"Peter Sellars is one of the important artists of our time and one of the important artists in this area. To have him preside over the 70th anniversary seemed like a fairly delicious idea." - Thom Morris, Ojai Music Festival Artistic Director
From June 9th to 12th, the Ojai Music Festival will bring modern classical music to some of the most scenic venues around. This year, experimental opera director Peter Sellars is the music director and he has quite a program in store for the 70th anniversary season, one that emphasizes starting new traditions as much as honoring the old ones. Below, hear Artistic Director Thom Morris talk with KUSC's Gail Eichenthal about what we can look forward to with this year's festival.
Experience the Ojai Music Festival right from your computer with their free, live concert stream (hosted by some familiar faces, Gail Eichenthal and Alan Chapman).
A side trip to the breathtaking green fields of Wormsley, home of the Garsington Opera's summer season, afforded us the chance to hear a splendid Eugene Onegin conducted by Douglas Boyd and starring a magnificent Tatiana: soprano Natalya Romaniw. The Guardian review signaled she is destined for greatness. Then came a real operatic anomaly: the magnum opus of Georges Enesco, an opera called Oedipe or Oedipus that it took him more than twenty years to write. The opera was completed in the early 1930s, but is only now getting its first staged performance ever in the U.K. The production was a tour de force and the music very strange and compelling--though more than a few of our KUSC tour participants confessed to long naps haunted by wailing arias.
Spotted Esa-Pekka Salonen in the audience with his wife, Jane: perhaps opera-shopping for future repertoire? He is now adored at the Met, ...
“There are endless amounts of joy in Bach’s music. Sometimes they are hard won, and sometimes just freely given. Finding those is also a challenge. The solid music structure he continuously provides keeps you from straying off any paths and keeps you forever engaged. You just need to follow his extremely clear musical map in front of you and you'll always know where to go!"
That's what renowned English violinist Rachel Podger, "Queen of the Baroque", told me when I asked what it is about Johann Sebastian Bach that appeals to her.
Podger was educated in a Rudolf Steiner school, which is shorthand for saying her early education emphasized not only developing intellect, but also educating the will and feelings. Steiner was an early 20th century philosopher, social reformer and esotericist, who founded schools based on his belief in spiritual science, in which the natural world and spiritual world co-exist. He ...
Philharmonia Orchestra Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen chats informally with Gail and KUSC tour participants in a café downstairs at St. John’s Smith Square following the all-Stravinsky Concert entitled Faith.
The setting for this third concert in Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Stravinsky: Myth and Rituals series with the Philharmonia Orchestra was a former church, St. John’s Smith Square. On the program: a group of the composer’s austerely beautiful late religious works, such as Requiem Canticles, Mass, and Cantata. Also included: Stravinsky’s highly personal laments for, respectively, poets Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot, and President John F. Kennedy. Salonen treated this haunting array of almost never performed works as one continuous oratorio: instead of applause, church bells chimed softly between the individual works to afford the time for brief stage changes. Candles and soft lighting in the former chapel added to the atmosphere. Even those on the tour who tend to shun 20th and 21st century ...
The work day starts in London at 9 o’clock. For nearly everyone. Perhaps it’s a function of the city’s role as a global financial powerhouse. Or its former imperial glory. Whatever. It chooses its own hours. This is how it was possible for me to take a 6:45am jet-lag-busting run yesterday morning and virtually own the streets surrounding our hotel, the normally bustling Covent Garden.
The rains came shortly after I returned to the hotel where all 29 of us tour participants are staying. The count includes KUSC Director of Development Minnie Prince, our tour guide Gavin Miller, me, and 26 KUSC listeners, mostly repeat customers on this amazing sold-out adventures.
The Birth of Minnie Prince, after Botticelli's Venus
Kitty and Abby, regular KUSC tour participants, steer in the direction of a new friend at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The rain made for a wonderfully atmospheric London morning as ...
Gail Eichenthal and a group of KUSC listeners are currently on a music and arts tour of London. Gail will be sending reports from their trip along the way. Here's her message from Day 1:
What better way to begin our jetlagged first evening in London than to float down the Thames with a peerless view and commentary on the old city from a prancing, almost dancing tour guide named Simon.
Then, roast beef dinner at the historic Simpson's-in-the-Strand. Having landed in the afternoon, our heads hit the chocolate mousse before most of us could devour it.
On Day 2, we look forward to a morning visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Indian lunch, and what promises to be a dazzling Schubertiade at Wigmore hall: the final Piano Sonata in B flat, the final String Quartet, No. 15 in G, and songs. With a program like that, we will hardly ...
We asked you to vote for your favorite pieces of classical music ever written, now it’s time to roll out the results. It’s time for the second annual KUSC Classical Top 100 Countdown, Southern California’s biggest classical music survey.
100 Boccherini: Night Music on the Streets of Madrid
99 Handel: Solomon: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
98 Chopin: Piano Concerto #1
97 Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier
96 Mahler: Symphony #5: Adagietto
95 Brahms: Symphony #1
94 Dvorak: Rusalka: Song to the Moon
93 Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
92 Mozart: Piano Concerto #20
91 Brahms: Violin Concerto
90 Tchaikovsky: Symphony #5
89 Puccini: Turandot: Nessun Dorma
88 Grieg: Peer Gynt
87 Delibes: Lakme: Flower Duet
86 Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet
85 Bach: Cello Suite #1
84 Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld: Overture
83 Bruch: Violin Concerto #1
82 Haydn: Symphony #94 "Surprise"
81 Satie: Gymnopedies
80 Bach: Concerto for 2 Violins...