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Discover the Music of Galina Ustvolskaya at the Ojai Music Festival

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Discover the Music of Galina Ustvolskaya at the Ojai Music Festival

The Ojai Music Festival starts this week and Alan Chapman tells us about one of the composers whose music is being featured.

This is the music of Galina Ustvolskaya, a Russian composer who’s been called one of the twentieth century’s grand originals. She had a close relationship with Shostakovich, and although he predicted that her music would achieve worldwide renown, it was little known for decades. But next week in Ojai many people will discover her music.

In fact, the Ojai Music Festival is a place for discoveries. The festival is reinvented each year by a musical director who brings a personal perspective to programming the weekend. This year’s musical director is Patricia Kopatchinskaja, a Moldovan violinist who’s been called the “wild child of classical violin.” And Kopatchinskaja has a special affinity for the music of Ustvolskaya.

She’ll perform two of her works with pianist Markus Hinterhäuser. Hinterhäuser will perform all six of her piano sonatas. And another concert will feature Ustvolskaya’s Dies Irae, a remarkable piece for eight double basses, wood block and piano.

And these are just part of a four day festival that offers a wide variety of music, including an exploration of Moldovan folk music for which Kopatchintskaja will be joined by two longtime members of the Moldovan state folk ensemble, who also happen to be her parents.

The Ojai Festival runs from June 7 to June 10. You can find information at

Written by:
Alan Chapman
Alan Chapman
Published on 10.01.2018