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Recital planned as Ojai Music Festival gears up for 2012 edition

November 23, 2011 | 10:03 am


The Ojai Music Festival -- one of the country's premier venues for new music -- will feature a typically eclectic lineup for its 2012 edition, curated by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, who is the guest music director. Prior to the summer festival, organizers will host a one-evening gala event on Feb. 11, featuring a piano performance by composer-conductor Robert Spano at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

The 2012 festival will run June 7-10. Andsnes has selected to open the festival with John Luther Adams' "Inuksuit," an outdoor piece to be performed by 48 individuals. The production will be directed by the percussionist-conductor Steven Schick.

Also on tap for the opening day will be pianist Marc-André Hamelin, performing Ives' "Concord" Sonata, as well as Shostakovich's song cycle "Six Poems of Mariana Tsvetaeva," with mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, accompanied by Andsnes.

On June 8, the festival will feature a performance of Reinbert de Leeuw's cycle of 21 songs, "In the Merry Month of May."  Actress Barbara Sukowa -- one of the muses of filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder -- will perform in the concert. Members of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra will perform the piece, as well as an arrangement of Janáček's Quartet No. 2., "Intimate Letters."

The morning of June 9 will feature music by Wagner, Berg and Beethoven, as well as Norwegian composer Eivind Buene. The evening concert will include music by composers Haflidi Hallgrímsson, Bent Sørensen and Anders Hillborg, as well as pieces by Kurtag and Mozart. Andsnes will perform the piano for the day's concerts.

On the festival's final day, June 10, the morning concert will feature music by Bartok, Grieg, Copland and William Bolcom. The evening concert includes pieces by Stravinsky, Debussy, John Adams and John Luther Adams.

The Ojai Music Festival focuses on contemporary and cutting-edge works by composers both living and dead. The festival is run by Thomas W. Morris, who is the artistic director. Singer Dawn Upshaw was the festival's last guest music director.


Ojai Music Festival names future music directors, including Leif Ove Andsnes and Mark Morris

Music review: Dawn Upshaw, Peter Sellars and George Crumb in the 2011 Ojai Festival

Music review: Ojai Festival opens with new shell

-- David Ng

Photo: Leif Ove Andsnes. Credit: Lorenzo Agius