Final Programming for Ojai’s 63rd Season June 11 to 14
“an electrifying confluence of artists, music, theater and ideas”
(Thomas W. Morris)
March 11, 2009– Ojai, California…Thomas W. Morris, artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival and Ojai’s 2009 music director eighth blackbird have announced the final programming for the 2009 Ojai Music Festival, which takes place from Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 14, 2009. This season, the four-day Festival, which for six decades has become well known for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, pushes the envelope again with programming that reflects the qualities that have made eighth blackbird a growing musical phenomenon—genre-defying variety in wildly collaborative and visually dramatic presentations.
Mr. Morris and eighth blackbird have gathered many of today’s finest musicians, ensembles, and composers for what Mr. Morris describes as “a wild and diverse musical party of extraordinary talents.” Among them are freewheeling chamber ensemble Tin Hat; the matchless recorder quartet from Berlin, Quartet New Generation (QNG); American pianist Jeremy Denk; composer/guitarist Steven Mackey, actor/singer Rinde Eckert, and renowned sound sculptor Trimpin.
In programming the Festival, eighth blackbird flutist Tim Munro explains, “Variety is important. We talk often about creating a well-balanced meal—not too salty or spicy or sweet—where all elements combine.” The result is a Festival of music that is both fresh and familiar presented with a time-honored Ojai Music Festival aesthetic. The centerpiece of the Festival is the world premiere of a work co-commissioned by the Ojai Music Festival—Steven Mackey’s Slide*—a concert-length, multidisciplinary, music/theater work about the seduction and manipulation of the American psyche, which Mr. Eckert describes as “concert theater, distinct from an oratorio for its involvement of the instrumentalists as theatrical role players.”
Also featured in the Festival will be such treasured masterpieces of the repertoire as J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by Jeremy Denk in his Festival debut, the world premiere of a semi-staged performance of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire directed by Mark DeChiazza with speaker Lucy Shelton doing sprechstimme, and Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians.
The Festival opens and closes with concerts that are distinctively the mark of eighth blackbird. The opening concert includes Thierry de Mey’s Musique de Tables, John Luther Adams’s Dark Waves, Takemitsu’s Rain Tree, and George Crumb’s Music for a Summer Evening. The Festival closes with a four-hour Marathon Finale in three parts, featuring all Festival artists in a visual and aural display of fearless virtuosity and unconventional music-making, highlighted by Reich’s Double Sextet written for eighth blackbird, Lisa Bielawa’s Kafka Songs performed by Tin Hat’s Carla Kihlstedt; John Cage’s Construction No. 3, as well as a new work by Nathan Davis for Trimpin and his sculptural creations. Capping the Festival will be Louis Andriessen’s highly charged Workers Union.
Ara Guzelimian, dean of the Juilliard School and former artistic director of the Ojai Festival, will moderate the Festival Symposium, which takes place this year at the Matilija Auditorium. Mr. Guzelimian will discuss The Creation of Slide with Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert, The Creation of a Festival with eighth blackbird, and finally, The Creation of a Performance with Jeremy Denk.
Trimpin, the innovative MacArthur Foundation Award-winning sound sculptor/composer/inventor, returns to Ojai with two interactive art and sound installations in Libbey Park —“Sheng High” and “Giuter-Toy.” He will also be featured in one of three free Ojai bonus events at the Ojai Theater—a sneak preview of an upcoming feature-length documentary. The two other bonus events are “Trembling Air” featuring flutists Tim Munro and Alexis Kenny in a concert showcasing the diversity of the flute and “BREATHtaking” with QNG in a concert of contemporary repertoire for recorders of all sizes and shapes, which includes the world premiere of a work commissioned for them from composer Éric Marty by the Canada Council for the Arts
Concerts will take place outdoors at the Libbey Bowl under a canopy of live oaks and safeguarded by the sacred “Wedding” tree, a sycamore thought to have taken root when the first “Americans” set foot on our shores. Other events will be held at Libbey Park , the Ojai Theater and Matilija Auditorium, the site of the original Festival concerts in 1947.
Concert Insights—Musicologist Christopher Hailey and featured artists will engage in a discussion about every Libbey Bowl concert one hour before each of those performances.
Tickets and Information
Ojai Music Festival single tickets range from $35 to $95 for reserved seating; lawn seats are $15. (Reserved section tickets increase the week of the Festival.) Series tickets are also available and range from $150 to $309 for a full series and $125 to $255 for a mini series. Ojai concerts take place at the Libbey Bowl at East Ojai Avenue in downtown Ojai California.
Tickets for the Festival Symposium on June 12 in Matilija Auditorium at Matilija Junior High School are $30 in advance or $35 the day of the event. Matilija Junior High School is located at 703 El Paseo Road.
The three June 13 bonus events all take place at the Ojai Theater at 145 East Ojai Avenue and all are free. For the 2 p.m. Trembling Air” and 11 p.m. “BREATHtaking” events, subscribers and donors will be given first-priority seating, and the balance of the tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved seating for the Trimpin private screening at 4:30 p.m. is available only to Ojai Music Festival attendees and donors.