“ESSENTIAL” “AFFIRMING” “BREATH-GIVING” “DISCOVERY” “ADVENTURE” “FUN” “ABSOLUTELY, SPECTACULARLY WONDERFUL”
…were just some of the accolades we received from almost 10,000 people who attended the 2015 Ojai Music Festival from June 10 to 14. The music, the beauty of the valley, and the conviviality of the audience, the artists, and the people of Ojai all made for another outstanding Festival.
Just a few of the highlights included:
• The mesmerizing West Coast premiere of John Luther Adam’s Sila: The Breath of the World, in a free performance throughout Libbey Park that drew more than 800 people of all ages and backgrounds.
• Music Director Steven Schick’s boundless energy, extraordinary commitment, and incredible versatility.
• The remarkable collaborations of Claire Chase & Jacob Greenberg, Maya Beiser & Wu Man, Vicky Ray & Gloria Cheng, ICE, red fish blue fish, and Renga, just to name a few of the brilliantly diverse musicians who performed music by more than 30 different composers from Boulez and Messiaen to the young creators nurtured by ICElab.
We’ve included just one video highlight here, but people all around the globe can hear and see all this year’s concerts from Libbey Bowl on our website – www.ojaifestival.org/look-listen/2015-festival-streaming/ – or our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/OjaiFestivals.
We think New Yorker critic Alex Ross summed it up best in his July 5 review:
To attend Ojai is to enter a happily topsy-turvy world where longtime patrons are as avid for new music as they are for classic repertory. Works are sometimes criticized for being too accessible; such was a not uncommon reaction to a piece performed at this year’s festival, Michael Harrison’s “Just Ancient Loops,” in which the cellist Maya Beiser spun out soothingly euphonious lines. Conversely, after the clarinettist Joshua Rubin sailed through Boulez’s coolly spastic “Dialogue de l’Ombre Double,” a woman behind me exclaimed, “Now, that’s real music!” She employed the tone of relief that one hears at Lincoln Center when Boulez gives way to Brahms. What is different about Ojai? It has to do, I think, simply with the power of consistency: the festival stuck to its mission, year after year, decade after decade, until, at some point, its ideal audience became the real one.
And it’s not just critics who love the Festival. We’ll leave you with one final quote from an audience member who came to Ojai for the first time this year:
It was such fun! Even though I, at first, found the music difficult to understand (where was the melody?) after a day or two I learned how to listen in a new way. This greatly expands my appreciation for and definition of all music. I’m eager to see what’s next.
Until next year!