The fifth annual Ojai at Berkeley music festival, formerly known as Ojai North, kicked off Thursday with a free outdoor performance of Sila on Faculty Glade, followed by a Zellerbach Hall performance of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez, a salute to the composer on his 90th birthday.
For nearly 70 years, the festival has celebrated musical creativity by choosing a different music director each year to work with conductors, performers and composers to push at boundaries and stretch the limits of what music can do.
This year, the director is Steven Schick, a percussionist, ensemble leader, author and music professor at UC San Diego. The program he has curated focuses on music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Tonight (Friday), percussion takes center stage with an evening of solo percussion music by Schick from six composers: Iannis Xenakis, Vinko Globokar, David Lang, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Roland Auzet. Later in the evening, Wu Man, on pipa, a four-stringed Chinese lute, will perform pieces by Varèse and Boulez with Joshua Rubin on clarinet.
The festival is set to continue through the weekend with free early evening performances, followed by ticketed events. To see the full schedule, visit the festival’s website.