Stanford Symphony Orchestra / Stanford Philharmonia

The Stanford Symphony Orchestra (MUSIC 160/160Z) and Stanford Philharmonia (MUSIC 160A/160AZ) provide outstanding opportunities for the practice and enjoyment of orchestral music, rehearsing and performing throughout the academic year. SSO rehearses on Monday and Thursday evenings in Bing Concert Hall from 7:00-9:30pm; SP rehearses in Bing on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm. Most concerts are performed in Bing Concert Hall. Collaborative performances often take place with the Stanford Chamber Chorale, Stanford Symphony Chorus, University Singers, Stanford Wind Symphony, and Stanford Live. Membership, by audition, in SSO and SP is open to all Stanford students (undergraduate and graduate), Stanford staff and faculty, and members of the community of all ages, with priority given to Stanford students. Members do not have to major in music; in fact, fewer than 5% of SSO and SP members are music majors, with most orchestra members majoring in STEM fields. 

In September 2021, 115 members were accepted into SSO following competitive auditions by over 200 students. This fall, the SSO performs its annual Halloween Concert in collaboration with the Stanford Wind Symphony, performing Pirates of the Caribbean, Theme from Jurassic Park, and other works. In November, the SSO will perform a pair of Fall Concerts featuring Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi and Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg with Concerto Competition Winner Ethan Chi ’22 as soloist, plus works by Valerie Coleman, William Grant Still, and Paul Phillips. In March 2022, the SSO will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”, with soprano Esther Tonea and mezzo-soprano Malin Fritz Walrod, in collaboration with the Stanford Symphony Chorus, and in May 2022 will end the season with The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky.

The SP fall roster comprises 43 musicians – 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings (8 8 6 5 3) – with clarinet, harp, keyboard, and percussion to be added later this year. The SP Fall Concert in November will feature music by Mozart, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Haydn, Koechlin, and Britten. In December, SP will perform music by Handel, Mozart, and William Grant Still for the annual Friends of Music Holiday Musicale. A concert tour of Bermuda by SP is being planned for March 2022, with the orchestra performing at the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts.

The vast majority of orchestra members play in SSO or SP, not both. However, in some cases, students may be allowed to play in SSO and SP during the same quarter; typically, there are about five students per quarter who do so. Students in SSO should register for MUSIC 160 (1 unit) or 160Z (0 unit). Those in SP should register for MUSIC 160A (1 unit) or 160AZ (0 unit). Registration codes, which are required to enroll in the zero-unit versions of SSO and SP, are distributed to all students who request them once the rosters have been determined. Students in SSO and SP should register for both courses.

Concert dress for most SSO and SP concerts is elegant black attire for women and tuxedo (or black suit) with black bow tie and white shirt for men, with black shoes for everyone. For some performances, the dress code is all black for everyone – sometimes black shirts and pants only for men, and sometimes black shirts with black suits or tuxedos. Generally, the dress code for Stanford Summer Symphony is white top and black bottom for women, and white shirts and black pants for men. The annual SSO Halloween concert is performed in costumes (by section) that are determined after the start of Fall Quarter.

Anyone interested in auditioning for SSO and/or SP later this year should fill out the Orchestra Participation Form. Professor Phillips hears auditions at the start of each quarter, and can add students to the orchestra rosters depending on openings that may occur throughout the year.

Livestreams During 2020-21

During Winter 2021, three Stanford orchestras – SSO Strings, SSO Winds, and SP – rehearsed over JackTrip and presented livestreams to the public at the end of the quarter. In Spring 2021, SSO Strings and SSO Winds continued with JackTrip while SP returned to in-person rehearsals, ending the quarter with a livestream from Bing Concert Hall and a live, in-person outdoor concert at Meyer Green. For more information on our 2020-2021 Season, and other winter quarter performances, visit our 2020-2021 Season page!

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2021-2022 Season 


FALL 2021

HALLOWEEN CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Stanford Wind Symphony · Giancarlo Aquilanti, conductor
Friday, 29 October 2021 · 7:30 pm · Dinkelspiel Auditorium · Program TBA

SP FALL CONCERT Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor Sunday, 7 November 2021 · 2:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall

Program W. A. MOZART Symphony No. 26 in E-flat
CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGES (JOSEPH BOULOGNE) Symphonie Concertante in G Major, Op. 13 (Roger Xia and Richard Cheung, violin soloists) JOSEPH HAYDN Symphony No. 97 in C Major CHARLES KOECHLIN Septet for Wind Instruments (conducted by Joshua Chang ’21) BENJAMIN BRITTEN Simple Symphony

SSO FALL CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Ethan Chi ’22, piano · 2020 Concerto Competition Winner Friday, 12 November 2021 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 13 November 2021 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall

Program PAUL PHILLIPS Black Notes and White
VALERIE COLEMAN Seven O’Clock Shout
EDVARD GRIEG Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
WILLIAM GRANT STILL Wood Notes
OTTORINO RESPIGHI The Pines of Rome

FRIENDS OF MUSIC HOLIDAY MUSICALE Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor • Stanford Chamber Chorale · Stephen Sano, conductor
Saturday, 4 December 2021 · 2:30 pm · Memorial Church

Program G. F. HANDEL Concerto Grosso in D, Op. 3, No. 6 WILLIAM GRANT STILL  Mother and Child W. A. MOZART Symphony No. 32 in G Major, K. 318 JOHN RUTTER (arr.) The Twelve Days of Christmas H. A. MACKINNON Sleeps Judea Fair and selections by the Stanford Chamber Chorale


WINTER 2022

SP WINTER CONCERTStanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor
Saturday, 26 February 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program DARIUS MILHAUD Stanford Serenade
Other works TBA

SSO-SSC WINTER CONCERT · Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor · Stanford Symphonic Chorus · Steve Sano, conductor · Addison Jadwin ’22, viola · 2020 Concerto Competition Winner
Friday, 4 March 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 5 March 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program WILLIAM WALTON   Viola Concerto
GUSTAV MAHLER   Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”


SPRING 2022

SSO SPRING CONCERT Stanford Symphony Orchestra · Paul Phillips, conductor
Friday, 13 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Saturday, 14 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Program TBA Concerto
IGOR STRAVINSKY   The Rite of Spring

SP SPRING CONCERT Stanford Philharmonia · Paul Phillips, conductor
Saturday, 21 May 2022 · 7:30 pm · Bing Concert Hall
Program TBA


Stanford Symphony Orchestra

Stanford Philharmonia

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