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

Palo Alto Philharmonic

The Palo Alto Phil is a community orchestra formed by local musicians to serve the Silicon Valley area

Founded: 1988
Artistic Director: Thomas Shoebotham
Where to hear them: Various locations in and around Palo Alto

Palomarin Chamber Music Foundation

Founded: 1996
Artistic Director: Burke Schuchmann
Where to hear them: First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley

Paul Dresher Ensemble

The Paul Dresher Ensemble is one of only a few composer-led organizations and presents experimental and mostly commissioned works that combine electric and acoustic instrumentation. The Ensemble is known for its collaborations with dance companies, theater groups, operas, and other artists and organizations.

Founded: 1987
Artistic Director: Paul Dresher, composer and founder
Where to hear them: Venues in San Francisco

Peña Pachamama Curtural Center

Artistic Director: Eddy Nava

Peninsula Ballet Theatre

Founded: 1967
Artistic Director: Bruce Steivel
Where to hear them: San Mateo Performing Arts Center

Peninsula Cantare

Peninsula Cantare is dedicated to keeping alive the great choral masterpieces and exploring new music for the education and enjoyment of their audience. Program repertoire ranges from the Renaissance to the Twenty-First century; from a capella literature to major works with orchestra.

Founded: 1971
Artistic Director: James Richard Frieman
Where to hear them: SF Peninsula

Peninsula Folk Dance Council/Folk Dance Federation of California

Founded: 1940
Artistic Director: Denise Heenan
Where to hear them: Community Church of Christ, San Carlos

Peninsula Girls Chorus

The Peninsula Girls Chorus provides San Francisco Bay Area girls age 6-18 with an accelerated music education and performance program. Repertoire, selected to fit each choir's skill-level, varies widely -- from established classical works to arrangements of folksongs from around the world.

Founded: 1994
Artistic Director: Catherine Doyle Wesolek
Where to hear them: Burlingame United Methodist Church

Peninsula Guitar Series

Founded: 2012
Artistic Director: Christopher Mallett
Where to hear them: San Bruno

Peninsula Symphony

The Peninsula Symphony is comprised of highly trained community musicians who present a handful of concerts each year, with music ranging from swing to tango to classical.

Founded: 1949
Artistic Director: Mitchell Sardou Klein
Where to hear them: Venues in San Mateo, Redwood City, and Cupertino

Peninsula Teen Opera

Peninsula Teen Opera (PTO) gives teens the theatrical skills needed to excel in a wide range of opera and operetta productions.

Founded: 1998
Artistic Director: Allen Cathcart
Where to hear them: Cañada College Main Theatre, Redwood City

Peninsula Women's Chorus

The Peninsula Women's Chorus (PWC) is a 50-voice choir that performs challenging contemporary and classical music locally, nationally and abroad.

Founded: 1966
Artistic Director: Dr. Martín Benvenuto
Where to hear them: Mission Santa Clara, St. Patrick's Seminary and other Peninsula/South Bay venues

Peninsula Youth Orchestra

The Peninsula Youth Orchestra organization, founded in 1997, is musical home to over 420 student musicians that comprise four full orchestras plus numerous chamber music ensembles.  The senior-high PYO, under the direction of Mitchell Sardou Klein, has toured extensively and received the prestigious 2000 ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of American Music on Foreign Tour for their Japan Tour.  PYO was named Showcase Orchestra at the Australian International Music Festival held at the Sydney Opera House in 2001, toured Northern Italy in 2003, and in 2005 performed concerts in Southern France and Spain. During 2007, in conjunction with PYO's 10th anniversary celebration, the orchestra toured Eastern Europe, performing in world-famous Dvorak Hall and Liszt Academy.  PYO performed in Paris, Normandy, Brugges, and Amsterdam during its summer 2009 tour, and in 2011 toured Southern England, performing in Cheltenham, Oxford, and London.  The organization also maintains three full preparatory orchestras, directed by Sara Salsbury, of which the Young Artists is the most advanced.

Founded: 1997
Artistic Director: Mitchell Sardou Klein
Where to hear them: Carlmont High School Theatre, Belmont