The Oberlin Orchestra has enjoyed a rich history of notable guest conductors including Igor Stravinsky, Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle (whose son is an Oberlin alumnus), David Zinman, Robert Spano, and John Williams. Recent appearances by the Oberlin Orchestra include performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; at Cleveland’s Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra; a 13-day tour of China in 2005; and a critically acclaimed performance at Carnegie Hall in New York conducted by Robert Spano. The New York Times described the performance at Carnegie Hall as “stellar.”
After Sir Simon Rattle conducted the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra in December 2004, Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenberg wrote that the concert was “stamped by magnificence.” Indeed, Rosenberg included the Oberlin-Rattle performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which he described as “uncommonly rich in poetry and drama,” in his list of top 10 memorable events from the 2004 concert season.