The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra has a long and distinguished history of community service in the Bay Area.
Music Director Benjamin Simon has overseen the organization’s artistic development since 2002, when he was hired to replace long-time Music Director Edgar Braun, who founded the orchestra with Adrian Sunshine in 1953. He has not only invigorated this cultural treasure through the development of inventive programs, an uncompromising approach to artistic excellence and an unwavering commitment to audience engagement but has shepherded the organization’s financial growth in tandem with administrative infrastructure. Under his leadership, California’s longest-established professional chamber orchestra has been transformed into one of the most vibrant, exciting ensembles in the Bay Area’s classical music scene, known for its stylistic breadth and versatility of programming.
“San Francisco Chamber Orchestra has performed over 1000 concerts in its distinguished 65-year history.”
Winner of an SF Weekly Best of San Francisco award, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra has performed over 1000 concerts in its distinguished 65-year history. Defined by the stylistic breadth and versatility of its artistic programming, the SFCO formalized an admission-free policy for its core concert series in 2005, becoming the only professional orchestra in California and one of only a few in the US to offer a complete season of admission-free concerts. The policy was part of the SFCO’s commitment to building diverse audiences for classical music. Audience-building efforts also include performances in geographically and culturally accessible, non-traditional venues; programming relevant to people of color; an informal concert atmosphere aimed at first-time audience members; and multi-disciplinary productions that provide guideposts for first-time and/or young classical music listeners at its Family Concerts and Very First Concerts series.