Frost Amphitheater, the 20-acre bowl designed by landscape architect Leslie Kiler (class of 1924), was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Frost in memory of their son, John Laurence Frost, who graduated in 1935 and died of polio in the same year.
The opening and dedication of Frost in June of 1937 took place as part of that year’s Commencement exercises. In 1942, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture there, including real cannon shots. The amphitheater has hosted many events over the years, lectures as well as concerts. In 1958 the Speech and Drama Department presented its first outdoor show, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” In the 1960s musical events included rock concerts by groups such as the Grateful Dead. In 1990, then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visited Frost, announcing to a crowd of thousands, “The Cold War is now behind us. Let us not wrangle over who won it.”
In the spring of 2012, the Stanford Concert Network (SCN) – working with a number of campus partners including the Office of Special Events and Protocol – planned a “Frost Revival” concert featuring Modest Mouse.