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Ojai Music Festival announces Music Directors for three coming seasons

The audience for the Ojai Music Festival in the Libbey Bowl
The audience for the Ojai Music Festival in the Libbey Bowl
from the Web site of the Ojai Music Festival

The 68th Ojai Music Festival will not get under way until June 12 with Jeremy Denk as its director and its usual innovative programming. However, yesterday Festival Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris announced the dates and Music Directors for the following three seasons. While it is too soon to get into the specifics of programming plans, here are the basics as we current know them:

  • 69th Festival, June 11–14, 2015: The Music Director will be percussionist Steven Schick. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish, founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He collaborated with soprano Dawn Upshaw and stage director Peter Sellars in the world premiere performance of George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny at the 2011 Festival and in the performance of John Luther Adams’ “Inuksuit” at the 2012 Festival.
  • 70th Festival, June 9–12, 2016: Sellars will return to Ojai to serve as Music Director. Because this will be the 70th anniversary season, it seems appropriate that Sellars’ history with Ojai has been a long one. It began in 1992 when he worked with then Music Director Pierre Boulez to prepare a staging of Igor Stravinsky’s “Histoire du soldat.”
  • 71st Festival, June 8–11: Esa-Pekka Salonen will again serve as Music Director, a departure from the Ojai tradition of bringing in a new Music Director every season. Salonen last held this position in 2001. He is currently Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, where he has undertaken several impressive multimedia approaches to the presentation of works such as Gustav Holst’s suite The Planets and Stravinsky’s score for the ballet “The Rite of Spring.”

In addition, over the course of these three years, the Festival will maintain its partnership with Cal Performances at the University of California at Berkeley, presenting a series of Ojai North concerts the week after each Festival.