MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Ojai Talks: 2020 Virtual Festival

UPDATE: Wiener Staatsoper will stream Olga Neuwirth’s new opera Orlando (conducted by Matthias Pintscher) on 23 June from its platform here. Apparently you will need to use a VPN set to a location in Europe to stream (inaccessible to USA), but that’s an easy work-around.

Ara Guzelimian hosts these fascinating conversations with this year’s Ojai Festival artists. I’ll post them as they become available. The first three are now live:

Conversation with 2020 Music Director Matthias Pintscher about his background and his friendship with Pierre Boulez (11 June)

Conversation with Matthias Pintscher and featured artist Olga Neuwirth (12 June)

Conversation with and performances by the Calder Quartet (13 June)

Conversation with Steve Reich (14 June)

Here’s my essay for the overall program: The Art of Transitions

And my program notes for each of the ten events are all to be found in the online program book under that tab here.

Filed under: Asra Guzelimian, Matthias Pintscher, Ojai Festival, Olga Neuwirth

Ojai Music Festival: Virtual Edition

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On Thursday through Sunday, 11-14 June, Ojai Festival presents a virtual edition of what was to have been its 74th festival. Artistic Director Chad Smith and Music Director Matthias Pintscher curated a splendid program, with Olga Neuwirth and Steve Reich as special featured guests. This also would have marked the Ojai debut of the Ensemble intercontemporain — of which Pintscher is current director and which was founded by his mentor Pierre Boulez, a longtime presence at Ojai.

This is my own first year of being associated with Ojai, so this cancellation has hit me especially hard. But you’ll have a chance to hear Ara Guzelimian, incoming Artistic Director, in some wonderful conversations with Pintscher, Neuwirth, Reich, and members of the Calder String Quartet.

You can read my program essay here. My program notes for each event are linked on the respective pages.

Filed under: new music, Ojai Festival

Patricia Kopatchinskaja Comes to California

ojai-at-berkeley@2xPatricia Kopatchinskaja is an ideal choice to be this year’s music director of the Ojai Festival. In advance of the festival’s northern edition, Ojai at Berkeley, here’s my profile of this incomparable artist for Cal Performances:

Matters of technical proficiency are well accounted for in the arsenal of words that critics have at their disposal to describe what sets a musician apart. What is sorely lacking is …

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Filed under: Cal Performances, Ojai Festival, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, profile, violinists

Vijay Iyer’s Creative Connections

My feature for the Cal Performances/Ojai at Berkeley edition is now online:

Any portrait of Vijay Iyer is necessarily a group portrait. A composer, pianist, bandleader, teacher, and thinker, Iyer channels his insatiable curiosity into innovative acts of collaboration with like-minded artists—across genres and disciplines. So when the chance came to serve as music director of the 2017 Ojai Music Festival …

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Filed under: festivals, George Lewis, Ojai Festival, Vijay Iyer

Courageous Women, Transcendent Visions

JuliaBullock

soprano Julia Bullock

My feature on this year’s Ojai at Berkeley Festival curated by Peter Sellars has now been posted:

This year’s Ojai at Berkeley festival focuses on the artistry and impact of powerful, visionary women—not only as creators and performers but as the subjects of the artworks themselves.

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Filed under: Ojai Festival, Peter Sellars, Saariaho

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