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Sidney Chen

San Francisco, CA            

Sidney Chen, bass-baritone, specializes in the creation of new music for voice. He performs with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble, most recently in composer/choreographer Monk’s music-theater work On Behalf of Nature, which toured internationally and was recorded for ECM Records. With the San Francisco Symphony he traveled to Carnegie Hall to premiere Monk’s chamber work Realm Variations as part of the 2012 American Mavericks Festival. He is the artistic advisor to and a singer with the San Francisco-based new music vocal ensemble Volti, the only group to have been awarded the Chorus America/ASCAPAward for Adventurous Programming seven times. In recent seasons he has premiered Ryan Brown’s “medical oratorio” Mortal Lessons; performed in the 2018 Other Minds Festival; collaborated with the Friction Quartet on a collection of new works for vocal quartet and string quartet; toured to Denmark with San Francisco Lyric Opera’s production of the little match girl passion by David Lang; and performed Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia for eight voices and orchestra at the Mondavi Center. In 2009 he sang in Carnegie Hall’s 45th-anniversary celebration of Terry Riley’s In C, organized by the Kronos Quartet. He is a co-founder of The M6, a New York-based vocal sextet, and a member of the nine-man ensemble Clerestory. He was NewMusicBox’s San Francisco Bay Area Regional Editor from 2012 to 2014, and worked for the Kronos Quartet from 1997 to 2018, most recently as the ensemble’s Artistic Administrator.

Articles by Sidney Chen:

Headlines December 18 2013 | By Sidney Chen
Sweeter Music and High Art

This fall, Other Minds released Sarah Cahill’s recording of works that have come out of her A Sweeter Music commissioning project, developed as a response to the Iraq War. Innova...

Headlines December 4 2013 | By Sidney Chen
100 Guitars Rock West Coast Premiere of Rhys Chatham’s A Secret Rose

A Secret Rose fulfills one's expectations of 100 electric guitars playing simultaneously in the same 45,000 square-foot room—that is, tongue-lollingly loud shredding that triggers involuntary head bobbing—but Chatham covers far...

Headlines November 11 2013 | By Sidney Chen
Guided By Sound: Crissy Broadcast Debuts in San Francisco

Described as a "spatial symphony" composed and directed by Lisa Bielawa, Crissy Broadcast involved hundreds of musicians drawn from a dozen or so local ensembles, including middle school and high...

Articles September 27 2013 | By Sidney Chen
The World Beyond the Classroom: SFCM Nurtures Community Creativity and Optimism

In the past several years, the San Francisco new music community has been energized by a wave of performers emerging from SFCM who are deeply, and in some cases exclusively,...

Headlines August 8 2013 | By Sidney Chen
In the Bay Area: Cahill at the Piano and Music@Menlo

Pianist Sarah Cahill’s engaging solo recital last Friday included an advance look at a program of music by Henry Cowell she's planning to perform at San Quentin State Prison next...

Headlines July 31 2013 | By Sidney Chen
Wanted: Local Bay Area Musicians

This fall will be an exceptional time for San Francisco Bay Area musicians of all stripes who are interested in making music with a large community of fellow new music...

Headlines July 15 2013 | By Sidney Chen
Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

A work six years in development with a libretto written by the composer, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is an earnestly personal and thoroughly researched re-examination of the role of...

Headlines June 28 2013 | By Sidney Chen
“Let’s see what this is!”—Garden of Memory 2013

The longest day of the year is observed by the San Francisco Bay Area new music community with the annual Garden of Memory event at the Chapel of the Chimes...

Headlines April 9 2013 | By Sidney Chen
SF’s Annual Switchboard Music Festival Celebrates the Eclectic

You never know exactly what you’ll encounter when you walk into the annual Switchboard Music Festival, a gleefully eclectic eight-hour extravaganza at the Brava Theater consisting of music that avoids...