for the Western Division, which included eleven States and was expanded to include Asia and Australia. He retired in 2009. Eberhardt has been a member of the Board of Directors of Dynasty Financial Partners, LLC since 2012. Dynasty is the premier provider of integrated wealth management solutions and technology for Independent Registered Investment Advisors.

Eberhardt is a member of the Music Leadership Council and serves on the Board of the Music Center Foundation. For the past six years Jerry has served as a Trustee of the Aspen Music Festival & School. He is also a member of The California Club and previously served on the Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Finance Committee.

He graduated from the University of Illinois and received his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

David W. Oxtoby, President of Pomona College, is a leading expert on higher education and a strong advocate for the liberal arts. Speaking across the globe, he makes the coxtoby-1_1024ase that the pressing challenges of the 21st century will be addressed by those whose minds have been developed to think creatively in ways that cut across disciplines.

An internationally-recognized physical chemist, Oxtoby as President has advanced Pomona as a champion of sustainability. The Pomona College has committed to reaching net carbon neutrality by 2030, and has completed five new academic buildings and two new residence halls designed to meet or exceed LEED Silver. The importance of the arts is a key theme of Oxtoby’s leadership, with the recent opening of the new Studio Art Hall, revitalization of the Pomona College Museum of Art, and the establishment of faculty positions in creative writing, theatre, and dance.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry summa cum laude from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He has authored more than 170 scientific papers, and has served as chair of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. In 2012, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

BACKGROUND
Since David Nygren’s tenure as Chairman of the Festival Board of Directors began in 2013, the Board of Directors has grown recently with the additions of Barry Sanders, lawyer, and Fred Fisher, architect. Other additional new board members are: Sandy Buechley, business intelligence manager at Patagonia, Inc. (Ojai); James P. Drummy, principal at the law firm of Poindexter & Doutré Inc. (Los Angeles); Carol Nygren, principal at the Nygren Group (Valencia); Dr. Bridget Tsao-Brockman, optometrist (Ojai); and Gary Wasserman, CEO of Allied Metals Corporation (Detroit, MI). Board members who continue their dedicated service to the Festival include: Sue Bienkowski, program director (retired) of St. Jude Medical Center (Santa Monica); NancyBell Coe, president (retired) of Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara); Michael Gorfaine, partner and co-owner, Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (Los Angeles); Russ Irwin, toxicologist (retired) at Bayer Group (Berkeley); Cathryn Krause, co-founder (retired) of BST Solutions (Ojai); Dr. Barry Schifrin, doctor (retired) (Los Angeles); Greg Smith, Land Management, Smith-Hobson LLC (Ventura); and Jane Weirick, teacher (retired) (Ojai), as well as President of the Ojai Festivals Women’s Committee Merrill Williams, director of public relations of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (retired) (Ojai).

2016 Festival Tickets
Single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $15. Reservations for the free family concert can be done online at OjaiFestival.org.

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 a complete, immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and social gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape. 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 and Steven Schick.
The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year, June 9-12, 2016, and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited acclaimed opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Highlights will include award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s new chamber version of La Passion de Simone, a meditation on the life of the courageous French philosopher Simone Weil; the world premiere of a personal musical portrait of American-born French dancer, singer, and actress Josephine Baker; and the Ojai debut of Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, who epitomizes a rising generation of Egyptian women. Joining Sellars in Ojai will be ICE (International Chamber Ensemble), the Calder Quartet, Roomful of Teeth, and soprano Julia Bullock. For further details and a full schedule, visit OjaiFestival.org.

####

Ojai Music Festival offers special events in advance of the 70th Festival

Ojai Music Festival offers special events in advance of the 70th Festival (June 9-12), in New York, Los Angeles and Ojai

In New York, join 2016 Ojai Music Director Peter Sellars, Festival artists and Q2 Music host Helga Davis on May 13 at 7pm for discussion and performance at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR/WNYC. For tickets, visit www.thegreenespace.org, or watch a live video stream of the event at www.Q2Music.org. Listen to Q2 Music on Tuesdays at 9 pm ET beginning May 3 for a three-part series of Ojai programs with host 2015 Music Director Steven Schick

Download PDF version >>

In Los Angeles, Peter Sellars and The New Yorkers Alex Ross have a dialogue on May 16 at 7:30pm at the Bram Goldsmith Theater, presented in partnership with The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit www.TheWallis.org.

In Ojai, the Festival continues new free Ears Open series on June 5 at 4:30pm, featuring a conversation between ICE co-Artistic Director Claire Chase and Juilliard Provost and Dean Ara Guzelimian. For more info, visit www.OjaiFestival.org.

Attend the 70th Ojai Music Festival June 9 to 12 in Ojai; Watch Ojai Live streams at www.Q2Music.org and www.OjaiFestival.org; and attend Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley June 16 to 18.

The Ojai Valley has long been recognized as a rare and beautiful natural site that invites retreat, renewal, and regeneration, from Chumash ceremonial life to Krishnamurti’s legendary talks under the trees. The valley has both a grandeur and a human scale that inspire and allow the deepest human questions to resonate, and create a setting for the most personal search for answers. The magical play of light across the canyon and the heady aroma of orange blossoms bring the senses to life, awaken the mind, and create a profound aura of openness and well-being. Music incites many of the same thoughts and emotions, with similar immensity and intimacy and awe. The 70th Ojai Music Festival will gather this powerful energy and spirit of inquiry and reflection into a weekend of peak experiences and secret revelations.

Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

(OJAI, CA – May 3, 2016) — The Ojai Music Festival is pleased to offer discussions and performances in advance of the 70th Festival (June 9-12) in New York (May 13), in Los Angeles (May 16) and in Ojai (June 5).

“It is with great pleasure and deep gratitude to our partners that we announce new opportunities to experience a window into the Ojai Music Festival,” said President Jamie Bennett. “Ojai’s incredibly substantive collaboration with WXQR’s Q2 Music has afforded us the opportunity to bring a snapshot of the 2016 Festival to New York audiences, and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has created an event for our friends in Los Angeles. We very much hope to continue to build on these extraordinary partnerships as we work to continue to expand the impact of the Festival, both at home in Ojai and beyond.”

Ojai in New York and on the internet
Ojai’s media partner, WQXR’s Q2 Music, hosts a special advance exploration of the 70th Ojai Music Festival with an event of discussion and music on May 13 at 7pm. This evening in New York features 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars and will be hosted by Q2 Music’s Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach, You Us We All). Performers include 2016 Festival artists Dan Lippel, guitarist of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE); soprano Julia Bullock, accompanied by pianist John Arida; 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. For details on the May 13 event, visit www.TheGreeneSpace.org. The event will be live audio and video streamed at www.Q2Music.org. Musical program for the May 13 Greene Space event includes:

  • Leila Adu, singer and pianist:
    – Selected Songs
  • International Contemporary Ensemble’s Dan Lippel, guitarist:
    – Steve Reich : Electric Counterpoint
  • Julia Bullock, soprano and John Arida, pianist:
    – Armando Oréfiche (1911-2000): La conga blicoti
    – Vincent Scotto (1874-1952): Jai deux amours
    – Irving Berlin (1888-1989): Harlem on my Mind

Launched in 2015, additional highlights of the 2016 partnership with WQXR’s Q2 Music feature immersive access to select new music concerts at www.Q2Music.org beginning May 3, as well as a three-part series of special programs showcasing performances from the 2015 Festival, hosted by Ojai’s 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. Q2 Music audiences can also access performances from prior Festivals with host and 2013 Music Director Mark Morris.

Imagined as a multiyear collaboration, the Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences and connect respective communities.

Ojai in Los Angeles
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts joins forces with the Ojai Music Festival for the first time to present a lively Arts & Ideas conversation between Sellars and The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross. The conversation will take place on the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater on Monday, May 16 at 7:30pm. For more information and tickets, visit The Wallis at www.TheWallis.org.

At Home in Ojai
The Ojai Music Festival established a new series, Ears Open, for the Ojai community on Sunday, April 10 and Sunday June 5. The first session featured 2020 Music Director Patricia Kopatchinskaja in conversation with Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, and in June, flutist/co-Artistic Director of ICE Claire Chase will be in conversation with Juilliard Provost and Dean and former Festival Artistic Director Ara Guzelimian. The special events, which are free and open to the public, provide insight into how musicians think about the music they play, and how we, as listeners, can enter into adventurous new worlds with “open ears.”

Experience the Festival in Ojai (June 9-12) or remotely via Ojai Live webcast; or visit Ojai at Berkeley (June 18-20)

Ojai Music Festival Tickets
Festival single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at www.OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and are $15 for lawn tickets. Reservations for the free family concerts can be done online at www.OjaiFestival.org.

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

Follow Festival updates at http://www.OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Ojai Live webcast of 2016 Festival

Ojai Live begins on Thursday, June 9 with the Ojai Talks. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances, interview segments, and symposia. Watch Ojai Live at www.OjaiFestival.org.

Now in its 70th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its passionate audience, whose interest has resulted in record attendance. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via an expanding menu of digital initiatives. Ojai Live features an enhanced HD five-camera broadcast with concert-quality sound.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the sixth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, 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 2016 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit www.CalPerformances.org.

About the Ojai Music Festival
From its founding seventy years ago, 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete 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.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. Through its unique structure of the Artistic Director appointing a different annual Music Director each year, 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, and Steven Schick. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Award winner Vijay Iyer in 2017 (June 8-11). Future music directors announced are Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018), soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan (June 6-9, 2019), violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja (June 11-14, 2020) and pianist Mitsuko Uchida (June 10-13, 2021).
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 www.WQXR.org/Q2Music and is also available via the free WQXR App.

####

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

 

OMF Shares Updates For 70th Festival

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL SHARES UPDATES FOR 70TH FESTIVAL: JUNE 9-12, 2016 WITH 2016 MUSIC DIRECTOR PETER SELLARS

Honoring a long-held spirit of pushing boundaries with artists, music, ideas, and audiences, the Festival celebrates its milestone 70th year by broadening the roster of artists, continuing a focus on concerts for the community, and expanding the Festival’s geographic reach

Ojai welcomes Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and showcases her works throughout the Festival including the US premiere of the chamber version of La Passion de Simone

Ojai presents a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw Dont Let Me Be Lonely with text by Claudia Rankine, the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait with arrangements and music by multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey, a new work by Cuban composer/conductor Tania León for Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)

ICE and the Calder Quartet return on the heels of their 2015 Festival appearances, and Ojai welcomes back alumni soprano Julia Bullock and violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt

Ojai debuts include vocalist/composer Leila Adu, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, flutist Camilla Hoitenga, Grammy-winning vocal collective Roomful of Teeth, baritone Davone Tines, Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, Flex dancer Sam I Am, and Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA)

In its sixth season, Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is slated for June 16 to 18, 2016 following the Ojai Music Festival

Download PDF version >>

The Ojai Valley has long been recognized as a rare and beautiful natural site that invites retreat, renewal, and regeneration, from Chumash ceremonial life to Krishnamurti’s legendary talks under the trees. The valley has both a grandeur and a human scale that inspire and allow the deepest human questions to resonate, and create a setting for the most personal search for answers. The magical play of light across the canyon and the heady aroma of orange blossoms bring the senses to life, awaken the mind, and create a profound aura of openness and well-being. Music incites many of the same thoughts and emotions, with similar immensity and intimacy and awe. The 70th Ojai Music Festival will gather this powerful energy and spirit of inquiry and reflection into a weekend of peak experiences and secret revelations.”

– Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

OJAI, CA (UPDATE APRIL 6, 2016) —The 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars pays tribute to a defining hallmark of the Festival – reimagining each year by affording the appointed music director creative freedom to explore their artistic interests and collaborations. Acclaimed opera and theatre director Peter Sellars’ vision for the upcoming Festival honors its long-held spirit of challenging audiences musically and intellectually in a celebration of music in the context of our world today.

Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris says, “The festival that Peter has devised pushes all the right boundaries of the Ojai Music Festival on its 70th anniversary. This will be a festival building on the heritage of past achievements, but more importantly, laying the groundwork for an even more exciting future.”

Peter Sellars has long been known for infusing his music and opera productions with contemporary ideas and social issues. Believing that most classical music is grounded in spiritual and political contexts, he includes a variety of perspectives in his work. He says, “Art was invented as a way to face really difficult things with a sense that in facing them, you’ve already started the healing process.” As such, The 70th Festival embraces opening up to new ideas, new music, new audiences, and new communities.

Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez. Returning to Ojai in 2011 with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, he directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s song cycle, The Winds of Destiny.

Works by Kaija Saariaho
Concerts throughout the Festival will feature the work of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, a frequent collaborator of Peter Sellars. He describes her featured work saying:

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

Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains, which was previously announced as part of the 2016 Festival, has been cancelled due to the new work’s technical and musical complexities, and the limitations of the outdoor venue in Ojai. Commenting on the cancellation of Only the Sound Remains, Mr. Morris said, “As completed, the new work is far more complicated than anyone had anticipated, and involves very complex and sophisticated spatial sound processing. With great reluctance, Peter Sellars and I have determined that such needs are beyond the inherent limitations of an outdoor venue.”

Ojai is pleased to announce additional performances, including a free late night event, featuring vocalist Leila Adu on Friday, June 10, 10:30pm, at the Libbey Bowl. On Saturday, June 11, a concert at the Zalk Theater at Besant Hill will feature the Calder Quartet and Davone Tines performing works of Christine Southworth, Caroline Shaw, and Leila Adu. Patrons currently holding tickets to the cancelled performance of Only the Sound Remains will be given priority access to tickets for these two events.

The Festival is offering multiple ways for patrons to handle previously purchased tickets of the Only the Sound Remains, including refunds, exchanges, or tax-deductible donations. Patrons can contact the box office at 805 646 2053 for additional details.

Ojai Debuts and New Works
Making their Ojai debuts in June will be the Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi and Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam. In Peter Sellars’ words:

“From Tahrir Square in Cairo, Dina El Wedidi and her band come to America to present a new song cycle that paints a personal picture of the realities, aspirations, disappointments, and determination of the Egyptian revolution. Dina El Wedidi epitomizes the new Egyptian women of a rising generation, her unmistakable voice alive with courage, allure, and the breath of freedom. Her band includes traditional Egyptian and modern electronic instruments.

We are thrilled to welcome to Ojai one of the most revered, beloved, surprising, and progressive stars of South Indian music. Aruna Sairam traces her artistic and spiritual lineages from some of the great gurus of the female vocal tradition, both within her own family and across multiple strands of Indian music. She also collaborates with folk artists, electronic ensembles, and pioneering jazz musicians such as Vijay Iyer. This is a woman who lives and moves in many worlds and holds them all magically on the breath. South Indian music is itself a spiritual quest, a philosophical journey, and an evolving state of ecstasy, rapture, and atonement. Aruna Sairam is one of the masters whose long, sinuous vocal line delineates a past that rises spontaneously in her breath as the future.”

Newly announced artists who will also make their Ojai debuts include Leila Adu, a New Zealand composer of Ghanaian descent. With a “voice like hot treacle on broken glass”, she has performed her original piano songs and improvisations worldwide. Based in Brooklyn, she is a currently a Princeton doctoral fellow and also teaches music to prisoners at Sing Sing Correctional Facility as a faculty member of Musicambia – Music as Social Change in Incarcerated Communities.

Ojai audiences will also welcome bass-baritone Davone Tines. Mr. Tines is building an international career commanding a broad spectrum of opera and concert performance from early music to adventurous contemporary works. Upcoming engagements include the workshopping and premiere of Crossing: A New American Opera for The American Repertory Theater directed by Diane Paulus, and his European debut with the Munich Philharmonic and the premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Only the Sound Remains by the Dutch National Opera in March, directed Peter Sellars. Mr. Tines is a 2009 graduate of Harvard University and 2013 Master of Music graduate of The Juilliard School.

In addition to Ms. Adu and Mr. Tines, Ojai is pleased to announce the debut of flutist Camilla Hoitenga.
Ms. Hoitenga is at home on stages worldwide, playing not only the C-flute, but also the alto, bass, and piccolo flutes, in addition to other varieties of her instrument. Her repertoire ranges from pre-Bach to post-Stockhausen. Her recordings, in particular those with Kaija Saariaho, have won awards in France, Great Britain, and North America. She has performed concertos written for her by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Péter Köszeghy, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi, and Raminta Serksnyte.

Soprano Julia Bullock will be featured in the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait, with new music and arrangements for ICE by composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey. Peter says of the work:

“Julia Bullock will be at the center of a unique and poignant evening honoring the brilliance, daring, public courage, and private tragedies of Josephine Baker, the black icon who created a singing, dancing declaration of independence with her black body, and blazed a trail of irresistible challenge and charm in France in the same years that Simone Weil pursued her feminist vigil on behalf of a larger humanity. Our Ojai evening will be a very personal portrait of Josephine as a fearless fighter for civil rights and a visionary who paid dearly for every forward step. Musical arrangements and original music for the evening will be crafted by the brilliant multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey.”

“This years Festival will have its rituals. At mid-day there will be concerts of the kaleidoscopic and more rarely performed chamber works of Kaija Saariaho. The later afternoons will offer music of longing and consolation. Caroline Shaws works will be paired with Carla Kihlstedts phosphorescent exploration of dream worlds, At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire, and Du Yuns peeling away the surface of the world in An Empty Garlic.

Claudia Rankines seminal book, Dont Let Me Be Lonely, inspires another Ojai commission, a new vocal work by Caroline Shaw. Intensely personal, under the skin states of emotion, memory, and hope emerge in Caroline Shaws body of work as well as in her body – Caroline Shaws music is drawn from her voice, from her throat, from her heart, her pulse, and her blood. Her new work will once again be composed for the ensemble Roomful of Teeth, who will also be reprising her Pulitzer Prize winning Partita for 8 Voices for Ojai.

An addition to this year’s Festival schedule is Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Meditations, which will lead the Friday and Sunday mornings, realized by ICE and performed at Meditation Mount.

On Sunday afternoon (June 12), the Festival will present an extremely rarified American premiere of Canadian composer Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus, performed by Roomful of Teeth and ICE, and conducted by Eric Dudley. The performance will be joined by renowned Flex dancer Sam I Am who captivated audiences in FLEXN at the Park Avenue Armory a year ago. The New York Times hailed his “breathtaking lyricism, an unearthly mix of lightness and weight that pools in his big, sad eyes.” Peter describes the work as:

“Based on his own libretto, Claude Viviers Kopernikus is an uncategorizable, genre-defying opera/ritual. The posthumous discovery and rediscovery of Viviers clairvoyant, tragic, and otherworldly music has brought the dawning realization that the world lost a great composer with his appalling and premature death in 1983. A generation later, his music speaks with a fresh and searing clarity that transcends time – it is medieval and it is modern, it is bizarre and it is Balinese, it is carnal and it is Canadian. And it remains just beyond our earthly sphere. Seven instruments and seven vocalists portray Agni the Hindu God of Fire, Lewis Carroll, Merlin, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of the High Seas, and Copernicus and Copernicus’ mother. Claude Vivier’s project: “start again at the beginning, really put the world to rights, rediscover sensitivity.” To quote Copernicus’ mother, “the world is getting ready for a huge change, would you like to participate?”

Free Concerts for the Ojai Community
On Sunday morning (June 12), the Festival will present for the first time two free events for families as part of the regular Festival schedule, at the Ojai Art Center and in the Libbey Bowl:

“The final Sunday of the Festival will shift into an exuberant childrens festival for the first half of the day, featuring music written and performed by, with, and for children and anyone who is ready to listen to the world with fresh ears. The doyenne of the toy piano, Phyllis Chen, will compose, perform, and trigger a participatory cascade of toy piano mania and magnificence. Next, YOLA, the Los Angeles Philharmonics essential and ebullient Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) comes up to Ojai to join forces with ICE in performing a newly commissioned work by the celebrated and sensational Cuban-born composer Tania León, followed by a second world premiere of a new work written by young Los Angeles composer Sharon Hurvitz.”

Free Street Party Concert in Santa Paula
On Sunday evening following the concerts at the Libbey Bowl, the Festival will present a free street party on the main street of neighboring Santa Paula – a half-hour drive east – featuring ICE, Dina El Wedidi, Aruna Sairam, Roomful of Teeth, Leila Adu, and other artists, expanding the geographic boundaries of the Festival.

“The Festival will then expand and flow into a huge street party in the adjacent town of Santa Paula, culminating in the sheer communal pleasure of the joy of improvisation, increasingly wild juxtapositions, spontaneous jam sessions, and very, very good times.”

Ideas: Ojai Talks, Transformation Talks, Concert Insights
Ojai Talks will launch the Festival on Thursday, June 9 with Ojai Talks Director Ara Guzelimian in conversation with Peter Sellars and Kaija Saariaho, at the Ojai Valley Community Church. Preceding the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday concerts on the Libbey Bowl stage will be Transformation Talks: Light into Darkness, Darkness into Light – a series of discussions with prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary. Concert Insights with Christopher Hailey interviewing featured artists will take place before the afternoon concerts at the Libbey Park Tennis Courts.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the sixth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, 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 2016 Ojai Music Festival and will take place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director
Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and for collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. He has staged operas at the Dutch National Opera, English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra National de Paris, Salzburg Festival, and San Francisco Opera, among others, and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage, including works by Hindemith, Ligeti, Messiaen, and Stravinsky.

He has been a driving force in the creation of many new works with longtime collaborator John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic, A Flowering Tree, and The Gospel According to the Other Mary. Inspired by the compositions of Kaija Saariaho, Mr. Sellars has guided the creation of productions of her work that have expanded the repertoire of modern opera. Desdemona, a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison and Malian composer and singer Rokia Traoré, has been performed in major cities across Europe and the U.S.

Recent projects include a production of The Indian Queen, combining Purcell music, text, and dance, and a concert staging of lleas et Melisande with the Berlin Philharmonic. In 2015 Sellars collaborated with flex dance pioneer Reggie Gray and a group of 21 dancers from the New York City flex community to create Flexn, a powerful work confronting issues of social injustice in America which will be seen in Europe this summer. Upcoming projects in 2016 include a concert staging of Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Mr. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals and the 2002 Adelaide Arts Festival. In 2006 he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival in Vienna for which he invited artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts and architecture for the celebration of Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary.

He is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, a resident curator of the Telluride Film Festival, and was a Mentor for the Rolex Arts Initiative. In 2014-2015 he was director-in-residence at the English National Opera and is currently director-in-residence at the Berlin Philharmonic. His awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize for contributions to European Culture, the Lillian Gish Prize for outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind, and the Polar Music Prize. Peter Sellars is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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. Mr. Morris is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As Artistic Director, Mr. 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.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served as the project’s artistic director. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and was chair of its Board of Overseers, and is currently 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete 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.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Steven Schick. Following the upcoming 70th Festival with Peter Sellars, Ojai will welcome MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer in 2017 and Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2018 as its music directors.

Festival Tickets
Festival single tickets are available for the 2016 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets range from $40 to $150 for reserved seating and lawn tickets are $15. Reservations for the free family concerts can be done online at OjaiFestival.org.

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

Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

####

Press Contact:
Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org               (805) 646-2094
National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com          (704) 340-4094
Thursday, June 9

2:00–4:30pm, Ojai Valley Community Church
OJAI TALKS

Part I: Peter Sellars in conversation with Ara Guzelimian

Part II: Kaija Saariaho in conversation with Ara Guzelimian

————————————————————————————————————————–

7:00–7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT
CONCERT
Kaija Saariaho: La Passion de Simone (chamber version) US PREMIERE
Text: Amin Maalouf

Julia Bullock, soprano
Joana Carneiro, conductor
Peter Sellars, director
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

————————————————————————————————————————–

Friday, June 10
9:00-10:00am, Meditation Mount
MORNING MEDITATION
(Ojai Member Event)

Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditations I
ICE

————————————————————————————————————————–

1:00-2:15pm, Libbey Bowl
SAARIAHO CHAMBER MUSIC

Kaija Saariaho:
Kesäpäivä
mvt 1 – “Daybreak”
Terrestre
mvt 1 – “Oiseau dansant”
Kesäpäivä
mvt 2 – “Work”
Light and Matter
Kesäpäivä
mvt 3 – “The Hour of Longing”
Adjö
Kesäpäivä
mvt 4 – “The Mystic Hour”
Grammaire des rêves
Kesäpäivä
mvt 5 – “Twilight”
Terrestre
mvt 2 – “L’Oiseau, un satellite infime”
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

Caroline Shaw: Partita for 8 Voices
Roomful of Teeth

Carla Kihlstedt: At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire
Carla Kihlstedt, voice and violin
ICE

————————————————————————————————————————–

7:00-7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT
Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT CONCERT

Dina El Wedidi and Band
The Sounds of Tahrir Square, Cairo

10:30-11:30pm, Libbey Bowl
FREE LATE NIGHT OJAI EXTRA

Leila Adu: Songs & Improvisations
Leila Adu, voice and piano

————————————————————————————————————————–

Saturday, June 11

9:00-10:00am, Zalk Theater at Besant Hill School
OJAI EXTRA (for series subscribers)

Leila Adu: if the stars align…
Calder Quartet

Christine Southworth: Honey Flyers
Calder Quartet

Caroline Shaw: By and By
Calder Quartet
Davone Tines, baritone

————————————————————————————————————————–

1:00-2:15pm, Libbey Bowl

SAARIAHO CHAMBER MUSIC
KAIJA SAARIAHO: N
ymphéa for string quartet and electronics

Calder Quartet
Jean-Baptiste Barrière, electronics

SAARIAHO: Solar
ICE
Joana Carneiro, conductor

SAARIAHO: Sombre
Davone Tines, baritone
Camilla Hoitenga, bass flute
ICE

3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

Caroline Shaw: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival) WORLD PREMIERE
Text: Claudia Rankine
ICE
Roomful of Teeth

Leila Adu: Alyssum
Calder Quartet
Bridget Kibbey, harp

DU YUN: An Empty Garlic for bass flute, electronics and tam tam
Claire Chase, bass flute and tam tam

————————————————————————————————————————–

7:00-7:40pm, Libbey Bowl
TRANSFORMATION TALKS: LIGHT INTO DARKNESS, DARKNESS INTO LIGHT

Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary

8:00-10:00pm, Libbey Bowl
TWILIGHT CONCERT

Aruna Sairam and Ensemble
South Indian Vocal Music                     

10:30-11:30pm, Libbey Bowl
LATE NIGHT CONCERT

Josephine Baker: A Portrait      WORLD PREMIERE

Arrangements and new music by Tyshawn Sorey
Julia Bullock, soprano
Tyshawn Sorey, piano and drums
ICE

————————————————————————————————————————–

Sunday, June 12

9:00-10:00am, Meditation Mount
MORNING MEDITATION
(Ojai Member Event)

Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditations II
ICE

————————————————————————————————————————–

11:30am-12:35pm, Ojai Art Center
FREE FAMILY CONCERT

Music for Toy Pianos and Toy Instruments
Phyllis Chen, toy pianos

————————————————————————————————————————–

1:00-1:50pm, Libbey Bowl
FREE FAMILY CONCERT

TANIA LEÓN: new work             WORLD PREMIERE
ICE
Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA)
Tania León, conductor

SHARON HURVITZ: new work    WORLD PREMIERE
ICE

————————————————————————————————————————–

3:00-4:15pm, Libbey Bowl
THE MYSTIC HOUR

CLAUDE VIVIER: Kopernikus – A Ritual Opera    US PREMIERE
ICE
Roomful of Teeth
Sam I Am, dancer
Eric Dudley, conductor

6:00-8:30pm, Main Street, Santa Paula

————————————————————————————————————————–

FREE STREET PARTY CONCERT
Dina El Wedidi and Band
ICE
Aruna Sairam
Roomful of Teeth
Leila Adu, singer
Other artists TBA

Programs and artists are subject to change. For updates visit OjaiFestival.org

********

CAL PERFORMANCES AT UC BERKELEY PRESENTS OJAI AT BERKELEY JUNE 16–18, 2016 IN ZELLERBACH HALL AND ZELLERBACH PLAYHOUSE

Peter Sellars, music director
Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, Ojai Music Festival
Matías Tarnopolsky, executive and artistic director, Cal Performances

 

Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

 

Kaija Saariaho
La Passion de Simone
Text: Amin Maalouf

Julia Bullock, soprano
ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble
)
Roomful of Teeth
Joana Carneiro
, conductor
Peter Sellars, director
Ben Zamora, lighting designer

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

————————————————————————————————————————–

Friday, June 17, 2016, 6:30-7:30pm
Zellerbach Hall
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus
Pre-performance Talk

Artist talk with Ojai at Berkeley music director Peter Sellars and Cal Performances director Matías Tarnopolsky

Tickets: The pre-performance talk is free to all ticketholders for the concert that evening.


Friday, June 17, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Hall
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

Dina El Wedidi and Band: The Sounds of Tahrir Square, Cairo

Turning Back                                                                                                      
Eight Nayikas

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

————————————————————————————————————————–

Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 8pm
Zellerbach Playhouse
Bancroft Way at Dana Street
UC Berkeley Campus

Josephine Baker: A Portrait (commissioned by ICE)
Arrangements and new music: Tyshawn Sorey

Julia Bullock, soprano
ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)
Tyshawn Sorey, piano and drums

Tickets: $20. Ojai at Berkeley Festival Pass good for entry to all three performances $45. On sale Saturday, April 9 at 1pm.

————————————————————————————————————————–

Saturday, June 18, 2016 following the performance
Zellerbach Playhouse Stage
Post-performance Talk

Community Response Panel chaired by Cal Performances associate director Rob Bailis.

Tickets: The post-performance talk is free to all ticketholders for the concert that evening.

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 70TH FESTIVAL: JUNE 9-12, 2016 WITH 2016 MUSIC DIRECTOR PETER SELLARS

Honoring a long-held spirit of pushing boundaries with artists, music, ideas, and audiences, the Festival celebrates its milestone 70th year by broadening the roster of artists, continuing a focus on concerts for the community, and expanding the Festival’s geographic reach

Ojai welcomes Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and showcases her works including the American premieres of the chamber version of La Passion de Simone and her newest dramatic creation Only the Sound Remains

Ojai presents a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning Caroline Shaw Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and presents the world premieres of Josephine Baker: A Personal Portrait with arrangements and music by percussionist/composer Tyshawn Sorey and a new work by Cuban composer/conductor Tania León for YOLA (Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles) and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble)

ICE and the Calder Quartet return on the heels of their brilliant 2015 Festival appearances, and Ojai welcomes alumni soprano Julia Bullock and violinist/vocalist Carla Kihlstedt; Ojai debuts include the Grammy-winning vocal collective Roomful of Teeth, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi, Indian Carnatic singer Aruna Sairam, and YOLA

Media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music hosts Peter Sellars and select festival artists in New York on May 13 at 7pm as a special live event at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR and WNYC; “Q2 Music Presents Peter Sellars” will be webcast live on Q2 Music and video-streamed live on q2music.org and thegreenespace.org.

In its sixth season, Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley is slated for June 16 to 18, 2016 following the Ojai Music Festival

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

Music incites many of the same thoughts and emotions, with similar immensity and intimacy and awe. The 70th Ojai Music Festival will gather this powerful energy and spirit of inquiry and reflection into a weekend of peak experiences and secret revelations.” – Peter Sellars, 2016 Music Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 9, 2015
Download the release here >>

The 70th Ojai Music Festival (June 9-12, 2016) with Music Director Peter Sellars pays tribute to a defining hallmark of the Festival — reimagining each year by affording the appointed music director creative freedom to explore their artistic interests and collaborations. Acclaimed opera and theatre director Peter Sellars’ vision for the upcoming Festival honors its long-held spirit of challenging audiences musically and intellectually – a celebration of music in the context of our world today.

Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris says, “I have known Peter Sellars since 1979, and when I came to Ojai, I always knew he would be one of the Festival’s Music Directors. There is nothing more fitting than to make this appointment on the occasion of the Festival’s 70th anniversary. Peter brings exactly the breadth of vision, spirit of innovation, and profound energy that are all so firmly rooted in Ojai. His Festival is building on the heritage of past achievements, but more importantly, lays the groundwork for an even more exciting future.”

Peter Sellars has long been known for infusing his music and opera productions with contemporary ideas and social issues. Believing that most classical music is grounded in spiritual and political contexts, he includes a variety of perspectives in his work. He says, “Art was invented as a way to face really difficult things with a sense that in facing them, you’ve already started the healing process.” As such, the 70th Festival is about opening up to new ideas, new music, new audiences, and new communities.

Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez. Returning to Ojai in 2011 with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, he directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s song cycle, The Winds of Destiny. Read More

Jamie Bennett Appointed President and New Board Members

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS DAVID J. NYGREN ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF JAMIE BENNETT AS PRESIDENT AND WELCOMES NEW BOARD MEMBERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015

Download PDF version >>

(OJAI, CA) – David J. Nygren, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ojai Music Festival, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jamie Bennett as President beginning October 19. A distinguished executive, Bennett brings to Ojai vast and proven strategic planning, fundraising and financial management acumen. As the Festival marks its 70th anniversary, Bennett will serve alongside Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris as the organization looks toward the future and begins a strategic planning process.

“On behalf of my Board colleagues and the entire Festival family, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome our Ojai neighbor and recognized executive, Jamie Bennett, to the Festival’s administrative helm,” said Nygren. “After serving on the Festival board since April and gaining insight into the Festival’s current opportunities, Jamie expressed his interest in becoming more deeply engaged with the organization. As Jamie and I began to explore ways to harness his leadership, fundraising and financial expertise, the concept of engaging him as President with a portfolio that would utilize his strengths emerged. Following a rigorous interview process by the Festival Board, the decision to hire Jamie was unanimous. Jamie will join an extraordinary and dedicated staff, which has been led by COO Gina Gutierrez. Alongside Tom Morris—our unparalleled visionary and spirited artistic heart—Jamie will help guide our planning for the future. I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the extraordinary talents, generous support and unwavering commitment of our Board, and I extend the warmest welcome to our newest Board members Frederick Fisher and Barry Sanders.”

In his role as President, Bennett will focus on governance, fundraising, strategic planning, and community outreach. COO Gina Gutierrez’s portfolio will continue to include administrative and operational responsibilities, plus those of communications and marketing.

“I am thrilled to be joining Tom, David and the wonderful staff. The Festival is a real gem—one of the world’s most important annual music institutions for contemporary, experimental and classical music,” shared Bennett. “For the past four years my wife and I have been part-time residents of Upper Ojai, and we are both looking forward to living in Ojai full time. From what I’ve seen since attending the Festival, there is an openness, spirit of adventure and palpable collaboration among artists, audiences and those who directly support it in the community, on the board, through generous gifts of time and money, and through investments of talent. This dedication to and belief in the very essence of what the Festival is all about is what has made the last 70 years possible, and it will—without a doubt—be what secures the Festival’s future. I could not be more excited and honored to be invited to journey with the Festival as President.”
Read More

2016 Music Director Peter Sellars Frames Programming for 70th Festival

70thimage1500px

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016 and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting new traditions and setting out fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. The Festival will take place June 9-12, 2016.

As the 69th Ojai Music Festival opens this week (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick, the Festival’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars shares thoughts on his distinctive approach to programming the Festival Read More

2016 Music Director Peter Sellars Frames Programming for 70th Ojai Music Festival: June 9-12, 2016

View complete PDF version >>

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016 and to curate this milestone, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting new traditions and setting out fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. The Festival will take place June 9-12, 2016.

As the 69th Ojai Music Festival opens this week (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick, the Festival’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars shares thoughts on his distinctive approach to programming the Festival:

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

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

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

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

From Tahrir Square in Cairo, Dina El Wedidi and her band come to America to present a new song cycle that paints a personal picture of the realities, aspirations, disappointments, and determination of the Egyptian revolution. Dina El Wedidi epitomizes the new Egyptian women of a rising generation, her gorgeous and unmistakable voice alive with courage, allure, and the breath of freedom. Her band includes traditional Egyptian and modern electronic instruments, and for these performances she will bring three extraordinary older women from the Egyptian zār tradition who are singing in full-throated solidarity with the activism and vision of Dina and her generation.

Julia Bullock will also be the center of a unique and poignant evening honoring the brilliance, daring, public courage, and private tragedies of Josephine Baker, the black icon who created a declaration of independence with her black body, and blazed a trail of irresistible challenge and charm in France in the same years that Simone Weil pursued her feminist vigil on behalf of a larger humanity. Our Ojai evening will be a very personal portrait of a fearless civil rights pioneer and visionary who paid dearly for every forward step. And kept stepping.

The final Sunday of the 2016 Festival will shift into an exuberant children’s festival for the first part of the day, featuring music written and performed by, with, and for children and anyone who is ready to listen to the world with fresh ears. Those programs will then expand and flow into a huge street party culminating in sheer communal pleasure, the joy of improvisation, increasingly wild juxtapositions, spontaneous jam sessions and very, very good times.

Among the featured artists at the 70th edition of the Ojai Music Festival, we are extremely pleased and proud to welcome, in addition to ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Roomful of Teeth, the path breaking vocal collective, participating in the Kaija Saariaho premieres and surprising new works written for and developed by the group. Classical Indian music will be performed in breathtaking settings at specific times of day to reflect the shifting of the light, and films will be screened during those times when we crave the dark. Talks and lectures that illuminate and amplify our current history with cultural and philosophical perspectives will alternate with sessions focused on spiritual thinkers offering quieter moments of contemplation and peace.

The Ojai Valley sunrises and sunsets will do the rest.”

–2016 Music Director Peter Sellars

Mr. Morris said, “Peter Sellars, no stranger to Ojai, is a true visionary, and I can think of no better person to lead the Festival’s 70th anniversary. Peter has devised a truly distinctive festival that embraces his vast knowledge and deep commitment to social issues of our time, along with his deep love of Ojai. It will be an audacious experience that includes thrilling music in unusual settings, the greatest of artists, contextual discussions to frame and amplify the music, and provocative films to further enrich our mutual adventure.”

Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with that Festival’s Music Director Pierre Boulez. Mr. Sellars returned to Ojai in 2011, with Music Director Dawn Upshaw, to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny.

Peter Sellars, Music Director
Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars has gained international renown for his groundbreaking and transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and for his collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists. Sellars has staged operas at the Glyndebourne Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Netherlands Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Salzburg Festival, and San Francisco Opera, among others, and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has been a driving force in the creation of many new works with longtime collaborator John Adams, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, and Doctor Atomic.

Mr. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals and the 2002 Adelaide Arts Festival. In 2006 he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival in Vienna for which he invited artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts, and architecture for the celebration of Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary.

Mr. Sellars is a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and Resident Curator of the Telluride Film Festival. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, and the Gish Prize, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize and named Artist of the Year by Musical America

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old Festival, Mr. 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.

Mr. 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Steven Schick.

The Festival recently announced artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018).

Ojai at Berkeley
Following the 2015 Festival in Ojai, Ojai at Berkeley takes place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley is the Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai at Berkeley represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. Ojai at Berkeley 2016 is scheduled for June 16 to June 18.

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 and has had record sell-out concerts in recent years. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes free digital access to the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts at www.Ojaifestival.org; at the Festival’s MOOC OjaiU at www.OjaiU.org; on the radio at APM’s Performance Today at www.performancetoday.publicradio.org; and via its new media partnership with WQXR’s Q2 at www.q2music.org/ojai. Visit www.OjaiFestival.org for more details.

Series Passes for 2016 Ojai Music Festival
Advance 2016 series subscriptions will be available during the Festival weekend and online immediately after the Festival.

Single Tickets for 2015 Ojai Music Festival 
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.

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

# # #

 

SOPRANO MELLISSA HUGHES STEPS IN FOR PEABODY SOUTHWELL AT THE 69TH OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL

(June 3, 2015) — Soprano Mellissa Hughes will replace mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, who has withdrawn from her Ojai Music Festival appearances due to illness. This will mark Hughes’ Ojai debut. She will reprise her singing role on Wednesday June 10 for the West Coast Premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, which she performed in November with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hughes will also step in for the Thursday, June 11 evening concert Part II and the Saturday, June 13 morning concert.

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick will focus on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

MELLISSA HUGHES
Hailed by The New York Times as “a versatile, charismatic soprano endowed with brilliant technique and superlative stage instincts…indispensable to New York’s new-music ecosystem,” Mellissa Hughes enjoys a busy international career in contemporary and early music.

A dedicated interpreter of living composers, Hughes has worked closely with Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, and premiered works by David T. Little, Ted Hearne, Caleb Burhans, Christopher Cerrone, Jacob Cooper, and Frederic Rzewski, among others.

Recent highlights include Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score performances celebrating Pierre Boulez; Ted Hearne’s The Source at BAM; a solo American Songbook recital at Lincoln Center; an acclaimed recording of Jacob Cooper’s Silver Threads from Nonesuch Records; international tours with John Zorn; a Bang on a Can All-Stars performance of David Lang’s Death Speaks in Paris; and more.

In the classical concert hall she has performed Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach cantatas with Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Dido under the direction of Andrew Lawrence King. Equally at home in front of a rock band, Hughes has received widespread acclaim in her role as lead vocalist of Newspeak, an amplified alt-classical band, and for her work with Missy Mazzoli’s Victoire.

Based in Brooklyn, Mellissa Hughes holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Yale University.

####

69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick announces 2015 line-up of free digital access to Festival performances and talks

Visit Ojai’s newest media partner WQXR’s Q2 Music beginning today Tuesday, June 2 for a month of special programs showcasing performances from prior Festivals hosted by Ojai’s 2013 Music Director Mark Morris (http://q2music.org/ojai).

Tune into APM’s Performance Today beginning June 8 for shows devoted to broadcasts from PT’s residency at the 2014 Ojai Music Festival hosted by Fred Child (check http://performancetoday.publicradio.org for local listings)

Learn more now about the 2015 Festival with Steven Schick’s new online course The Beat of the World: The Art of Percussion at www.OjaiU.org

Beginning Thursday, June 11, navigate to www.OjaiFestival.org to watch Ojai Live featuring over 24 hours of video streams of Libbey Bowl concerts with intermission interviews of Ojai artists and guests, hosted by Gail Eichenthal of KUSC FM, as well as all Ojai Talks; and check in with http:// ojaifestival.org for ongoing Festival content and coverage leading up to the 2016 Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 2, 2015) 

Download the pdf version >>

OJAI, CA — Concerts and talks of the 69th Ojai Music Festival, June 10-14, will be available live and archived online, via broadcast-quality HD, viewable on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer at www.OjaiFestival.org. Additional remote and free access to Festival performance and talk material is also available through Ojai’s online course OjaiU at www.OjaiU.org; on WQXR’s Q2 Music with special Ojai programs beginning June 1; and on American Public Media’s Performance Today beginning June 8 (check http://performancetoday.publicradio.org for local listings.)

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

OjaiU 2015 is a massive open online course led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick and can be accessed now at www.OjaiU.org. A free online course on the art and history of percussion with Schick, OjaiU is composed of four classes and each class goes live on successive Mondays (at noon PDT) starting May 11 in the four weeks leading up to the 2015 Festival. Schick’s course is a project of the Ojai Music Festival, and is the Festival’s second MOOC.

WQXR’s Q2 Music – Ojai’s newest media partner – launches immersive access to select new-music concerts from previous Ojai Festivals beginning today, Tuesday, June 2 at q2music.org/ojai. Q2 Music, WQXR’s online home for new music, will offer on-demand audio from concerts from the festival’s last three years with performances of works by a number of composers, including John Luther Adams, John Cage, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, Morton Feldman, Lou Harrison, and Andrew Norman.

Highlights from these Festivals (2012-2014) will also be showcased on a five-part, month-long series of hosted shows by choreographer and 2013 Festival Director Mark Morris. Imagined as a multiyear collaboration, the Festival and Q2 Music aim to celebrate a shared artistic aesthetic, build audiences, and connect respective communities.

A feature of this initial year of the partnership is an event at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR in New York City in May 2016 with Ojai’s 2016 Music Director Peter Sellars and 2016 Festival collaborators. The Greene Space’s mission is to galvanize conversations around the life, arts and politics of New York and our world. Opened in 2009, the space makes boundaries between street and studio transparent and the possibility for dynamic dialogue is limitless as audiences are met everywhere they are — on air, online and on the street. Details on the May 2016 event with Peter Sellars at The Greene Space will be announced in the fall of 2015.

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.

Beginning, Monday June 8, tune into APM’s Performance Today for a week of shows from the 2014 Ojai Music Festival, at which APM was in residence. PT’s 2014 residency at Ojai was their second, and was marked by Child’s hosting of Ojai Live as well as his participation as host of the special Festival subscriber reception.

Ojai Live begins streaming at 11am (PDT) on Thursday, June 11 with the Ojai Talks. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world in real time with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances hosted by Gail Eichenthal of long-time media partner KUSC FM, interview segments, and symposia. The complete schedule for Ojai Live is below. Watch Ojai Live at www.OjaiFestival.org.

Now in its 69th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its audience whose interest has resulted in record sales. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via a growing menu of digital initiatives. Ojai Live features an enhanced HD five-camera shoot with concert-quality sound produced by Little Dog Live (http://www.LittleDogLive.com).

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Steven Schick.

The Festival has also recently announced artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018).

Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks. Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Ojai web site. Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Music Directors

Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016 | Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017 | Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival June 7-10, 2018

Over almost seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has had a reputation as a creative laboratory for both artists and audiences. Deeply committed to nurturing experiences that can only be rendered through innovation, creativity and risk-taking in its programming, Ojai is an intense, involving and immersive weekend of music, discussion, and community, all in the sublime setting of Ojai. Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer and Esa-Pekka Salonen are the perfect musical visionaries to propel Ojai into its next 70 years. – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(April 14, 2015, Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 69th Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new Music Director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals.

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016, and to curate this milestone, Mr. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Mr. Sellars’ partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with Music
Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program that is deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting some new traditions and setting out some fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary, he is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, he strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. Mr. Sellars has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has also led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals. Initial plans for the 2016 Festival will be announced in May 2015.

The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. Mr. Iyer, a Grammy nominated polymath whose career has spanned the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, was named Downbeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. As The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. As a composer he has had works commissioned and premiered by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Publisher Schott Music has said, “Vijay Iyer is a polymath in the truest sense of the word. He is a leader across a wide range of disciplines, but his extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer has caught the world’s attention and led to an impressive array of creative collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, orchestras, chamber and new music ensembles.”

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. (This information has been updated from a previously announced plan that showed Mr. Salonen returning to Ojai in 2017.) One of today’s foremost artists, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut as Music Director in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music, and later returned in 2001 to serve again as music director. Mr. Salonen is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director for 17 years, and the first-ever creative chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Through his unwavering dedication to new music and technology, he is a revitalizing force, striving to bring the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. His compositions move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Mr. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. It was recently announced that Mr. Salonen will serve as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic for the next three seasons.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004

Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old Festival, Mr. 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.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Steven Schick.

Participation in the 2015 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiU.org.
Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at
OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

 

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Music Directors

Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016
Vijay Iyer: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017
Esa-Pekka Salonen: 72nd Festival June 7-10, 2018

Download a PDF version of this press release >>

Over almost seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has had a reputation as a creative laboratory for both artists and audiences. Deeply committed to nurturing experiences that can only be rendered through innovation, creativity and risk-taking in its programming, Ojai is an intense, involving and immersive weekend of music, discussion, and community, all in the sublime setting of Ojai. Peter Sellars, Vijay Iyer and Esa-Pekka Salonen are the perfect musical visionaries to propel Ojai into its next 70 years. – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(April 14, 2015, Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 69th Festival (June 10-14) with Music Director Steven Schick, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the artists who will serve as Music Directors in the coming years: Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), Vijay Iyer (June 8-11, 2017), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 7-10, 2018). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new Music Director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals.

The Ojai Music Festival marks its 70th year in 2016, and to curate this milestone, Mr. Morris has invited opera and theater director Peter Sellars to serve as Music Director. Mr. Sellars’ partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat with Music
Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 to direct the critically acclaimed world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny with Music Director Dawn Upshaw.

For the 2016 Festival, Peter Sellars is shaping a program that is deeply rooted in the cultures of Ojai, starting some new traditions and setting out some fresh agendas for the 70 years to come. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary, he is known for ground-breaking interpretations of classic works. Whether Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, he strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. Mr. Sellars has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. He has also led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals. Initial plans for the 2016 Festival will be announced in May 2015.

The 2017 Festival introduces composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) as Music Director. Mr. Iyer, a Grammy nominated polymath whose career has spanned the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, was named Downbeat magazine’s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. As The New York Times observed, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Mr. Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. As a composer he has had works commissioned and premiered by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Brentano Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Imani Winds, International Contemporary Ensemble, violinist Jennifer Koh, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Publisher Schott Music has said, “Vijay Iyer is a polymath in the truest sense of the word. He is a leader across a wide range of disciplines, but his extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer has caught the world’s attention and led to an impressive array of creative collaborations with filmmakers, choreographers, orchestras, chamber and new music ensembles.”

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2018 as Music Director. (This information has been updated from a previously announced plan that showed Mr. Salonen returning to Ojai in 2017.) One of today’s foremost artists, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut as Music Director in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music, and later returned in 2001 to serve again as music director. Mr. Salonen is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he served as music director for 17 years, and the first-ever creative chair at the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich. Through his unwavering dedication to new music and technology, he is a revitalizing force, striving to bring the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. His compositions move freely between contemporary idioms, combining intricacy and technical virtuosity with playful rhythmic and melodic innovations. Mr. Salonen’s Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. It was recently announced that Mr. Salonen will serve as composer-in-residence of the New York Philharmonic for the next three seasons.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004

Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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.

As Artistic Director of the 69-year-old Festival, Mr. 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.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Steven Schick.

Participation in the 2015 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiU.org.
Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.
Directions to Ojai and Libbey Bowl, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Festival website. Follow Festival updates at
OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

Final Programming Details Announced for the 69th Ojai Music Festival with Music Director Steven Schick

The 69th Festival is a celebration of 20th and 21st century composers with works by 34 living composers including Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Kaija Saariaho, Chinary Ung, Tan Dun, and Lei Liang, and 28 of whom are new to Ojai including Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Pauline Oliveros

The Festival marks the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with the West Coast Premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, on Wednesday, June 10, and five concerts pairing the music of Boulez with works by Bartók, Messiaen, and Ravel

The program features the West Coast premieres of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and Become River, and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece Ursonate

Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley follows the Ojai Music Festival from June 18 to 20

As a percussionist I spend my days searching for new sounds and new places to experience them. I often think of myself as a traveler in the land of new noises. For me, then, the Ojai Music Festival is paradise: it’s the perfect combination of provocative new sounds, great music and a magical place,” Steven Schick, Music Director

Download pdf version of press release >>

OJAI, CA (March 24, 2015) — The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Schick has curated a highly charged festival featuring music by 49 composers, 34 who are living and more than half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World; the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10; and concerts throughout the festival devoted to Boulez’s music and musical influences.

“No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the solo percussion repertory – and more than doubled its size through commissions – but as a conductor, educator, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization. It has been an adventure to program the 2015 Festival with Steve,” commented Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris. He continued, “Boulez came to Ojai for the first time in 1966. He still vividly recalls cresting the lip of the Ojai Valley from the upper Ojai Valley in a convertible with legendary Artistic Director Lawrence Morton and being assaulted with the aroma of orange blossoms. It was a moment that began Pierre’s love affair with Ojai. He returned seven times as music director – more than any artist. Throughout his long career, he never strayed from his firm conviction that musical programs need to be firmly grounded in music of our time, and his own steadfast belief in that principle has resulted in his leading a true revolution in programming. He always found Ojai a willing and enthusiastic partner in this quest, which was why he returned again and again, and why we this year celebrate his 90th birthday with many of his works with the deepest thanks for the musical gifts he has given us.”

Joining Steven Schick will be longtime colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, percussionist Glenn Kotche (Wilco), and string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

To a percussionist’s ear, music begins with rhythm, color, and gesture – these are the elements that form the nexus of the diverse works from an international array of composers for this all 20th- and 21st-century festival. Schick will perform classics of the solo percussion repertory — compositions by Karl Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and Vinko Globokar — as well as more recent works by David Lang and Kaija Saariaho. Some of the works he will tackle include Globokar’s theatrical work ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot, and in the same program Lei Liang’s illuminating new work entitled Trans, which incorporates river rocks and audience participation to form “sound clouds.” He will also perform the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece, Ursonate. In addition to performing, Schick will conduct ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga – groups with which he is closely identified – in a broad array of ensemble works of varied scorings.

Five Festival concerts are devoted to Pierre Boulez’s music and musical influences, four in juxtaposition with works by Béla Bartók — all six string quartets performed by the Calder Quartet (which will be performed for the first time in Ojai)—and as the Festival finale, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, Schick, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s principal timpanist Joseph Pereira. Another concert will pair Boulez’s works with the music of Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen.

Among the distinguished soloists joining Schick are cellist Maya Beiser playing pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Harrison, Bright Sheng, and Chinary Ung; virtuoso pipa player Wu Man performing Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa; and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell singing Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Other highlights include a sunrise performance of Morton Feldman’s hypnotic 4-1/2 hour marathon, For Philip Guston, in which Schick will be joined by flutist Claire Chase and pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and Cheng and Ray performing Messiaen’s mystical work Visions de lamen. This year’s program will also include works by Alberto Ginastera, whose music is new to Ojai, Carlos Chavez and Edgard Varèse, as well as one late-night chestnut, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in the composer’s arrangement for 13 players.

Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez
The Ojai Music Festival will open with a special event on Wednesday, June 10 to honor Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday with the West Coast premiere of Beyond the Score’s® A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery of Boulez. A Pierre Dream is one of Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score® series and features an original set design by celebrated architect Frank Gehry. The performance will be preceded by a special panel discussion with Boulez’s friends and colleagues entitled “Boulez in Ojai,” including Tom Morris and Frank Gehry as well as with pianist Ralph Grierson and composer William Kraft. Following the performance, Beyond the Score creative director Gerard McBurney will hold a Q&A session with the audience. Pierre Boulez served as music director seven times since first curating the Festival in 1967. He was most recently music director in 2003.

A Pierre Dream will be performed by ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick. Described by the Chicago Tribune as “a concert of the French master’s works [which is] an illuminating theatrical phantasmagoria about how Boulez’s intricate music is made – and even more about the aesthetic issues that have preoccupied him from his earliest compositions of the 1950s,” it will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day. At the core of the projected material will be footage from very recent 2013 interviews from his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. These interviews were specially made for this project, the development of which Boulez has supported from the beginning.

Sila: The Breath of the World
Festival collaborator and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams returns to Ojai with the West Coast premiere of Sila: The Breath of the World, to be performed at a free community event throughout Libbey Park. This new work for an ensemble of 80 musicians received its first performances last July at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. In the Inuit tradition, sila is the spirit that animates all things – the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. In Sila: The Breath of the World, composed specifically to be heard outdoors, musicians and listeners alike are encouraged to move about the performance space freely. The Ojai performance will include musicians from CalArts, ICE, and red fish blue fish. Adams’ music was first heard at the 2009 Festival, and again in 2012 with a performance of Inuksuit in Libbey Park. The 2013 Festival featured performances of his For Lou Harrison, Strange and Sacred Noise, and songbirdsongs.

Free Community Concerts and Late Nights
The Festival’s tradition of free community concerts continues for Festival attendees and the public. On Friday, June 12 at the Libbey Park Gazebo members of ICE will perform works from its ICElab, which places the ensemble in collaboration with emerging composers and sound artists. Rather than accept traditional commissions, the composers partner with ICE musicians in intensely collaborative incubation residencies, working together to develop new works. On Saturday, June 13 at the Ojai Valley School’s Greenberg Activity Center, cellist Maya Beiser, Wilco’s percussionist Glenn Kotche, and electric bass player Gyan Riley will shake things up with music from Beiser’s critically acclaimed album, “Uncovered,” an intersection of classical and rock music of Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and others. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Festival’s popular Late Nights at Libbey Bowl also return, including Michael Harrison’s Just Ancient Loops, accompanied with a film by Bill Morrison, and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s La Cathédrale de misère, a staged version of Ursonate by poet Kurt Schwitters featuring Steven Schick. Ojai will also present the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Become River, the companion piece to his Pulitzer Prize winning work Become Ocean.

Ojai Talks
Ojai Talks with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begin on Thursday, June 11, in a conversation with John Luther Adams and Steven Schick. This discussion is followed by “The World of Percussion” with Schick. On Friday, June 12, Guzelimian will lead two sessions: the first with founder of ICE and flutist Claire Chase, and the second with virtuoso pipa player Wu Man. Her documentary film, “Discovering a Musical Heartland: Wu Man’s Return to China” will also be featured.

OjaiU
The Ojai Music Festival launches a series of free online sessions, OjaiU, beginning May 11. Participants will learn about the art of percussion and how it connects the world around us. Steven Schick will lead four interactive classes exploring the rhythms and sounds of the world and how they become music. Open to the public, registration begins in March at OjaiU.org or OjaiFestival.org.

Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the fifth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, Ojai and Berkeley are known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2015 Ojai Music Festival, taking place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Ojai at Berkeley creates a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Steven Schick, Music Director
No stranger to Ojai, percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit. Mr. Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For 35 years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish. Currently, he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Among his acclaimed publications is a book, The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a three CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

For more artist bios, visit OjaiFestival.org

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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 of the 69-year-old Festival, 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, and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

Participation in the 2015 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website. OjaiU returns on May 11 with four online sessions led by Steven Schick. To register, visit OjaiFestival.org or OjaiU.org.

Single Tickets
2015 Ojai Music Festival single tickets are now on sale online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. Tickets start at $40 for reserved seating, lawn tickets at $15, and $45 for Ojai Talks.

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

###

For press photos >>

For 2015 Festival complete schedule >> 

Cal Performances Ojai at Berkeley schedule here >>

As of March 23, 2015. Programs and artists are subject to change.


 

Ojai Music Festival Receives New Music USA Project Grants Award

Download PDF version of the press release >>

(Ojai CA) — The Ojai Music Festival has received a project grants award from New Music USA in support of the 69th Festival, June 10 to 14, 2015, led by Music Director Steven Schick. Together with Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Mr. Schick has curated an explosive and immensely playful program celebrating music from the 20th and 21st centuries and the music and influences of Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday in the spring.

“New Music USA’s generous support helps to ensure the Ojai Music Festival’s commitment to innovative and adventurous programming and our vision to reach wider audiences,” said Executive Director Janneke Straub. “It affirms our collective vision of expanding new music landscapes.“

The 2015 Festival welcomes Ojai alumni artist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as music director. He will be joined by artistic colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, and San Diego-based string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

Awards for New Music USA’s third round of project grants total $284,250 support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The program recognizes and supports the multiple roles composers and contemporary music practitioners play in the artistic landscape and responds to the creative spirit of collaboration between artists from multiple disciplines. The 62 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, film, theater, opera, and more, all involving contemporary music as an essential element.

In response to feedback from artists who were surveyed last summer following the two inaugural rounds of the program, the third round grants included a special focus on requests of $3,000 and below. Approximately 65% of grants awarded were in this category. The next round of project grants will open for requests in March 2015, and decisions will be announced in June 2015.

Including the awards announced today, New Music USA’s project grants program, launched in October 2013, has now distributed $932,250 in support of 179 projects. Seventy-four of the project grants awardees are first-time recipients of grants from New Music USA and its legacy organizations Meet The Composer and the American Music Center. Awarded projects from all three rounds can be discovered, explored and followed by the public via their media rich project pages at https://www.newmusicusa.org/all-projects. The public-facing gallery of projects and the ability for artists to update their progress and interact with followers is an important promotional tool that extends the program’s service to artists beyond financial support. The overarching goal of project grants is to reach and aggregate the communities of new music enthusiasts, irrespective of genre preferences, and allow the public to discover new artistic work.

Ed Harsh, president and CEO, comments: “We want to give artists money, but we want to give artists more than money. We want to give them a way to spread the experience of their work to a wide world of people eager to engage with it.”

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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and social gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk. For more information on the Ojai Music Festival and the 69th season, visit OjaiFestival.org (http://www.OjaiFestival.org).

NEW MUSIC USA
New Music USA (https://www.newmusicusa.org/) formed in November 2011 from the merger of the American Music Center and Meet The Composer with a mandate to increase the audience for new American music. New Music USA’s endowments include an $11.25 million corpus for grant making supplemented by support from a number of generous annual funders. The approach to consolidating five of the legacy organizations’ grant making programs was driven by two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists and audiences connect.  New Music USA is devoted to fostering the creation, dissemination, and enjoyment of new American music. New Music USA places special emphasis on broadening the public community for the music and musicians whom we serve.

Advocacy in the broadest sense is at the heart of all of New Music USA’s work. It is inherent in the work of the online magazine NewMusicBox (http://www.newmusicbox.org/) and radio station Counterstream (https://www.newmusicusa.org/counterstream-radio/), in all of New Music USA’s grant making activity—which distributes more than one million dollars each year to the field—and in New Music USA’s role as a key voice in the national and international scenes.

ROUND THREE AWARDED PROJECTS
Paradigm Lost • 2015 Ojai Music Festival • New Works for the OpenICE Initiative • American notes – Engaging new Communities • The Snow Falls in the Winter • Featured Composer Residency with Derek Bermel • Edmar Castaneda Performance and “Meet the Artist” Event* • Inquisitive – A New Work for Cantus and High School Choir • Iron Shoes • Written in Water • Black Mountain Songs • Capriccio • Interaction of Color • STEVE COLEMAN: SYNOVIAL JOINTS RECORDING PROJECT* • The Brain Piece • 95 RITUALS (for Anna Halprin) • The Black Rose • PATIENT(CE)* • TRIBE* • A Piano Party for Terry Riley at 80 • Wild Rumps: In Time • American Composers Orchestra Premiers Motormouth for Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall • A Debut CD: The Music of Eric Nathan • Recording “Letting Time Circle Through” • Brass Band Blastoff • Choreographing LeWitt* • Walk to the Beat* • Talujon’s Pocket Gamelan • Man Forever with TIGUE – Percussion and Vocal Canons* • Sympathetic Magic* • Synth Nights: Morton Subotnick • SOUNDIAL* • Alternative Guitar Summit • Water, Water, Everywhere • Intimate Instruments Workshop: Building the Linguaphone of Tremulous Communion • 2015 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival • Duo Damiana Debut Recording: Adventurous Repertoire for Flute and Guitar* • CAUGHT IN THE TREETOPS* • Along These Lines • Contemporaneous Presents Self-Portrait, a Fifth Anniversary Celebration* • Radiant Child Voice Recording • Face Resection* • RighteousGIRLS* • Luminous Etudes: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat • Record original jazz/classical works for piano* • Sowah Mensah Commission* • SOLI: Experience • Kettle Corn New Music 2014-15: Sandbox Percussion and Lisa Moore* • Commercial Recording Featuring Solo Piano Works by Timo Andres and Phil Young • Old Text Woven New* • Lisa Renee Coons in Residence at 2015 Women Composers Festival in Hartford • Meehan/Perkins Duo Records New American Percussion Works • 3 Singers* • TRAFFIC JAM* • Babbling • flux-mirror for saxophone and electronics* • A New work for Flute and Electronics written for Flutist Carla Rees* • Matana Roberts: COIN COIN • Tonecycle for Blues (2014) Base 30 Hz, 2:3:7 Vocal Version with 3:4 and 6:7.

*indicates first time awardee

####

Cal Performances at UC Berkeley Presents Ojai At Berkeley 2015

CAL PERFORMANCES AT UC BERKELEY PRESENTS OJAI AT BERKELEY 2015

Download PDF of release >>
View the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley schedule >>

Formerly Ojai North, Festival Focuses on the Evolution of Music
Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20, 2015

Conductor and Percussionist STEVEN SCHICK, OJAI 2015 MUSIC DIRECTOR Skips Stones Across 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-Century Music with Six Percussion Pieces by Xenakis, Globokar, Saariaho, Lang, Stockhausen, and Auzet

Festival Opening Night Double Header Pulitzer Prize-winning Composer John Luther Adams’s SILA: THE BREATH OF THE WORLD Free Outdoor Performance at the Faculty Glade at 6:00 p.m. Presentation Follows Musical America Composer of the Year Honor

plus

A PIERRE DREAM: A PORTRAIT OF PIERRE BOULEZ

For the 90th Birthday of Boulez with Stage Design by Architect Frank Gehry at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

The Festival Highlights the Music of Pierre Boulez and His Influences with Works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse

Ojai Music Festival to be held June 10–14, 2015

Berkeley, CA—Executive and Artistic Director Matías Tarnopolsky announced today the renaming of Cal Performances’ Ojai North presentations to Ojai at Berkeley, as the dynamic festival of modern and contemporary composition—focusing on artistic discovery and the evolution of music—enters its fifth season. Ojai at Berkeley will take place June 18–20, 2015, following the 69th Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.

Ojai at Berkeley 2015 will open with a free, 6:00 p.m. outdoor performance of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’s Sila: The Breath of the World, set in the pastoral Faculty Glade on the UC Berkeley campus. The presentation comes on the heels of the naming of John Luther Adams as Musical America’s Composer of the Year. Opening night will continue at Zellerbach Hall with A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, celebrating the 90th birthday of the musical giant. The score will be performed by International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick, and will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day.

The programs of Ojai at Berkeley, are created in collaboration with percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick, the 2015 Music Director of Ojai Music Festival, along with Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival, and Tarnopolsky. The concerts will traverse the terrain of their extensive musical interests. An evening of percussion music by six composers, Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar, David Lang, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Roland Auzet, is intended to illuminate an often overlooked strand of contemporary composition. The relationship between the works of Pierre Boulez and the mainly French composers who have influenced him plays out with performances of works by Bartók, Messiaen, Ravel, and Varèse. Schick’s personal view of great contemporary musical styles is the broad and delightfully subjective organizing principle of a concert with compositions by Lou Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera.

Schick has invited a variety of artistic colleagues some known well to Berkeley audiences, and some marking their debuts. ICE, flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell are returning to campus while first time artists include San Diego-based string ensemble Renga, pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, and percussionist Joseph Pereira.

No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the entire solo repertory—and more than doubled its size through commissions—but as a performer, conductor, educator, composer, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization.

“A composer is influenced, and, with good musical fortune, might be lucky enough to influence others,” said Tarnopolsky. “This idea is at the center of the presence of Pierre Boulez’s music in the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley festival. Boulez, one of the most fascinatingly curious musical minds of the 20th and 21st centuries, and perhaps the greatest proponent of the evolution of the art form, has found a kindred spirit in Steven Schick. Together, their ideas, interests, and questions traverse a highly spirited landscape of music. Ojai at Berkeley will be a provocative, mesmerizing, and hugely fun three days in June.”

Each summer the Ojai Music Festival explores the musical interests of its Music Director, selected annually to recognize unique musical visions. Cal Performances’ collaborative effort makes possible reprises of Ojai programming in Berkeley, now under the banner of Ojai at Berkeley, and is also the basis for co-commissions and co-productions, creating leveraged support for unusual and new musical presentations. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai at Berkeley represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations and is Cal Performances’ own iteration of the Ojai Music Festival. The organizations’ shared legacies of artistic innovation and groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each institution separately.

 

THE PROGRAM
Ojai at Berkeley 2015, opens on Thursday, June 18, with a contrasting juxtaposition of musical presentations—a free, outdoor performance of Sila: The Breath of the World by John Luther Adams (the West Coast premiere occurred the week prior at Ojai Music Festival) in its Bay Area premiere, co-commissioned by Cal Performances, and a multimedia tribute to one of the greatest proponents of the evolution of classical music, Pierre Boulez.

The concert experience of Sila: The Breath of the World, expands on the physical ethos of composer John Luther Adams’s ongoing exploration of sound in outdoor environments. Inspired by the Inuit concept of sila, the spirit that animates the world, Sila at Cal Performances will be set in the Faculty Glade, at the center of the UC Berkeley campus, at 6:00 p.m. With 80 musicians placed in concentric circles, listeners are welcome to roam throughout the Glade, creating an experience that puts the audience in the center of the music. John Luther Adams is well known in the Bay Area; two of his other works, songbirdsongs and Inuksuit, called “magnificent” by the San Francisco Chronicle, were presented by Cal Performances at past Ojai at Berkeley concerts. Sila is free and open to the public.

Later Thursday evening, Ojai at Berkeley launches the first in a series of events that recognize composer, teacher, and contemporary artistic icon Pierre Boulez with an acoustic and theatrical journey through a lifetime of musical adventures, innovations, and discoveries. Performed within a specially commissioned stage design by architect Frank Gehry, A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez will mix live performance with rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer. The production, created by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated Beyond the Score series, is a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery that tells the compelling stories behind symphonic music. The concert features ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and is conducted by Schick, at Hertz Hall at 8:00 p.m.

In the program Presenting Steven Schick, on Friday, June 19, at 7:00 p.m. at Hertz Hall, Schick gives a solo percussion recital showcasing his unparalleled command of the repertoire and compelling presence as a performer. Stockhausen and Xenakis are at the core of Schick’s body of work, and here he performs the former’s Zyklus, which he has been playing for 40 years, and the latter’s Rebonds and Psappha, of which he has made the definitive recordings. Schick tackles Vinko Globokar’s theatrical works Toucher, in which he is called on to recite Brecht while confronting an array of percussion sounds, and ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot at the edge of the stage. Also on the program is The Anvil Chorus, a work Schick commissioned from composer David Lang. The second half of the program is devoted to the Bay Area première of La Cathédrale de Misère (after its American premiere at the Ojai Music Festival), a staged version of Dada artist Kurt Schwitters’s seminal sound poetry work, Ursonate, directed by composer Roland Auzet.

“What’s most striking about Schick’s playing, aside from his extreme physical virtuosity, is the narrative momentum he elicits from even the most abstract schemes: he is always telling stories with sounds” (The New Yorker).

A concert of solo performances caps off Friday evening at 10:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall, featuring a set of music performed by pipa virtuoso Wu Man; Varèse’s Density 21.5 for solo flute, performed by leading flute virtuoso and musical thinker Claire Chase; and Boulez’s Dialogue de l’Ombre Double for clarinet and tape, performed by clarinetist Joshua Rubin.

Two concerts that place the work of Pierre Boulez in creative juxtaposition with works by Messiaen, Ravel, and Bartók start the final day of Ojai at Berkeley. On Saturday, June 20, at 11:00 a.m. in Hertz Hall, acclaimed West Coast pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray perform Messiaen’s shimmering, mystical work Visions de l’Amen. The second half of the program features the three movements of Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé interspersed with two movements (Improvisation sur Mallarmé I and II) of Boulez’s early work Pli selon pli, performed by soprano Peabody Southwell with members of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and ICE, conducted by Schick.

On Saturday at 2:30 p.m., also in Hertz Hall, the Boulez celebration continues with ICE performing Dérive 2 (2011 version), a rigorous and demanding work for eleven instruments that Boulez first composed to honor Elliott Carter’s 80th birthday in 1988, and revised by the composer on occasion since its publication. Then, pianists Cheng and Ray pair up again, for Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with Schick and Los Angeles Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira.

Ojai at Berkeley concludes on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in Hertz Hall with a medley of works by composers Julia Wolfe, Lou Harrison, Carlos Chávez, and Alberto Ginastera. Schick conducts the San Diego-based ensemble Renga for Wolfe’s Four Marys and Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra, featuring Wu Man as soloist. The percussion ensemble red fish blue fish performs Chávez’s Toccata for Percussion, a staple of modern percussion ensemble repertoire initially commissioned by John Cage for his touring percussion group. The concert concludes with Schick conducting Ginastera’s expansive 1960 Cantata para América Mágica with text from ancient pre-Columbian manuscripts performed by mezzo soprano Peabody Southwell and a percussion orchestra made up of ICE, red fish blue fish, and pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray.

Ojai at Berkeley Talks, public conversations and panels with the artists, are planned for Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, at 5:00 p.m. on the patio outside Hertz Hall. For more information visit calperformances.org.

 

STEVEN SCHICK
A frequent performer at the Ojai Music Festival, and this season a recurring visitor to Cal Performances stages as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, percussionist, conductor, educator, and author Steven Schick has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works in his four decade-long career. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992–2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000–2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group red fish blue fish, and is music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. In 2012, he became the first artist-in-residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and maintains an active schedule of guest conducting, including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Schick teaches contemporary percussion at the Banff Centre for the Arts and is Distinguished Professor of Music at the UC San Diego.

 

For bios of all the festival artists go to OjaiFestival.Org.

 

OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Ojai Music Festival, under the leadership of artistic director Thomas W. Morris, presents broad-ranging programs with an eclectic mix of rarely performed music, refreshing juxtapositions of musical styles, and new music. The four-day festival in the picturesque Ojai Valley, north of Los Angeles, is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape. The Festival was founded in 1947, and each year the artistic director appoints a music director to curate the season’s programming. Acclaimed conductors, composers, and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano, Mark Morris, Jeremy Denk, and John Adams, among many others. For more information visit OjaiFestival.org.

 

TICKET INFORMATION
A Festival Pass for Ojai at Berkeley, Thursday–Saturday, June 18–20 is priced at $170.00. A Choose-Your-Own subscription is also available. Patrons can save 10% off single ticket prices by purchasing a minimum of three events. Tickets range from $20.00 to $62.00 and are subject to change. Single tickets go on sale February 2015. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. Tickets are available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall, at (510) 642-9988, at www.calperformances.org, and at the door. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php.

View the 2015 Ojai at Berkeley schedule >>

# # #

Cal Performances’ 2014–2015 season is sponsored by Wells Fargo.
Programs and artists are subject to change.

2015 Music Director Steven Schick Announces Programs For The 69th Festival: June 10-14, 2015

The 2015 Festival is a celebration of 20th and 21st century composers with works by seventeen new to Ojai including Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, Pauline Oliveros, as well as by emerging composers including Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Lei Liang

The Festival marks the occasion of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event, A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, the West Coast premiere of the Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score production on Wednesday, June 10, plus five concerts pairing the music of Boulez with works by Bartók, Messiaen, and Ravel

Program features the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece Ursonate

Cal Performances’ Ojai at Berkeley slated for June 18-20 after the Ojai Music Festival

“As a percussionist I spend my days searching for new sounds and new places to experience them. I often think of myself as a pilgrim in the land of new noises. For me, then, the Ojai Festival is paradise: it’s the perfect combination of provocative new sounds, great music and a magical place.”  – Steven Schick, Music Director

Download PDF version of the press release >>

OJAI, CA (November 13, 2014) — The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 10-14, 2015) with Music Director Steven Schick focuses on 20th and 21st century composers. With Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Mr. Schick has curated an explosive festival featuring music by more than 30 composers, half of whom are new to Ojai. Highlights also include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and the celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday with a special event on Wednesday, June 10, and throughout the Festival, with five concerts devoted to his music and musical influences.

The 2015 Festival welcomes Ojai alumni artist, percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as music director. He will be joined by artistic colleagues making their Ojai debuts, including ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), flutist Claire Chase, pipa artist Wu Man, cellist Maya Beiser, the Calder Quartet, and San Diego-based string ensemble Renga. Returning to Ojai will be pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray, mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, and percussion ensemble red fish blue fish.

No one has done more to champion, interpret, and expand the repertoire of contemporary percussion music than Steven Schick. Not only has he mastered the entire solo repertory – and more than doubled its size through commissions – but as a conductor, educator, and author he has deepened the understanding of the role of percussion in music’s past, present, and future. More importantly, as an artist of broad interests and deep convictions, he has explored cultural issues well beyond the already boundless frontiers of his chosen specialization.

To a percussionist’s ear music begins with rhythm, color, and gesture and these are the elements that form the nexus of the diverse works and decidedly international array of composers of this all 20th- and 21st-century festival. Mr. Schick will perform classics of the solo percussion repertory — compositions by Karl Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, and Vinko Globokar — as well as more recent works by David Lang and Kaija Saariaho. Mr. Schick will tackle Globokar’s theatrical works Toucher, in which he is called on to recite Brecht while confronting an array of percussion sounds, and ?Corporel, where he performs body percussion bare-chested and barefoot. He will also perform the American premiere of Roland Auzet’s staging of Kurt Schwitters’ Dadaist masterpiece, Ursonate.

Mr. Schick will also conduct ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga – groups with which he is closely identified – in a broad array of ensemble works of varied scorings.

Five Festival concerts are devoted to Pierre Boulez’s music and musical influences, four in juxtaposition with works by Béla Bartók — the six string quartets performed by the Calder Quartet, and as the Festival finale, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with pianists Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray and percussionists Steven Schick and Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Joseph Pereira. Another concert will pair Boulez’s works with the music of Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen.

Among the distinguished soloists joining Mr. Schick are cellist Maya Beiser playing pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Harrison, Bright Sheng, and Chinary Ung; virtuoso pipa player Wu Man performing Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Pipa; and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell singing Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Other highlights are a sunrise performance of Morton Feldman’s hypnotic 4-1/2 hour marathon, For Philip Guston, in which Mr. Schick will be joined by flutist Claire Chase and pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and Ms. Cheng and Ms. Ray performing Messiaen’s mystical work Visions de l’amen. This year’s program will also include works by Alberto Ginastera, whose music is new to Ojai, Carlos Chavez and Edgard Varèse, as well as one late-night chestnut, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in the composer’s arrangement for 13 players.

A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez
The Ojai Music Festival honors Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 90th birthday with four concerts featuring Boulez’s music paired with the music of Béla Bartók. In addition, on Wednesday, June 10, Ojai will present the West Coast premiere of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery of Maestro Boulez. A Pierre Dream is one of Chicago Symphony’s Beyond the Score programs and features an original set design by celebrated architect Frank Gehry. The performance will be preceded by a special panel discussion with Boulez’s friends and colleagues entitled “Boulez in Ojai.” Pierre Boulez has served as music director seven times since he first curated the Festival in 1967. He was most recently music director in 2003.

The Ojai performance of A Pierre Dream will be performed by ICE and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, conducted by Steven Schick. It will include projections of rare documentary footage of Pierre Boulez from the 1960s to the present day. At the core of the projected material will be footage from very recent 2013 interviews with Boulez conducted in his home in Baden-Baden, Germany, specially made for this project, the development of which he has supported from the beginning.

“Pierre Boulez is not only one of the seminal figures of our time but a prominent figure in Ojai’s history having made Ojai debut in 1967. He has been music director seven times. It is only fitting that we celebrate this master and friend on this milestone,” commented Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris.

Sila: The Breath of the World
Festival collaborator and recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams returns to Ojai with the West Coast premiere of Sila: The Breath of the World, to be performed at a free community event throughout Libbey Park. This new work for an ensemble of 80 musicians received its first performances last July at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. In the Inuit tradition, sila is the spirit that animates all things – the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature. In Sila: The Breath of the World, composed specifically to be heard outdoors, musicians and listeners alike are encouraged to move about the performance space freely. The Ojai performance will include musicians from CalArts, ICE, and red fish blue fish. Mr. Adams’ music was first heard at the 2009 Festival, and again in 2012 with a performance of Inuksuit in Libbey Park. The 2013 Festival featured performances of his For Lou Harrison, Strange and Sacred Noise, and songbirdsongs.

Community Concerts
The Festival’s tradition of free community concerts and Ojai Late Nights for Festival attendees and the public continues. 2015 highlights include a work by percussionist/composer Glenn Kotche making his Ojai debut; Evan Ziporyn’s arrangements of rock music by Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and others; and music by emerging composers of the ICElab program. Ojai Films will be announced in the spring.

Ojai Talks
Ojai Talks with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begin on Thursday, June 11, with Mr. Guzelimian in conversation with John Luther Adams and Steven Schick. This discussion is followed by a second session, “The World of Percussion” with Mr. Schick. On Friday, June 12, Mr. Guzelimian will lead conversations with Festival artists Claire Chase and Wu Man.

Ojai North is now Ojai at Berkeley
Marking the fifth year of artistic partnership, Ojai at Berkeley celebrates the dynamic nature of the Ojai Music Festival and of Cal Performances. As two distinct communities with similar values, Ojai and Berkeley are known for intrepid artistic discovery, spirited intellect, and enduring engagement in the arts. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai at Berkeley follows the 2015 Ojai Music Festival, taking place from June 18 to 20 in Berkeley, CA. Ojai at Berkeley creates a joint force that enables co-commissions and co-productions and allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately. 2015 Ojai at Berkeley will announce its program schedule on November 18. For more information visit CalPerformances.org.

Steven Schick, Music Director
No stranger to Ojai, percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit. Mr. Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For 35 years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning and premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Mr. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, red fish blue fish. Currently, he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He also maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Among his acclaimed publications is a book, The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams, and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a three CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.

For more artist bios, visit OjaiFestival.org

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival and will provide artistic direction through the 75th Festival in 2021. 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. Mr. Morris is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 69-year-old Festival, Mr. 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 in Berkeley.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is 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 music by today’s composers. The four-day festival is a complete immersive experience with concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

Participation in the 2015 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As 2011 Music Director Dawn Upshaw commented, “There is a very special spirit of collaboration here [Ojai], fostered in part by the gorgeous natural setting and also by the friendly engagement of everyone involved.”

As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched in May 2013 and remains active via archives on the Festival website at www.OjaiFestival.org and on the OjaiU website at www.OjaiU.org. OjaiU returns next spring with a class of three online sessions exploring the history and world of percussion as told by 2015 Music Director Steven Schick. The free sessions will explore the history of the relationship between percussion and the culture at large. To register, visit www.OjaiFestival.org.

Festival series passes are available for the 2015 Festival and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling (805) 646-2053. 2015 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $110 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $55. Single concert passes will be available in spring 2015. Directions to Ojai, as well as information about lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available on the Ojai web site.

Follow Festival updates at OjaiFestival.org, Facebook (Facebook.com/ojaifestival), and Twitter (@ojaifestivals).

###

Invitation to Members of the Press: For information on press passes and lodging options, please contact Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.

For photos, visit the press page >>

Download 2015 Ojai Music Festival Schedule >>

 

Thomas W. Morris Continues To Shape Ojai Music Festival Artistic Direction Through Festival’s 75th Anniversary in 2021

My artistic job in building a festival comes down to two overriding goals: To build on the Ojai aesthetic of discovery, adventure, and involvement, and to provide each music director a forum to explore and experiment melding his/her musical personality with the rich heritage of this glorious festival and sublimely beautiful place. It is irresistible, exhilarating and enormous fun. Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

Download PDF version of press release >>

OJAI, CA November 4, 2014 — Ojai Music Festival Board President David Nygren announced that artistic director Thomas W. Morris will extend his contract through July 2021, the Festival’s 75th anniversary season. Mr. Morris was named artistic director in 2004.

Under Mr. Morris’ leadership the Festival has remained a touchstone of artistic innovation and groundbreaking exploration for leading artists and curious music enthusiasts from around the world. During his tenure, he has expanded the festival into a vibrant four-day immersive experience with more concerts performed at the Libbey Bowl and throughout the Ojai Valley, free community events, symposia, and films. Artists selected by Mr. Morris as music directors are all deeply committed to musical discovery. In 2014, he announced future music directors percussionist Steven Schick (2015), director Peter Sellars (2016) and composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen (2017). Also tapped by Mr. Morris as past music directors have been eighth blackbird, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Mark Morris, Kent Nagano, David Robertson, Robert Spano, Dawn Upshaw, and most recently, Jeremy Denk. With this contract extension, Mr. Morris will continue long-term visionary artistic planning for the organization.

Prior to Mr. Morris, previous artistic directors have included John Bauer (as managing director, 1957-1954), Lawrence Morton (1954–1970, 1981–1987), Ara Guzelimian (1992-1997), and Ernest Fleischmann (1998 to 2003).

“We are thrilled that Tom has committed to the Festival through 2021. With Tom’s artistic brilliance in continuing to create a new and imaginative experience year after year, he has an innate ability to create an environment of inclusiveness for both the experienced music festival attendee and the first time attendee. Tom nurtures the creativity of each music director, blending their artistic sensibilities with the unique and beautiful setting of the Ojai Music Festival,” said Board President David Nygren. “Under Tom’s strong leadership and innovative approach, the Festival has gained international recognition and reach. He has been successful in creating community engagement events during the Festival that showcase musical artists from all over the world, creating opportunities for music lovers of all ages to participate in the festival.”

Mr. Morris said, “Working in Ojai continues to be a rich and rewarding creative experience, in not only working with artists who perform here but in building off of the incredibly active role the audience plays. They do not just sit and receive; they provide much of the artistic energy and vitality. In fact all the artists speak of the attentiveness and energy of the audience. And the possibilities of what you can do are far broader than I could have imagined. I learned that the further afield you go from the traditional concert experience (not just in repertoire, but in the concert structures and the total experience itself) the better it works.”

Artists who have served or will serve as music directors are quick to recognize the immense value and fun they experience throughout the process of imagining their Festival with Mr. Morris.

Robert Spano (2006): “There is no better time to be had than coming up with programs with Tom Morris. His encyclopedic knowledge, remarkable inventiveness, and creativity are matched only by his fantastic sense of humor. Ojai has been made an even richer place with his tenure.”

eighth blackbird (2009): “Tom was always willing to step outside the Festival’s comfort zone….He knew his audience at Ojai in minute detail, and could assess exactly how much to push their buttons, to provoke them, to give them candy as well as greens.”

Steven Schick (2015): “Tom Morris is the absolute gold standard when it comes to being an artistic partner. And the process this year in anticipation of 2015 has lived up to every expectation. It’s all about the conversations. Our conversations about music have been far-ranging and provocative. And they are always flavored with a keen awareness of the environment and traditions of the Ojai Music Festival. The result is a set of concerts that neither of us would have programmed individually but which, taken together, represent a communal view of how great music can find a home in a great festival.”

Peter Sellars (2016): “Tom Morris figured out a long time ago that the first step in being adventurous is being astute….Tom has held major establishment posts, but has always operated within them with a certain flair, a certain knack, a certain curiosity, and a certain predilection for innovation, for surprise, for change, and for a better idea….He loves to make things happen — the thrill and subtle and far-reaching shifts in organizations, programming, and new encounters with audiences is irresistible to him.”

2015 Ojai Music Festival
Ojai enthusiastically welcomes percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick as Music Director for the 69th Ojai Music Festival, June 11 to 14, 2015. With Mr. Morris, Mr. Schick has created an involving festival focused on 20th and 21st century composers with an abundance of music from early morning to late night. Joining him will be long-time colleagues including the International Contemporary Ensemble (“ICE”), the San Diego string ensemble Renga, pipa artist Wu Man, flutist Claire Chase, and virtuoso cellist Maya Beiser.

The Festival program will highlight music by 30 composers, half of whom are new to Ojai; the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer-prize winner John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World; and a pre-festival celebration of the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez on Wednesday June 10 with the west coast premiere of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a multi-media kaleidoscope production with narration, archive films clips, live music, and stage sets by Frank Gehry, a part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. Recognized as one of the most innovative leaders in the orchestra industry, he has served as the long-time chief executive of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Morris is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 69-year-old Festival, Mr. 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, including Ojai at Berkeley, a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances.

Mr. Morris was a founding director of Spring for Music, and served as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He is also an accomplished percussionist.

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, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival is a complete immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

The Festival has also recently announced music directors for 2015–2017: Steven Schick, percussionist, for 2015; Peter Sellars, director, for 2016; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer/conductor, for 2017.

Series passes for the 69th Ojai Music Festival – June 11 to 14, 2015 – are on sale now. Series passes range from $730 to $120 reserved section and $90 to $55 lawn area. Tickets for the pre-festival special event celebrating the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez are $90 for reserved section and $40 for general admission. For more information visit OjaiFestival.org or call 805 646 2094.

###

Thomas W. Morris A Decade of Innovative Programming >>

Ojai Music Festival Roster of Music Directors >>

contact:
Gina Gutierrez, 805 646 2094, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org
Nikki Scandalios, (704) 340-4094, nikki@scandaliospr.com

Ojai Music Festival Announces New Board President David Nygren

For immediate release
August 27, 2014

(Ojai CA) – The Ojai Music Festival Board of Directors named David Nygren as President of the Board of Directors effective August 2014. He assumes leadership of the board after Stephen J.M. Morris, who served an extraordinary year of service as president. Morris will continue to serve on the Festival’s executive committee for a smooth transition.

Nygren, a Santa Barbara resident, has served on the Ojai board since 2011. He is the founder and CEO of Nygren Consulting LLC, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions, board effectiveness, organizational strategy, and executive competency assessment. He balances Fortune 500 for profit business advising and governance development with the non-profit sector, where he works extensively with health systems, arts institutions, and foundations. Some of his clients have included IBM, Hewlitt-Packard Company, Merrill Lynch to the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and New World Symphony. Nygren was the Executive Vice President at DePaul University, where he was awarded rank and tenure in the Department of Psychology, teaching organizational theory and design, leadership, and corporate governance.

“My support of the Festival comes from a deep love of music and my belief in the power of creativity to change the face of the world. As a result, I make personal investments in organizations whose intent it is to advance the common good,” said David Nygren. “There is nothing quite like Ojai where this level of creativity is inserted in the beauty of the Ojai Valley, where the mountains and the music are in harmony. The most talented artists come together here to express their potential and give us that gift. I have traveled and visited many festivals on other continents…None compare to the experience of the Ojai Music Festival.”

The Festival also welcomes James P. Drummy and Carol Nygren as incoming board members.

James P. Drummy
James P. Drummy is a principal in the law firm of Poindexter & Doutre’, Inc. in downtown Los Angles. He received his A.B. (cum laude) from UCLA in 1970 and JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 1973. Drummy specializes in real estate and probate and trust law and represents a number of non-profit organizations. Since 2008, He has been a member of the board of directors of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras. He and his wife Kathy are long-time subscribers and supporters of the Ojai Music Festival.

Carol Nygren
Carol Nygren (sister-in-law of David Nygren) is the senior vice president and general manager of in:ciite Media, instrumental in negotiating agreements with multiple speakers, authors, musical artists, and publishers to provide opportunities for brand building, revenue generation, live events and simulcasts. She has also served as executive vice president and managing director of Live Event Management Inc – a division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing (a division of NewsCorp) and as senior vice president of Licensed Live Family Entertainment at The Walt Disney Company where she developed “Disney On Ice” and “Disney Live” into globally recognized brands.

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, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival offers an immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai remains a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk. Thomas W. Morris has served as Artistic Director since 2004.

The 69th Ojai Music Festival (June 11-14, 2015) features Steven Schick as music director. Schick and Morris have devised a unique and explosive festival focused entirely around 20th and 21st century composers, featuring Schick as collaborator, teacher, actor, conductor, and master percussionist. Highlights include the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World and a special pre-festival performance on June 10 of Pierre Boulez: A Portrait, a spectacular multi-media kaleidoscope production with narration, archive films clips, live music, and stage set by Frank Gehry, part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score series. Additional programming will be announced in the fall. For further details, visit OjaiFestival.org or call 805 646 2053.

####

 

Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris Announces Future Festival Music Directors

Steven Schick: 69th Festival June 11-14, 2015
Peter Sellars: 70th Festival June 9-12, 2016
Esa-Pekka Salonen: 71st Festival June 8-11, 2017

“The Ojai Music Festival is deeply committed to adventure and exploration through the concentrated intersection of extraordinary artists, electrifying music, committed and engaged audiences – all in the sublime setting of Ojai. The Festival could have no better music directors to frame the Festival’s upcoming 70th anniversary than Steven Schick, Peter Sellars, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.” – Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director

(January 21, 2014 – Ojai, California) — As the Ojai Music Festival anticipates the upcoming 68th Festival (June 12-15, 2014) with Music Director Jeremy Denk, Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announces the artists who will serve in the coming years as Festival music directors: Steven Schick (June 11-14, 2015), Peter Sellars (June 9-12, 2016), and Esa-Pekka Salonen (June 8-11, 2017). Since the late 1940’s, the Ojai Music Festival’s tradition has been to welcome a new music director each year to ensure vitality and diversity in programming across Festivals. The Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North, continues a week after the Festival: June 18-20, 2015; June 16-18, 2016; and June 15-17, 2017.

For the 2015 Festival, Mr. Morris has invited percussionist, conductor, teacher, and author Steven Schick to serve as Music Director. No stranger to Ojai, Mr. Schick collaborated on the 2011 Festival’s production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny (Dawn Upshaw, music director), as well as the 2012 Festival (Leif Ove Andsnes, music director) in John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit, performed throughout Libbey Park. A champion of new music, Mr. Schick has commissioned and premiered more than 150 new works and is the founder and Artistic Director of percussion group, red fish blue fish. He is currently Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. He is on the faculty of University of California San Diego. In 2015, the program will showcase Mr. Schick’s unique and broad talent as a percussionist, conductor, performer, and musical trailblazer. Plans for the 2015 Festival will be announced in May 2014.

Opera and theater director Peter Sellars will return to Ojai in 2016 as Music Director of the 70th anniversary Festival. His partnership with Ojai dates back to 1992 when he directed a daring staged version of Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with Music Director Pierre Boulez. He returned to Ojai in 2011 directing the world premiere of the staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny. To mark this milestone Festival, Mr. Sellars is shaping a program that will be deeply rooted in the Ojai heritage. Mr. Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in performing arts, both in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for groundbreaking interpretations of classic works. Whether it is Mozart, Handel, Shakespeare, Sophocles, or the 16th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, Peter Sellars strikes a universal chord with audiences, engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues. He has staged operas in major opera houses throughout the world and has established a reputation for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage. Mr. Sellars has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals.

Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to Ojai in 2017 to once again serve as Music Director. One of today’s most important artists of today, Mr. Salonen made his Ojai debut in 1999 with composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg in a program dedicated to Finnish music. He returned in 2001, serving as Music Director. Mr. Salonen is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His compositions Floof and LA Variations have become modern classics, and his newest compositions are performed around the globe. Mr. Salonen served as the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years, from 1992 to 2007 and, through his unwavering dedication to new music, is widely credited with bringing the idea of a symphony orchestra into the 21st century.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. 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. Mr. Morris is currently active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 68-year-old Festival, Mr. 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 with Cal Performances in Berkeley, Ojai North.

Mr. Morris is a founding director of Spring for Music and serves as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is 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, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival is a complete immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai has remained a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

Ojai North
Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North takes place from June 19-21 in Berkeley, CA. Inaugurated in 2011, Ojai North is the Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions creates a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than could even be imagined by each organization separately.

Participation in the 2014 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As 2011 Music Director Dawn Upshaw commented, “There is a very special spirit of collaboration here [Ojai], fostered in part by the gorgeous natural setting and also by the friendly engagement of everyone involved.”

As tickets remain in high demand, Ojai now includes virtual opportunities to participate in the Festival experience through live video streaming of concerts and interviews. The Festival promotes year-round participation and deeper engagement through its free online courses, OjaiU, which launched last May and remains active via archives on the Festival website at www.OjaiFestival.org and on the OjaiU website at www.OjaiU.org. Plans for the 2014 OjaiU will be announced at a later date.

Festival passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling 805 646 2053. 2014 Ojai Music Festival series passes range from $185 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start from $55. Single passes will be available in spring 2014. Directions to Ojai, as well as information on lodging, concierge services for visitors and other Ojai activities, are also available at the Ojai web site. Follow Festival updates on the web 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
Regional: Laura Cohen, lcmediapr@gmail.com                                           (818) 541-5521


For photos, additional bios, and Ojai information visit the press page at OjaiFestival.org

Ojai Live video-streams world premiere of commissioned opera, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)

Ojai Live video-streams world premiere of commissioned opera,
The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)
libretto by Jeremy Denk and music by Steven Stucky June 13 at 8:00 pm PST

Live and archival HD webcasts of the 68th Ojai Music Festival
(June 12-15, 2014) with Jeremy Denk, Music Director
include Libbey Bowl concerts and Ojai Talks
[see streams here]

Download PDF of the press release >>

Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today hosts intermission interviews with Festival artists and guests. Navigate to www.OjaiFestival.org to watch the streams beginning Thursday, June 12.

“Ojai gives you a freedom to create a program that reflects the diversity of your tastes… [music] of great reverence and transcendence and music of great irreverence.”
– Jeremy Denk, Music Director

OJAI, CA – May 27, 2014: Concerts and talks of the 68th Ojai Music Festival, June 12–15, will be streamed live at www.OjaiFestival.org, and archived on the site after the Festival. The 2014 Festival embraces both the Festival’s ideals and the inventive musical mind of this year’s music director, Jeremy Denk. Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, and Mr. Denk have programmed a festival reflecting music about music.

Ojai Live begins streaming at 1:00pm (Pacific Time) on Thursday, June 12 with the Ojai Talks series hosted by Ara Guzelimian – an interview with Jeremy Denk, followed by a second session featuring Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights, who will talk about the reinvention of orchestras.

A highlight of the 2014 Ojai Live offerings includes the June 13 world premiere of the new opera with libretto by Mr. Denk and music by Steven Stucky, The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts). The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ojai premiere is supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ojai Live, which streams Festival concerts from the Ojai Music Festival website (www.OjaiFestival.org), this year features an enhanced HD five-camera shoot with concert-quality sound produced by Little Dog Live (http://www.LittleDogLive.com). Intermission interviews with artists and special guests will be hosted by Fred Child of American Public Media’s Performance Today. The dynamic multi-camera live webcast brings the Ojai Music Festival to audiences around the world in real time with over 24 hours of live broadcasts of performances, interview segments, and symposia.

Now in its 68th year, the Ojai Music Festival celebrates its audience whose interest has resulted in record sales. The concentrated four-day Festival draws thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country, and is pleased to serve a growing community worldwide via these live and archival webcasts.

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, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival offers a complete immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai remains a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

The Festival has also recently announced music directors for 2015–2017: Steven Schick, percussionist, for 2015; Peter Sellars, director, for 2016; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer/conductor, for 2017.

Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North will take place June 19–21 in Berkeley, CA. The Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley was inaugurated in 2011. The combination of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions creates a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately.

Festival Passes & Information
Singles concert passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling 805 646 2053. Single concert passes range from $35 to $120. Lawn seating is $15.

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

# # #

Read More

Ojai Music Festival Announces Complete Programs for the 68th Festival

The Knights, Brooklyn Rider, Uri Caine, Jennifer Frautschi, Hudson Shad, and Storm Large join Mr. Denk as artistic collaborators in works by Beethoven, Caine, Haydn, Janáček, Ives, Ligeti, Mozart, Schubert, Stockhausen, and Weill

The Festival features works by composers Timo Andres and Andrew Norman, including the world premiere of Norman’s 140 characters or less for solo piano, written for Jeremy Denk

The Libbey Bowl stage remains at the heart of the Festival while additional concerts and events showcase the stunning Ojai Valley from “Hymnfest”at Meditation Mount to a sunrise performance with Brooklyn Rider at Besant Hill School in Upper Ojai

Audiences can now purchase passes and share the Festival experience remotely via enhanced live video streaming of concerts at OjaiFestival.org

In the week following the Festival, Cal Performances’ Ojai North at University of California Berkeley takes place June 19–21

Download PDF of the Press Release >>

“Ojai gives you a freedom to create a program that reflects the diversity of your tastes…we are going to be journeying from pretty early music, possibly as early as 1400, to the very present day…music of great reverence and transcendence and music of great irreverence.”
– Jeremy Denk, Music Director

OJAI, CA – April 17, 2014: The 68th Ojai Music Festival, June 12–15, embraces both the Festival’s ideals and the inventive musical mind of Jeremy Denk, 2014 music director. Thomas W. Morris, artistic director, and Mr. Denk have programmed a festival reflecting music about music.

“Against a framework of classical pillars (Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven), we will examine such music and others through different lenses. Whether the Stucky/Denk opera, Uri Caine’s unique take on Mahler, Timo Andres’ reimagining of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto, the music of Charles Ives (which is all about music about music), Jeremy Denk’s eclectic views on musical canons, Ligeti’s extraordinary Piano Études (to be performed for the first time at the Festival), or the ultimate collection of styles and formats, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, this will be an adventure of musical passions, love of fun, provocation, and serious intent,” said Mr. Morris.

Ojai enthusiastically welcomes the return of pianist Jeremy Denk as the Festival’s 2014 Music Director.Mr. Denk made his Ojai debut in 2009 performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Ives’ First Sonata, in addition to numerous chamber music works.With his wide-ranging repertoire, Mr. Denk regularly collaborates with leading orchestras, festivals, and soloists, and is an active writer through feature articles in The New Yorker and his blog, “Think Denk,” which delves into both musical and extra-musical observations. Over the last year, Mr. Denk has won a MacArthur Fellowship, Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year award, and the Avery Fisher Prize.

A highlight of the upcoming Festival is the anticipated world premiere on Friday (June 13) of a commissioned opera with libretto by Mr. Denk and music by Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steven Stucky. The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts) is based on the eponymous award-winning book by American pianist and scholar Charles Rosen. The opera will be conducted by Robert Spano, who served as music director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2006, and will be performed by The Knights, the Brooklyn-based orchestral collective. The semi-staged comic opera will be directed by Mary Birnbaum of The Juilliard School.The cast will feature Aubrey Allicock, bass baritone; Dominic Armstrong, tenor; Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano; Keith Jameson, tenor; Kim Josephson, baritone; Ashraf Sewailam, bass baritone; Peabody Southwell, mezzo-soprano; and Jennifer Zetlan, soprano.

The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)is co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Hall, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Ojai premiere is supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Having seen this project from being just an idea to a libretto to a score to a first workshop run through, and now to witness its further refinement as a finished work of art, has been breathtaking,” commented Mr. Morris.

Making their Ojai Festival debuts are Uri Caine, jazz pianist/composer; Brooklyn Rider, string quartet; Hudson Shad, vocal ensemble; Jennifer Frautschi, violinist; and Storm Large,vocalist. The Festival will present works by composers Timo Andres and Andrew Norman, also making their Ojai debuts.

The 2014 Festival includes Libbey Bowl concerts, late night concerts, sunrise concerts with mountain views, films, talks, social gatherings, and community events throughout the beautiful Ojai Valley. Following an afternoon of talks and film, the Festival begins Thursday night (June 12), with a concert performed by Jeremy Denk, juxtaposing the charm of Schubert’s Ländler and Moments musicaux with excerpts from Janáček’s piano cycle On An Overgrown Path. This sets the stage for Uri Caine’s Mahler, a musical journey, from jazz to klezmer that reimagines the composer’s daring mixture of profound and profane from the context of our time.

On Friday (June 13), prior to the world premiere of The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts), Hudson Shad offers a free evening performance of songs by Kurt Weill and others at the Libbey Park Gazebo. The evening ends with a Late Night concert by the Uri Caine Sextet performing the music of George Gershwin, including Rhapsody in Blue, reimagined and improvised by Uri Caine.

On Saturday (June 14), the Ojai Sunrise concert features Brooklyn Rider performing a program on different times and cultures, including Schubert’s Quartettsatz, works by Evan Ziporyn and Colin Jacobsen, inspired by the music of Asia and the Middle East, and the haunting quartet Philip Glass wrote for a staged performance of Samuel Beckett’s novella, Company. Later in the morning, Jennifer Frautschi and Jeremy Denk perform Charles Ives’ complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano—heard all too rarely and almost never together in a single concert. Saturday evening offers a double billing with the first concert featuring Timo Andres’ re-composition of Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto and the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s 140 characters or less, commissioned for Jeremy Denk by the Ojai Music Festival and funded by a generous gift from Linda and Stuart Nelson.        

The second Saturday night concert showcases The Knights performing works by Luigi Boccherini, Charles Ives’ Three Places in New England, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Tierkreis – Leo arranged by Caroline Shaw, and concludes with Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins featuring wickedly delicious performances by Storm Large and Hudson Shad. Two soliloquies usher in the Late Night concert at Libbey Bowl with Bach’s third unaccompanied violin sonata performed by Ms. Frautschi and Morton Feldman’s moving Rothko Chapel performed by the Ojai Festival Singers, members of The Knights and conducted by Robert Spano. To end the evening, Storm Large performs her own “Lounge-core mashup” of old and new favorites for Ojai members at Agave Maria’s Restaurant & Cantina.

With the gorgeous Meditation Mount as the setting, Sunday (June 15) begins with a sunrise concert that includes an engaging selection of spirituals and hymns – old and new – performed by the Ojai Festival singers, led by conductor Kevin Fox, and two sing-alongs with the audience. The morning concert at Libbey Bowl is called a “Canonade” and described by Jeremy Denk as “a mélange of musical canons and canon-esque miscellaney” with selected works by Josquin, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Kurtág, Purcell, P.D.Q. Bach, Uri Caine, and J.S. Bach. A concert for donors on Sunday afternoon features Timo Andres performing at the piano his own work it takes a long time to be a good composer, and Schumann’s Kreisleriana. The Festival’s grand finale crescendos from Ligeti’s fiendishly difficult piano Études performed by Jeremy Denk, to Ives’ transcendent setting of Psalm 90 for chorus, bells, and organ, and culminates with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, a magnificently quirky fantasy for piano, orchestra, chorus, and soloists.

The Ojai Talks series with host Ara Guzelimian, former Festival Artistic Director and Dean of The Juilliard School, begins on Thursday, June 12 with an interview with Jeremy Denk, followed by a second session with Eric and Colin Jacobsen, founders of The Knights, who will talk about the reinvention of today’s orchestras. On Friday, June 13, Mr. Guzelimian moderates a panel discussion on the implications, impact, and meaning of Charles Rosen’s The Classical Style with special guests Timo Andres, composer; Don M. Randel, musicologist and former president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Henri Zerner, Professor Department of History of Art and Architecture, Sackler Museum at Harvard, and long-time friend of Charles Rosen.

The Ojai Films, selected by Jeremy Denk,follows the 2014 Festival’s approach to presenting both the familiar and the unfamiliar in fresh and unusual ways.Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould will be screened on Thursday, June 12. The award-winning film, written and directed by François Girard, is a collection of vignettes highlighting different aspects of the life, work, and character of the acclaimed pianist. Ojai Films continue on Saturday (June 14) with The Magic Flute (Trollflöjten), an Ingmar Bergman 1975 film version of Mozart‘s opera Die Zauberflöte.

The Ojai Music Festival continues to explore ways to expand access and to nurture the ongoing dialogue around music. The 2014 Festival will provide audiences the opportunity to connect at communal meals, including the Friday à la Carte (June 13) with gourmet food trucks and a Saturday Supper (June 14) with boxed meals served in Libbey Park. Discussion Posts will be set up in the park as comfortable “living room” spaces where special guests and audiences will share their anticipations, impressions, and reactions before and after concerts.

Ojai Live, which streams Festival concerts, continues with improved technology and will feature enhanced editorial content, including interviews with artists and special guests. Launched in 2012, the Festival’s live streaming and its subsequent archival offerings have expanded the reach of the Festival with more than 10,000 views.

Following the 2014 Festival in Ojai, Ojai North will take place June 19–21 in Berkeley, CA. The Ojai Music Festival’s multi-year partnership with Cal Performances at UC Berkeley was inaugurated in 2011. The combination of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions creates a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than could be imagined by each organization separately.

Jeremy Denk, Music Director
One of America’s most thought-provoking, multi-faceted, and compelling artists, pianist Jeremy Denk is the winner of a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award. He has appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and London, and regularly gives recitals in New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and throughout the United States. Next season, he looks forward to launching a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and to making debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Denk is known for his original and insightful writing on music, which Alex Ross praises for its “arresting sensitivity and wit.” The pianist’s blog, Think Denk, is widely read and enjoyed both within and outside the industry, and he has written pieces for The New Yorker, The New York Times Review of Books, Newsweek, The Guardian, the New Republic, and the website of NPR Music. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir he is writing for future publication by Random House.

Mr. Denk’s debut recording for Nonesuch Records juxtaposed Ligeti’s Études with Beethoven’s final sonata, and was included on many “Best of 2012” lists, including those of the New Yorker, Washington Post, and NPR Music. His second recording for the label, Bach: Goldberg Variations, was released in September 2013. It reached number one on Billboard’s “Classical Albums” chart, and was named one of the “Best of 2013” by the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Jeremy Denk has earned degrees from Oberlin, Indiana University, and Juilliard. He lives in New York City, and his web site and blog are at jeremydenk.net.

Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Thomas W. Morris was appointed artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival starting with the 2004 Festival. He 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. Mr. Morris is active nationally and internationally as a consultant, lecturer, teacher, and writer.

As artistic director of the 68-year-old Ojai Music Festival, Mr. 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 to include Ojai North, a collaborative partnership with Cal Performances in Berkeley.

Mr. Morris is a founding director of Spring for Music, and serves as the project’s artistic director. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Curtis Institute of Music and as chair of its Board of Overseers, and is 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, giving patrons a fresh perspective on the works they hear. The four-day festival offers a complete immersion experience with main concerts, free community events, symposia, film screenings, and gatherings. Considered a highlight of the summer season, Ojai remains a leader in the classical music landscape.

The Ojai Music Festival attracts the world’s greatest musical artists. 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, and Jeremy Denk.

The Festival has also recently announced music directors for 2015–2017: Steven Schick, percussionist, for 2015; Peter Sellars, director, for 2016; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, composer/conductor, for 2017.

Participation in the 2014 Ojai Music Festival
The Ojai Music Festival continues to draw thousands of curious and engaged music enthusiasts from across the country and has had record sell-out concerts over the last three years. As 2011 Music Director Dawn Upshaw commented, “There is a very special spirit of collaboration here [Ojai], fostered in part by the gorgeous natural setting and also by the friendly engagement of everyone involved.”

The Ojai Music Festival encourages ownership of the Festival by inviting patrons to invest in what they are passionate about, with opportunities ranging from supporting major artistic projects to the Festival’s community involvement. In return, patrons receive meaningful, experiential benefits related to their giving levels that further strengthen their relationship with the Festival. For information on Ojai Membership, visit OjaiFestival.org.

Festival Passes & Information
Series and singles passes are available for the 2014 Festival concerts and may be purchased online at OjaiFestival.org or by calling 805 646 2053. Series passes range from $110 to $730 for reserved seating and lawn series passes start at $55. Single concert passes range from $35 to $120. Lawn seating is $15.

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

Invitation to the Press: For information on press passes and lodging options, please contact Gina Gutierrez at ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org.

 

# # #

 

Ojai Music Festival: Gina Gutierrez, ggutierrez@ojaifestival.org   805 646 2094

National/International: Nikki Scandalios, nikki@scandaliospr.com               704 340 4094

Regional: Laura Cohen, lcmediapr@gmail.com                                                310 867 3897

For photos and Ojai Festival information visit the press page at OjaiFestival.org.

  Read More