The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra makes its debut at the Ojai Music Festival in California this weekend. Entering its 61st season, the outdoor event has a reputation for eclectic programming with an emphasis on contemporary music.
Also debuting at the festival is one of the SPCO's "artistic partners," Pierre-Laurent Aimard. He's the festival's music director this year and will be busy during the four-day event as a pianist, conductor and collaborator.
For the four-day event Thursday through Sunday, Aimard and Ojai Artistic Director Thomas Morris put together a challenging program that includes music by Gyorgy Ligeti, Elliott Carter and Charles Ives. On Saturday the SPCO will give the American premiere of "Chinese Opera" by contemporary Hungarian composer Peter Eotvos.
In a conversation with Minnesota Public Radio's Alison Young, Aimard says he loves challenges and needs to take risks in both life and music.