Oberlin Celebrates 10th Anniversary at Kennedy Center on April 27

April 15, 2014
Conservatory Communications Staff
Conservatory student Alana Youssefian, Joseph Monticello, Justin Murphy-Mancini, and Juliana Soltis performing
Conservatory students Alana Youssefian, Joseph Monticello, Justin Murphy-Mancini, and Juliana Soltis (from left).

Photo credit: Dale Preston

Nineteen distinguished Oberlin Conservatory of Music students, showcasing the incredible breadth of musicianship and expertise in the school’s student body, will travel to Washington, D.C., for a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The free program is part of the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project.

Oberlin’s annual appearance on the Conservatory Project series is an honor for participating students. Those performing on this year’s 10th anniversary edition were selected from competitive auditions that took place during the fall semester. Nearly 60 individuals and ensembles competed for the opportunity to perform; from those auditions, a panel of conservatory faculty selected six of the most outstanding performances from across the conservatory’s divisions.

Oberlin’s historical performance division will be represented by Alana Youssefian ’14, baroque violin; and Joseph Monticello ’14, traverso; with continuo provided by Juliana Soltis ’14 MM on baroque cello and Justin Murphy-Mancini (double degree and double major ’13 BA; ’14 BM and MM) on harpsichord. They will perform Carl Friedrich Abel’s Sonata in C Minor.

Monticello spoke enthusiastically of the opportunity to “explore the lush, highly nuanced repertoire of the baroque masters.” He came to Oberlin as a modern musician and had no prior experience with historical performance. “Oberlin has given me the tools and guidance necessary to appropriately interpret and execute baroque repertoire on period instruments, and I am very excited to represent Oberlin at the Kennedy Center."

Two chamber music groups—the Pierrot Sextet and the Nadezhda Quartet—have chosen works from opposite ends of the 20th century. The sextet’s members include Hannah Hammel ’15, flute; Jesse McCandless ’15, clarinet; Yuri Popowycz ’15, violin; Aaron Wolff ’16, cello; Benjamin Rempel ’15, percussion; and Marika Yasuda ’15, piano. They will play Variations for Sextet (1998) by Oberlin Conservatory alumnus David Schober ’97. This piece was originally composed for the Oberlin-spawned ensemble eighth blackbird.

The Nadezhda Quartet comprises seniors Alana Youssefian ’14 and Rachel Iba ’14, violins; Carrie Frey ’14, viola; and Luke Adamson ’14, cello. Their selection is the second movement from Bartok’s String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 17.

Baritone Aaron Keeney ’15, a voice and chemistry double-degree student, will sing three songs from Liederkreis, Op. 39, by Schumann. Daniel Tselyakov ’14, a conservatory senior piano major, will accompany Keeney.

Composer and clarinetist Theo Chandler ’14, a conservatory double major, will perform his own composition Modern Etude for solo clarinet.

To close the performance, a jazz trio with Shea Pierre ’14, piano; Daniel Pappalardo ’14, bass; and Miles Labat ’14, drums will perform Over the Curve, an original composition by Pappalardo.

The Conservatory Project, a program initiative under the umbrella of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone, provides a public platform for the best musicians from American conservatories and introduces the next generation of performers to Washington, D.C., audiences. Oberlin has presented students on the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project series every year since its inception in 2004.

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