Widgets Magazine

Stanford welcomes new conductor for Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia

Paul Phillips joins Stanford as the new director of orchestral studies. In his new role, Phillips will lead the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia as the music director and conductor.

Phillips was previously the director of orchestras and chamber music and distinguished senior lecturer in music at Brown University. Last year, Stanford University held an application process to appoint a new Director of Orchestral Studies, and according to Phillips, over 100 candidates applied for the position, including individuals from overseas. 

(Courtesy of Paul Phillips)

“There was a committee that looked through the applications and qualifications of each applicant,” he said. “I went through a series of stages of the application process which led to a trip to Stanford in March and an offer for the position in April.”

After leading the orchestral program at Brown University for 28 years, Phillips is now preparing to make a transition to bring his experience to Stanford’s campus.

“While at Brown, I learned to go about things in a way that I believe created a healthy, strong orchestral ground,” he said. “I will definitely bring that experience that I had at Brown to Stanford.”

Phillips also notes the differences between Stanford University and Brown University’s orchestral programs. While Stanford had two orchestras–Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia–Brown had only one. In addition, Stanford’s orchestras were known for its international tours.

“There was more of a history of touring at Stanford than at Brown,” he said. “The Brown orchestra had taken a few international tours while Stanford’s orchestras had toured more frequently. I am hoping that in a few years, I can also take Stanford’s orchestras on a tour to a city they have not been to before.”

According to Phillips, once the fall quarter begins, he hopes to engage in multiple collaborations with faculty members within the music department.

“In the music department, there was a deep interest in collaborations which interests me a great deal,” he said. “I’m looking forward to cooperating with the director of chorale activities and concert activities, composers and many individuals in the music department.”

Phillips also stated his interest in having the chance to work in Bing Concert Hall which opened in January 2013.

“It is a wonderful concert facility, and it will just be a joy to rehearse and give concerts in such a beautiful concert venue,” he said.

Currently, Phillips is preparing to move from the East Coast to the West Coast. He is staying in the area this summer for a couple weeks to finalize his preparations.

“I want to hit the ground running by the time fall quarter begins.”


Contact Rachel Shin at rachelshin219 ‘at’ gmail.com.