Stanford Lively Arts awarded $500,000 grant

New York Polyphony
Palo Alto Online

By Rebecca Wallace

Funding from Andrew M. Mellon Foundation will support classical-music programs and new works

Classical music is getting a boost at Stanford Lively Arts, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the New York-based Andrew M. Mellon Foundation announced Thursday (June 30). The grant is the largest in Lively Arts' history, artistic and executive director Jenny Bilfield said.

The funds will support classical-music programming, new works and artist residencies. One of the works planned is a new chamber opera by Stanford University composer Jonathan Berger and playwright Dan O'Brien; musicians are scheduled to include the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the male vocal quartet New York Polyphony.

Grant money will also help expand Lively Arts' educational efforts, which include bringing artists to perform in humanities courses and presenting student-curated programs.

"This grant is rocket fuel for our programming and residencies as we ready ourselves for the Bing Hall opening in January of 2013," Bilfield said in a press release. "We'll be able to augment existing collaborations, initiate dynamic new projects that bring academic and regional partners closer, and sustain our investment in new work -- a core value."

The 844-seat Bing Concert Hall is being built near Frost Amphitheater, with its main entrance looking across Palm Drive at the Cantor Arts Center. Named after donors and Stanford graduates Helen and Peter Bing, the hall will be Lively Arts' main venue and will also be used by the university's music department.

Besides making grants in the performing arts, the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation also supports programs in art conservation, higher education and other areas.

For more information about Stanford Lively Arts, go to