The Stanford Symphony Orchestra is one of the America’s leading collegiate orchestras, with a distinguished history dating back to 1891, the year that Stanford University was founded. With a membership of 115 undergraduate and graduate students, the SSO rehearses on Monday and Thursday evenings and presents about ten concerts annually on campus. The orchestra performs repertoire from the Baroque to the present, frequently with outstanding student and faculty soloists as well as renowned visiting artists. Recent SSO concerts have included music by Arensky, Berlioz, Bernstein, Brahms, Corelli, Debussy, Dvorak, Fauré, Gounod, Grieg, Holst, Ibert, Gordon Jacob, Khachaturian, Korngold, Mahler, Milhaud, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Purcell, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Schubert, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Wagner, and Walton, as well as contemporary works by Lera Auerbach, Adolphus Hailstork, Kaija Saariaho, and SSO music director Paul Phillips. Collaborations with Stanford Live include a pops concert with vocalist Darlene Love; the US premiere of Danny Elfman’s Violin Concerto, featuring soloist Sandy Cameron and guest conductor John Mauceri; Rob Kapilow’s “What Makes It Great?” on Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony; and a performance with composer Nitin Sawhney. The SSO presents an annual Halloween Concert in collaboration with the Stanford Wind Symphony and a joint concert with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus each winter, and hosts the annual Concerto Competition to give talented Stanford students the opportunity to perform as orchestral soloists.
In January 2013, the SSO moved into Bing Concert Hall, its new home on campus. The SSO undertakes international tours approximately every four years, with trips to Australia and New Zealand in 2005; China in 2008 as part of the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival; Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic in 2013 to culminate that year’s “Beethoven Project”; and Mexico and Cuba in 2017 – a cultural exchange on the theme “Music that Dances” that incorporated traditions of the host countries and featured new works by two Stanford faculty composers.
Like its sister organization the Stanford Philharmonia, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra is supported by the Department of Music and the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU). Membership is open to all Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and members of the community. Anyone interested in auditioning for the Stanford Symphony Orchestra or Stanford Philharmonia should contact our Orchestra Administrator at orchestra [at] stanford.edu.