Stephen M. Sano is Associate Professor
and Chair of the Department of Music, and the inaugural chairholder of the
Harold C. Schmidt Directorship of Choral Studies at Stanford University
where he directs the Stanford Chamber Chorale and Symphonic Chorus.
He holds master's and doctoral degrees in both orchestral and choral
conducting from Stanford, and a bachelor's degree in piano performance
and theory from San Jose State University. Dr. Sano has served on the
conducting faculty of the Wilkes University Encore Music Festival of
Pennsylvania, and frequently appears as guest conductor of the Peninsula
Symphony Orchestra in its collaborative concerts with the Stanford
Symphonic Chorus. A dedicated teacher at Stanford, Professor Sano
was recipient of the 2005 Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He has studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and is in frequent demand
as a master class teacher, conductor, and adjudicator in choral music.
To date, he has taught master classes and conducted festival, honor,
and collegiate choirs from over 20 states as well as choirs from England,
Austria, Germany, Canada, Australia and Japan.
The press has described Dr. Sano as "a gifted conductor", and his work
as "Wonderful music making!...evident in an intense engagement with his
charges: the musicians responded to this attention with wide-eyed musical
acuity." Still other reviews have lauded "It is difficult to believe that
any choral group anywhere is capable of performing better than the Stanford
chorus under the direction of Stephen M. Sano."
An accomplished pianist, Dr. Sano has won numerous piano competitions,
served as accompanist to many leading artists visiting the Bay Area, and as
harpsichordist with the International Chamber Orchestra of Rome. He is
also active in his ancillary fields of interest, Hawaiian choral music, the
music of Queen Lili‘uokalani, ki ho‘alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar)
and North American Taiko (Japanese American drumming). As a slack key artist, his recordings have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Award and the Hawaiian Music Award. His most recent release "Songs from the Taro Patch" was on the preliminary ballot for a 2009 Grammy. Dr. Sano's recordings can be heard on the Pictoria and Stanford labels (choral) and the Daniel Ho Creations label (slack key guitar).