Ojai’s 2021 festival, curated by John Adams, with multiple young composers

Posted on: September 22, 2021

“The Ojai Music Festival … returned, Sept. 16-19 … after a long pandemic absence,” writes Joshua Barone in Monday’s (9/20) New York Times. “Diligently enforced safety measures slightly harshed the vibe of this storied event, a rigorous yet relaxing haven for contemporary music…. This edition … is the first under the leadership of Ara Guzelimian…. Each year, the person in his position organizes the programming with a new music director; for Guzelimian’s debut, he chose the composer John Adams… They billed their concerts as a forward-looking survey of young artists…. But in music, past, present and future are always informing one another…. The pianist Vikingur Olafsson treated Mozart, as he likes to say, as if the ink had just dried on the score…. Performers … included the festival orchestra … members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group; and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra…. There were so many living composers programmed that Esa-Pekka Salonen didn’t even qualify as a headliner … amid the novelty of other voices,” including composers Carlos Simon, Inti Figgis-Vizueta, Gabriela Ortiz, Javier Álvarez, Dylan Mattingly, Anthony Cheung, Kaija Saariaho, Jessie Montgomery, Caroline Shaw, Paul Wiancko, Gabriella Smith, and Philip Glass.