About Us

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) is a unionized large ensemble of virtuosic musicians based out of San Francisco, California who nourish the creation and dissemination of contemporary music through world-class, contemporary music performances, commissions, and community and education programs. SFCMP features the work of iconic and emerging composers while shining a spotlight on California artists. SFCMP performs the music of composers from across cultures and stylistic traditions. San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is the most longstanding, continuously performing new music ensemble outside the East Coast.

SFCMP is one of the most active ensembles in the United States dedicated to contemporary music and play an important role in the regional and national cultural landscape. SFCMP has contributed greatly to the art form: SFCMP is a 2018 awardee of the Fromm Foundation Ensemble Prize, and a ten-time winner of the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. SFCMP has performed more than 1,200 works by over 600 composers; Over 300 of these performances have been premieres, and the organization has commissioned some 80 major works from composers such as John AdamsJohn CageEarle BrownOlly WilsonMichael Gordon, Du YunMyra Melford, and Julia Wolfe. SFCMP has been presented by leading cultural festivals and concert series including San Francisco Performances, Los Angeles Monday Evening Concerts, Cal Performances, the Stern Grove Festival, the Festival of New American Music at CSU Sacramento, the Ojai Festival, and France’s prestigious MANCA Festival.

In 1971, composer Charles Boone began organizing a series of avant-garde music concerts in San Francisco art galleries. He called the series BYOP (Bring Your Own Pillow), because audience members sat on the floor. Three years later, his colleagues, harpist Marcella DeCray and oboist/conductor Jean-Louis LeRoux, reorganized the concert series as a nonprofit corporation. Since its inception, SFCMP has been led by seven Executive Directors, and eight Artistic Directors, with continuous support and oversight by an active Board of Directors.

“There’s a reason why SFCMP is considered the Bay Area’s premier new music ensemble.” 
— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) provides world-class contemporary music performances to San Francisco Bay Area audiences, featuring the works of iconic and emerging composers while shining a spotlight on large-ensemble works and California artists. SFCMP expands and enhances the contemporary music repertoire by collaborating with composers on the interpretation, commissioning, and recording of new works. SFCMP provides education programs to encourage the development of the next generation of contemporary music composers and musicians.