Ojai Music Festival has announced details for the 75th Festival, September 16–19, 2021, with 2021 Music Director John Adams; the Ojai debuts of Rhiannon Giddens and Attacca Quartet; the return of Timo Andres; and works by Andres, Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Donnacha Dennehy, Philip Glass, Ingram Marshall, Brad Mehldau, Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, and others. The festival events will also stream live.
Ojai Music Festival 2021 Music Director John Adams and Artistic & Executive Director Ara Guzelimian have announced scheduling details for the 75th Festival, September 16–19, 2021, including the Ojai debuts of Rhiannon Giddens and Attacca Quartet and the return of Timo Andres. The Festival moved this year from its traditional June time period because of the pandemic.
John Adams, who is both curator and conductor for the 2021 Festival, focuses on composers of today whose music will be threaded throughout the Festival, including Andres, Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Donnacha Dennehy, Philip Glass, Ingram Marshall, Brad Mehldau, Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, and others, many of whom plan to be in residence during the Festival. Adams will conduct two concerts that will include works by Debussy, Mozart, Andres, Marshall, and others, and two of his own works featuring Rhiannon Giddens as soloist.
Making their Ojai debuts are Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, who will perform works from their latest album, They’re Calling Me Home; Giddens will collaborate in her own works with the Attacca Quartet and as vocal soloist in music of John Adams, conducted by the composer; and Attacca Quartet, which won a Grammy Award for Orange, its 2019 album with Caroline Shaw, in a concert of music by Shaw, Adams, Giddens, and others.
Ojai welcomes the return of Timo Andres, an Ojai alum from the 2014 Festival, performing I Still Play, a series of works by Laurie Anderson, John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, and other artists who have recorded for Nonesuch Records, written in honor of the label’s longtime President Bob Hurwitz on the occasion of his shift into the Chairman Emeritus role.
"Ever since its inception in the days of Stravinsky and Copland it has stood out among music festivals for its celebration of the new," Adams says of Ojai. "I am honored to return as Music Director, and I am eager to introduce to our audiences a new generation of composers and performers who give a glimpse of what the future of creativity in music will be ... It will be a treat not to be missed."
"I am overjoyed that we will gather once again to hear music in the magical setting of Libbey Bowl," says Ara Guzelimian. "As this 75th milestone year is marked, we look toward Ojai’s future by honoring the Festival’s role as a champion of a new generation of composers and artists. We respond to these immensely challenging times by placing our faith, now more than ever, in this next generation to show us the way forward. John Adams has been unwavering in his desire to focus the 75th Festival as a forward-facing exploration and adventure for artists and audiences alike. On behalf of the Festival family, I am so grateful for the support and understanding of our world-wide community through this challenging time. I cannot wait for all of us to gather in Ojai in September for the 75th Festival. It will be a most joyous reunion.”
For more than seven decades, the Ojai Music Festival has flourished as a creative laboratory by combining a boundless sense of adventure, an expansive musical curiosity, and an atmosphere of relaxed but focused informality. Each year a different Music Director is given the freedom and the resources to imagine four days of musical brainstorming. Ojai’s signature blend of an enchanted setting and an audience voracious in its appetite for challenge and discovery has inspired a distinguished series of musical innovators—from Boulez, Copland, and Stravinsky in its formative years to Jeremy Denk and Dawn Upshaw in more recent times, and Adams himself in 1993—to push artistic boundaries.
The Festival continues to offer online content with its ongoing series of virtual Ojai Talks that have featured 2021 Festival artists and composers, including Timo Andres, available here.
The immersive in-person Festival experience in September will include Ojai Talks featuring Music Director John Adams and resident composers, as well as a special morning talk with Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait looking at the Ojai Valley landscape in through Chumash cosmology.
The Ojai Music Festival will allow the world beyond Ojai’s Libbey Bowl to experience the music and ideas expressed at the Festival through live streaming access during the four-day Festival and later archived at OjaiFestival.org.
The Ojai Music Festival is working closely with a COVID-safety advisory team of medical advisors, local, regional, and state officials, and public health authorities, to adhere to the highest standards of health and safety. Safety-related plans will be released and updated as details are confirmed.
For all the festival details and to purchase a 2021 series subscription, visit OjaiFestival.org.