Stanford music groups showcase summer performances

July 15, 2013, 9:25 a.m.

This July and August, Stanford is playing host to some truly one-of-a-kind performances by the Summer Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Jazz and the Summer Youth Orchestra, all of which are sure to leave audiences eager for more. Even as excitement for Itzhak Perlman’s arrival and the kickoff of the much-anticipated fall season continues to build, check out some of the special performances Stanford’s talented summer music groups have to offer in the interim.

Stanford Symphony Orchestra at Bing Concert Hall. Photo by Jeff Goldberg.
Stanford Symphony Orchestra at Bing Concert Hall. Photo by Jeff Goldberg.

Summer Stanford Symphony Orchestra
Although they will only give one performance, the Summer Stanford Symphony Orchestra is sure to make a splash at Bing Concert Hall with their July 20 performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. The orchestra comprises a combination of Stanford students, community members and high school students, who will perform after just two weeks of rehearsal. The latter two groups have also assumed additional importance over the summer in the absence of many undergraduate students.

“What ends up happening is you develop a nice interface between the community and the remaining students by creating what’s really sort of a local-based orchestra,” noted Anna Wittstruck, the Summer Symphony’s conductor.

According to Wittstruck, the appeal of playing in a state-of-the art venue like the Bing Concert Hall has helped attract better players, with the site’s superior sound quality giving performers a “whole new perception of how [they] play and how the ensemble is put together.”

Stanford Youth Orchestra
The Stanford Youth Orchestra, conducted by music director Jindong Cai, will present performances of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Beethoven and Grieg at Bing Concert Hall on July 21, July 28 and August 2, all for only $10 each.

“[During the summer season] we see the resurgence of the original meaning of the word ‘amateur’ – ‘to love,’” said Bing Concert Hall Managing Director Wiley Hausam.

Although many showcased musicians are not professional performers, the sheer passion that they bring to the stage may make each concert a truly remarkable experience for both themselves and the audience.

Stanford Jazz Festival
In the mood for some breathtaking improvisation from some of the world’s leading jazz artists? This summer Stanford Jazz will offer just that, showcasing a score of internationally renowned artists throughout the summer through its annual Jazz Festival.

“You’d have to go to Manhattan, you know, the West Village, […] to hear that density of world-class jazz [normally],” said Jim Nadel ’72, Stanford Jazz’s executive director.

Stanford Jazz’s summer programming also includes a free series of lunchtime student and faculty performances at Tressider Memorial Union as well as evening shows at the CoHo.

According to Ernie Rideout, marketing director for the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the summer programming offers a chance to witness artists’ creative development firsthand, as they return to Stanford after brief absences while bringing completely new sounds to the stage. Rideout singled out the Stanley Clarke Trio, who will play at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on July 20, as a unique offering.

“That,” he said, “will be a tremendous performance.”

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