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].

Albany Chamber Orchestra

This long-running community orchestra is composed of strings, winds, brass, and percussion, and plays music from the Baroque to the 21st century. To learn more, please call: (415) 883-4959.

Founded: 1975
Artistic Director: Teresa Colyer
Where to hear them: Concerts 3x per year, usually at Albany High School

American Composers Orchestra

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, K-12 education programs and emerging composer development programs to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.

American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) supports the world-class Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), enabling the IPO to enrich diverse audiences around the world in its role as Israel’s preeminent cultural ambassador.

Founded: 1980

American Philharmonic - Sonoma County

More information at (707) 206-6775

Founded: 1999
Artistic Director: Norman Gamboa
Where to hear them: Santa Rosa High School Performing Arts Auditorium

Auburn Symphony

Founded: 1987
Artistic Director: Michael Goodwin
Where to hear them: Auburn, California and Mondavi Center, Davis

Awesöme Orchestra Collective

Awesöme Orchestra is the Bay Area's adventure-seeking orchestra, playing everything from Stravinsky to Star Wars. They hold drop-in reading sessions for musicians and special events for everyone!

Founded: 2013
Artistic Director: David Möschler
Where to hear them: Awesöme Orchestra pops-up in fun places all over the bay.

Awesöme Orchestra Collective

Awesöme Orchestra Collective holds free, drop-in reading sessions that are open to all musicians. We play everything from Stravinsky to Star Wars, in fun spaces around the Bay Area. The rehearsal is the performance. There are no auditions – just sign up to play! Music sounds better when everybody is having a good time.

Founded: 2013
Artistic Director: David Möschler
Where to hear them: Unconventional spaces all over the Bay Area

Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS)

BARS provides a safe and inclusive environment for musicians of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. BARS makes cultural, social, and educational contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area by performing ambitious repertoire.

Founded: 2006
Artistic Director: Dawn Harms
Where to hear them: San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Taube Atrium at Wilsey Center, Herbst Theatre

Bay Area Repertory Orchestra

orchestral music chamber music 20th century music

Founded: 2018
Artistic Director: Kyle Baldwin
Where to hear them: various venues in San Francisco


Founded: 2015
Artistic Director: Mark Narins
Where to hear them: East Bay Locations

Berkeley Symphony

Berkeley Symphony has established a reputation for presenting major new works for orchestra alongside fresh interpretations of the classical European repertoire. Under Music Director Joana Carneiro, it performs four mainstage concerts a year in Zellerbach Hall, presents a four concert Berkeley Symphony & Friends Chamber Series at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, and provides comprehensive, age-appropriate music curriculum to Berkeley elementary students each year through its Music in the Schools program.

Founded: 1969
Artistic Director: Joana Carneiro
Where to hear them: Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley campus

Cadenza (Formerly Santa Cruz Chamber Orchestra)

Founded: 2006
Artistic Director: Maya Barsacq
Where to hear them: Santa Cruz

California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Founded: 2007
Artistic Director: Byung Woo Kim
Where to hear them: