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The Backstage Pass artist interview series provides Stanford Live members a special opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at how our artists make their art come to life, especially during this challenging time. Led by Executive Director Chris Lorway, these conversations are held once a month with artists from various genres. Get your peek behind the stage curtain now.

Artists featured in the series so far include singer Joyce DiDonato, violinist Geoff Nuttall, choreographer Kyle Abraham, and more.

Interview recordings available for viewing:

Martha Redbone – Recorded July 2020

Martha Redbone is an American blues and soul singer of part Cherokee, Choctaw, European, and African-American descent. She is known for her stylistic mix of folk, blues and gospel from her childhood in Harlan County, Kentucky infused with the eclecticism of pre-gentrified Brooklyn. Redbone gives voice to issues of social justice, bridging traditions from past to present, connecting cultures, and celebrating the human spirit.

Geoff Nuttall – Recorded August 2020

Geoff Nuttall is a violinist and cofounder of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. As first violinist of the world-renowned quartet, Geoff has performed well over 1,500 concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, while the St. Lawrence String Quartet has become a regular at some of North America's most esteemed music festivals.

Ryan Haddad – Recorded September 2020

Playwright and actor Ryan Haddad is the 2020 recipient of the Cornelia Street American Playwriting Award, and can be seen acting in popular TV shows such as The Politician, Madame Secretary, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Haddad has written five plays, and performed his acclaimed solo work Hi, Are You Single? at Stanford in 2018.

Alanna Mitchell – Recorded October 2020

Alanna Mitchell is an acclaimed science journalist and author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, which won the Grantham Prize for excellence in environmental journalism. She won a National Magazine Award in 2014 for a feature on the biology of extinction and in 2015 won a New York International Radio Festival Silver Medal for her science documentary on neonicotinoid pesticides. The stage adaptation of Sea Sick is currently scheduled to be presented in the Bing Studio in late 2021.

Kyle Abraham – Recorded November 2020

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, a master at mixing hip-hop, street, and modern dance styles, founded the dance company Abraham.In.Motion (A.I.M) in 2006 and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013. A.I.M is currently scheduled to perform a new Stanford Live-commissioned work in late 2021 at Memorial Auditorium.

Joyce DiDonato – Recorded December 2020

Joyce DiDonato is not only one of the finest singers in the world of opera, but one of its most theatrical and imaginative. DiDonato takes a playful look at the arduous process of classical vocal training while illuminating the timeless beauty of a great song in any style.

Richard Egarr – Recorded February 2021

After a successful career as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr joined the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale as Music Director in 2020. As a conductor, Richard straddles the worlds of historically-informed and modern symphonic performance, making him an ideal fit for PBO’s parallel commitments to early and new music. In addition to his conducting genius, he is a brilliant harpsichordist and is equally skilled on the organ and fortepiano.

How the Arts Reopen: Featured panelists include Alison Friedman, Claire Hopkinson and Ntshadi Mofokeng – Recorded March 2021

Stanford Live’s Executive Director Chris Lorway talks with arts leaders from around the world about how their organizations are planning to open their doors to the public again. Featured panelists include Alison Friedman, Artistic Director of Performing Arts at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in Hong Kong; Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of the Toronto Arts Council; and Ntshadi Mofokeng from Gregory Moqoma Dance in Johannesburg.

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