News Releases

Oberlin Chamber Orchestra: A Feast of Student Talent

February 14, 2013

Conservatory Communications Staff

OBERLIN, OHIO — Three Oberlin Conservatory students will be featured in a concert with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra on March 2 in Finney Chapel. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. under the direction of Raphael Jiménez, associate professor of conducting, who says that the concert will be “a feast of student talent.” Admission is free, and no tickets are required.

Master’s student Matthew Chamberlain will open the program by conducting the orchestra in the overture from Rossini’s opera Semiramide, an entertaining, symphonic-sized work often considered to be one of the master’s best.

Harpist Rebekah Efthimiou ’12, a winner of Oberlin’s 2012–13 Concerto Competition, will follow with Ginastera’s Harp Concerto. “This is one of the finest concertos for any instrument written in the 20th century,” Jiménez says, “and is of course a great representation of the music from Latin America.”

Jiménez adds that the piece showcases the harp in a non-traditional way. “Extended techniques, such as using the fingernails instead of the fingertips and hitting the body of the instrument to create percussive rhythms, segue to beautiful folk melodies and glissandos that color the orchestra.”

David Ellis, master’s student in conducting, will take the baton and lead the orchestra through the “magical world” of Anatol Liadov’s Enchanted Lake. The program will conclude with the colorful Capriccio espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov, a “masterpiece of brilliant orchestration that offers numerous opportunities for orchestra members to be on the spotlight.”

About Matthew Chamberlain
Matthew Chamberlain is a composer and conductor living in Oberlin, Ohio. He is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in composition and pursuing a master’s in conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Raised in Leesburg, Virginia, Chamberlain began composing and conducting at ages 11 and 15, respectively, in one of Washington DC’s fastest transforming suburbs. Since then, he has pursued both disciplines, ardently seeking to improve the clarity with which he engages performers and listeners, as well as to be a compelling advocate for those who bring contemporary music to people around the world.

Most recently, his work focuses on exploring the vast potential of text as musical material. From the semantic weight of poetry to the very structures of phrase and thought that shape extemporaneous speech, Chamberlain is immersed in finding meaningful ways of projecting the features of our communications into music that allows us to hear our own words in a rather different way.

About Rebekah Efthimiou
Harpist Rebekah Efthimiou is currently in her fourth year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. A student of Yolanda Kondonassis, she is a winner of the Oberlin Conservatory Concerto Competition and has been featured as a soloist with the Oberlin College Community Strings and in the Jane Cauffiel Memorial Concert Series. As an orchestral and chamber musician, she has participated in numerous summer festivals and concert series including the Round Top Summer Institute, Saratoga Harp Colony, and Oberlin’s Music at Oakton series in the Washington, D.C. area. At Oberlin, she performs regularly with the Oberlin orchestras and Contemporary Music Ensemble and has joined both groups in recent premieres and recording projects. In January, she accompanied these ensembles to New York City for Oberlin’s 2013 Illumination Tour, performing at Carnegie Hall and alongside the International Contemporary Ensemble at the DiMenna Center. Other honors include participation as a finalist in the Young Artist’s Harp Competition, second prize in the Anthony R. Stefan Scholarship Competition, and a featured performance on WSKG television’s Expressions classical music series.

In addition to her studies with Kondonassis, Efthimiou has received instruction through master classes and lessons with Paula Page, Bridget Kibbey, Elizabeth Hainen, and Alice Giles. Efthimiou began her harp studies with Karlinda Caldicott and received her high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was a student of Joan Holland. She is a native of upstate New York. 

About David Ellis
David Ellis, a native of Solon, Ohio, is currently pursuing a Master of Music in conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory. His teachers include Raphael Jiménez and Timothy Weiss.  As a conductor, he most recently attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, where he studied with Michael Jinbo. Additionally, he has participated in conducting master classes with Giancarlo Guerrero.

In May 2012, Ellis completed both a Bachelor of Music in cello performance and a Master of Music in historical performance at Oberlin, under the tutelage of Catharina Meints. At the culmination of his historical performance degree, he was awarded the Earl L. Russell Award in Historical Performance. As part of his education, he assembled and directed the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra, for which he also served as personnel manager and librarian. As a viola da gambist and baroque cellist, Ellis has performed in many ensembles in northeast Ohio and elsewhere, including the Bach Project, Apollo’s Fire, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. He has participated in festivals including the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival. He has played viola da gamba in master classes for such distinguished artists as Anner Bylsma and Jaap ter Linden.

Fact Sheet

Saturday, March 2, 2013, 8:00 p.m.

Oberlin Chamber Orchestra
Raphael Jiménez, conductor
Matthew Chamberlain BM ’13 MM ’14, guest conductor
Rebekah Efthimiou ’13, harp
David Ellis BM, MM ’12 MM ’14, guest conductor

Finney Chapel, Oberlin College
90 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

Free; no tickets are required


Rossini:  Overture to Semiramide
Ginastera:  Harp Concerto, Op. 25
Anatol Liadov:  Enchanted Lake.
Rimsky-Korsakov:  Capriccio espagnol, op. 34

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