Oberlin College and Conservatory—Where Creativity Flourishes

SBO Staff • FeaturesNovember 2023 • November 1, 2023

Founded in 1865 and situated amid the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College, Oberlin’s Conservatory of Music is one of the world’s foremost professional training institutions, and the only major music school that focuses on educating undergraduates.

This is a place of intensive study and immersive performance experiences, and is your launching pad to the world’s stages. We prepare musicians for remarkable careers, showcasing students on tour, in recordings, and via live stream in front of top critics and discerning audiences alike. In the past decade alone, Oberlin ensembles have performed in important concert halls in New York City, Chicago, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C. 

We educate our students for life and equip them to succeed. It is one of the reasons why Oberlin invented the double degree nearly 100 years ago, and it is the impetus for the entrepreneurship program which provides students with resources to launch ventures, artistic and otherwise. Through their work on campus and beyond, Oberlin students, faculty, and alumni play a critical role in elevating communities worldwide through music.

Oberlin alumni have won countless Grammy Awards, prominent fellowships, and international competitions. They have attained international stature as performers, conductors, and composers, among them Sullivan Fortner, James McBride, Rhiannon Giddens, Claire Chase, Jennifer Koh, Steven Isserlis, Jeremy Denk, Alyson Cambridge, George Walker, Christopher Rouse, Du Yun, Robert Spano, and Jeannette Sorrell. The contemporary music sphere enjoys the contributions of Oberlin-trained Eighth Blackbird, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Oberlin alumni perform in the early music ensembles of Apollo’s Fire and Rebel, as well as in string quartets including Miró, Pacifica, and Jupiter. Graduates hold key roles in major orchestras throughout the world. Still others go on to prominence as scholars, educators, and arts administrators. Oberlin leads all undergraduate institutions in the number of graduates who go on to earn doctorates in music. 

Deepen your skill, artistry, perspective, and confidence at Oberlin, and set a course for bringing your ambitions to life.


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