Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Old First Concerts
1751 Sacramento St.
San Francisco CA 94109  

Old First Concerts, established in 1970 as a year-round concert series, continues to present an astonishing array of programs performed by outstanding musicians from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Old First Concerts has a distinctive niche within the local musical community with a solid history of creating and programming an incubator space for emerging and established musicians and ensembles of all genres. The musical content (our curatorial mission) is artist-driven on every level, with no restrictions placed on the musicians' artistic vision.

The concert season is developed by Director Kathy Barr Kathy Barrin conjunction with Program Associate Rick Bahto and an Artist Advisory Board of musicians from throughout the region, representing a variety of disciplines. Musicians and ensembles propose an evening-length program, which is considered and evaluated. The result of this approach is a series that features diverse and often unconventional repertoire that ranges from classical recital and chamber performances to blues, folk, avant-garde, and jazz, as well as multicultural and world music. The series presents numerous World, US and regional premieres each year, often by emerging or mid-career Bay Area composers. Please visit our Performance Archives to explore past performances.

Artists perform in an acoustically and aesthetically appealing setting, seating approximately 450 people, with a backdrop of vividly-colored stained glass windows, and an entranceway featuring an elaborately hand painted ceiling. The venue is an ideal median between the larger local performance and recital halls, and the smaller community centers and clubs. Pianists have developed a deep fondness for performing on Old First Concerts' excellent New York Steinway (circa 1980).

Upcoming Events:
Monday, April 22 2024 7:00 PM
Amateur Music Network presents Sarah Cahill’s Backstage Pass with Theresa Wong

Theresa Wong performs music from her recent album Practicing Sands and talks about her approach to composing and improvising on cello and other instruments. The conversation will focus on “creativity and form”: exploration as a compositional tool, just intonation, queerness in music, and composing for oneself and others. Sarah will also perform Theresa’s She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees, inspired by Nina Simone.

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Friday, April 26 2024 8:00 PM
ZOFO – Echoes of Gamelan

Exploring the influence of gamelan music on Western composers, as well as how our music perception changes depending on the context, with works by Debussy, Godowski, Holst, Crumb, Baumbusch, and Srayamurtikanti, as well as piano four-hands transcriptions of Balinese ceremonial music.

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Monday, May 20 2024 7:30 PM
Earplay – New Conversations

Challenging the audience to broaden its concept of music with new emotional and auditory experiences, Earplay performs the World Premieres of a new work for voice and sextet by composer/singer Erin Gee and an ensemble work by Byron Au Yong, as well as works by Sami Seif and George Walker.

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Sunday, June 2 2024 4:00 PM
Blaise Bryski plays Mark Winges – Sunday, June 2 at 4 pm

East coast pianist Blaise Bryski plays music by west coast composer Mark Winges. This concert includes Mark’s complete Nocturnes as well as the premieres of longer works Red Sky Opening and More Hand Jive. The latter is a nod to Blaise’s and Mark’s roots in rock / funk, and includes sections of music that are improvised.
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