The reviews are in for the Stanford Symphony Orchestra concert with Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros with the Wolf Pack, which Paul conducted on Sunday, 29 October 2023 in Frost Amphitheater and they're triumphant! The San José Mercury News called the performance "an absolute triumph", echoed by popmatters describing it as "a majestic triumph…this night defies expectations of what can or can’t be done." Other glowing reviews have appeared online in San Francisco Bay Area Concerts and in The Stanford Daily, which "was impressed by how the orchestra was able to blend into the rock arrangements, creating a harmonious fusion." Produced by Stanford Live and Goldenvoice, the concert, which lasted three and a half hours, featured arrangements by Giancarlo Aquilanti of favorite Grateful Dead songs.
The SSO will perform its Fall Concerts on 1 and 2 December 2023 in Bing Concert Hall, performing Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks by Richard Strauss, Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Griffes Poem, and The Incredible Flutist Ballet Suite by Walter Piston. Concerto Competition winners Richard Cheung '24 (violin) and Laura Futamura '24 (flute) will be the featured soloists on these concerts.
That same weekend, Paul will guest conduct the December CODA Honor Symphony Orchestra in a program of music by Dvorak, Valerie Coleman, and Saint-Saëns plus his own Brownian Motion. The California Orchestra Directors Association sponsors this high school honor orchestra, which will be hosted by Stanford University and will perform in Bing Concert Hall on the afternoon of 2 December 2023.
On 11 November, Stanford Philharmonia presented the West Coast premiere of Dedication by William Bolcom as part of the California Festival, “A Celebration of New Music”, taking place statewide from 3-19 November. The balance of the concert, which took place in Bing Concert Hall, comprised Viennese music by Mozart, Johann Strauss II, and Schubert.
The Devil Prefers Mozart: On Music and Musicians 1962-1993, a collection of 75 writings on music by Anthony Burgess that Paul compiled and edited, will be published by Carcanet Press on 25 January 2024. It can now be pre-ordered at Amazon.uk.co.
Paul's new composition Sweet Thunder for twelve pianos will be premiered in San Francisco's Grace Cathedral on 9 February 2024, with a repeat performance the following evening. Those concerts will also include Benjamin Gribble's Fall and Fly, another work for twelve pianos. Fall and Fly premiered on 14 September 2022 at the Flower Piano Festival in the San Francisco Botanical Garden, where it was conducted by Paul, who is featured in a documentary by Dean Mermell about that event.
Mavra/Iolanta, released in December 2022, is a Blu-ray videorecording of the 2019 Bayerische Staatsoper production, which entwines these two operas using Paul's chamber arrangement of Stravinsky's Mavra. A new Naxos recording of the Complete Guitar Quartets of Anthony Burgess, recorded by the Mela Guitar Quartet, was released in September 2023; Paul wrote the liner notes for this recording.
Many videos of SSO, SP, and SSS performances from 2017 to the present were added this summer to the Stanford Orchestras YouTube channel. Paul conducts most of the 144 videos on this YouTube channel
This summer, Paul led the Stanford Summer Symphony in a sold-out concert at Bing Concert Hall on Saturday, 29 July 2023. The program opened with the Afro-American Symphony (No. 1) by William Grant Still and ended with the "New World" Symphony (No. 9) by Antonin Dvorak. Between these two works was the West Coast premiere of The Silent Years by William Perry, featuring Michael Chertock as the piano soloist. The Silent Years is a suite of three rhapsodies for solo piano and orchestra based on Perry's music for The Beloved Rogue (starring John Barrymore), Blood and Sand (starring Rudolf Valentino), and The Gold Rush (starring Charlie Chaplin). Chertock and Phillips premiered The Silent Years and recorded it with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (Ireland) for Naxos on the album Music for Great Films of the Silent Era under the supervision of William Perry, who attended the Stanford performance.
A profile of Paul appeared in the April 2023 issue of Punch Magazine. In July 2023, he lectured and guest conducted at the Montecito International Music Festival in Thousand Oaks, California, and has been invited to return in 2024. Paul is currently in his second year as President of the Western Region of the College Orchestra Directors Association and serves on CODA's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee. At Stanford, Paul led the Music Department's DEI Committee from 2021-23.
In May, Paul conducted concerts in Bing Concert Hall with Stanford Philharmonia and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra featuring winners of the 2023 Concerto Competition. On 13 May, flutists Jenny Xiong '24 and Daniel Sun '25 performed Franz Doppler's Concerto for Two Flutes in D Minor, and alto saxophonist Zachary Lin '26 played André Waignein's Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, with Schumann's Manfred Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 7 completing the SP program. On 19 and 20 May, pianist Roger Xia '24 performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor; the California premiere of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain Suite opened the concert, which concluded with Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz.
STANFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA with Concerto Competition Winners Richard Cheung '24, violinist, and Laura Futamura '24, flutist
Friday, 1 December & Saturday, 2 December 2023 at 7:30pm • Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University
Program: RICHARD STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks • JOHANNES BRAHMS Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77 • CHARLES GRIFFES Poem for Flute and Orchestra • WALTER PISTON The Incredible Flutist Ballet Suite
CODA (California Orchestra Directors Association) HONOR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Saturday, 2 December 2023 at 1:30pm • Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University
Program: ANTONIN DVORAK Carnival Overture • PAUL PHILLIPS Brownian Motion (West Coast premiere) • VALERIE COLEMAN Seven O'Clock Shout • CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah
MUSIC FOR TWELVE PIANOS presented by SUNSET PIANO
Friday, 9 February 2024 at 7:00pm • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Saturday, 10 February 2024 at 7:00pm • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Program: PAUL PHILLIPS Sweet Thunder (world premiere) • BENJAMIN GRIBBLE Fall and Fly
BAY AREA RAINBOW SYMPHONY with violin soloist Michael Long
Saturday, 13 April 2024 at 7:30pm • The Wilsey Center's Atrium / War Memorial and Performing Arts Center / 301 Van Ness Avenue / San Francisco
Program: BENJAMIN BRITTEN Sinfonietta, Op. 1 • CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor • WANG LU Surge (West Coast premiere) • WILLIAM DAWSON Negro Folk Symphony