San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) presents a 2021-22 Collaboration with San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Technology and Applied Composition (SFCM-TAC) Department.

A collaborative initiative for side-by-side activity and mentorship with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, in partnership with San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

What: Students will attend an in-class workshop toward the beginning of the academic year at which they will have the opportunity to design and present short, original representations of music to be read and performed by contemporary music specialists from San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Modes of music that will be discussed include, but are not limited to the following: traditional notation, extended notation, graphic notation, and verbal/written instructions. After this initial session, students will then work on and submit original compositions for consideration for programming, and two works will be selected for performance by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players on their November 2021 side-by-side concert at SFCM. Student composers of the selected works will then have a further workshopping session and opportunity with Contemporary Players musicians to explore and refine their works for performance.

When: 2021-22 Academic Year, fall semester. Final scores are due in October by the end of the first week of the month.  Concert will be held on November 6, 2021.

Who is eligible: SFCM-TAC 4th-year and masters-level students.

Score Parameters: For instrumental solo, for either Viola or Trombone, and electronics. Maximum duration: 5 minutes. Sources of reference and inspiration for the submissions will be Zeena Parkin’s solo cello work Sistere and Alexander Schubert’s piece for ensemble and video, HELLO.

Description: This is an opportunity for students to engage with the musicians of SFCMP by composing multimedia and/or electro-acoustic works for solo instrument, to receive readings and feedback in workshop sessions with SFCMP musicians, and to be selected for performance slots on SFCMP’s November 2021 in the LABORATORY concert series. The artistic leads for this effort are Taurin Berrera, Executive Director, SFCM-TAC, and Eric Dudley, SFCMP’s Artistic Director.


Through the process, each student composer will discover new ways to relate to their craft, challenging them to listen critically, to rethink their musical habits, and to develop new ways to approach writing music with an emphasis on live acoustic instruments. The side-by-side experience encourages enjoyable and thoughtful collaboration between disparate musical disciplines and aims to foster relationships with the potential to last beyond the workshop sessions and concert performances.


This side-by-side collaboration is open to all 4th-year TAC students at SFCM students who would like apply. Enrollment is based on assignment by Taurin Berrera, SFCM, Executive Director, TAC.


On this year’s in the LABORATORY series, we encounter an array of works with electronic or visual components as the backbone of their compositional languages and concepts. Multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer Zeena Parkins starts the conversation with a work for solo cello, sound diffusion and fixed media, while student composers from SFCM’s Technology and Applied Composition program continue with new sonic avenues for solo instruments and electronic resources. Enfant-terrible Alexander Schubert enthralls with a visually-based reactive composition for flexible ensemble, where a film created by the composer as a window into his persona serves as the score for musicians to respond to in performance. Bay Area rock star Fred Frith joins SFCMP virtuoso William Winant in a performance of a percussive soundscape for bowed electric guitars, in juxtaposition with the Minimalist strands of an early work by Steve Reich at his most contrapuntal.

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 Adams, John Cage, Earle Brown, Olly Wilson, Michael Gordon, Du Yun, Myra 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.