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This spring, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra will undertake its first international concert tour since 2017. The two-week tour to France and Monaco, from 16-30 June 2024, will begin in Paris and conclude in Monte Carlo. The SSO will perform six concerts, starting in Versailles and ending in Monte Carlo. The program tour will include music by American composers (Williams, Hailstork, Gershwin) and French composers (Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Ravel) along with music by Anthony Burgess and Richard Strauss.


On 13 April 2024, Paul guest conducts the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) in Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco. The program comprises Marionette Overture by the Swedish composer Hilding Rosenberg; Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor with soloist Michael Long; Sinfonietta, Op. 1 by Benjamin Britten; and Negro Folk Symphony by William Dawson.

SSO presented its Winter Concerts on 8 & 9 March 2024 in Bing Concert Hall, performing Symphony No. 4 by Gustav Mahler and Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams in collaboration with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus. Soprano Maya Kherani and baritone Kenneth Goodson were the vocal soloists, with Stephen Sano conducting the Vaughan Williams.


On 24 February, Stanford Philharmonia performed its Winter Concert featuring piano soloist Stephen Prutsman, playing Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, conducted by Sean Tan '27; Stravinsky's Suites Nos. 1 and 2 for Small Orchestra; Ravel's Ma mère l'oye (Mother Goose Suite); and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat Major, "Emperor".

The premiere of Paul's latest composition, Sweet Thunder for 12 Pianos, took place in San Francisco on 9 & 10 February 2024 in a pair of sold-out performances in Grace Cathedral. Both concerts also included Benjamin Gribble's Fall and Fly, which premiered on 14 September 2022, conducted by Paul, at the Flower Piano Festival in the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Dean Mermell produced this documentary about that event.


The Devil Prefers Mozart, a new book that Paul compiled and edited, is a comprehensive collection of writings on music and musicians by Anthony Burgess. The writings cover a 30-year period, 1962-1993, and a vast array of topics. Published by Carcanet Press, it was released on 25 January 2024 in the UK and Europe, and on 28 March in the US, and can be ordered here.

On 2 December 2023, Paul guest conducted the 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 sponsored this high school honor orchestra, which was hosted by Stanford University and performed in Bing Concert Hall.

The Stanford Symphony Orchestra received rave reviews for its concert with Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros with the Wolf Pack, which Paul conducted on Sunday, 29 October 2023 in Frost Amphitheater. 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.

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; it was selected as a "Critic's Choice" in the July 2023 issue of Opera NewsA 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.

This past 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 2023, 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.

Videos of most SSO, SP, and SSS performances from 2017-2024 can be viewed at the Stanford Orchestras YouTube channel.


BAY AREA RAINBOW SYMPHONY with violin soloist Michael Long

Saturday, 13 April 2024 at 7:30pm • Taube Atrium Theatre / War Memorial and Performing Arts Center / 301 Van Ness Avenue / San Francisco

Program:  HILDING ROSENBERG  Marionette Overture (1939)  •   BENJAMIN BRITTEN  Sinfonietta, Op. 1  • CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS  Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor  •  WILLIAM DAWSON  Negro Folk Symphony

STANFORD PHILHARMONIA Spring Concert with violin soloist Sean Mori '24 – winner of Stanford's 2024 Concerto Competition

Saturday, 11 May 2024 at 7:30pm  •  Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University

Program:  FELIX MENDELSSOHN  Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream •  GABRIEL FAURÉ  Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, Op. 80  •  MAX BRUCH  Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26  •  FRANCIS POULENC  Sinfonietta

STANFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Spring Concerts with cello soloist Christopher Costanza

Friday, 17 May, and Saturday, 18 May 2024  •  both performances at 7:30pm in Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University

Program:  JOHN WILLIAMS  Olympic Fanfare and Theme  •  ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK  Three Spirituals  •  HECTOR BERLIOZ   Hungarian March  •  ANTHONY BURGESS   In memoriam Princess Grace  •  CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS   Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33  •  GEORGE GERSHWIN   An American in Paris

STANFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Concert Tour of France and Monaco

16-30 June 2024  •  Concerts in Versailles, Lyon, Annonay, Fourques, Nice, and Monte Carlo

Programs to include:  JOHN WILLIAMS  Olympic Fanfare and Theme  •  ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK  Three Spirituals  •  HECTOR BERLIOZ   Hungarian March  •  ANTHONY BURGESS   In memoriam Princess Grace  •  RICHARD STRAUSS  Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks  •  MAURICE RAVEL  Introduction and Allegro  •  CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS   Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33  •  GEORGE GERSHWIN   An American in Paris

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