Bay Area Music Groups

The Bay Area is home to literally hundreds of classical music organizations, from community choruses to world-renowned orchestras, opera companies and chamber ensembles. This listing provides all the vital statistics for Bay Area music groups, as well as a summary of what they do best. Search by type of organization or alphabetically. Note to classical music groups: If your organization is not listed here or there is an error in your listing, please email [email protected].

Midsummer Mozart Festival

Artistic Director: George Cleve

Mill Valley Chamber Music Society

Mill Valley Chamber Music Society, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1978. It is run entirely by volunteers; thus the preponderance of subscriptions and donation monies are available for our musical programs. Our concert fees are modest, supported by additional contributions by our generous donors and faithful subscribers.

A dedicated board of directors actively runs the concert series. This outstanding series of artists is presented in five concerts each year. Additionally, Mill Valley Chamber Music Society is dedicated to promoting classical music by outreach programs to Marin County schoolchildren, thus educating the next generation to the exquisite pleasures of chamber music. Joe Angiulo, one of the board members who retired after over thirty years of teaching in Mill Valley schools, now heads this program.

Founded: 1978
Artistic Director: Larry Snyder
Where to hear them: Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church

Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

Create a community Art Festival every year!

Founded: 1956
Artistic Director: Steve Bajor

Mill Valley Philharmonic

Mill Valley Philharmonic is a community orchestra bringing free, live orchestral music to people in their own communities throughout Marin County and the Bay Area. MVP includes sixty talented and dedicated volunteer musicians playing strings, winds, brass, timpani and percussion. They present masterworks and world premieres, engaging both local composers and soloists in our programs.

Founded: 2000
Artistic Director: Dana Sadava
Where to hear them: Marin and Bay Area

Miller Theatre

Miller Theatre at Columbia University is the leading presenter of new music in New York City and one of the most vital forces nationwide for innovative programming. In partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts, Miller is dedicated to producing and presenting unique events, with a focus on contemporary and early music, jazz, opera, and multimedia performances.

Founded: 1988

Mills College Dept of Music

The Music Dept offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The graduate program enjoys an international reputation in the field of contemporary music. The Center for Contemporary Music, formerly the Mills Tape Music Center, has been a preeminent center for electronic music since 1966.

Artistic Director: Fred Frith
Where to hear them: Music Department Concert Hall

Mills College Music Department

New music, experimental music, computer music, electronic music, classical music, jazz, world music, improvised music

Founded: 1852
Where to hear them: Littlefield Concert Hall, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA . 94613

Mills Music Now

Founded: The Music Program at Mills is noted for being at the forefront of experimental music study and composition. Well-known composer Luciano Berio was on the music faculty of Mills in 1962-1964, and in 1966 Pauline Oliveros became the first director of the Tape Music Center (later the Center for Contemporary Music),[21] where she composed her electronic works "Alien Bog" and "Beautiful Soop". Morton Subotnick, later a member of the faculty, received his master's degree from Mills, studying composition with Leon Kirchner and Darius Milhaud. Laurie Anderson, Dave Brubeck, Joanna Newsom, Phil Lesh, Noah Georgeson, and Steve Reich attended the program, as well as the famous synthesizer designer Don Buchla. Terry Riley taught at Mills starting in the early 1970s. Avant-garde jazz pioneer Anthony Braxton has taught at Mills on an intermittent basis since the 1970s. Lou Harrison, Pandit Pran Nath, Iannis Xenakis, Alvin Curran, Anthony Braxton, Gordon Mumma, Frederic Rzewski, Fred Frith, and many others have all taught music at Mills. Since 1966, the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM, formerly the San Francisco Tape Music Center) has emphasized experimental methods in contemporary music and its allied arts and sciences. CCM maintains a variety of electronic equipment, instruments and studios, provides instruction and technical assistance, and archives audio recordings. The Center also performs a wide variety of community services in the arts, including public concerts and lecture series, informational and technical assistance, and artist residencies. Maggi Payne and Chris Brown are presently co-directors of CCM. Payne is a composer, performer, interdisciplinary artist, and recording engineer. Brown is an instrument builder, a pianist, and a composer.
Artistic Director: Steed Cowart
Where to hear them: Mills College

Mills Performing Arts

Mills Performing Arts is committed to promoting action and exchange in the performing arts, and supporting artists and scholars who reflect, explore, and celebrate the abundant cultural, racial, gender, and economic diversity of our society. We bring together the work of the Mills College Dance, Music, Theater, and Literatures & Languages Departments with the goals of fostering deeper ties with our Bay Area community and championing a dynamic, boundary-breaking performing arts scene. To further these goals, we host the Mills Performing Artist-in-Residence Program, create opportunities for artists to collaborate with Mills students and faculty, and provide access to Mills Performing Arts resources and venues—including Littlefield Concert Hall, Holland Theater, Rothwell Theater, the Greek Theatre, and the Digital Performance Theater.

Artistic Director: Alexander Zendzian
Where to hear them: Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA . 94613

Milpitas Community Concert Band

Founded: 1993
Artistic Director: Jeff Yaeger
Where to hear them: Milpitas Community Center

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