News Releases

Student Writers Launch Music Criticism Blog

December 6, 2013

Communications Staff

ConNotations, a new blog featuring the writing of students in the conservatory’s Introduction to Music Criticism class, has made its debut after an intensive semester of writing.

Found at, the new blog features student-authored reviews of performances and recordings, in addition to essays on compelling topics such as attitudes toward practice time and stigmas associated with contemporary music.

Among the recent performances reviewed by ConNotations critics are Oberlin Opera Theater’s Hänsel und Gretel at Hall Auditorium and Intimate Masterpieces at Finney Chapel, the first program of the 2013-14 Artist Recital Series, featuring music by Maurice Ravel.

Now in its third year, Introduction to Music Criticism is intended to train young writers in the art of informed criticism and analysis through exposure to the many extraordinary performances that take place across campus.

The course is taught by Daniel Hathaway and Mike Telin, lead editors of the northeast Ohio criticism website, and Donald Rosenberg, a longtime music critic and chronicler of the Cleveland Orchestra, and a four-term president of the Music Critics Association of North America.

This year’s Intro to Music Criticism Class includes students Daniel Hautzinger, Aaron Wolff, Daniel Nitsch, and Jarrett Hoffman. Their contributions are complemented by the writing of Larry Dunn, a retired businessman whose lifelong love of music is nurtured through his role as a contributing editor to the contemporary classical music journal I Care if You Listen.

"This year's students continued the high level of musical awareness and intellectual acuity that we have been delighted to experience at Oberlin," says Hathaway.

ConNotations will continue to feature new content throughout the year.

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