Oberlin has appointed distinguished composer Stephen Hartke as its new Chair of Composition starting July 2015. The announcement highlights the history of collaboration between the conservatory, one of America’s most respected and innovative music institutions, and Hartke who is among America’s most respected and innovative living composers.
One example of the synergy that has existed between Hartke and OC can be readily found in the new music ensemble Eighth Blackbird, a group founded originally by Oberlin students and now one of the most creative artistic forces in new music. Eighth Blackbird commissioned Hartke’s Meanwhile, which ultimately earned both composer and musicians each a Grammy Award in their respective categories.
Hartke attended student performances while visiting Oberlin in in December 2014, which included Wulfstan at the Millenium on Dec. 9 and The Rose of the Winds for double string quartet on the 11th.
In other news, the composer’s new piano trio, The Blue Studio premiered at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2015. Additional performances this year will include University of Southern California in April, and this summer at the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Festival.