Soprano Upshaw performs in two concerts
Highlights of the 65th Ojai Music Festival, June 9-12, include the world premiere of Peter Sellars’ staging of George Crumb’s “The Winds of Destiny (American Songbook IV)” and a pre-fest gala concert of Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ayre,” both featuring four-time Grammy-winning soprano Dawn Upshaw, who is acting as the event’s music director this year after three previous appearances.Upshaw will also be featured in composer and big band leader Maria Schneider’s “Winter Morning Walks,” — inspired by the work of poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Kooser — which was commissioned by the Ventura County-set fest along with Cal Performances and Australian Chamber Orchestra, which is making its Ojai debut. “What really intrigued me about Dawn was the range of her thinking, her repertoire, her collaborators, and her devotion to teaching,” said fest artistic director Thomas W. Morris in a statement.In addition to “Walks,” the Australian Chamber Orchestra, with artistic director Richard Tognetti, will perform a mixed program of Bach and Schoenberg along with newer works by Giacinto Scelsi, Alfred Schnittke and Tognetti himself. Other featured performers in the program include pianist Gilbert Kalish, percussion ensemble Red Fish Blue Fish and graduates of Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College. Also featured throughout the weekend will be film, lectures and symposia that include many of the featured artists appearing on stage. Inaugural festivities marking the three-year effort to rebuild the Libbey Bowl, the main concert venue, will occur the weekend prior to the 65th fest, June 4-5, including a free Day of Music. For complete details, visit OjaiFestival.org.