Percussionist, conductor and author Steven Schick (Artistic Director) was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For the past thirty years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher, by commissioning and premiering more than one hundred new works for percussion. Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and a Consulting Artist in Percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. He was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City from 1992-2002, and from 2000 to 2004 served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, “red fish blue fish,” and director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music hosted at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In 2007 he assumed the post of Music Director and conductor of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, and is the first-ever Artist in Residence of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Schick was named Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 2011.
Jeff Anderle (clarinet) is currently enjoying an extremely diverse musical life. He is half of the bass clarinet duo Sqwonk, which infuses aspects of classical, folk and popular music into its own distinct style, and is a member of Edmund Welles, the world’s only composing bass clarinet quartet, performing “heavy chamber music.” An exponent of contemporary classical music, Jeff is the clarinetist of the bi-coastal ensemble REDSHIFT, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Paul Dresher Electro/Acoustic Band and Magik*Magik Orchestra. In addition, Jeff is a founding co-director of Switchboard Music, which presents an annual marathon concert featuring composers, ensembles and bands that fuse different genres and styles of music. Jeff is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has been a member of SFCMP since 2012.
Jeff Biancalana (trumpet) studied at the Eastman School of Music and has performed with ensembles such as the Milwaukee Symphony, Chicago Chamber Musicians, New York Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Music of the Baroque-Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and the Rochester Philharmonic. Mr. Biancalana has taught at many schools including Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, the New England Conservatory, Sacramento State University, the San Francisco Conservatory, and at the Eastman School. In the summer, Mr. Biancalana performs with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Currently, Mr. Biancalana is on faculty at San Jose State University and is acting second trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony. He joined the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 2006.
Tod Brody (flute) is in the forefront of contemporary music activity in Northern California as principal flutist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Earplay, and the Empyrean Ensemble. He has performed numerous world premieres, and has been extensively recorded. His varied musical life also includes teaching flute and chamber music at the University of California, Davis, and playing principal flute for the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Sacramento Opera, and the California Musical Theater. He also appears frequently in the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet orchestras, and in other chamber and orchestral settings throughout the region. In addition to his work as a performer and teacher, Brody serves composers and new music as executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the American Composers Forum, which is dedicated to supporting composers through a variety of educational, residency, and granting programs. He has been a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 2001.
Kyle Bruckmann (oboe) is a composer/performer whose work extends from a Western classical foundation into genre-bending gray areas encompassing free jazz, electronic music and post-punk rock. Appearances on more than 50 recordings have led to his recognition as “a modern day renaissance musician,” “an excellent composer, striking the right balance between form and freedom,” and “a seasoned improviser with impressive extended technique and peculiar artistic flair.” Since moving to San Francisco in 2003, he has worked with the San Francisco Symphony and most of the area’s regional orchestras while simultaneously becoming firmly enmeshed in the vibrant local improvised music community. His affiliations include Quinteto Latino, the Stockton Symphony, and acclaimed new music collective sfSound; he also performs regularly with Eco Ensemble and Ensemble Parallèle. From 1996 until his westward relocation, he had been a fixture in Chicago’s experimental music underground; long-term collaborations include the electroacoustic duo EKG, the noise-rock monstrosity Lozenge, and the Creative Music quintet Wrack.
Bruckmann earned undergraduate degrees in music and psychology at Rice University in Houston, studying oboe with Robert Atherholt, serving as music director of campus radio station KTRU, and achieving academic distinction as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his Masters degree in 1996 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied oboe performance with Harry Sargous and contemporary improvisation with Ed Sarath. Kyle joined the San Francisco Music Players in 2012.
Susan Freier (violin) earned graduate degrees in music from Stanford and the Eastman School of Music, where she was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic. Before joining the Stanford faculty and the Ives Quartet (formerly the Stanford String Quartet) in 1989, she performed with the award-winning Chester Quartet. Ms. Freier has been a participant at the Aspen, Grand Teton, and Telluride Music Festivals, has served on the faculties of Garth Newell and Rocky Ridge Music Center, and is currently on the artist faculty of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy and the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop. She joined the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 1993.
Christopher Froh (percussion) is principally committed to influencing and expanding the repertoire for solo percussion through commissions and premieres. Mr. Froh is a core member of the Empyrean Ensemble, ADORNO Ensemble, sfSoundGroup, and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. His many guest appearances include performances with Alarm Will Sound, the Honolulu Symphony, and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Known for his energized performances described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “tremendous” and the San Francisco Classical Voice as “mesmerizing,”Froh’s solo appearances stretch from Rome to Tokyo to San Francisco. He is currently on the faculty at the University of California, Davis. He joined the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 2003.
Hall Goff (trombone) has been a noisemaker all his life, vocalizing sound effects for toy trucks, guns, cars, and planes throughout his childhood in New Jersey. After two years as an alto in the Madison (Wisconsin) Boy Choir, he gravitated to the trombone at age 12 and began listening to dixieland, bebop, pop vocalists of the day (early 60′s), and all kinds of recorded sound, and was later influenced by early Zappa, Chicago Symphony recordings, and Firesign Theater. Realizing the value of serious practice in his 16th year was a landmark experience. Hall attended Oberlin College (BA), and earned a Master’s degree at Yale School of Music, mentored by John Swallow and Otto-Werner Mueller. He played in the orchestras of The Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto and The Macerata Opera Festival, both in Italy. He has been a member of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra since 1977, the Golden Gate Park Band since 2009, and has had the good fortune to play (to this day) as a freelancer with many Bay Area ensembles of all sizes, as well as on various recordings and motion picture soundtracks and behind visiting musical stars of opera, jazz, rock, and pop, including John Pizzarelli, The Manhattan Transfer, Vic Damone, Glen Campbell, Bob Hope, Steve Allen, and many others. Hall joined the S.F. Contemporary Music Players in 1979.
Karen Gottlieb (harp) performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony as second harpist. She has toured extensively with them on their USA, European and Asian tours and has performed on many of their recordings and DVDs. Since 1992 she has been a member of the SF Symphony’s AIM ensembles including 4 Sounds, Strings and Things and Silver and Gold, Plus. She is the harpist for the Skywalker Recording Symphony and served for 20 years as principal harpist with the California Symphony, until 2008. Ms. Gottlieb received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and her Masters in Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is on the faculty of San Francisco State University and Mills College, and has been a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 1990.
Stephen Harrison (cello) is cellist of the Ives Quartet and a member of the faculty at Stanford University. He was a founding member of the Stanford String Quartet and is former principal cellist of the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco. Harrison has been on the artist faculty of the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy and the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Colorado. Most recently he has served as principal cellist of the Mendocino Music Festival, coached at the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop and performed at the Telluride Chamber Music Festival. He joined the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players in 1984.