Stanford Live announces 2020-21 season, hoping for the best

Stanford University, Bing Concert Hall, Stanford Live

Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. Courtesy: Jeff Goldberg.

Stanford Live today announced its 2020-’21 season schedule, with a plan to kick off in September, acknowledging that some, many or all shows may have to be rescheduled, postponed or canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our season launch is not a statement of fact but rather a statement of hope,” said Chris Lorway, executive director at Stanford Live. “We hope that we can deliver many of the programs we have planned in some format, but at the same time, we understand the reality that many of the things we wanted to share with you will likely not be possible.”

The theme of the season is reconciliation after times of division.

The lineup includes jazz performances by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (Oct. 24) and Jaz Sawyer with Tiffany Austin (Nov. 13 and 14), a holiday show by The Vienna Boys Choir (Nov. 30), and orchestra performances by the Australian Chamber Orchestra (April 11, 2021) and their ACO Underground (April 12), and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Branford Marsalis (Jan. 13).

Hip-hop artist Frank Waln and singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza will perform together on Oct. 8, Patti LuPone on Jan. 15. Theater performances include Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi’s “Queer Horror’s Gravest Hits” and “Carla Rossi Does Drag” (Nov. 6 and 7), Cliff Cardinal’s “Huff” (Jan. 21 and 22), and a return visit from Inua Ellams with “An Evening with an Immigrant” (Jan. 23 and 24).

Additionally, Stanford Live has rescheduled several performances previously postponed by gathering bans: Yang Liping’s “Rite of Spring” (Dec. 11 and 12), the regional premiere of Samuel Carl Adams’ second commission with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (April 11), and “The Ritual of Breath Is a Rite to Resist” (April 24), a multimedia song cycle and community meditation on the death of Eric Garner featuring music by Stanford faculty composer Jonathan Berger.

“While Stanford Live has moved forward with the rollout of the 2020–’21 season, there is a realistic understanding that many of the programs may need to be altered drastically or may not happen at all as a result of COVID-19’s global impacts,” the organization announced. “The season announcement is instead a presentation of a curatorial vision that was years in the making.”

Stanford Live’s approach took various scenarios into account. Some performances may be switched to outdoor venues. Others may be performed without live audiences and be streamed instead. If in-person events are possible, increased safety protocols will be established that accommodate the latest health guidelines in place.

Refunds and exchanges will be available for all canceled or rescheduled performances.

See the fall schedule of events below.


Sundays with the St. Lawrence with guest artist Todd Palmer
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall


Frank Waln and Raye Zaragoza
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, 7 p.m.
Bing Studio

William Prince
Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Bing Studio


Takacs Quartet with Jeremy Denk
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall

Garrick Ohlsson and Kirill Gerstein: Dual Pianos
Sunday, Nov. 1, 2:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall


National Geographic Live: Wild Hope with Ami Vitale
Thursday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall


Derek Gripper and Yacouba Sissoko
Thursday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Bing Studio

Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 and 9 p.m
Bing Studio


Fandango at the Wall: Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra with special guests Villalobos Brothers
Friday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Ancestral Recall
Saturday, Oct. 24, 7 and 9 p.m
Bing Studio

SFJAZZ Collective with Lizz Wright: Joni Mitchell Tribute
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall

Jaz Sawyer featuring Tiffany Austin: Freedom Now Suite, The Jazz Connection to Africa (family matinee), and The Message Forward
Friday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 14, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Bing Studio


Somos Amigos: Songs on Common Ground: Sonia De Los Santos and the Okee Dokee Brothers
Sunday, Nov. 8, 2:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall


The Wrong Side of History: Colin Quinn
Oct. 9 and 10, 2020, 7 and 9 p.m
Bing Studio


Anthony Hudson/Carla Rossi: Queer Horror Gravest Hits and Carla Rossi Does Drag
Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7, 2020, 8 p.m.
Bing Studio


Vienna Boys Choir
Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
Bing Concert Hall