Our 2023-2024 Season

We invite you to join our adventurous and stimulating 202-23 season by becoming a Member!

Our 53rd season contains ancillary events thematically linked such as our popular How Music is Made program, contemporary music masterclass, and community events. An exceptionally rich and colorful array of composers fills the season calendar.



Saturday, November 11, 2023
7 PM – How Music is Made, with guest composer Raven Chacon
8 PM – Concert
Venue: Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
Single Tickets: $60(VIP)/$35(General)/$20 (General) – $15 (students)

As a point of departure for the season’s thematic journey, we consider the nature of voices – in both the literal and musical sense, and in the larger scope of historical interchange – in one of the city’s most resonant and awe-inspiring spaces for listening to instrumental and vocal music. A stirring solo organ meditation by Messiaen contemplates the eternity of celestial choirs, while a chamber trio by Chinary Ung creates spirals of sonic luminosity. The Bay Area premiere of Raven Chacon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Voiceless Mass (2021) offers a moving statement that ‘considers the spaces in which we gather, the history of access of these spaces, and the land upon which these buildings sit.’ Despite the title’s reference to the liturgical Mass, ‘the piece contains no audible singing voices, instead using the openness of a large space to intone the constricted intervals of wind and string instruments. In exploiting the architecture of the cathedral, Voiceless Mass considers the futility of giving voice to the voiceless, when ceding space is never an option for those in power.’ Finally, George Crumb’s Ancient Voices of Children features both soprano and child soprano in an exploration of texts by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, framing the child-like impulse that all share in the life-long search for a voice, and the question of purpose once it is found.

Guest Artist: Tonia D’Ameio, mezzo-soprano


Olivier Messiaen – Apparition de l’Église éternelle  (1932)

Chinary Ung – Luminous Spirals (1997)

Raven Chacon – Voiceless Mass (2021) (Bay Area premiere)


George Crumb – Ancient Voices of Children (1970)




Saturday, January 27, 2024
7 PM How Music is Made with Eric Dudley & Guests
8 PM – Concert
Venue: Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, SFCM
Single Tickets $40 (VIP)/$35 (General) – $15 (students)

Revisiting channels of inspiration that pandemic-era cancellations put on hold, this program riffs on the intersection of two seemingly disparate though surprisingly connected worlds: those of Prog Rock and High Modernism. Mazzoli, Andriessen and Mackey form a triumvirate of influence as modern classicists bent on infusing their work with Rock elements and sound, while the fascinating dialogue and artistic exchange between colossal figures like Boulez and Zappa has air time in a juxtaposition of two of their most compact and characteristic works – the French Modernist’s highly personal take on the specific instrumental colors of Schoenberg’s Pierrot ensemble, and the American experimentalist’s most ambitious homage to late-century European style, through sizable orchestral forces deployed to ingenious effect.


Missy Mazzoli – Tooth and Nail (2010)

Two Works by Composers from SF Conservatory of Music’s Technology & Applied Composition Program (world premieres)

Louis Andriessen – Life (2009) with film by Marijke van Warmerdam]


Steve Mackey – San Francisco (1997)

Pierre Boulez – Dérive 1 (1984)

Frank Zappa – The Perfect Stranger (1984)



February 25, 2024 at 3:00 PM
Venue: TBD

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players’ annual fundraising party and celebration.

APRIL 2023


Festival Pass: $70 (VIP) /$60
Individual Concert Tix: $40 (VIP)/$35 (General) – $15 students

Over the span of decades and centuries, certain ground-shifting works and ideas have a way of echoing long into the future – creating strands of interconnected outgrowths, and sometimes establishing entire pathways for creativity that span across generations. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of its U.S. premiere this season, Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is one such work; a piece of music that almost from its inception has left a long-enduring impact, in both content and concept, on the way composers imagine the human voice, the spheres of poetry and text, and the very nature of instrumental resources. We also mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth; for many who might consider him the very father of Modernism with a capital ‘M,’ Schoenberg created a body of work to push music in directions that we still process and reckon with today, and Pierrot itself spawned an entire genre of composition with a whole repertoire of works still being written in a similar vein. Stravinsky called it ‘the solar plexus of Twentieth-Century music,’ and with our two day mini-festival we seek to unwind a few different strands of connection, from right up close to the present moment, and rewinding toward the past for a fresh encounter with a musical creation that remains forever young.


“Pierrot RE:imagined”
Saturday, April 20, 2024

7 PM How Music is Made with Eric Dudley & Guests
8 PM – Concert, with post-concert reception
Venue: Taube Atrium Theater



Kevin Day – un(ravel)ed (2019)

Katherine Balch – Musica Spolia (2021)

Massimo Lauricella – E Piove in Petto una Dolcezza Inquieta (1996) (US premiere)


Andrew Norman – Mine Mime Meme (2014) (10’)

Mason Bates – Difficult Bamboo (2013)



CONCERT 4: “Pierrot RE:encountered”

Sunday April 21, 2024
2 PM – How Music is Made, with guest artist Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano
3 PM – Concert, with post-concert reception
Venue: Taube Atrium Theater



Joan Tower – Petroushskates (1980)

Arnold Schoenberg – Cabaret Songs: Selections

Jessie Montgomery – Lunar Songs: I. and III. (2019) (West Coast Premiere)


Arnold Schoenberg – Pierrot Lunaire (1912)

Guest Artists:

Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano (Schoenberg)



MAY 2024


May 30, 2024
“RE:voicing” 2: “Worlds Apart”

7 PM – How Music is Made, with guest composer Richard Festinger
8 PM – Concert
Venue: Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall, SFCM
Single Tickets $40 (VIP) /$35 (General) – $15 (students)

Ending the season squarely in the realm of voices, we partner with VOLTI ensemble to present an evening of choral and chamber orchestral music through the lens of multifold texts and themes. Written for the group now known as the Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble, Carter’s densely packed concerto-for-orchestra in concept exploits ever-shifting configurations of a sinfonietta complement to achieve an intensely varied sound world. San Francisco composer Richard Festinger brings together the verse of three different poets – Bertolt Brecht, Stephen Crane, and Wendell Berry – for a modern cantata that visits worlds within, without, and apart, uniting the forces of both ensembles as a collective voice.


Elliott Carter – Asko Concerto (2000) – Bay Area premiere

Richard Festinger – Worlds Apart (2020) – world premiere

A Set of New Music for Chamber Choir

Guest Artists:

Choir: Volti


2023-24 Digital Season Program