After 16 years, Thomas Morris to step down as Ojai festival’s artistic director

Posted on: November 20, 2017

“Change is coming to the Ojai Musical Festival, which celebrates contemporary music in an idyllic California valley each year: its artistic director, Thomas W. Morris, announced Friday that he would retire in 2019 after 16 years of guiding, and broadening, the festival,” writes Michael Cooper in Friday’s (11/17) New York Times. “Ojai has an unusual model: its artistic director works with a different music director each year to create its often-unusual programs. Mr. Morris’s music directors have come from a variety of backgrounds. His final two music directors will be the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja next June, and the singer and conductor Barbara Hannigan for his final festival in 2019. Mr. Morris said that he was stepping down to give his successor time to plan the festival’s 75th anniversary in 2021 and 2022. Under his leadership Ojai expanded its reach, streaming videos of its concerts.” The article includes video of recent festival works including Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style and Tyshawn Sorey’s portrait of Josephine Baker with soprano Julia Bullock and International Contemporary Ensemble. “The music director of this year’s festival was the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer, and the American premiere of his work ‘Emergence,’ for trio and orchestra, was featured.”

Posted November 20, 2017