With over 75 albums and 15 Grammys under his belt, Yo-Yo Ma is considered by many to be the best living cellist. Last Sunday, he graced the Bing Concert Hall with his presence. Accompanied by pianist Kathryn Stott, Yo-Yo Ma performed Stravinsky and Brahms, along with other composers’ pieces, to a crowd that included community members, professors, administrators and a sizable number of lucky Stanford students.
France: the land of baguettes and berets, fine wine and fancy boulevards. Sophisticated and refined, the popular image of France is at once enticing and unattainably enigmatic. This was the France depicted in Sunday’s performance (aptly titled “La Belle France”) by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra (SFCO), conducted by Benjamin Simon. The melodies of Mozart (the only non-native composer represented), Jean Françaix, François Couperin and Maurice Ravel graced the stage of Dinkelspiel Auditorium for an utterly charming afternoon of symphonic music that would make any Francophile swoon.
Last Sunday afternoon, Bay Area violinist Gil Shaham performed an all-Bach program in Dinkelspiel Auditorium. The pieces he played–“Partitas No. 2 in D minor,” “No. 3 in E major” and “Sonata No. 3 in C major”–were ones he’s been playing for over 30 years, which explains the blistering speed at which he performed several of the movements.
Last Sunday, Stanford’s quartet-in-residence, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, put on yet another thrilling Sundays with the St. Lawrence performance of Beethoven’s string trio in Eb; Schubert’s enormous string quintet in C, his last instrumental work and only string quartet; and Osvaldo Golijov’s “Yiddishbbuk” for nearly 700 people in Dinkelspiel Auditorium.
In front of a cozy crowd of students, the award-winning Calder Quartet performed three pieces on Tuesday, Mar. 29. The Quartet, here for its Wednesday collaboration with Grammy award-winning concert pianist and Stanford graduate Gloria Cheng, headed the latest installation of the Kimball Hall Chamber Series.
Though the audience was mostly geriatric, at the end of the two hours there was no languor in the audience’s leaping to its feet for a thundering ovation. It seems that Stanford unequivocally thinks the more string quartet concerts, the better!