S.F. Friends of Chamber Music Awards $90,000 to Local Musicians

Janos Gereben on June 2, 2015
Telegraph Quartet: set to record Kirchner, Webern
Heikki Koskinen, Photo by Charles Smith

Alphabetically, from Areon Flutes (about to record their third full-length album) to Mark Winges (composing a new work for the Friction Quartet), 28 local music organizations are sharing $90,000 in awards from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music's 2015 Musical Grant Program.

Individual grants range between $3,000 and $4,000, awarded through what the organization calls "a competitive process to projects that showcase the artistry of local ensembles and enhance the careers of professional chamber musicians."

With major support from the S.F. Grants for the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund, the Clarence E. Heller Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the San Francisco Foundation, SFFCM has awarded more than half a million dollars since 2008, backing 187 projects in the Greater Bay Area. (For the complete list of this year's awardees, see the end of the article.)

For anyone interested in applying for SFFCM or other grants in the future, the organization is offering a free workshop by Katrina Rodabaugh on June 15.

Showing the range of activities by grant recipients, consider just two of them: the Telegraph Quartet and Heikki Koskinen. The quartet (violinists Eric Chin and Joseph Maile, violist Pei-Ling, and cellist Jeremiah Shaw) will use the award to record Leon Kirchner's Quartet No. 1 and Anton Webern's Five Movements for String Quartet. Koskinen, a San Francisco resident originally from Finland, performs on trumpet, keyboard, and tenor recorder, and composes and arranges music for jazz and Latin groups.

Friends of Chamber Music has a dizzying variety of activities, all in service of local artists and audiences, including:

  • S.F. Music Day: Live + Free, presenting some 30 ensembles of various genres annually at the S.F. Conservatory of Music.

  • S.F. Music Thursdays feature small ensembles performing early and new chamber music, jazz, and "creative music" at the Center for New Music ($15 for general audience and $10 for Center members.)

  • Presidio Sessions Friday Night Concerts are free, 90-minute concerts in the Presidio Officers' Club; reservations are recommended at The next concert is by Ensemble San Francisco at 6 p.m. on June 5.

  • Legion Listening Series include monthly daytime concerts in the Rodin Gallery of the Legion of Honor, free with admission to the museum. The next event is at noon June 14, with Vocallective + Town Quartet

Recipients of the 2015 SFFCM grants:
Areon Flutes
Richard Aldag With Vinifera Trio
Baumer Quartet
Kyle Bruckmann
Ian Dogole
Einsteinium Quartet
Ensemble San Francisco
Jean Fineberg
The Galax Quartet
Ignition Duo
Sascha Jacobsen
Erik Jekabson
David James’s GPS
Jewish Music & Poetry Project
Heikki Koskinen
Lieder Alive!
Destiny Muhammad
Real Vocal String Quartet
Rova Sax Quartet
John Santos
Edward Schocker
John Schott’s Actual Trio
Shulman & Stephan
Switchboard Music Festival
Telegraph Quartet
Vajra Voices
Mark Winges & Friction Quartet