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Mark Morris chooses the Bad Plus, John Cage for Ojai festival

November 14, 2012|By David Ng
  • Choreographer Mark Morris, who will lead the 2013 Ojai Music Festival, has programmed a typically eclectic lineup for the annual event.
Choreographer Mark Morris, who will lead the 2013 Ojai Music Festival,… (Jennifer S. Altman / For…)

Renowned choreographer Mark Morris will bring his signature modern sensibility to the Ojai Music Festival in June with a program that will feature pieces by Lou Harrison, John Cage and Henry Cowell.

Organizers said Wednesday the Mark Morris Dance Group will perform at the annual festival along with the jazz ensemble the Bad Plus, pianist Ethan Iverson, the American String Quartet and pianist-organist Colin Fowler.

The 2013 Ojai Music Festival is scheduled to take place June 6-9. As previously announced, Morris will serve as the festival's music director, a guest position that has been held in recent years by pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and singer Dawn Upshaw. Morris is the first choreographer in the festival's history to hold the position.

Among the highlights of the 2013 festival will be a rendition of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" by the Bad Plus, as well as a handful of new compositions performed by the group; a performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group with the American String Quartet; and performances of pieces by John Luther Adams and Charles Ives.

A version of the festival program, called Ojai North, will take place in Berkeley from June 11 to 13. 

As music director, Morris is responsible for programming decisions and choosing the artists who will participate in the festival. This year's festival will include conversations with Morris about his career as a dancer and choreographer.

The 2014 Ojai Music Festival will be directed by pianist Jeremy Denk. 


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