The Oberlin Review

Duphil, Oberlin Orchestra Pack Finney Chapel

Duphil, Oberlin Orchestra Pack Finney Chapel

March 4, 2016

t is unquestionable that Oberlin’s conservatory of music is exceptional. However, it is still thrilling to be able to experience it in person. On Saturday night, the Finney Chapel stage was packed with the Conservatory students of the Oberlin Orchestra ready to play in their first spring concert of the semester. This performance was conducted by Director of Conducting and Ensembles Raphael Jiménez and featured Rachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor as well as Oberlin Professor of Composition...

Okoye Returns to Oberlin with Harriet Tubman Opera

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

February 12, 2016

At the end of the opera Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, performed last Saturday in Finney Chapel, the audience rose in a standing ovation. Over the course of an hour, the show’s 10-member cast and chorus told the story of Tubman’s life, from her childhood of slavery to her work on the Underground Railroad. “I see Harriet Tubman, going through time, as a very strong woman,” Conservatory junior Amber Monroe, who played the title character, said. “Even when she was young, her sisters were sold into slavery. Her masters beat her for whatever reason or left her in the cold until she got sick. There was one day ... she decided to stand up for a running slave and in return, [his master] knocks h...

Oberlin Orchestra Balances Kondonassis’ Energetic Solo

Colin Roshak

November 20, 2015

More than a hundred years since its premiere and after countless performances, Igor Stravinsky’s iconic and provocative ballet The Rite of Spring still resonates today. Conductor Raphael Jiménez and the Oberlin Orchestra transported their audience from Finney Chapel to ancient pagan Russia with their riveting performance last Thursday. Before delving into Stravinsky’s primordial fantasy, Jiménez first joined forces with Assistant Professor of Harp Yolanda Kondonassis for Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. Kondonassis’ musical presence and intensity were not overshadowed by the orchestra. The first movement of the piece was dominated by a syncopated and energetic four-note theme. Kondonassis played with pri...

Oberlin-Como Partnership Starts on a High Note

Oberlin-Como Partnership Starts on a High Note

October 2, 2015

This year marks the beginning of a new partnership between Oberlin Conservatory and the International Piano Academy Lake Como. William Naboré co-founded the program in 2002 to provide intensive training to some of the best young pianists from around the world. The new partner-ship establishes an exclusive U.S. hub for the Italy-based program and will allow two students, chosen from international applicants, to participate in a two-year artist diploma program. This past Sunday, three pianists from...

Colors of Rhythm Brings Passion, Solidarity to Finney Chapel

Annelise Giseburt, Production Manager

April 10, 2015

Yesterday evening, Finney Chapel was filled by Colors of Rhythm, marking the show’s 19th consecutive year. The event, which, according to the its mission statement, began as “constructive protest for the visibility, recognition and celebration of certain cultural dance forms and other art forms that aren’t recognized by the mainstream culture and academics on campus,” continues to be a space to celebrate and honor the multitude of cultures, art forms and performers in the community. “We encourage all those involved to recognize how systems of inequality and oppression work to perpetuate racial and cultural invisibility and appropriation and to acknowledge the agency and power that this event stands for,”...

New Music Ensemble ‘Adds Echoes’ to Finney Chapel

New Music Ensemble ‘Adds Echoes’ to Finney Chapel

March 6, 2015

One by one, the members of the Bang on a Can All-Stars added their voices to the sonic texture of Julia Wolfe’s “Believing,” their wordless humming contrasting sublimely with aggressively rhythmic instrumentals. Each voice was unique in timbre and register, but as the ensemble’s sound engineer Jamie McElhinney adjusted the balances between microphones, the All-Stars’ voices blended together in an unearthly harmony that was both unsettling and profoundly beautiful. “Believing,” the second...

Black Aims to Shock Audience in Stand-Up Show

Matt Sprung, Staff Writer

March 14, 2014

Michael Ian Black strolled onto the stage of Finney Chapel Wednesday night and started off with the obvi­ous question: “What the fuck is going on outside with this weather?” This was immediately followed by, “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” Black, a comedian, actor and writer native to New Jersey, attend­ed NYU’s Tisch Institute of Performing Arts before drop­ping out. He’s most recognized for his role as McKinley Dozen in the comedy Wet Hot American Summer and his appearances on VH1’s nostalgia mash-up series I Love the… As might be expected of a comedian on his first visit to a small liberal arts school, Black started off his performance with a discussion of his preconception...

Brooks, OC ’70, Returns to Oberlin

Brooks, OC ’70, Returns to Oberlin

February 28, 2014

Actor Avery Brooks, OC ’70, came onstage at Finney Chapel in an all-white suit, took a seat at the piano, and treated the audience to a dramatic performance of “Throw it Away” by jazz singer and songwriter Abbey Lincoln — an unorthodox beginning to an unorthodox convocation. However, the event was thoroughly consistent with the interpretation of the word “convocation” as “a celebration”; Brooks’s convocation, though unusual, was foremost a celebration of art and community.   Currently,...

Kidjo’s Charisma Inspires All-Concert Dance Party

Ava Bravata-Keating

February 21, 2014

Beninese singer-activist Angélique Kidjo must have set a record — barely 15 minutes into her performance, everyone in the audience was on their feet dancing. More surprisingly, this feat was accomplished in Finney Chapel, a formal venue with full seating accustomed to classical music concerts and distinguished convocation speakers.   With her multi-national band in tow, Kidjo emerged on stage dressed in an attention-grabbing ensemble of a multicolored dress with a matching headdress and sparkly tights. Needless to say, Kidjo commanded the stage, and Oberlin was not the first to notice this Grammy Award winner’s dazzling presence. The singer has received numerous accolades: Time dubbed her “Africa’s premie...

Cleveland’s Baroque Ensemble Hits the Stage

Nicole Gutman, Staff Writer

May 3, 2013

Baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire performed in Finney Chapel this past Sunday. Apollo’s Fire includes 13 Oberlin alumni and faculty, including the group’s conductor, Jeannette Sorrell, OC ’90.  The orchestra, which originates from Cleveland and has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Canada, uses 17th century-style instruments and performs music from the Baroque period. That night, Apollo’s Fire’s guest was Amanda Forsythe, soprano. During its concert, Apollo’s Fire performed pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn. Throughout the concert, the orchestra highlighted the relationship between the two composers, who were close friends and colleagues. Haydn was one of Mozart’s...

Leipzig String Quartet Upholds Artist Recital Series Excellence

Jarrett Hoffman, Staff Writer

March 8, 2013

The esteemed Leipzig String Quartet performed in Finney Chapel on Sunday, March 3, the latest performers featured as part of Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series. Three of its founding members hail from the world-famous Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world. Impressively, the Quartet has had only one personnel change in its 25 years, a fact that cellist Matthias Moosdorf attributes simply to their enjoyment of chamber music. Known for their great versatility, the group has recorded the complete quartets of Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms, as well as the composers of the Second Viennese School. For this tour, though, they opted for all Beethoven, presenting the composer’s...

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