It’s really no surprise that one of the world’s finest universities, especially one that is situated in Palo Alto, smack-dab in the middle of the idea-and-innovation hub of the Silicon Valley, would be home to a venue with such an advanced design. Created for Stanford University’s performing arts organization Stanford Live by the architect/acoustician dream team of Richard Olcott and Yasuhisa Toyota, the dramatic oval hall has a “vineyard” design, with 842 terraced seats ringing the stage. Settle in for a concert and you’ll find yourself incredibly close to leading musicians—a truly thrilling experience when the likes of the Emerson String Quartet or pianist Lang Lang perform. In addition to the main hall, Bing also boasts the intimate underground studio, cabaret, and theater Bing Concert Hall Studio, where flexible seating allows it to host range of performances.
Every first and third Saturday of the month during Stanford University's academic year (excluding holidays), you can take a free tour of the hall led by one of the venue’s docents. Tours take place from 10–11 a.m. and require groups of 6 or more; visit the site for details. Make a highbrow day of it by also visiting the outdoor Rodin Sculpture Garden and the adjacent Cantor Arts Center; together they display 200 bronze works—the largest collection of Rodin pieces in the world. If weather permits, also check out what may be going on at the Frost Amphitheater, the university’s outdoor venue. Visit Stanford Live’s Upcoming Events page for all performances on the university’s campus.