Frost Amphitheater will start a new chapter of its history this summer with both classical and pop music performances, as the latest phase of Stanford Live‘s Arts Initiative. The outdoor performance space, which was built in the 1930s, has had a complete renovation, with a design meant for optimal sound with minimal disturbance to its natural setting. San Francisco Symphony and the concert promotion company Goldenvoice have partnered with Stanford Live for its inaugural season.
There’s more information about the season at the Frost Amphitheater website.
From the back of the grassy seating area, Mike Ryan, Director of Operations, says you can tell how well the new design is integrated into nature. “This is my favorite view, I think it’s a lot of people’s favorite view. You can see the Hoover Tower in the background, and it’s a pretty iconic shot. This is also a great place where you can really see the intent of design for the canopy, and how it sits nestled below the treeline. Again, so give that illusion of kind of fading into the landscape. They actually built some wooden frames at varying heights to see what would be either seen from outside of the venue, or would overshadow the treeline… They did a really nice job picking out the stone, I think the intent of the design of the space was to minimalize the visual impact, and really maintain the natural aesthetic of the place and have it sit in the space, rather than be the main focal point. So you really can see how the walls kind of just disappear into the hillside of the stage, and that was intentionally done.” Chris Lorway is the Executive Director of Stanford Live and the Bing Concert Hall, which is right next to the Frost. He says this rounds out their Arts Initiative that has included the Bing, the McMurtry Building for the Department of Art and Art History, and the Anderson Collection. “It’s a wonderful natural acoustic because of the way the hill is built, and because there are no hard surfaces for sound to bounce off of, so everything sounds really wonderful in this space…And what we’re incredibly excited about is bringing it back to life. We’ve got full support of the administration and the community about really thinking about this as a wonderful place in the Bay Area to see music.”