School of Humanities and Sciences
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Associate Professor (Teaching) of Music
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy current project is the composition of a new work for 12 pianos that will be premiered in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on 9 & 10 February 2024. This commission follows an earlier project for 12 pianos that took place in 2022, when I conducted the premiere of "Fall and Fly" for 12 pianos at Flower Piano in San Francisco's Botanical Gardens. That composition by Benjamin Gribble will be repeated in the Grace Cathedral concert along with the premiere of my new work.
Artist in Residence in Music
BioHaving celebrated 33 years with the internationally celebrated St. Lawrence String Quartet, Lesley Robertson (viola) is proud to make her life at Stanford University where along with her St Lawrence colleagues she directs the chamber music at the Department of Music. Ms. Robertson teaches viola, coaches chamber music, and also spearheads the SLSQ's Emerging String Quartet Program at Stanford and the SLSQ's annual Chamber Music Seminar. A graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, Ms. Robertson also holds a degree from the University of British Columbia where she studied with her mentor, Gerald Stanick. A founding member of the SLSQ, Ms. Robertson tours regularly, performing 100+ concerts worldwide per season (in Berlin, Florence, London, Paris, New York, Toronto, among others) but also nurtures close ties to the Stanford community performing in various classes, dormitories, laboratories, hospitals, and in Stanford's glorious Bing Concert Hall. She participated in the Marlboro Festival for several years and and toured with Musicians from Marlboro before co-founding the SLSQ. She has served on the jury of several international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition and the Concours de Genève. Summer music festivals include Spoleto Festival USA, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Banff Festival, Festival of the Sound, Santa Fe Chamber Music, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Bravo Vail, Music@Menlo and more. Robertson plays on a viola (1992) made by fellow Canadian John Newton and a bow (2016) by Francois Malo.
Associate Professor of Music
BioJesse Rodin strives to make contact with lived musical experiences of the Renaissance. Immersing himself in the original sources, he sings from choirbooks, memorizes melodies and their texts, and recreates performances held at weddings, liturgical ceremonies, and feasts. As Director of the Josquin Research Project (josquin.stanford.edu), he uses digital tools to explore a large musical corpus. As Director of the ensemble Cut Circle (cutcircle.org), he works with world-class singers to animate Renaissance music.
Rodin is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation; the Université Libre de Bruxelles; the American Council of Learned Societies; the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies; and the American Musicological Society. For his work with Cut Circle he has received the Prix Olivier Messiaen, the Noah Greenberg Award, Editor’s Choice (Gramophone), and a Diapason d’Or.
He is the author of "Josquin’s Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel" (Oxford University Press, 2012), editor of a volume of the L’homme armé masses for the New Josquin Edition (2014), and co-editor of "The Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music" (2015). His articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Music & Letters, Acta Musicologica, and other major journals. A recent essay in Early Music tackles the longstanding problem of the Josquin canon, classifying all 346 pieces somewhere attributed to Josquin in descending order of confidence.
An in-progress book explores how fifteenth-century polyphony happens in time. Drawing on his experiences as a scholar and performer, Rodin argues that composers activated a new collection of compositional building blocks to create a powerful and imaginative range of musical experiences (Cambridge University Press).
Cut Circle performs internationally, with recent appearances in Florence and Arezzo, Italy to mark the 500th anniversary of Josquin’s death (27 August 1521). With the Belgian label Musique en Wallonie, Cut Circle has published recordings devoted to two riveting anonymous masses of the fifteenth century (2021), the complete songs of Johannes Ockeghem (2020), the late masses of Guillaume Du Fay (2016), and music in the Sistine Chapel in the time of Josquin (2012). A short film titled "Sounds of Renaissance Florence" recaptures the soundscape of fifteenth-century Italy. A disc of songs and motets by Josquin is scheduled for release soon.
A passionate teacher, Rodin has led seminars, workshops, and masterclasses at institutions such as Princeton University, the Schola Cantorum (Basel, Switzerland), the University of Vienna, and the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours, France).
At Stanford Rodin directs the Facsimile Singers, in which students develop native fluency in old musical notation. He has organized symposia on the composer Johannes Ockeghem, medieval music pedagogy, and musical analysis in the digital age. In addition to undergraduate and graduate music courses, he teaches a class on late-medieval feasting that marries art, music, poetry, and politics with hands-on experience in the kitchen.
Professor Harold C. Schmidt Director in Choral Studies and Professor (Teaching) of Music
BioStephen M. Sano, Professor at Stanford University’s Department of Music, assumed the position of Director of Choral Studies in 1993. At Stanford, Dr. Sano directs the Stanford Chamber Chorale and Symphonic Chorus, where he has been described in the press as “a gifted conductor,” and his work as “Wonderful music making! ... evident in an intense engagement with his charges: the musicians responded to this attention with wide-eyed musical acuity.” Other reviews have lauded, “It is difficult to believe that any choral group anywhere is capable of performing better than the Stanford chorus under the direction of Stephen M. Sano.”
Dr. Sano has appeared as guest conductor with many of the world’s leading choral organizations, including in collaborative concerts with the Choirs of Trinity College and St John’s College, Cambridge; the Joyful Company of Singers (London); the Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London; the Kammerchor der Universität der Künste Berlin; and the Kammerchor der Universität Wien (Vienna). He often appears as guest conductor of the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra in its collaborative concerts with the Stanford Symphonic Chorus, and has served on the conducting faculty of the Wilkes University Encore Music Festival of Pennsylvania. He has studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and is in frequent demand as a master class teacher, conductor, and adjudicator in choral music. To date, he has taught master classes and conducted festival, honor, municipal, and collegiate choirs from over twenty states, as well as from England, Austria, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
On Stanford’s campus, Dr. Sano’s accomplishments as a leader and educator have been recognized through his appointments as the inaugural chair holder of the Professor Harold C. Schmidt Directorship of Choral Studies and as the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He was also the recipient of the 2005 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Sano's recordings with the Stanford Chamber Chorale have appeared three times on the Grammy Awards preliminary ballot in the category "Best Choral Album." His choral recordings can be heard on the ARSIS Audio, Pictoria, and Daniel Ho Creations labels.
Outside of the choral world, Dr. Sano is a scholar and performer of kī hō‘alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar), and an avid supporter of North American taiko (Japanese American drumming). As a slack key artist, his recordings have been nominated as finalists for the prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award and the Hawaiian Music Award. His recording, "Songs from the Taro Patch," was on the preliminary ballot for the 2008 Grammy Award. Dr. Sano’s slack key recordings can be heard on the Daniel Ho Creations and Ward Records labels.
A native of Palo Alto, California, Dr. Sano holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in both orchestral and choral conducting from Stanford, and a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance and theory from San José State University. He has studied at Tanglewood Music Center and with Mitchell Sardou Klein, William Ramsey, Aiko Onishi, Alfred Kanwischer, Fernando Valenti, and Ozzie Kotani.
BioStephanie Sherriff is an interdisciplinary artist, composer, and performer currently based in San Francisco, California. Their work with sound, video, and physical phenomena is ephemeral in nature and culminates as time-based installations and performances that deconstruct fragments of daily life through experimental processes. They received a BA from San Francisco State University in 2014 and an MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University in 2019. Their work has been featured both nationally and internationally at creative centers such as the Institute for Research Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), the Sfendoni Theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), O. Festival, Gray Area, The Lab, Artists Television Access (ATA), and the Center for New Music (C4NM).
Professor of Music, Emeritus
BioSmith is a professor emeritus of music and (by courtesy) electrical engineering (Information Systems Lab) based at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Teaching and research pertain to music and audio applications of signal processing. Former software engineer at NeXT Computer, Inc., responsible for signal processing software pertaining to music and audio. For more, see https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/.
C. Kwang Sung, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS) and, by courtesy, of Music
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLaryngology