Okay, it doesn't have this past year's lineup of operas (Wozzeck, Einstein on the Beach, The Secret Garden), but it does have the return of the Vienna Philharmonic and terrific piano and vocalist series, plus a Mark Morris premiere or two.
Almost everything counts as a highlight:
- Ojai North! curated by Mark Morris. Too much good stuff to describe, even though mostly it's dead guys. One highlight will be Morris's take on Le Sacre du Printemps with music by The Bad Plus.
- Three performances by the VPO, with Danielle Gatti, Andris Nelsons, and Franz Welser-Most each taking a program. The three programs aren't in and of themselves that thrilling, but I'll go anyway.
- Mark Morris Dance Group with McGegan & the PBO, Handel's Acis & Galatea, orchestra by WA Mozart
- Manny Ax with Ann Sofie von Otter (Brahms, Mazzoli, Muhly)
- Manny Ax with Yo-Yo Ma (Brahms, Hillborg, Dean)
- Kronos Quartet 40th birthday program
- Vocal series: Kelley O'Connor & Jessica Rivera with Robert Spano; Gerald Finley with Julius Drake (Winterreise), Iestyn Davies with Thomas Dunford, lute, Christianne Stotijn with Rick Stotijn and Joseph Breinl (the latter program has lots of new music)
- Piano series: Wosner, Goode, Bronfman with P. Zukerman, Lewis, Biss, Uchida
- New music series: Eco Ensemble, Calder Quartet, Kronos Quartet
- Chamber music series: Musicians from Marlboro, Danish String Quartet, Jerusalem Quartet (all-Shostakovich program), Takacs Quartet (all of the Bartok quartets in two programs), David Finckel & Wu Han
- Jordi Savall, Hesperion XXI, and Tembembe Ensemble Continuo
- Mariza (fado)
- Wu Man (pipa)
Women? Missy Mazzoli has something on the ASvO/Ax program and Wu Man will play some of her own music.