Surprises await listeners
at 56th annual Ojai Music festival
by Gina Gutierrez
A teapot in a piano and other fun surprises await children
and their parents at the Ojai Music Festival's annual Family
Concert, "The Latest Sounds for Eager Ears; Today's Music
for Today's Kids," on June 1 with Italian pianist Marino
Formenti. Set in the natural amphitheater of the well-known Libbey
Bowl, the festival's Family Concert will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Admission is free for children younger than 17 with reservations
The festival's Family Concert is one of seven during the 56th
annual Ojai Music Festival scheduled from May 29 through June
2. Parents and their children can enjoy picnics on the lawn during
this nontraditional concert, which will highlight some outrageous
music performed by the gifted Formenti while introducing contemporary
music to the young audience members. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles
Times described Formenti as " one of the most exciting pianists
I have ever encountered he was pulling sonic rabbits out of
the hat, as one mystifying effect followed another."
Formenti will perform on one and two pianos, with electronics,
and a diverse program for young ears, ranging from music by noted
Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth to Alvin Lucier's avant-garde
take on the famous Beatles' song, "Nothing is Real"
("Strawberry Fields Forever").
"Hearing music helps young
people to stay curious, and to be confident with the different
languages they hear. For a child, contemporary music can be much
easier to understand in many ways than some of the classical
works, because new music often speaks, in terms of sound, rhythm,
meanings, a language that is perhaps even closer to their lives,"
SBC Foundation, formerly the Pacific Bell Foundation, is the
major sponsor of the Ojai Music Festival's Saturday Family Concert.
Their generous donation makes it possible for children under
17 to attend the concert at no charge. "The SBC Foundation
is particularly proud to support music education programs for
K-12 students and the Family Concert. Our partnership with the
Ojai Music Festival has been a good one over the years and we
look forward to yet another world-class program," commented
Michael Carney, SBC spokesperson and director of external affairs.
The 2002 Ojai Music Festival will also feature the Grammy award-winning
Emerson String Quartet, who will explore the late works of Beethoven
and Shostakovich during three evening concerts. In addition,
audiences will enjoy a Sunday cabaret tribute to Kurt Weill and
Friedrich Hollaender with the vibrant singer Ute Lemper and noted
guitarist Eliot Fisk.
Continuing its hallmark tradition of presenting adventurous programming
with renowned performers, the Ojai Music Festival welcomes families
to enjoy a relaxing weekend getaway in Ojai. Single tickets range
from $7.50 to $55 with the Saturday Family Concert free for children
younger than 17. For information and tickets, call 646-2053 or
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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