Bullard Goes To Bat For Classical Banjo

By Madison Warren

Album cover designed by Travis Ladue with photo by Michael Wilson

With its roots in folk, bluegrass, and early African-American music, the banjo may not appear to have a place in the classical world. But John Bullard’s collaboration with other musicians on his recording Classical Banjo: The Perfect Southern Art reveals the bright, sweet-sounding instrument’s ability to fit snugly into the music of Marcello, Handel, Bach, Telemann, and Grieg. The album also reveals the perils of arranging for such a distinct sound, most notably in Bullard’s attempt to reinvent Schumann’s Three Romances for the banjo. Though not effective all the way through, the disc has enough charm and deeply expressive moments to make a convincing case for the instrument’s versatility. Continue reading “Bullard Goes To Bat For Classical Banjo”


Opera…And All That Jazz

By Madison Schindele

61lSyDqeQOL._SS500.jpgListening to the recording Joyce and Tony Live at Wigmore Hall with a glass of wine in hand is a gift that everyone should experience. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, winner of the 2016 Grammy for best classical solo album, and pianist Antonio Pappano teamed up to bring an audience at London’s Wigmore Hall a taste of their multi-genre platter. A sweet and salty mixture, the program consisted of classical, musical theater, and jazz favorites. The 2-disc Erato album takes you on vacation, first to 18th- and 19th-century Italy, then to Tin Pan Alley in New York City. Continue reading “Opera…And All That Jazz”

What To Say? Not a Lot

By Samantha Spaccasi

The large audience at Oberlin’s Warner Concert Hall experienced something spectacular on Friday evening, but don’t expect to hear about all of it. Due to the fact that Vijay Iyer’s Trouble for violin and chamber orchestra was still being tweaked, the publisher requested that no one review the artistry or the piece itself. Continue reading “What To Say? Not a Lot”

The Cleveland Orchestra Returns to Finney Chapel

By Heewon Lee

Cleveland-Orchestra_Bryan-Rubin-Photo-editor-WEBSeeing a world-class orchestra on stage Friday evening, April 21 in Finney Chapel — the home to the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra — suddenly seemed similar but different. The Cleveland Orchestra concluded Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series with a program that featured principal players in works by Delius, Vaughan Williams, and Strauss. Continue reading “The Cleveland Orchestra Returns to Finney Chapel”

Cleveland Orchestra Presents Delius, Vaughan Williams and Strauss

By Hannah Schoepe

Romantic soundscapes sculpted by orchestral playing of the highest magnitude shaped The Cleveland Orchestra’s program on Friday evening April 21st, in Oberlin Conservatory’s historic Finney Chapel. Anticipation grew steadily as the concert hall rapidly filled with a diverse audience ranging from students, to young families, to elderly community members. Everyone eagerly awaited the downbeat that guest conductor Sir Andrew Davis would give the world-renowned ensemble. Continue reading “Cleveland Orchestra Presents Delius, Vaughan Williams and Strauss”

CME Welcomes Audiences with Accessible Performance

By Madison Warren



It’s no April fools’ joke — anyone really can come to love contemporary music! On Saturday evening, April 1, Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble made their debut at a new, laid-back venue, the Birenbaum. CME invited every audience member to open their minds and ears to what many consider the least accessible of all classical music periods, with a program consisting of pieces written by composers who are still alive. And as CME trombonist Alex Melzer so aptly stated, the musicians really “played the heck out of it.” Continue reading “CME Welcomes Audiences with Accessible Performance”

Oberlin Chamber Orchestra Delights

By Colin Roshak

It’s getting to be that time of year again when there are so many concerts that it becomes impossible to decide which to attend. Those who chose the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra concert on Saturday, April 8 in Finney Chapel, were well rewarded. Under the direction of Raphael Jimenéz, and featuring a world premiere alongside a program ofrepertoire staples, the Chamber Orchestra gave one of their finest performances of the year. Continue reading “Oberlin Chamber Orchestra Delights”

Oberlin Chamber Orchestra Presents a Mystic Evening

By Hannah Schoepe


Saturday evening April 8th, Oberlin Conservatory’s Finney Chapel resounded with an eclectic range of sounds. Presenting a wonderfully diverse program under the baton of Rafael Jiménez, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra began with the world premiere of Web of Silver, written by student composer William Bolles-Beaven (‘18). This was followed by Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring competition winner Shiyu Yang (‘17) and Mendelssohn’s popular Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”).

“Web of Silver” did justice to its name, as the orchestra entered with shimmery transparency. Continue reading “Oberlin Chamber Orchestra Presents a Mystic Evening”

Ninety-nine concerts of TCO on the program, ninety-nine concerts of TCO

By Colin Roshak

Every year Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series brings some of the biggest names and most exciting musicians to rural Ohio. As per tradition, on Friday, April 21, the Cleveland Orchestra found its way to Finney Chapel for their yearly performance. Approaching their hundredth year, the Orchestra sounds as vibrant as ever. Under the expert direction of guest conductor Andrew Davis, the Orchestra gave a poised and calculated performance, rounding out the 139th year of the Artist Recital Series. Continue reading “Ninety-nine concerts of TCO on the program, ninety-nine concerts of TCO”

A Strange Trip with Tafelmusik

By Samantha Spaccasi

Whimsical history lessons, sheep, and well-played baroque music defined the Tafelmusik concert at Oberlin’s Finney Chapel on Tuesday evening, February 28. The Toronto-based group played as part of Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series. Though the concert was two hours long with a brief intermission, the ensemble maintained a high level of energy and performed Bach’s music with style and flair. Continue reading “A Strange Trip with Tafelmusik”