Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ojai Music Festival, You Should Be Embarrassed.

I've just gotten a press release from the Ojai Music Festival, trumpeting the next three music directors, who are:
  • Peter Sellars, 2016
  • Vijay Iyer, 2017
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen, 2018
If you take a look at a complete chronological listing of Ojai music directors, you'll find that in 1988, Diane Wittry was co-director, with Nicholas McGegan and Peter Maxwell Davies, in 1998 Mitsuko Uchida was co-director with David Zinman, and in 2011, Dawn Upshaw was music director. Many of the men who've been music directors are repeats, including Lukas Foss, Pierre Boulez, Salonen himself, Kent Nagano, MTT, and others.

As I've noted in the past, Ojai, a festival of new and unusual music, has played hardly any music by women in the last few years. Upshaw commissioned a piece from Maria Schneider; there were a couple of pieces by Ruth Crawford Seeger recently, and this year, Steven Schick, bless his heart, has programmed a number of works by women.

It's 2015, people. I can, off the top of my head, name 20 or more women who'd make great music directors of this festival. In fact, I'll do so right here:
  • Unsuk Chin
  • Chen Yi
  • Pauline Oliveros
  • Gloria Cheng
  • Leila Josefowicz
  • Kaija Saariaho
  • Jennifer Koh
  • Marilyn Nonken
  • Hilary Hahn
  • Susanna Malkki
  • Nicole Paiement
  • Barbara Hannigan
  • Jennifer Higdon
  • Joan Tower
  • Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
  • Claire Chase
  • Tamara Stefanovich
  • Sarah Cahill
  • Augusta Read Thomas
  • Olga Neuwirth
  • Lera Auerbach
  • Roxanna Panufnik
  • Pamela Z
  • Carla Rees
  • Francesca Zambello
  • Joan Jeanrenaud
  • Alicia Weilerstein
C'mon, I just know that you can do it if you try.

Updated: April 16, because I missed Mitsuko Uchida the other day. I'm also occasionally adding to my 
bullet list of possible MDs.


Civic Center said...

Peter Sellars rather than Sellers, and Nicole Paiement rather than Paiment. Otherwise, completely agree.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you all around, and I have made those fixes.