Ojai North!, A Collaboration With The Ojai Music Festival,
Runs Thursday–Saturday, June 13–15, At Hertz Hall And Features Nine Concerts With Works By Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives And
John Luther Adams, Employing Ethan Iverson, Colin Fowler And
The American String Quartet
Cal Performances’ third annual Ojai North!, a multi-year partnership with the esteemed Ojai Music Festival, opens with the world premiere of new choreography to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring by the 2013 Ojai Music Director and choreographer Mark Morris on June 13-15, 2013. Set to The Bad Plus’s rescoring of the explosive masterpiece for piano, bass and drums, Rite of Spring will be performed by the jazz trio and the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). Highlighted by works that Morris champions, the festival programming also includes compositions by Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives and John Luther Adams. Joining Morris in Berkeley will be his MMDG Music Ensemble as well as long-time collaborators Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus, recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as “about as badass as highbrow can get,” pianist/organist Colin Fowler, the American String Quartet, percussion ensemble red fish blue fish and Gamelan Sari Raras from the University of California, Berkeley. All performances will be at Hertz Hall unless otherwise noted.
Each summer the Ojai Music Festival (June 6-9, 2013), explores the musical interests of its Music Director, a position that is held for the first time this year by a choreographer. “The Bay Area understands the genius of Mark Morris and his talents as a dancer, choregrapher and musician, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world,” said Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky. “We are proud to support Mark as Music Director of Ojai North! and introduce his fans here to this new endeavor.” Morris, who considers Cal Performances his West Coast home, has partnered with the institution since 1987, presenting numerous world, United States and West Coast premieres.
A series of education and community events to compliment Ojai North! programming, including film screenings and talks with the artists, are being planned, and will be announce at a later date.
This season’s Ojai North! marks the third year of a residency partnership between Cal Performances and the Ojai Music Festival; the Festival will continue in Berkeley at the end of every annual music festival in Ojai Valley. This collaborative effort makes possible annual reprises of Ojai concerts in Berkeley, as well as co-commissions and co-productions. More than just a sharing of resources, Ojai North! represents a joining of artistic ideals and aspirations. The combined efforts of Ojai’s legacy of artistic innovation and Cal Performances’ tradition of groundbreaking productions create a joint force that allows artists to achieve more than would be possible by each organization separately.
Ojai North! kicks off on Thursday, June 13 at 5:00 p.m. with an outdoor performance of John Luther Adams’ A Strange and Sacred Noise with red fish blue fish; this free and open to the public event will be held on the Faculty Glade. At 8:00 p.m., the world premiere takes place of Mark Morris’s newest work Rite of Spring, set to Stravinsky’s masterwork, reinterpreted and performed by The Bad Plus and danced by MMDG. His company will also dance Mosaic and United (1993) set to Henry Cowell’s Quartets No. 3 and No. 4, performed by the American String Quartet. Closing out the day is a late night jam session with The Bad Plus at 10:00 p.m.
Two concerts on Friday, June 14 at 5:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. showcase Lou Harrison’s work and those inspired by the legendary American maverick composer. At 5:00 p. m. Gamelan Sari Raras from UC Berkeley will perform Lou Harrison’s Music for Gamelan and solo instruments. That evening at 8:00 p.m. members of the MMDG Music Ensemble will perform Harrison’s Suite for Symphonic Strings under the baton of Joshua Gersen, conducting assistant to Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony. The American String Quartet along with pianists Colin Fowler and Yegor Shevtsov will counter with John Luther Adams’s haunting work For Lou Harrison. Day two concludes at 10:00 p.m. with a second John Luther Adams work, staged outdoors, titled Songbirdsongs with red fish blue fish.
Saturday, June 15, is a full day of adventurous repertoire starting at noon with John Cage’s Four Walls which will be performed by pianist Ethan Iverson and soprano Yulia Van Doren. At 2:00 p.m., the American String Quartet will offer Charles Ives’s String Quartet No. 2 followed by a selection of songs by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison and John Cage with Doren, Jamie Van Eyck, mezzo-soprano and Douglas Williams, baritone performing. The audience joins in with the performers for the final song, Carl Ruggles’ great hymn, Exaltation, conducted by Mark Morris.
At 7:30 p.m., Joshua Gersen conducts Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion with Colin Fowler and red fish blue fish. The final concert of Ojai North! at 9:00 p.m. begins with a pair of works by Henry Cowell performed by MMDG Music Ensemble: Heroic Dance, written for Martha Graham, and his cantata Atlantis with vocalists Doren, Van Eyck and Williams. The short Fugue for Percussion by Lou Harrison, one of his most fiendishly difficult pieces, and his Concerto for Piano and Gamelan with Colin Fowler and Gamelan Sari Raras round out the concert.
OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Ojai Music Festival is an annual four-day immersion experience of concerts, symposia and auxiliary events set in the picturesque Ojai Valley, just north of Los Angeles. Founded in 1947 by John Bauer, the Festival receives a constant stream of innovative programming and fresh ideas as the Music Director changes each year. Administratively, Thomas W. Morris celebrates his ninth year with the Festival that turns 66 this season. Acclaimed conductors, composers and artists who have led the Festival in the past include Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Pierre Boulez, Robert Craft, Michael Tilson Thomas, Calvin Simmons, Kent Nagano and John Adams, among many others. Pianist Jeremy Denk assumes the leadership for the 2014 season. For further information go to ojaifestival.org.
Tickets for Ojai North!, Thursday-Saturday, June 13-15, at Zellerbach Playhouse range from $20.00-$110.00 and are subject to change; single tickets will go on sale February 1, 2013. Tickets are available through the Cal Performances’ Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. Rush tickets are announced three hours prior to a performance on Cal Performances’ Facebook page and at 510-642-9988 and are available in person only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance; one ticket per person; all sales are cash only. For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit www.calperformances.org <http://www.calperformances.org> .