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Stanford Live

Stanford, CA         

Stanford Live (formerly Stanford Lively Arts) was founded in 1969, and has long been established as a major performing arts presenter in the San Francisco Bay Area. We present over 60 mainstage performances and 3 to 5 student matinees each season on the Stanford University campus featuring jazz, classical, and world music, dance, theater, and multimedia. 

Each season features some of the world’s leading performing artists as well as many new works, with regional, national, and world premieres each year. We also present 50-75 free community and campus engagement events each season featuring many of our visiting artists as well as local artists, Stanford faculty and visiting scholars. These programs increase access to the arts, contextualize performances for our audiences, and offer a window into the creative process.

Our organization opened a thrilling new chapter with the January 2013 opening of Bing Concert Hall, an 842-seat, state-of-the-art space designed by Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects and Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics. The hall has quickly become a vital new venue for the entire Bay Area, drawing acclaim for its extraordinary acoustics, stunning architecture, and uniquely intimate audience experience. Our inaugural season featured four commissioned works by leading American composers John Luther Adams, Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, and Jonathan Berger, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Major recent projects include multiple artist residencies that have involved campus and community members in dozens of unique events; a multiyear partnership with the Stanford Jazz Workshop and National Jazz Museum in Harlem to expand our jazz programming; extensive explorations and celebrations of composers from Messiaen to Mingus; and over 25 commissions since 2007 including Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton’s Songs of Ascension, John Adams’ Son of Chamber Symphony and String Quartet, Dave Douglas and Bill Morrison’s Spark of Being, Trimpin’s The Gurs Zyklus, and David Lang’s Death Speaks. Works commissioned by Stanford Live/Lively Arts over the past seven years have received over 400 performances internationally and have been released on acclaimed recordings on labels including Nonesuch and ECM. Recognition of these works has included Grammy and Los Angeles Film Critics Circle awards and critical acclaim in Bay Area media, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Economist, and The New Yorker.  

On the Stanford campus we partner with faculty and other colleagues, jointly planning artist residencies with links to curriculum. We bring artists directly to students through master classes and workshops, class visits, concerts and talks at dorms, free performances at the campus coffeehouse, and other programs. We frequently collaborate on our programming with campus arts colleagues such as the Departments of Music, Theater and Performance Studies, Dance, and Art and Art History, the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford Arts Institute, Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA), and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). We work with many other partners from across the university, such as Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, the School of Medicine, and Athletics, producing unique events that have enriched our programs and our partner departments’ classes, conferences, and public programs.

K-12 education has been a core element of our programs for the past four decades. Milestones in recent seasons have included our acceptance into the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, a partnership with the Stanford Graduate School of Education, our NEA-funded Literacy Through the Arts Project, in which performances, workshops, and engagement programs drew connections between the arts and literacy, expanded programs at community partner sites, and the movement of our student matinees and teacher workshops to our new home at Bing Concert Hall.