The Oberlin Review

Conservatory Must Abandon Euro-Centric Practices

Will Rubenstein, Opinions Editor

March 16, 2012

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

With so much going on this semester, many outside the Jazz Studies department have probably missed the explosion of renowned jazz musicians on campus over the last month and a half. After past semesters in which guest jazz performances were often few and far between, in this half-semester alone Oberlin has hosted artists such as Thundercat, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dave Liebman, Robert Glasper and Rufus Reid, culminating in Herbie Hancock’s concert at Finney on March 14. All this of course follows the May 2010 opening of the Bertram and Judith Kohl Building, a $23 million facility providing a permanent home for a jazz department that had languished for decades in the dank, moldy confines of Hales Gymnasium. Amid all this...

Smaller Orchestras Still Dazzle with Rich Sound, Intimacy

Meghan Farnsworth, Staff Writer

March 16, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

Chamber orchestras are small. In fact, they are so small that in 1804, when Beethoven added an additional brass instrument to the traditional two for an orchestra setting in that era, audiences were outraged. Too much brass, they complained. Of course, times are different now: Professional orchestras are tremendous in size when compared to the ones of Beethoven’s day. Today, we call these symphony orchestras, and if 19th-century concertgoers were sitting in a performance of Howard Shore’s score for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they would likely have cried in agony. Perhaps, though, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Raphael Jiménez would be less offensive to their sensibilities. At l...

Robert Shannon Proves Model For Conservatory Pianists

Meghan Farnsworth, Staff Writer

February 10, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Music

Wednesday's recital at Warner Concert Hall featured the talented Robert Shannon, OC ’72, a man famous for being the head of Oberlin’s Keyboard Studies Division, founder of the Cooper International Piano Competition and a highly sought-after piano professor in the Conservatory. With such a reputation, expectations were high. Shannon walked across Warner’s stage as though he were emotionally wounded. His shoulders slumped and his arms swung to their own momentum. When he took his place at the piano, the music that ensued contrasted the reputation preceding him. The performance was very personal, reflective and emotional, rather than purely virtuosic. This effect was both strange and enlightening, especially give...

Contemporary Music Ensemble Attracts New Fans

Sonia Wurzel, Staff Writer

March 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music

One of the best things about coming to Oberlin as an Arts and Sciences student is the opportunity to take advantage of the Conservatory. Not only does the Conservatory give students the chance to take secondary lessons, it also provides the opportunity to hear genres of music that they might not have the chance to experience elsewhere. I had such an experience Friday night in Warner Concert Hall, where the Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by Professor of Conducting Tim Weiss, performed three incredibly engaging pieces. The label “contemporary music” encompasses a diverse variety of music that can be applied to anything composed after 1945 that does not adhere to the classical ensemble tradition. The genre...

Review: Senior Voice Recital

Meghan Farnsworth

February 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music

Senior Conservatory voice major and soprano Cree Alyse Carrico presented a final recital that showcased her vocal power and brilliance as well as her easy, carefree stage dynamic. Pianist Jenna Douglas acted as a tasteful adornment to Carrico’s commanding and powerful presence. The program featured contemporary works by composers Benjamin Britten, Joaquin Rodrigo and Jake Heggie. The first piece by Britten, “On This Island (Auden),” contained five movements in English. It was written shortly after his parents’ deaths and during a time spent among a group of artists studying the works of poet W.H. Auden. Auden’s complex words and obscure allusions define the lyrical basis for each piece. Within each movement,...

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