Program Overview

Historical Performance

Coursework in historical performance requires students to not only study and perfect their chosen instrument, but also understand the cultural and musical history behind the pieces they perform. You can purse study in nine different instruments including fortepiano, harpsichord, organ, recorder, early and historical oboes, viola da gamba, and Baroque flute, violin, and cello. You can also pursue combined studies in historical keyboards and Baroque cello with viola da gamba.

Performance of strings and harpsichord
Oberlin Baroque Orchestra in concert.
Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

Program Facts


Mark Edwards,
Associate Professor of Harpsichord


Oberlin Orchestra in Finney Chapel
Oberlin Orchestra performance in Finney Chapel.
Photo credit: John Seyfried

Performance Ensembles

Oberlin sponsors approximately 500 concerts on campus each year, including recitals and concerts by the more than 25 student ensembles, and performances and master classes by guest artists. From jazz to contemporary guitar, classical to popular, computer-generated to acoustic, and from time-tested compositions to newer works, the college and conservatory present performances to satisfy any musical interest.

Performance Ensembles

Upcoming Historical Performance Events

Historical Performance News

The Dark Side of Orpheus

March 7, 2024

Oberlin Opera Theater’s latest production gives a complex, contemporary take on the familiar story of the Greek hero in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.
Graphic depiction of chest of man in black suit with red tie, staircase and back of a figure wearing a white gown and one wearing a black suit

Semester Ends with a Packed Performance Calendar

December 8, 2023

Oberlin Conservatory’s student and faculty performers have been filling most concert venues throughout the campus over the last week. During these final five bustling days before students head into reading period and then exams, this explosion of activity feels something akin to the thrilling finale of a fireworks display on New Year's Eve. So, join in—even from a distance. All of these concerts are free and open to the public, and all but one of them can be streamed live at concert time at
Musical Union with Oberlin Orchestra