Igor Stravinksy’s 125th birthday to be celebrated on campus

Four-day commemoration will include concerts and free talks, demonstrations led by cultural historian Joseph Horowitz

Library of Congress Stravinsky

LIvely Arts presents “The Stravinsky Project” March 6-9 on campus. Above, Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky.

Stanford will commemorate the 125th birthday of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, one of the last century's most influential composers, with a four-day musical celebration March 6-9.

The Lively Arts celebration will feature performances by Tbilisi-born Alexander Toradze, a pianist universally recognized as a masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition. He will perform with pianists from the Toradze Piano Studio and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, under Stanford conductor Jindong Cai, the Gretchen B. Kimball Director of Orchestral Studies.

Author and cultural historian Joseph Horowitz, a former music critic for the New York Times, will lead a series of free pre-performance events and demonstrations.

The festival opens with Hollywood Exiles, a free discussion at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Cubberley Auditorium. Horowitz will explore the California careers of Stravinsky and legendary directors Fritz Lang and Rouben Mamoulian and show film clips.

At 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Toradze and his former students George Vatchnadze and Genadi Zagor, now of the Toradze Piano Studio, join Horowitz for a piano mini-marathon. The evening includes a chronological survey of works ranging from the iconic Rite of Spring to the more obscure Scherzo from the Sonata in F-sharp Minor of 1904. The program—which also includes the Piano Sonata, Tango and Concerto for Two Pianos—features a one-of-a-kind improvisation on Petrushka and a conversation about "Stravinsky the pianist."

Prior to Friday's concert, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Campbell Recital Hall, Toradze and his colleagues, along with Stanford music Professor George Barth and lecturer Kumaran Arul, will participate in a free discussion and demonstration featuring Stravinsky's piano recordings, a live rendition of the Sonata for Piano Duet, and a Stravinsky improvisation. Horowitz will moderate this discussion.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Toradze and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra will perform a cross-section of Stravinsky's Russian, French and American periods, including the jazzy Capriccio for piano and orchestra and the first movement from Symphony in Three Movements. The program culminates with a performance of Stravinsky's early masterpiece The Firebird Suite, performed by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jindong Cai and featuring puppetry by Robin Walsh. Horowitz will give pre-concert discussions an hour before each performance in Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

Tickets for events can be ordered online at http://livelyarts.stanford.edu. The website also includes program notes and a full schedule of events.