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Dawn Upshaw Kicks Off Ojai Music Festival As Music Director; "Her Voice Is Like a Ray of Light in a Forest" (LA Times)

  • Thursday, June 9, 2011
    Dawn Upshaw Kicks Off Ojai Music Festival As Music Director; "Her Voice Is Like a Ray of Light in a Forest" (LA Times)

    Dawn Upshaw helps kick off the 2011 Ojai Music Festival by hosting Voices: The Next Generation, at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California, tonight. Upshaw is the music director of this year's festival, Ojai's 65th, which runs through Sunday, June 12, and marks the soprano's fourth appearance at the Southern California festival.

    The Los Angeles Times recently featured Upshaw in a preview of the festival. "Anybody who has heard Upshaw sing—and millions have, thanks to her recording of Henryk Gorecki's 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'—has experienced the depths of her talent," writes Kevin Berger for the Times. "A natural soprano, her voice is like a ray of light in a forest. Its luminous tone is proof that some things in the world can never be manufactured." Read the complete article at latimes.com.

    For the festival's first concert, tonight's Voices, Upshaw introduces prize graduates of her Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College in an intimate and informal Evening Musicale of solos, duets, and vocal ensembles, featuring classical works and folk song arrangements, culminating in a grand finale for everyone.

    Friday night at the Libbey Bowl, Upshaw will join two frequent collaborators, director Peter Sellars and pianist Gilbert Kalish, for the world premiere of a new staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny (American Songbook IV), a cycle of American Civil War songs reinterpreted through the eyes of a female American veteran returning from the war in Afghanistan, with red fish blue fish on percussion. Also on the program is music from Afghanistan. Earlier in the day, Sellars will join the festival's symposium director, Ara Guzelimian, at the Ojai Community Church for a discussion titled Music in the Time of War.

    On Saturday afternoon, Upshaw will sit down with Guzelimian at the Matilija Auditorium to discuss the topic of Creative Directions.

    The following day, for the festival's closing concert, Dawn Upshaw performs at the Libbey Bowl with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Upshaw joins the orchestra for the world premiere of Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks, inspired by works by poet laureate Ted Kooser, as well as a performance of Bartók's Five Hungarian Folk Songs. Also on the program, the ACO performs excerpts from Crumb's Black Angels, plus works by Webern and Grieg.

    Though Sunday brings the close of the festival, the music-making continues as the performers head up to Berkeley for the inaugural Ojai North! next week. Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform their program at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Tuesday, June 14, and the Winds of Destiny production will take place there on Thursday the 16th and Saturday the 18th. Ojai North! is part of Cal Performances' new season.

    For further details on the Ojai Festival, visit ojaifestival.org. For more on Ojai North!, go to calperfs.berkeley.edu. For additional upcoming performances from Dawn Upshaw, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    Upshaw's latest Nonesuch release is Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Grá agus Bás, on which she joins Crash Ensemble to perform That the Night Comes, Dennehy's setting of six poems by W.B. Yeats. To pick up a copy, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.

    The Santa Barbara Independent, in its preview of this weekend's events, reviews Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet, the latest Nonesuch release from John Adams, a previous Ojai music director. Writer Josef Woodard sees Adams's original Chamber Symphony as "tailormade as Ojai fare and fodder, intellectual but good-humored" and its successor as "similarly energetic, restless and alluring." He concludes of the new album: "Here is contemporary music with elasticity, historicist savvy and a knowing wink and chuckle." Read the article at independent.com. To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

on June 6, 2011 - 1:54pm
Excerpt: 

Dawn Upshaw helps kick off the 2011 Ojai Music Festival tonight. She is the music director of this year's festival, which runs through Sunday, June 12, and marks the soprano's fourth appearance at the Southern California festival. Festival highlights include Upshaw's performance of Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny and the world premiere of Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks. The Los Angeles Times says "her voice is like a ray of light in a forest. Its luminous tone is proof that some things in the world can never be manufactured."

Copy: 

Dawn Upshaw helps kick off the 2011 Ojai Music Festival by hosting Voices: The Next Generation, at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California, tonight. Upshaw is the music director of this year's festival, Ojai's 65th, which runs through Sunday, June 12, and marks the soprano's fourth appearance at the Southern California festival.

The Los Angeles Times recently featured Upshaw in a preview of the festival. "Anybody who has heard Upshaw sing—and millions have, thanks to her recording of Henryk Gorecki's 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'—has experienced the depths of her talent," writes Kevin Berger for the Times. "A natural soprano, her voice is like a ray of light in a forest. Its luminous tone is proof that some things in the world can never be manufactured." Read the complete article at latimes.com.

For the festival's first concert, tonight's Voices, Upshaw introduces prize graduates of her Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College in an intimate and informal Evening Musicale of solos, duets, and vocal ensembles, featuring classical works and folk song arrangements, culminating in a grand finale for everyone.

Friday night at the Libbey Bowl, Upshaw will join two frequent collaborators, director Peter Sellars and pianist Gilbert Kalish, for the world premiere of a new staged production of George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny (American Songbook IV), a cycle of American Civil War songs reinterpreted through the eyes of a female American veteran returning from the war in Afghanistan, with red fish blue fish on percussion. Also on the program is music from Afghanistan. Earlier in the day, Sellars will join the festival's symposium director, Ara Guzelimian, at the Ojai Community Church for a discussion titled Music in the Time of War.

On Saturday afternoon, Upshaw will sit down with Guzelimian at the Matilija Auditorium to discuss the topic of Creative Directions.

The following day, for the festival's closing concert, Dawn Upshaw performs at the Libbey Bowl with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Upshaw joins the orchestra for the world premiere of Maria Schneider's Winter Morning Walks, inspired by works by poet laureate Ted Kooser, as well as a performance of Bartók's Five Hungarian Folk Songs. Also on the program, the ACO performs excerpts from Crumb's Black Angels, plus works by Webern and Grieg.

Though Sunday brings the close of the festival, the music-making continues as the performers head up to Berkeley for the inaugural Ojai North! next week. Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform their program at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Tuesday, June 14, and the Winds of Destiny production will take place there on Thursday the 16th and Saturday the 18th. Ojai North! is part of Cal Performances' new season.

For further details on the Ojai Festival, visit ojaifestival.org. For more on Ojai North!, go to calperfs.berkeley.edu. For additional upcoming performances from Dawn Upshaw, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

Upshaw's latest Nonesuch release is Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Grá agus Bás, on which she joins Crash Ensemble to perform That the Night Comes, Dennehy's setting of six poems by W.B. Yeats. To pick up a copy, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.

The Santa Barbara Independent, in its preview of this weekend's events, reviews Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet, the latest Nonesuch release from John Adams, a previous Ojai music director. Writer Josef Woodard sees Adams's original Chamber Symphony as "tailormade as Ojai fare and fodder, intellectual but good-humored" and its successor as "similarly energetic, restless and alluring." He concludes of the new album: "Here is contemporary music with elasticity, historicist savvy and a knowing wink and chuckle." Read the article at independent.com. To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store now.

Publish date: 
Thursday, June 9, 2011 - 10:30
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featuredimage: 
Dawn Upshaw by Dario Acosta

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