Nanci Severance

Posted by September 13, 2012

Nanci Severance (viola) has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1982. She has performed with many Bay area ensembles, including the Stanford Quartet, Composers Inc, Chamber Music West, the Midsummer Mozart Chamber Players, and the Parlante Chamber Orchestra, with whom she was principal violist. She is also a member of the Donatello String Quartet, and she is a regular guest artist with the Stanford String Quartet. Over the course of her career, Nanci has performed with the Toledo Symphony, the Cleveland Opera orchestra, the Cleveland Ballet, as Assistant Principal violist of the Aspen Chamber Orchestra and rotating Principal of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.  A native of Michigan, Severance received her B.M. from Oberlin College and her M.M. at Northern Illinois University. She has performed with SFCMP since 1986 and became a member in 2008.


David Tanenbaum

Posted by September 13, 2012

​David Tanenbaum has performed as a solo guitarist throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Solo performances over the course of his career have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Vienna’s ORF orchestra, and elsewhere, under the baton of such eminent conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano and John Adams. Many of our most distinguished and interesting composers have written solos for David, including Hans Werner Henze’s guitar concerto An Eine Äolsharfe, Terry Riley’s first guitar piece Ascención, four works by Aaron Jay Kernis, and the last completed work by Lou Harrison. Tanenbaum has toured extensively with Steve Reich and Musicians, in Japan withToru Takemitsu, and has had a long association with Ensemble Modern. He is currently recording the complete guitar works of Sofia Gubaidulina for Naxos. Chair of the San Francisco Conservatory’s Guitar department, David joined SFCMP in 2008.


Peter Wahrhaftig

Posted by September 13, 2012

Peter Wahrhaftig (tuba) is Principal Tubaist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Bay Brass. He appears frequently with the San Francisco Opera, the Oakland-East Bay Symphony and numerous other local organizations, both in concert and in recordings, including those of Alvin Curran, Christian Wolff, and electro-acoustic composer Chris Brown . Past engagements have been with the Israel Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Ringling Brother-Barnum and Bailey Circus, and heavy metal legends Metallica. In addition to his performance career, Wahrhaftig has performed on the soundtracks of numerous movie and video games. An Oakland native, Peter received his degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Arnold Jacobs, and has also studied with Floyd Cooley. He can be heard on Alvin Curran’s eclectic CD Animal Sounds, and  he now teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, U.C. Berkeley, and privately in the Bay Area. Peter joined SFCMP in 1982.


William Winant

Posted by September 13, 2012

Grammy-nominated percussionist William Winant is internationally regarded as a leading performer of avant-garde music. In 2014, he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of John Cage’s historic solo work, 27′ 10.554″ for a percussionist, on Micro Fest Records. Over the course of his career, William has collaborated with legends of 20th and 21st century music, from Iannis Xenakis to Steve Reich and Yo-Yo Ma, and from Merce Cunningham to Kronos Quartet and Sonic Youth. Composers who have written for Willie include john Cage, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Peter Garland, Larry Polansky, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Wadada Leo Smith. He is the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, and performs locally with his own ensemble, the William Winant Percussion Group. A member of the instrumental faculty at the University of California at Berkeley and Mills College, and a Visiting Lecturer at University of California, Santa Cruz. Winant has made over two hundred recordings covering a wide variety of music, including the revered recording of Lou Harrison’s La Koro Sutro and the 2013 release of Five American Percussion Pieces. In 2016, Winant was awarded a prestigious grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in recognition for his groundbreaking work as a contemporary percussionist. William Winant  joined SFCMP in 1988.


Nick Woodbury

Posted by September 13, 2012

Nick Woodbury, SFCMP Percussionist

In addition to his work with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, percussionist Nick Woodbury performs with and co-directs Mantra Percussion – a group dedicated to large-scale projects that redefine the traditional classical music concert format. Woodbury has appeared alongside the Bang on a Can All-Stars, with the Ensemble Modern Akademie, and Eco Ensemble. His work with contemporary music includes premiering new works by George Crumb, John Luther Adams, Michael Gordon and many others. Woodbury has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Apple Store at Lincoln Center, Kresge Auditorium at MIT, New Music New College, Symphony Space in Manhattan, Carlsbad New Music Festival, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, X Avant Festival in Toronto, Vancouver New Music and the Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão in Brazil. Nick joined SFCMP in 2015.

Richard Worn

Posted by September 13, 2012

Double bassist Richard Worn has performed extensively with the San Francisco Opera and Symphony. Currently, he serves as Assistant Principal Bass of the Marin Symphony and Principal Bass of the Sanse Chamber Orchestra as well as with the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players, ECO Ensemble, Other Minds sfSound, Empyrean Ensemble, Earplay, and Composer’s Inc. Richard is also former Principal Bass of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. With his Worn Chamber Ensemble, founded in 1996, has performed works for both solo bass and ensemble by such composers as Andreissen, Cage, Harrison, Henze, Reveultas, Scelsi, Varese, and Xenakis. Richard holds degrees in double bass from California State University, Northridge and the New England Conservatory. He currently teaches and provides orchestral coaching at  UC Berkeley.

Rozella Kennedy

Posted by September 13, 2012

Rozella Floranz Kennedy (Executive Director) has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, ranging from arts and cultural organizations to the ACLU. She began her career in media, working in editorial management roles at Paris Passion magazine, Mothering magazine,, Time Inc., and other media institutions. She helped establish three nonprofit organizations in New Mexico, where she lived for the last 12 years: the NM Centennial Commemoration, Creative Santa Fe, and the nationally acclaimed Santa Fe New Music (SFNM). She co-founded SFNM and helped lead the organization to many accolades, including 100 performances, nine major commissions, 39 world premieres, five American premieres, and the 2010 Santa Fe Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Most recently, Rozella served as business development director for a national diversity organization providing opportunities to Native American students. An alumna of New York’s Brearley School, she holds degrees from Tufts University and the Université de Paris, Sorbonne. She is a published essayist. She and her husband, the composer and conductor John Kennedy, have two daughters and two dogs. Rozella joined the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 2012.

Subscription Series Concert #4: Hive

Posted by September 13, 2012

Monday, April 1, 2013
8:00 p.m.  |  Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m.
Herbst Theatre

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) is proud to present the final concert of the 2012-13 season, our 42nd, with a concert featuring a global kaleidoscope of compositional voices ranging from classical, avant-garde, jazz, and gamelan genres to Asian and Aboriginal influences and American iconoclasts.

Join us on Monday, April 1 for “Hive,” a concert featuring two world premieres of SFCMP commissions and works for chamber ensemble.

Among the composers whose works will be performed are Lewis Nielson, a composer and faculty member at Oberlin College. He will be present for the World Premiere of his SFCMP-commissioned work: *on regression, accumulation, and the persistence of ghosts. The Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University, will also be present for the premiere of her SFCMP-commissioned work *Slow Summer Stay.*

The concert will also feature the US premiere of a 1997 work by Australian Composer Liza Lim, whose composition *Philtre*(which translates as “love potion), for solo retuned violin will be performed by SFCMP ensemble member Graeme Jennings. The eponymous composition “Hive,” by Evan Ziporyn is also on the program. A co-founder of the game-changing new music ensemble Bang On A Can All-Stars wrote this work in 2007 for two clarinets and bass clarinet.

In addition to the concert, we will present the final “Contemporary Insights” event the day before, Sunday, March 31 at 4:30 p.m. at the SF Girls Chorus (44 Page St #200, San Francisco, CA 94102 ) where Artistic Director Steven Schick will talk with the composers and some of the featured works will be previewed.


  • Lewis Nielson, on regression, accumulation, and the persistence of ghosts (2013, commission and world premiere)
  • Evan Ziporyn, Hive (2007)
  • Liza Lim, Philtre (1997, US premiere)
  • Chaya Czernowin, Slow Summer Stay (2013, commission and world premiere)

Click here for ticket information.

Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, San Francisco.

February 25, 2013: Rabbit Hole

Posted by September 13, 2012

Monday, February 25, 2013
8:00 p.m.  |  Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m.
Herbst Theatre

SFCMP’s February 22 concert features world premieres of commissions by George Lewis and Mark Applebaum, the West Coast premiere of a recent work by “post-minimalist” composer Eve Beglarian; a work by composer, percussionist, and poet Stuart Saunders Smith; and Bay Area-composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Dresher.

Rabbit Hole will spiral us into a shared exploration of varied styles and compositional voices, from jazz to minimalism, and from poetry to Dada theatricality.

George Lewis is a composer/trombonist, a pioneer of computer music, and a scholar of improvisation and experimental music. A professor at Columbia University, he also is the recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship. He has performed over his illustrious career with jazz artists including Anthony Braxton, Count Basie, Gil Evans, and others. Lewis, in residence at UC Berkeley for the Spring Semester of 2013 and will be present for the concert, where his new SFCMP commission Hexis will receive its world premiere.

Eve Beglarian is a “post-minimalist” composer whose chamber, choral, and orchestral music has been commissioned and widely performed in the U.S. and abroad. Her 2010 work I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long, will receive its Bay Area premiere.

The recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and a mainstay in Bay Area new music circles, Paul Dresher is a self-described “pre-maximalist.” As a guest musician, he will be performing his 2011 work, Chromatic Quadrachord, on the quadrachord, an instrument of his invention.

Composer, percussionist, and poet Stuart Saunders Smith will travel from his home in Maine to be present for the performance of his 1977 work Pinetop, a new-music homage to ragtime pianist Pinetop Perkins.

The evening will also include the World Premiere of a SFCMP-commissioned work by composer/improviser Mark Applebaum, who is also associate professor of music composition and theory at Stanford University. His new work, for which our concert, Rabbit Hole, is named, combines high theatricality in the Dadaist tradition with a densely detailed score of musical cues and glyphs. Come join us for a thrilling sonic venture!


  • Eve Beglarian, I’m Worried Now, But I Won’t Be Worried Long (2010, 6 min. – Bay Area premiere)
  • Stuart Saunders Smith, Pinetop (1977, 7 min.)
  • Mark Applebaum, Rabbit Hole (2013, 15 min. – commission and world premiere)
  • Paul Dresher, Chromatic Quadrachord (2001, 8 minutes)
  • George Lewis, Hexis (2013, 12 min. – commission and world premiere)

Click here for ticket information.

Herbst Theatre is located at 401 Van Ness Avenue at McAllister, San Francisco.

Subscription Series Concert #2: Confirmation

Posted by September 13, 2012

Monday, January 28, 2013
8:00 p.m.  |  Pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music Concert Hall

Get ready to hear one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. SFCMP joins with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for a rare performance of Music for 18 Musicians and other pieces by Steve Reich, featuring students from the Conservatory’s Percussion Ensemble and other programs. A complimentary reception with our musicians will follow the discussion.


  • Steve Reich, Clapping Music (1972, 4’)
  • Steve Reich, Electric Counterpoint (2005, 11’)
  • Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians (1974, 55’)

Click here for the event’s press release and here for ticket information.

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music is located at 50 Oak Street, San Francisco.


Posted by September 5, 2012

See a Video Highlighting this Past Event!

Sunday, October 28, 2012 – 1:00-5:33 p.m. |  FREE – YBCA Forum and Gallery Building

The duration of this event gave a nod to Cage’s memorable silent work 4’ 33”, which shocked audiences sixty years ago, but today reveals the genre-disrupting and defining impulses that typified Cage’s work and life. SFCMP presented the Bay Area’s free marathon “circus” with over 40 Cage works for soloists, ensembles, and even non-musicians.

Here’s how the John Cage database describes a Musicircus: “The idea of this composition is nothing more than an invitation to a number of musicians, who perform simultaneously anything or in any way they desire.” If you have always wondered about John Cage, or just want to experience something different and exciting, don’t miss this.

In addition to works performed by our fantastic ensemble players, the Musicircus included a variety of related activities and events:

• A screening of Cage/Cunningham at 2:00 p.m. (Q & A with director Elliot Caplan after the film moderated by Ann Murphy, Chair of the Dance Department at Mills College).

• Performances by young musicians from Mills College, UC Davis, Sacramento State, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

• Dance performances by special guests from the Anna Halprin Dancer’s Workshop.

• Cage’s Postcard from Heaven performed by an ensemble of 13 harps.

• Event guides from the Young Artists At Work (YAAW) program at YBCA.

• Readings from Cage’s letters, essays, and other writings.

• A sound walk around Yerba Buena Gardens based on Cage’s A Dip in the LakeAudiences brought their  smartphone or audio recorder and became performers by play back sounds recorded during these walks in an interactive performance of the piece.

Presented in association with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts: 701 Mission Street, San Francisco

Subscription Series Concert #1: Construction

Posted by September 2, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012
8:00 p.m.  |  Pre-concert talk 7:15 p.m.
YBCA Forum

Our season opens with a weekend of events celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the revolutionary composer, artist, and writer John Cage. All three of Cage’s groundbreaking Constructions for percussion ensemble will be interspersed with recent works by emerging American composers, creating a dialogue between a master and some newer voices of contemporary music.


Composers Lei Liang, Missy Mazzoli, and Samuel Carl Adams will be present. See samples of their music below!

Presented in association with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Click here for ticket information.

Lei Liang –Tremors of a Memory Chord

Additional Links:

SFCMP Q&A with Lei Liang
Seven Rays of the Sun, From My Windows

Missy Mazzoli- Orrizonte

Additional Links:

Streaming Mp3’s (Including Still Life With Avalanche)
Composer Portrait Interview
Cathedral City (Victoire)

Samuel Carl Adams – The Piano Trio

Additional Links:

Woman Bomb
Tension Study No. 1