Thomas Morris on concluding his fifteen-year tenure as Ojai Music Festival’s artistic director

Posted on: June 5, 2019

“Once, Ojai was Shangri-La, Hollywood’s idea of the exotic Himalayan locale,” writes Mark Swed in Thursday’s (5/30) Los Angeles Times. “After its founding in 1947, the Ojai Music Festival … really was heaven…. This year’s festival, which runs from June 6-9, will be [Thomas] Morris’ last as artistic director … after 15 years…. Charm and informality continue. But thanks in large part to Morris, the Ojai festival is now a Destination [attracting] far more national and European visitors and press. This year … the versatile soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan [is] music director.” Having previously served as head of “the Boston Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra made Morris a most unlikely custodian of Californian nonconformity [but] Morris was known for having his own quirky sense of adventure…. He was, after all, trained as a percussionist…. ‘I’m not interested in selling concerts, or selling artists, but selling ideas and experience,’ Morris said…. Next year, Ojai will … be entrusted to local hands with Chad Smith, the L.A. Phil chief operating officer…. When asked what Morris will do next, the answer he gives is: something. ‘I don’t plan my life. When you change something, it’s a from and a to,’ he said.”

Posted June 5, 2019