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The Oberlin Review

Jiménez, Ambar Conduct Opening Oberlin Orchestra Concert

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

Filed under ARTS, Music

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

Filed under ARTS, Music

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. ...

Professor Duo Bows Brahms, Shares Bows

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...

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

November 4, 2016

Audiences can expect temperamental divas, babies coming out of ovens, stage moms and balloons from The Oberlin Opera Theater’s double-billed staging of Gaetano Donizetti’s Viva la mamma and Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias. The shows provide an evening filled with farcical and absurdist humor that confronts and contrasts historical and modern perceptions of gender roles, playing today and tomorrow at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Both pieces will be performed in English. T...

Oberlin Orchestra Delves into 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...

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...

Oberlin Orchestra Balances Kondonassis’ Energetic Solo

Colin Roshak

November 20, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Music

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...

On the Record with Conductor Raphael Jiménez and Composer Ricardo Lorenz

Colin Roshak

October 3, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record

Raphael Jiménez conducted the Oberlin Orchestra for the world premiere of composer Ricardo Lorenz’s “Olokun’s Awakening” in the Orchestra’s first concert of the semester last Saturday. The composer arrived on campus several days before the premiere to collaborate with Jiménez and coach the Orchestra in its final rehearsals. The Review spoke with both musicians about their collaborative history and the creative process behind “Olokun’s Awakening.” How did you two get your start in music? Ricardo Lorenz: I started in a rock band in Caracas, in Venezuela where I’m from. It was a sort of fusion rock band with a bunch of friends. Eventually all of us ended up in conservatory there. Raphael Jim...

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