Ojai Music Festival to fete Pierre Boulez, but without Boulez

Ojai Music Festival to fete Pierre Boulez, but without Boulez
The Libbey Bowl in Ojai is a major venue for the annual Ojai Music Festival. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

The 2015 edition of the Ojai Music Festival will honor the 90th birthday of composer and conductor Pierre Boulez with five concerts dedicated to his music and influences. But a festival representative said the renowned French maestro won't be in attendance at the festival, which is scheduled to run June 10 to June 14.

The program lineup, which festival organizers are expected to announce this week, will also include performances of John Luther Adams' "Sila: The Breath of the World" and Roland Auzet's performance piece "La Cathédrale de Misere."


As previously announced, percussionist Steven Schick will serve as this year's music director. Boulez, who will turn 90 in March, has served as the festival's music director seven times over the years.

This year's festival will feature appearances by ensembles including the Calder Quartet, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and the San Diego-based string ensemble Renga.

To celebrate Boulez, Ojai will present "A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez," which festival organizers have described as "a kaleidoscope of recorded and live music, words, and imagery" related to the composer.

"A Pierre Dream," which features documentary footage, comes from the Chicago Symphony's Beyond the Score program and features an original set design by architect Frank Gehry.

Four of the five concerts devoted to Boulez will juxtapose the composer's works with those of Béla Bartók. Another concert will pair Boulez's music with pieces by Maurice Ravel and Olivier Messiaen.

Luther Adams' "Sila: The Breath of the World" will be presented at a free community event throughout Libbey Park. The piece, which is intended to be performed outdoors, debuted at Lincoln Center in New York this year.

In April, Luther Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for music for his piece "Become Ocean."

Auzet's "La Cathédrale de Misere" is a performance piece that adapts "Ursonate" by composer Kurt Schwitters for the stage.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT