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News and Media

Students to Perform at the Kennedy Center

Feb. 10, 2012

Lishan Xue, one of the students to perform at the Kennedy Center

On Saturday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m., Oberlin Conservatory will present its annual concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the center’s Conservatory Project. The diverse program will feature distinguished students representing the best of what Oberlin has to offer in a range of styles, including classical, contemporary, and jazz. The variety of repertoire showcases the incredible breadth of musical expertise and ability in Oberlin’s student body.

Part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone initiative, the Conservatory Project showcases the best musicians from American conservatories, introducing the next generation of performers to Washington, D.C. audiences. Oberlin has presented free concerts at the Kennedy Center as part of the project annually since its inception in 2004. Videos of past performances are available online. The initiative is “an important performance opportunity for young musicians,” says David H. Stull, Dean of the Conservatory. “The experience gain is invaluable to their professional training.”

The program this year will feature ten students, representing five divisions of the conservatory. Soprano Megan Slack, who completed her Bachelor of Music at Oberlin last year and is currently working towards her Master of Music in Opera Theater, opens the program with Haydn’s “Scena di Berenice,” accompanied by pianist Ann Schaefer ‘13. Senior flutist Annie Gordon will follow with a contrasting piece, Luciano Berio’s “Sequenza I for solo flute.” Second year Artist Diploma student Madeleine Kabat will continue the 20th century trend with a movement of Zoltán Kodály’s notoriously virtuosic solo cello sonata. Still in the 20th century, Artist Diploma pianist Lishan Xue will play a movement of Henri Dutilleux’s piano sonata. The jazz quintet WALRUS (Patrick Adams on trumpet, Matthew Adomeit on bass, Timothy Bennett on saxophone, Julia Chen on piano, and Peter Manheim on drums) will close the program with trumpeter Patrick Adams’ original composition, River of the fire goddess.

Awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music is renowned internationally as a professional music school of the highest caliber. Praised as a “national treasure” by the Washington Post, the conservatory, founded in 1865 and situated amid the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College since 1867, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. Oberlin’s alumni enjoy illustrious careers in all aspects of the music world. They have achieved prominence as solo performers; chamber, orchestral, and jazz musicians; composers; conductors; and music educators, scholars, and administrators. Among them are Denyce Graves, David Zinman, Jennifer Koh, Steven Isserlis, Robert Spano, Franco Farina, Jeremy Denk, Christopher Rouse, Lisa Saffer, George Walker, and Christopher Robertson. The members of the contemporary music ensembles eighth blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) are Oberlin graduates, and members of the Miro, Pacifica, Juilliard, and Fry Street quartets, among others, include Oberlin alumni, who can also be found in major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world. For more information about Oberlin, please visit

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