Updated: April 07, 2022 07:47
Stanford Philharmonia violinists Roger Xia and Richard Cheung perform on a flight after a delayed takeoff (Photograph from Stanford Philharmonia Facebook page)
Members of the college orchestra returning home to California after a series of sold-out shows at the Bermuda Festival staged a performance on a plane after their flight was delayed.
Stanford Philharmonia violinists Roger Xia and Richard Cheung captured international attention after performing a duet on board as the band en route from Bermuda to California.
Mr. Xia told the Stanford Daily newspaper that they decided to get their instruments out after it was announced that the Atlanta-San Francisco leg of their return trip would be delayed.
He said: “I was falling asleep, and suddenly I hear Richard calling my name and saying, ‘Let’s play’.”
The two retrieved their violins from the upper storage bins and performed an excerpt from Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Symphonie Concertante in G major in the aisle of the plane.
The performance was shared on several social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.
The Stanford Philharmonia, made up of students, staff and graduates from the prestigious university, performed three concerts as part of this year’s Bermuda Festival.
Paul Phillips, director of orchestral studies at Stanford, said talks about bringing the Philharmonic to Bermuda began before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
It was the first trip for one of Stanford’s orchestras since 2017 and the first trip for a major Stanford musical ensemble since 2019, when the Chamber Chorale last toured.
Mr Phillips said: “There was tremendous joy, both from us as performers and from the Bermuda audience, who had not been able to attend live musical performances for over two years before our concerts. ”