The Oberlin Review

Beethoven’s Dead — Can We Move on Now?

Clayton Luckadoo, Contributing Writer

February 28, 2020

 With Beethoven’s 250th birthday coming up, there are innumerable plans to celebrate the prolific composer worldwide. Among other activities, Oberlin Conservatory students will perform the legend’s complete symphonies and string quartets in his honor. While this is a grand undertaking, and the intentions are noble, the result is exclusionary for many. At an institution known for progressive programming and an awareness of exclusionary power structures in the classical music world, this is rather disheartening. I write this not to undermine the impact Beethoven has had on classical music. Thanks to his music and his influence with an avid Beethoven fan in the administration of the Paris Conservatoire, orchestra rehe...

Joyce DiDonato Performs Brave New Arrangements of Timeless Classics

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

March 1, 2019

Musician Joyce DiDonato and company brought an eclectic fusion of jazz and classical music to Finney Chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 27, performing songs from their new experimental compilation album, Songplay. This show is part of the Oberlin Artist Recital Series, an initiative known for bringing renowned musicians to Oberlin’s campus, joining campus and community together in a shared love of music.  What makes Songplay unique is not only the lineup of project collaborators, but also the arrangement of the songs. Pianist Craig Terry did that arranging, which ranged from Baroque epics to American contemporary classics. Terry approached the tracks from a jazz perspective, which resulted in a strong juxtaposition between the ori...

Cleveland Orchestra Fails to Provide Diversity in Repertoire

Matthew Bickett, Contributing Writer

September 21, 2018

James Oestreich of The New York Times says the Cleveland Orchestra “may (quietly) be America’s best.” But what does it mean to be one of the best orchestras? For the players on stage, it means performing with exquisite sensitivity and responding to the scores and conductors in front of them with unparalleled skill. For the artistic direction, it means leading the ensemble down the path to irrelevance and eventual obscurity. Oestreich is wrong; the Cleveland Orchestra is not one of the best. In fact, they’re hardly an orchestra at all. Rather than an orchestra, I’d say they’re an ensemble specializing in the performance of music by European men. In much the same way that eighth blackbird plays only contemp...

Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins, Associate Dean

February 16, 2018

Chris Jenkins is Oberlin Conservatory’s Associate Dean for Academic Support; liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and the deputy Title IX coordinator. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 2001 and went on to receive his Master’s in Music from the New England Conservatory in 2003. Jenkins plays the viola and was granted a Performance Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music. He also holds a deep interest in human rights, and earned a Master’s in ...

The Allen Memorial Art Museum hosted the opening “First Thursday” event of the academic year yesterday. This month’s event offered an evening of Chinese classical music performed on the guzheng by Ohio Heritage Fellow Weichih Rosa Lee. The performance complements the exhibition of Chinese paintings currently on view at the museum. “We haven’t had classical Chinese music at the AMAM in a long time, so this is a special treat,” Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art Kevin Greenwood wrote in an email to the Review.

First Thursday

September 8, 2017

Conservatory senior and soloist Yiran Chen performs Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, accompanied by the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. In their Saturday Finney Chapel concert, the orchestra performed a series of pieces ranging from Kodály’s whimsical Dances of Galánta to Sibelius’ somber “The Swan of Tuonela.”

Orchestra’s Synergy Eclipsed by Virtuosity

April 15, 2016

With beautiful pieces and a talented ensemble, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra made their mark on Finney Chapel Saturday night. Headlined by a performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s virtuosic Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63, the event highlighted the relationship between the soloists and the orchestra in each piece. The rapport within conductor Raphael Jiménez’s ensemble demonstrated a sense of equality that resembled a conversation between old friends. That said, this dynamic was inconsistent...

Tetzlaff Receives Ovation After Energetic Recital

Colin Roshak

November 6, 2015

German violinist Christian Tetzlaff presented a daunting program of over 90 minutes of works for solo violin last Friday. This was no easy feat, but Tetzlaff was up for the challenge. He strode confidently onto the stage, greeted by enthusiastic applause, and wasted little time delving into the music. The program featured Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C major and three modern pieces that demonstrated Bach’s influence on later composers. Tetzlaff’s rendition of the sonata was charming and entirely organic. Each phrase flowed seamlessly into the next, aided by an impeccable sense of rubato. The second movement was the centerpiece. Tetzlaff delicately balanced the intertwining subjects above well-struck harmonies. In...

Lu Delivers Masterful Chopin Performance

Colin Roshak, Staff Writer

September 11, 2015

Since graduating from the Conservatory in 2006, pianist Tian Lu has traveled around the world honing her craft. This past week, she returned to Oberlin to perform a recital consisting entirely of works by the influential Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Lu received her undergraduate degree as well as Artist Diploma from the Conservatory under the tutelage of Professor of Piano Monique Duphil and her master’s degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Boris Slutsky and Leon Fleischer. Chopin’s works, all 230 of which include piano, contain some of the most technically demanding yet haunting beautiful music in the standard repertoire. Although trained in the style of...

Quintet Imani Winds Crafts New Interpretation of Chamber Traditionalism

Ava Bravata-Keating

February 14, 2014

Sunday afternoons are usually uninspiring, consumed by half hearted studying, intermittent napping or other forms of aimless dawdling, but last Sunday’s performance by chamber quintet Imani Winds ripped through the stupor of this end-of-the-weekend limbo. The non-traditional mélange of original compositions, reconstructed orchestral classics and jazz-flavored chamber music kept the Finney Chapel audience on its toes while still delivering the polished performance expected from Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series. Meanwhile, the group’s collaboration with lauded pianist Gilbert Kalish added diversity to an otherwise wind-dominated program. Curtain-opener “Startin’ Sumthin’” by Imani Winds’s own Jeff Scott...

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