Stanford Lively Arts offers virtuosity, variety 

More than 100 events — both ticketed concerts and free community programs — are in the lineup for Stanford Lively Arts’ 2011–12 performing arts series, which runs Oct. 19 through May 6 at Stanford University.

Both new works, including varied commissions, and old favorites round out programming for the 42nd season, which was announced Monday.

Among the highlights is the groundbreaking Merce Cunningham Dance Co., which, slated to disband, makes its final Bay Area appearance Nov. 1 performing a restaging of Cunningham’s final work, “Nearly Ninety.”

“I’m especially excited about the many flavorful collaborations and creative cross-pollinations that anchor our season,” said Stanford Lively Arts’ artistic and executive director Jenny Bilfield. “We want to enable artists to do their best work here — to take risks — and to engage our campus partners and audience in this dynamic process.”

Offerings range from multiple ensembles onstage together — as in opening night’s performance with Catalyst Quartet performing with the Sphinx Virtuosi (Oct. 19) — to solo recitals by virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham (Nov. 6) and harpsichordist Richard Egarr (Feb. 1) in all-Bach programs.

Stanford’s resident ensemble the St. Lawrence String Quartet begins its annual series Oct. 23 with a new work by longtime collaborator Osvaldo Golijov. On Jan. 29, the group appears with pianist Pedja Muzijevic and a guest vocalist playing excerpts from Stanford composer Jonathan Berger’s upcoming opera, “Three Christs of Ypsilanti,” as the first part of a commission for the opening of the new 844-seat Bing Concert Hall in 2013.

Other notable string quartets include: Juilliard (Dec. 4), Quatuor Mosaïques (April 14), Arneis (Feb. 25) and Pacifica (Nov. 4).

In another dance program, the Diavolo Dance Theater, known for athleticism and working with large-scale architectural sets, appears Jan. 28 in a work set to music by John Adams.

Vocal ensembles will make rare appearances. Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices presents Stanford alum David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Little Match Girl Passion” on a program with the world premiere of a commissioned companion piece (Jan. 25), written for Bryce Dessner of the band The National and Shara Wordon of My Brightest Diamond.

On March 4, Lionheart and the ACME String Quartet join forces for the world premiere of “Psalmbook,” a commission by Ingram Marshall.

Jazz and world cultural programs explore island cultures with appearances by the Josh Roseman Sextet (Nov. 12), pianist Chucho Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers (Feb. 19), Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles’ combo (April 4) and Hawaiian slack key guitarist Keola Beamer with singer Raiatea Helm (May 6).

The complete schedule includes programming in chamber and recital, vocal, dance, theater, world music and jazz, and special student matinees.



Lively Arts 2011-12 season

  • Where: Stanford University
  • When: Oct. 19 through May 6
  • Tickets: Subscriptions on sale mid-July; single tickets late August
  • Contact: (650) 725-2787,

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