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Ojai Music Festival names Dawn Upshaw music director for 2011, announces UC Berkeley partnership

May 4, 2010 |  3:49 pm

Upshaw Soprano Dawn Upshaw has been named music director of the 2011 Ojai Music Festival.

A star of the opera and concert stage, she is the latest in a long line of guest artists who have been invited to help create programming for the four-day summer fest.

Upshaw, who will be making her fourth appearance in Ojai, will work with artistic director Thomas W. Morris and collaborators such as violinist and composer Richard Tognetti, leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, jazz composer and big band leader Maria Schneider and theater and opera director Peter Sellars.
Among next summer's offerings will be a Schneider work  for Upshaw and the Australian Chamber Orchestra and a new production by Sellars with Upshaw as soloist. Additional information about the 2011 festival, which will run June 9 to 12, will be released in the fall.
The Schneider piece will be a co-commission and the Sellars project a co-production with Cal Performances, UC Berkeley's performing arts presenter and producer, as part of Ojai North! -- an Ojai-Berkeley partnership that will begin in 2011.

In announcing the new venture, festival officials said that at the end of next year's festival, artists and programs will move to the Berkeley campus for several days. 

For most of its 64 years, the Ojai Music Festival has invited a guest music director to help create a summer program with an emphasis on contemporary music. British composer and conductor George Benjamin is the music director for this year's festival, which will run June 10 to 13.

Past music directors have included John Adams, Aaron Copland, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Igor Stravinsky and Mitsuko Uchida.

--Karen Wada

Photo: Dawn Upshaw in Kaija Saariaho's "La Passion de Simone" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times


Ojai Music Festival reveals details for 2010 program