Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Beth Custer
Clarinetist, composer, performer, and teacher
A woman for all seasons, hers is a big musical personality — versatile, adaptable, and very individual. – John L. Walters, London Guardian

BETH CUSTER is a San Francisco based composer, performer, bandleader, clarinet teacher, and the proprietress of BC Records. She is a founding member of the notorious silent film soundtrack purveyors the Club Foot Orchestra, 4th world ambient ensemble Trance Mission, the quintet of esteemed clarinetists Clarinet Thing, the trip-hop duo Eighty Mile Beach, and the Latin-jazz-rock influenced Doña Luz 30 Besos. She now leads The Beth Custer Ensemble.

Beth has been composer for the cutting edge dance-theater troupe the Joe Goode Performance Group for over 10 years, having composed for seven of their productions. Recent soundtrack work includes a season of the cartoon "The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat" for CBS/Film Roman, "Independent View" theme for KQED television, as well as many indie films, most notably those of Cathy Crane, Craig Baldwin, Esther Paik, Will Zavala, and Kwon & Iger. Theater compositions include productions by California Shakespeare Company, Campo Santos, Magic Theater, and Berkeley and San Diego Repertory Theaters.

As a free-lance clarinetist, Beth has performed with Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Connie Champagne, Jin Hi Kim, Miya Masaoka, Will Bernard, Grassy Knoll, Violent Femmes, Joshua Brody, Sky Cries Mary, Snakefinger and many others. She received her Masters in Clarinet Performance at San Francisco State University and then studied clarinet for four years with the eminent Rosario Mazzeo.
Beth is one of four recipients of 2002 Meet The Composer Residency Grants. From 2002-05, she will be in residence at The Lab in San Francisco, and composing for and collaborating with the Joe Goode Performance Group, Lise Swenson and TILT.