About the Arts at Oberlin

Founded in 1833, Oberlin is one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Its Conservatory of Music and Allen Memorial Art Museum have secured throughout the world Oberlin’s reputation for artistic excellence. For those who live within driving distance of Oberlin, it is a haven for the performing and visual arts and a citadel for the life of the mind.


The Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865 and situated amid the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College, is renowned as a professional music school of the highest caliber. With more than 500 free concerts each year, the conservatory is a cornerstone of Oberlin’s cultural life.


Another such cornerstone is the Allen Memorial Art Museum, recognized for its superlative collection and considered one of the finest college or university art museums in the United States. Since its founding in 1917, the AMAM has been a major educational and cultural asset for all of northeast Ohio, providing a wide range of high-quality exhibitions and programs that are free to all.


Since Oberlin’s founding, its halls have resonated with the voices of history—distinguished guests such as Adlai Stevenson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In recent years, guests of the Oberlin Convocation Series have contributed to the dialogue, setting the current standard for engaging and dynamic lectures by such leading public intellectuals and writers as Natasha Trethewey, Toni Morrison, Lisa Randall, Bryan Stevenson, and David Sedaris.


Oberlin has enriched the Greater Cleveland community through music and art, through theater and dance, and through inquiry and intellect, enlivening and enriching the human experience. The performing arts audiences, museum patrons, and intellectually curious who attend Oberlin’s events are vital to the cultural exchange with its artists and thinkers. Oberlin is grateful for your attendance, your financial support, and your enthusiasm.


Welcome to Oberlin, where the creative vision is made real, the transformative power of art is realized, and the important conversations of our society take place.

Piano 2018 | Violin 2019
For young musicians ages 13 to 18
$20,000 first prize

Presented each July by Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cooper Competition showcases the most promising young musicians from around the world. Five days of performances on campus give way to the thrilling Concerto Finals at Severance Hall, where three finalists compete for the grand prize in concert with The Cleveland Orchestra.

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