Stanford Live goes fully virtual for 2020 fall season

Stanford Live is pivoting its 2020 fall season once again. Late last spring the organization announced a tentative fall and winter schedule, hoping live performances could return. With that not being the case right now, it’s switching to a streaming performance film series—shot at Bing Concert Hall—for the time being.

Stanford’s ensemble-in-residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, will kick off the series on Sep. 27 in a collaboration with Stanford Live, faculty, student editors, cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw and producer Elena Park.

“We’ve assembled an incredible group of artists and filmmakers to bring the magic of the Bing stage into living rooms throughout the Bay Area,” Stanford Live Executive Director Chris Lorway said in a news release. “While you can never replace the experience of live performance, we hope that seeing some of your favorite artists captured in film in our venue will bring you comfort and hope as we await our collective return to the theater.”

The first performance will be of Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76 No. 5. Additionally, a performance of Debussy’s String Quartet (II. Assez vif et bien rythmé and III. Andantino, doucement expressif) was captured by the Facebook Oculus team to be shared in 180 degrees in the coming weeks.

The film will include interviews with the quartet, behind-the-scenes footage and a peek into the personal lives of the musicians. It tells the story of how the quartet has had to adapt its creative process amid COVID-19 restrictions that have resulted in the longest hiatus in the quartet’s 30 years.

Stanford Live is currently planning future filmed performances by pianist Garrick Ohlsson, musician Vân Ánh (Vanessa) Võ and the Kronos Quartet, with others to be announced in the coming weeks.

Other performances planned include:

  • At-home version of Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, with four new plays added online each week beginning Sept. 17, featuring an actor creating a narrative of a play from their kitchen tables using common household objects to bring the characters to life.
  • Artists-in-Presidents: Fireside Chats for 2020, where 50 artists will be paired with notable speechwriters to find their presidential voice. These national addresses kick off the week of Sep. 14.
  • Other ticketed events, such as a virtual book tour stop by comedian Colin Quinn
  • Free podcasts and lectures

Access to the short film series and some screenings will be free for all Stanford students and Stanford Live members at the $100-Patron level or higher. To join, visit Stanford Live’s website.