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Department of Music

Stanford musicologist reflects on ‘multimusical’ Aretha Franklin

Charles Kronengold talks about Aretha Franklin as a singular figure in American music.

As family, friends and fans pay their final respects to Aretha Franklin, whose funeral is Aug. 31, Stanford musicologist Charles Kronengold discusses with Stanford Report the ways that Franklin defined her time. Aretha Franklin, shown in a 1968 publicity photo, was a major figure in American musical culture. She died Aug. 16 at age 76. (Image credit: Wikipedia…

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Stanford’s spring quarter guest artists

Guest artists are all over campus this spring. Indie rock band Glass Animals play Stanford Stadium; the open-air literary celebration Stories of Exile, Reckoning and Hope takes place on the main stage in White Plaza; Mina Morita directs Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan in Roble Studio Theater; and Stanford Live’s popular Cabaret series continues in Bing’s cozy…

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Stanford students play leading role in first U.S. performances of Elfman’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra”

In anticipation of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: Eleven Eleven, students had the rare opportunity to work closely with its prominent composer, Danny Elfman.

“Great concentration, great job and great work,” composer Danny Elfman said, complimenting Stanford student musicians after a run-through of his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: Eleven Eleven. Caption: Members of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra were the first musicians in the United States to play Elfman’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. In anticipation of Stanford Symphony Orchestra’s March…

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Three wise women meet the baby King in Stanford production

What if when the Magi went off to Bethlehem to meet the prophesied King, three wise women stayed behind and ended up meeting the baby King in a shared dream vision? This is the premise of Conrad Susa’s one-act opera The Wise Women: A Christmas Mystery Fable, presented by the Department of Music and the Office…

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Associate Professor Anna Schultz receives H. Colin Slim Award

Anna Schultz, Associate Professor (Ethnomusicology), was recently presented with the H. Colin Slim Award by the American Musicological Society during their annual meeting in Rochester, NY. The H. Colin Slim Award honors each year a musicological article of exceptional merit. For the year 2016, that honor has gone to “Sentimental Remembrance and the Amusements of Forgetting in Karl and Harty’s ‘Kentucky’,” by Sumanth Gopinath and Anna Schultz, published in…

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Fall quarter guest artists

See who is on campus this fall.

One of the ways that Stanford is creating opportunities for meaningful engagement with the arts for students and the university community is by inviting over 100 artists each year to campus to create, perform and discuss their work. This fall quarter the roster of guest artists includes comedian and political commentator Samantha Bee in conversation…

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Stanford Libraries’ rare score of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida provides clues to the past

The 1876 manuscript is believed to be the only surviving score from a performance conducted by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and presents a unique research opportunity for historians and musicologists.

A rare, orchestral score of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida has become a valuable source of instruction and inspiration for Stanford scholars. The handwritten manuscript, used in Aida’s Paris premiere in 1876, appears to be the earliest surviving copy of the famous opera’s full score – and the only surviving score from a performance…

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New conductor appointed for Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia

The baton passes to Paul Phillips, director of orchestras and chamber music and distinguished senior lecturer in music at Brown University. He joins the Department of Music on July 1.

Paul Phillips has been named the new director of orchestral studies at Stanford and will take over the baton as music director and conductor of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia. Phillips is currently director of orchestras and chamber music and distinguished senior lecturer in music at Brown University. “We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome…

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Stanford Mohr Visiting Artist Majel Connery reimagines the string quartet

A team of visiting artists teach the theatricality of musical performance.

What happens when you imagine the string quartet as a theatrical genre? How can the inherent showmanship of the four musicians expand to interact with voice, acting and operatic performance? These are the questions Mohr Visiting Artist Majel Connery examined in her winter class, Theatricality and the String Quartet, with help from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer…

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Stanford musicologist brings the 15th century to life

Stanford’s Jesse Rodin reanimates musical experiences of the distant past through performance.

Audiences often trust that performers know the history of the music they present, but even for the most dedicated performers there are unanswered questions. How, for instance, were ensemble performances experienced during the Renaissance? Do we experience them similarly today? For Jesse Rodin, associate professor of music, questions like these are central. “We might not…

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Stanford’s St. Lawrence String Quartet brings Beethoven to the San Francisco County Jail

The St. Lawrence String Quartet, Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence, performed at the San Francisco County Jail, sharing classical music with inmates. One prisoner described the experience as “a drink of water in a desert of concrete.”

Music lives and thrives in all sorts of unexpected places: theaters and living rooms, dingy warehouses and brightly lit stadiums. It blasts through car stereos and provides quiet comfort in moments of solitude. Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet (SLSQ), brought live music to an unexpected place, far removed from the concert hall. They…

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Stanford Live features world-class artists, integrates them into campus life

When the Danish String Quartet visited campus this past October, the members didn’t simply drop in for a public performance of Wallin, Janácek and Beethoven at Bing Concert Hall and head home. They also joined in a chamber music reading session with students and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence. “They all read together…

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Stanford hosts Rolston String Quartet

Stanford’s Azure Family Concert series and the St. Lawrence String Quartet continue to bring the best emerging quartets to campus.

“Where words fail, music speaks.” This simple adage, attributed to 19th-century Danish author of children’s fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen, still rings true today. His words get to the heart of why we listen to music – for its ability to express what we would otherwise never know how to say. The music of the…

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Bringing Baby back at Dinkelspiel Auditorium

Sixty years ago, one of the first successful American operas, The Ballad of Baby Doe, made its West Coast premiere at Stanford’s then brand-new Dinkelspiel Auditorium. The opera, based on the true and tragic story of Elizabeth “Baby” Doe Tabor and her romance with the wealthy silver king Horace Tabor, was commissioned by Colorado’s Central…

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Stanford alum returns to campus as visiting artist to explore connections between his art and other disciplines

Sculptor Will Clift creates multiple intersections with a range of disciplines, including dance and music in a multimedia production in Bing Concert Hall’s Gunn Atrium.

When artist Will Clift, BS ’02, MS ’03, was at Stanford, his course load included classes on nearly everything but making art. As an undergraduate he majored in integrative design, an individually designed program that combined engineering, philosophy and psychology. He then earned a master’s degree in management science and engineering. With the exception of…

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Stanford Symphony Orchestra tours Catalina Island

A holiday tradition includes performances, educational outreach and a little karaoke.

In an annual tradition, 18 members of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra traveled down the California coast and then 26 miles across the sea to arrive at Catalina Island last month. This is the fourth year that the ensemble has made the trip to perform at the Catalina Island Museum’s Annual Holiday Symphony Concert at the…

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