The Oberlin Review

President Carmen Twillie Ambar made her conducting debut last Friday night, leading the Oberlin Orchestra in Johann Strauss’ Radetzky March.

Jiménez, Ambar Conduct Opening Oberlin Orchestra Concert

September 22, 2017

To new listeners, orchestral music can seem foreboding, with complex elements and a long history. But last Friday night, the Oberlin Orchestra invited the community to “So may I introduce to you,” an informal, celebratory show to open the year of orchestral performances and demonstrate that orchestral music is for everyone, not just those in the know. An hour before the event’s posted start time, the plaza outside Finney Chapel was already packed with people who had come to enjoy complimen...

Jiménez Conducts Back-to-Back Orchestra Performances

Ivan Aidun, Staff writer

April 28, 2017

Next week, the Oberlin Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, led by conductor Raphael Jiménez, will present two eclectic programs. The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra will perform this Tuesday, May 2, at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel, and the Oberlin Orchestra will follow the next day at the same time and place. The Chamber Orchestra concert will begin with Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, conducted by double-degree senior Maurice Cohn. The title of the piece is from a poem by Stéphane Mallarmé, which Debussy sought to represent in musical form. Like other pieces by Debussy, the Prélude can sound vague and far-off, but it requires a high degree of technical precision to render its gestures faithfully. ...

Cole to Lead Oberlin Orchestra in Classical, Contemporary Show

Ivan Aidun, Staff writer

February 24, 2017

A thought-provoking mixture of contemporary and classical music awaits listeners at the Oberlin Orchestra concert tomorrow in Finney Chapel. The program includes two pieces written in the last 20 years — the 2003 Violin Concerto by Israeli-American composer Shulamit Ran, performed by Concerto Competition winner and Conservatory senior Christa Cole, and a 2000 piece titled Rapture by Oberlin alumnus Christopher Rouse, OC ’71. In between these two is Totenfeier, an 1888 piece by Gustav Mahler that was later reorchestrated to become the first movement of his Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection.” “It’s a challenging program,” said Director of Oberlin Orchestras Raphael Jiménez, who will conduct tomorrow evening. ...

Conservatory professors Amir Eldan (left), cellist, and David Bowlin, OC ’00, violinist, join director Rafael Jiménez
and the Oberlin Orchestra for its first winter concert. They will both perform solos in Johannes Brahms’ Concerto for
Violin and Cello.

Professor Duo Bows Brahms, Shares Bows

December 9, 2016

The Oberlin Orchestra will take the stage in Finney Chapel to perform its final concert of the semester tonight at 8 p.m. With a program featuring selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, as well as Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, which features Conservatory professors David Bowlin, OC ’00, and Amir Eldan, the concert is sure to impress. For director Rafael Jiménez, Prokofiev’s masterful suite from Romeo and Juliet holds significance beyond its exqu...

With conductor Raphael Jimenez at the helm, the Oberlin Orchestra performed the somber The Isle of the Dead, Op.
29 by Sergei Rachmaninoff and the complex Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich, bookending
a tumultuous stretch of Russian history.

Oberlin Orchestra Delves into Russian History

September 30, 2016

In its first performance of the year, the Oberlin Orchestra, conducted by Raphael Jiménez, returned to play at Finney Chapel Saturday night. Contrasting the feelings of composers who lived during two fraught periods in Russian history, the pieces selected for the performance complemented each other well. Though the tone of the second was underdeveloped, the concert remained engaging from its first note to the last. The concert began with Sergei Rachmaninoff ’s Isle of the Dead, Op. 29, a pie...

Raphael Jiménez conducts the Oberlin Orchestra in Finney Chapel Saturday. The Orchestra’s program featured Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor and Professor of Composition Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 4.

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...

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...

Concerto competition winner and Conservatory senior San Jittakarn performs George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Oberlin Orchestra. The pianist powered through cadenzas with unparalleled virtuosity.

Jittakarn Delivers Polished Rhapsody in Blue

December 12, 2014

The Oberlin Orchestra does not recycle repertoire. In an effort to expose students to a broad array of music, Raphael Jiménez, director of the Oberlin Orchestras, has yet to program any piece more than once for either of the ensembles he directs. For the second time in his four-year tenure, however Jiménez stepped up to the podium Friday night to conduct the Oberlin Orchestra in a performance of George Gershwin’s crowd-pleasing Rhapsody in Blue in Finney Chapel. Not only has the orchestra played t...

On the Record with Gregory Walker, Classical Violinist

Colin Roshak

October 31, 2014

Violinist Gregory Walker is visiting this week to work with the Oberlin Orchestra as it prepares “Poeme for Violin and Orchestra,” a piece composed by his father, George Walker, OC ’41. Walker spoke to the Review about his career as a violinist and his relationship with his father. Colin Roshak: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Gregory Walker: My name is Gregory Walker; I play the violin. I’m fortunate enough to be the son of composer George Walker, and as a result, I find myself in a position of having to be his ambassador on the stage from time to time, especially when he comes up with these phenomenal, complex, mind boggling works for violin or violin and orchestra. CR: How did you start...

Saturday Night’s Alright for Classical: Oberlin Orchestra Stuns Audience with Works by Delius and Tchaikovsky

Gabriel Kanengiser

October 4, 2013

From the very first notes of the Oberlin Orchestra’s first concert of the new school year to its close, clarity emanated from the orchestra as the audience was treated to a delightful and enthusiastic performance. Conductor Raphael Jiménez presented a stellar program last Saturday night at Finney Chapel: Frederick Delius’ Violin Concerto, featuring world-renowned violinist and Oberlin professor of violin Gregory Fulkerson, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor. Fulkerson captivated the room with Delius’s Violin Concerto; at points, the eminent violinist commanded so much attention that the orchestra and Jiménez appeared to be nothing more than the backdrop to a fantastical world in which...

Fulkerson Captivates Audience with Delius’ Violin Concerto

Gabriel Kanengiser

September 27, 2013

From the very first moments of the Oberlin Orchestra’s first concert of the new school year until its final close, clarity emanated from the orchestra and the audience was treated to a delightful and enthusiastic performance. Raphael Jiménez, the conductor, presented a program last Saturday night at Finney Chapel which consisted of Frederick Delius’ Violin Concerto (1916), featuring the world-renown violinist and Oberlin professor, Gregory Fulkerson, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor. Fulkerson captivated the room with Delius’ Violin Concerto, in fact at points, the eminent violinist commanded so much attention that the orchestra and Jimenez appeared to be nothing more than the backdrop...

Musical Union Celebrates 175th Its Anniversary

Daniel Hautzinger, Staff Writer

December 14, 2012

2012 has been a prominent year for anniversaries in music. Philip Glass was born 75 years ago, John Cage 100 years ago, Claude Debussy 150, and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, crucial in the revolutionary composer’s development, celebrates the centennial of its premiere, along with Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. And then there is Oberlin’s Musical Union, stretching back farther than any of those as the second-oldest continuing choral group in America; 2012 marks its 175th year of existence. In honor of that anniversary, the Musical Union joined forces with the Oberlin Orchestra and the College Choir on Sunday to present Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, K. 427. Dean of the Conservatory David Stull...

Established 1874.