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San Francisco Contemporary Music Players

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is one of the oldest ensembles in the United States dedicated to performing, commissioning, and recording contemporary chamber music, and to developing current and future audiences for this repertoire through education and outreach. Founded in 1971 by composer Charles Boone, SFCMP began its life under the name "Bring Your Own Pillow." In 1975 conductor/oboist Jean-Louis LeRoux and harpist Marcella DeCray reorganized the group under its present name. Concerts were held first in the Grapestake Gallery in San Francisco and then in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art under the banner "Listen to Modern Art."

In its twenty-four year history, SFCMP has presented over 750 works, including 100 US and world premieres, and has commissioned 33 new pieces. Selections from the subscription series are broadcast on local public radio. SFCMP's concert repertoire focuses on pieces written in the last twenty years. Prominent among the composers whose works SFCMP has commissioned and performed are women and minority composers as well as Bay Area and California composers. The Group has also maintained a commitment to commissioning and performing chamber works from jazz musicians including, most recently, James Newton, Oliver Lake and Wadada Leo Smith. Prior to each subscription series concert, Music Director Stephen L. Mosko leads an informative, well-attended dialogue with the composers whose works will be performed. In 1989, 1992, and again in 1994, the ensemble received the prestigious national Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music from ASCAP/Chamber Music America.

SFCMP has toured widely throughout California. In July 1986, the ensemble made its European debut at the Cheltenham Festival of Music, and was featured in 1990 at the Ojai Festival. SFCMP has recorded five albums of its own and has contributed recordings to five others.

Collaborating with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFCMP introduced in the 1990 season a program for children about contemporary art and music. In November 1992, SFCMP produced a presentation on the origins of jazz for students of the Franklin and Roosevelt Middle Schools in San Francisco with jazz flutist and composer James Newton. In the 1993-94 season SFCMP inaugurated an internship program for high school students from the San Francisco School of the Arts, and presented a lecture/demonstration on Elliott Carter for all music students at that public high school. SFCMP has since expanded its educational outreach activities to involve high school interns as participants in their own contemporary chamber music ensemble, and is presenting more programs on contemporary music at local schools and universities.


* John Cage "Quartets I-VIII" (1976), "Music for Seventeen" (1984): 1993 (Newport Classic, NPD 85547)

* Morton Feldman "For Samuel Beckett" (1987): 1991 (Newport Classic, NPD 85506)

* Lou Harrison "The Perilous Chapel": with David Tanenbaum, guitar, William Winant, percussion; 1993 (New Albion, NA055)

* Henri Lazarof "Prayers": 1992 (Delos, DE 3214)

* SFCMP Plays Works of Moss, Dugger, Cummings, Frank; 1988 (CRI, SD558 LP)

* SFCMP Plays Works of Rochberg, Felciano, Peterson, Boone; 1982 (Grenadilla, GS-1063 LP)

* Steven Mackey "Indigenous Instruments": 1993 (Newport Classic, NPD 85541)

* Wayne Peterson "Sextet": 1992 (CRI, CD 594)


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