July 31, 2017
By Erich Burnett
Finney Chapel is the longtime home of Artist Recital Series events at Oberlin. Photo credit: Kevin G. Reeves

Diverse lineup includes the bluegrass quintet Punch Brothers and vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth—each one featuring an Oberlin alumnus.

The Artist Recital Series at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music has been a cornerstone of northeast Ohio arts since its founding in 1878. Over its 140-year history, the series has presented well over 1,000 of the world’s most acclaimed musicians in historic Finney Chapel—and the lineup for 2017-18 is as wide-ranging as ever.

Highlights of the 2017-18 season include the Artist Recital Series debut of Punch Brothers, the virtuosic bluegrass ensemble that has made an indelible mark on Oberlin as artists in residence since 2013. Also in store is the annual return of The Cleveland Orchestra in October and a homecoming for Dashon Burton ’05, who returns to campus in February with his Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

The complete 2017-18 schedule is as follows:

Punch Brothers
Thursday, September 28 | 8 PM
Punch Brothers have shared their virtuosic bluegrass with Oberlin since 2013 in their role as the inaugural artists in the conservatory’s American Roots Residency program. They return this fall for their first appearance on the Artist Recital Series—and their first campus gig since mandolinist Chris Thile became host of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. The band includes guitarist Chris Eldridge, a 2004 Oberlin graduate.

The Cleveland Orchestra
Tuesday, October 3 | 8 PM
A cornerstone of the Artist Recital Series, the incomparable Cleveland Orchestra has performed in Oberlin every year since 1919—some 240 concerts in all. The orchestra’s autumn visit helps usher in its 100th anniversary season, with longtime Music Director Franz Welser-Möst on the podium and a rousing all-Beethoven lineup—including the iconic Fifth Symphony—in store.

Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
Sunday, November 12 | 4 PM
He has been called the finest English pianist of the last 50 years. Benjamin Grosvenor first earned widespread acclaim as the winner of the 2004 BBC Young Musician Competition for piano—at the tender age of 11. Since then, he has performed with preeminent orchestras and in premier concert halls throughout the world.

Lawrence Power, viola
Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano
Sunday, November 19 | 4 PM
Lawrence Power is hailed for his magnificent recital performances and solo turns with top orchestras across Europe, Australia, and the U.S. His recordings have earned multiple Gramophone Award nominations, and he can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning 2017 recording Shakespeare Songs, featuring tenor Ian Bostridge and pianist Antonio Pappano.

Roomful of Teeth
Friday, February 16 | 8 PM
The innovative vocal ensemble, featuring Oberlin’s own Dashon Burton ’05, will perform a program that includes Partita for 8 Voices, a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece by member Caroline Shaw. Also on tap is a collaboration between the Grammy-winning ensemble and the Oberlin College Choir, under the direction of Gregory Ristow.

Marilyn Horne Master Classes
Friday, February 23 | 8 PM
Sunday, February 25 | 2 PM
Heralded mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne returns for her 11th annual master classes, featuring performances by outstanding Oberlin Conservatory voice students selected through competitive audition. The Marilyn Horne Professorship and Residency is made possible with support from Stephen Rubin.

Brentano String Quartet
Friday, March 30 | 8 PM
Celebrating 25 years in 2017, the Naumberg Award-winning Brentano String Quartet revels in playing music very old and very new—and its Oberlin performance will follow suit, with Rennaissance-era madrigals paired with the 2016 piece The Fifth Book, which was commissioned for the quartet and composed by Oberlin Professor Stephen Hartke.

Gerald Finley, bass-baritone
Michael McMahon, piano

Tuesday, April 17 | 8 PM

Celebrated on concert stages and in opera halls throughout the world, Gerald Finley shines in a broad range of repertoire. His Oberlin engagement will include works by Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and others. Fellow Canadian Michael McMahon finds himself similarly in demand as an accompanist with top artists everywhere.

SUBSCRIBE AND SAVE: Subscriptions to the 2017-18 Artist Recital Series are available now, with full-season and Pick 3 packages both offering significant savings over the individual ticket price. Individual tickets go on sale August 29.

Get tickets for all seven Artist Recital Series concerts plus Marilyn Horne’s master classes for just $210—a savings of $5 per ticket. Seniors age 55 and older, members of the military, and Oberlin staff and alumni pay just $175, and students pay only $50.

Pick 3 packages allow you to select any three concerts on the Artist Recital Series (pending availability) and save $5 off the regular price of each ticket.

BONUS FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS TO THE ARTIST RECITAL SERIES: Through September 28, new subscribers can buy one subscription and get the second one FREE. 

Reserve your tickets by calling 800-371-0178, stop by the Hall Auditorium box office (67 N. Main Street) from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit oberlin.edu/artsguide.

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