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].

San Francisco Choral Artists

Known for their superb blend, this chamber-sized chorus presents concerts of old and new works, with a particular emphasis on commissions. With its ongoing composer-in-residence program and New Voices competition for new works, SFCA regularly showcases works by Bay Area composers.

Founded: 1984
Artistic Director: Magen Solomon
Where to hear them: Various venues throughout the Bay Area

San Francisco Choral Society

This large amateur chorus presents concerts year-round, with professional orchestra and soloists. With its large size, the Choral Society focuses on major choral classics, but has also commissioned new works occasionally. This group has a strong educational focus, providing vocal training for its members, as well as for gifted high school and college student through an internship program.

Founded: 1989
Artistic Director: Robert Geary
Where to hear them: San Francisco: Davies Symphony Hall, Calvary Presbyterian, St. Paul

San Francisco City Chorus

Founded: 1979
Artistic Director: Larry Marietta
Where to hear them: San Francisco, Berkeley

San Francisco City College Music Department

The City College Music Department offers a diverse, accredited program of courses that reflects its cosmopolitan setting. In addition to a traditional core curriculum in Western music, courses are offered in African, Latin American, Asian, African-American, and electronic music. These courses can provide the equivalent of the first two years of study at a four-year college, university, or conservatory, or they can be tailored to satisfy one's particular interests or needs.

Artistic Director: Madeline Mueller
Where to hear them: Diego Rivera Theater

San Francisco Civic Symphony

Founded: 1931
Artistic Director: Mancho Gonzalez
Where to hear them: Empire Ballroom, Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco

San Francisco Classical Voice

SFCV is the go-to place for classical music in the Bay Area

San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra

Founded: 2002
Artistic Director: Mark Alburger

San Francisco Concert Chorale

Concert Chorale performs both favorites and less familiar works from throughout the choral repertoire.

Founded: 1973
Artistic Director: John Emory Bush
Where to hear them: Venues in Palo Alto, Burlingame and San Francisco

San Francisco Conservatory of Dance

The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance provides multidisciplinary training in classical and modern dance for advanced dancers ages 17-23 during the academic year and as young as 14 during the summer intensive program.

Founded: 2004
Artistic Director: Summer Lee Rhatigan

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

SFCM collegiate program combines a rigorous program of performance and study with an intimate atmosphere where students work closely with faculty and staff.

Founded: 1917
Artistic Director: David Stull (College President)
Where to hear them: Various concert and recital halls in the Conservatory facility in downtown SF

San Francisco Conservatory Students Chamber Ensemble

Artistic Director: Angela SooYeon Yoon

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) provides world-class contemporary classical music performances of the leading national and international artists of our time to San Francisco Bay Area audiences. SFCMP expands and enhances the contemporary music repertoire by collaborating with composers on the interpretation, recording and commissioning of new works. SFCMP helps develop emerging audiences for this genre of music through the education and mentorship of emerging composers and players.


The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) is San Francisco’s most long-standing and largest new music ensemble comprised of highly skilled musicians performing innovative contemporary classical music. We nourish the creation and dissemination of new works through high-quality musical performances, commissions, and community outreach. We promote the music of composers from across cultures and stylistic traditions who are creating a vast and vital 21st century musical language. We seek to share these experiences with as many people as possible, both in and outside of traditional concert settings.


Founded: 1971
Artistic Director: Steven Schick
Where to hear them: Taube Atrium Theatre, Herbst Theatre, ZSpace, and more.

San Francisco Dance Film Festival

SFDFF is an international platform for the presentation and development of dance-based films.

Founded: 2010
Artistic Director: Judy Flannery - Executive Director
Where to hear them: San Francisco - October 19-23, 2016

San Francisco Early Music Society

The SFEMS affiliates comprise a wide range of early music ensembles in the Bay Area. The Society produces at least ten major chamber concerts annually and offers a number of smaller concerts, most notably at its annual Early Music in Marin series in San Rafael, California.

Founded: 1975
Artistic Director: Meryl Sacks (President)