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Classical Pick of the Week: A Chat With Steven Schick and the Ojai Music Festival

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Photo by Alex de Cordoba via the LAist Featured Photos pool onFlickr
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The Ojai Music Festival is back to rescue you from the doldrums! This year's music director happens to be one of the world's most sought after pianists, Leif Ove Andsnes (you might remember his Chopin at the Disney Hall in February). Andsnes has curated an exciting lineup of musical guests including frequent collaborators Marc-André Hamelin, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Reinbert de Leeuw, and percussionist Steven Schick. The festival includes some free performances, lectures, world premieres, and pieces that utilize the idyllic setting in Ojai.

If you're only able to attend a few of the concerts this week, just remember the website will offer live streaming of concerts and lectures. For the budget conscious and freebie lovers, there are also a variety of pre-concert lectures held by music historian Christopher Hailey, late night concerts, and film screening that are all FREE to the public. Reservations are recommended highly recommended. For tickets, click here.

The festival does a good job in including works from various composers across various genres, like Shostakovich, Ives, Janáček, Wagner, Berg, Hillborg, Mozart, Grieg, Bolcom, Copland, and Debussy. Tickets can go for as low as $15, and student discounts are available. If you're looking for something to do during the day, click here (or eat there).

One of the most exciting events at the festival this week is undoubtedly the West Coast premiere of John Luther Adams' Inuksuit. The piece will feature 48 percussionists and piccolo players who will station themselves throughout the park and perform while you walk around and immerse yourself in your surroundings in Ojai. This concert is FREE and at 5 PM on Thursday. We also had an opportunity to ask the conductor Steven Schick about the festival and this piece, which happens to be dedicated to Schick and his wife as a wedding gift.