It’s suit for suit at US music festival

It’s suit for suit at US music festival


norman lebrecht

October 17, 2019

The Ojai Music Festival Board has moved fast to replace Chad Smith, who has become CEO of the LA Phil.

Smith will stay in charge until next summer when he will be succeeded by Ara Guzelimian, another lifelong back-stager. Guzelimian is, until next June, Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School in New York City. Before that he was a programmer at Carnegie Hall.

So safety with budgets and no breath of fresh air.



  • Ara Guzelimian may be “no breath of fresh air” but he is still a smart choice, and anyway Ojai has plenty of fresh air, being Shangri-La, you know.

  • drummerman says:

    This will be number 250,001 — surely you could have found a kinder way of describing these two gentlemen rather than “suits.”

    • willymh says:

      ah but the reality is that it’s tid-bits like this that have garnered those 250,001 comments and most likely the reason for said tid-bits.

  • Chris says:

    While at Carnegie, Guzelimian was responsible for some of the most vibrant programming in New York, and indeed, the U.S. He has strong relationships with many of the greatest creative artists of our time. While at Juilliard, he has been focused on the next generation. To at least some observers, this is a formidable combination of strengths. He is no mere “suit.”

  • Bruce says:

    Sounds like he wanted PatKop and anyone else is a disappointment.

  • NYMike says:

    Guzelimian is leaving Juilliard.

  • willymh says:

    Surely the gentlemen in question are bringing/have brought more to their jobs than their sartorial splendours? Or are you aware of something that the rest of us don’t know?

  • Jake Gittes says:

    Poor Mr. Guzelimian! On June 29 he was described on this site as the “dean and musical conscience” of Juilliard. In the meantime he has become nothing more than a “suit.”