SF Conservatory of Music and SF Ballet School Announce Expanded Partnership

Michael Zwiebach on January 7, 2020
SF Ballet School students during and between warm-ups | Credit: Brandon Patoc

With the construction of the Bowes Center, San Francisco Conservatory of Music will be in possession of something all arts organizations need: space. And the residential units in the tower will also be in high demand, meaning that SFCM will be a major hub of the midtown performing arts scene.

On Monday, SFCM and San Francisco Ballet School announced a partnership that will give Ballet School students access to the new housing and rehearsal spaces, while also extending the educational offerings of both schools. SFCM students will be able to take an expanded roster of movement and dance classes, while Ballet School students will have access to music courses.

Architect's rendering of the Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts at 200 Van Ness Avenue (view from the north) | Credit: Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects

Fifty-two SF Ballet School intermediate, advanced, and Trainee-level students will occupy the Dede Wilsey 5th floor of the $193 million SFCM Bowes Center. “It is an honor to be able to participate in this extraordinary partnership,” said Wilsey.

“With this partnership, we can increase the number of students we are able to house, but more importantly, we can improve the students’ overall quality of life. SFB School can now offer an integrated model of education for our students that emphasizes the importance of exposure to and knowledge of other artistic disciplines,” said Ballet School Director Patrick Armand.

SFCM Bowes Center Topping-Out event, Nov. 11, 2019 | Courtesy of SFCM

While SFCM and the Ballet School have collaborated before, the new agreement greatly expands those opportunities. For example, SFB School Choreographic Fellows will be paired with musicians from SFCM’s Technology and Applied Composition program to create new ballets with hybrid electronic/ orchestral scores.

Plans are also in development for workshops and classes that support student wellness and injury prevention for both SFB School and SFCM students, taught by SFB School’s physical therapists and staff psychologists.