The Oberlin Review

Audience members were encouraged to move between the socially-distanced performers during “Sila: The Breath of the World” last Friday.

Tappan Square Becomes Stage for “Sila: The Breath of the World”

September 16, 2020

Live music is yet another quintessential Oberlin experience complicated by the pandemic. But creativity and social-distancing prevailed last Friday when Oberlin Conservatory students took to the unusual stage of Tappan Square to perform “Sila: The Breath of the World” by John Luther Adams. The experience was comparable to an installation in an art gallery. The musicians were spread across the grass and in between trees, radiating outward from the center of the square. Many audience members...

President Ambar Announces Presidential Initiative to Address Racial Injustice

Kushagra Kar, Senior Associate Editor

June 16, 2020

President Carmen Twillie Ambar sent an email to the Oberlin community announcing a new Presidential Initiative to educate and mobilize students against racial injustice. This announcement came six days after four Minneapolis police officers brutally murdered Floyd, setting in motion global protests against racial injustice. “I will establish a Presidential Initiative for faculty and students that seeks to address issues of violence, police-community relationships, and racial injustices,” President Ambar wrote in her May 31 email. “One could imagine courses, co-curricular initiatives, community engagements, and internships focused on the very issues that the death of George Floyd invokes. The primary goal of thi...

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...

Conservatory faculty rehearse for this weekend’s “End of Life, End of Time” festival performances.

Upcoming Festival Features Concerts and Panels on Mortality

September 6, 2019

This weekend will be an exciting one, featuring music, discussions, poetry, and art — all centered, surprisingly, around mortality. On Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8, the Conservatory will host the “End of Life, End of Time” festival. The festival was created by Professor of Violin Sibbi Bernhardsson, OC ’95, who became fascinated by pieces written late in composers’ careers.  “The subject of art created at the end of the artists’ life is a compelling one,” Bernhardsson ...

Education, Dialogue Needed to Address Gendered Violence

Colin Roshak

April 13, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Around this time last year, while walking through the Conservatory after class, I came across a note taped to the wall. The note, scribbled messily across a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, accused a Conservatory student of rape. I’m still struck by the rawness of this image. My mind raced and my heart sank into my stomach as I looked at the note hanging from the dull matte walls. This was a stark and necessary reminder that — while we may not want to admit it — sexual violence very much exists in the Conservatory. I had never thought about how issues of sexual violence and misconduct might exist in the Conservatory. This rea...

Draylen Mason was accepted to Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music shortly before his murder. Following the official news of his acceptance, alumni began circulating a petition to award Mason a posthumous Bachelor of Music degree.

Oberlin Pays Tribute to Austin Bombing Victim Draylen Mason

April 6, 2018

The murder of 17-year-old Draylen Mason by the Austin, TX, serial mail bomber has received attention from communities nationwide, but particularly at Oberlin College and Conservatory, the latter of which had accepted Mason around the time of his death. The College, now grappling with how to honor Draylen’s memory, has encouraged community members to donate to two funds associated with his family and life. The College released a statement announcing its support for Mason titled “Honoring Drayle...

Faculty Recital Demonstrates Variety, Virtuosity

Ivan Aidun, Staff Writer

September 15, 2017

The Oberlin Conservatory’s reputation for virtuosic faculty was thoroughly upheld Saturday night, when Associate Professor of Flute Alexa Still and pianist Allie Su performed three 20th century pieces in Kulas Recital Hall. The recital opened with Sonata in A Minor, Op. 34, by the late Romantic American composer Amy Beach. Beach was the first American woman to reach widespread compositional acclaim, and her Gaelic Symphony was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman. Her Sonata in A Minor was originally for violin and piano, but Still transcribed it for flute and piano during her graduate studies. “I was in a chamber music class with an old professor who was a double bass player,” Still ...

Conservatory senior Jared Hochberg, double-degree sophomore Ari Smith and Conservatory senior Orion Krause perform at Jazz Night last Saturday.

Lorenzo’s Jazz Night Connects Conservatory, City

April 7, 2017

When Conservatory senior Jared Hochberg arrived in Oberlin from Chicago and realized there were few outlets in town for jazz jam sessions, he decided to create one. Jazz Night, now a monthly event at Lorenzo’s Pizzeria, was born. Hochberg plays a 90-minute set with double-degree sophomore Ari Smith and Conservatory sophomore Matthew Frerck to start each show, followed by an improv jam session open to musicians of all skill levels. Four years after establishing the series, Hochberg will perform ...

Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of violin. Cho has strong ties to the Cleveland music scene as a performer and educator.

On the Record with Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of Violin

September 4, 2015

Jinjoo Cho, a violinist from Seoul, South Korea, is joining the Oberlin Conservatory faculty this fall. At age 26, she was the winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis after previous successes at the Aspen Music Festival and the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition. She has played with artists including Kent Nagano, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi and James Gaffigan, as well as numerous orchestras. Cho is also known for her community and outreach work and her engageme...

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