Invitation for Concert Proposals
2013-14 SFEMS Season
The San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) has issued a request for
proposals from individuals and ensembles interested in appearing on the
2013-14 annual SFEMS concert series.
SFEMS will present seven concert events (each repeated in three venues)
during its next concert series, from September 2013 through April 2014. At
least three of the presentations will be by local ensembles. (It is SFEMS policy
that the term local includes ensembles based within 180 miles of San Francisco.
Acknowledging that early music organizations are often comprised of
national and international personalities, such an organization may be considered
local if it consists of major membership and activity within the Bay Area.
That is, an organization can be considered local even if only one member is
based in the Bay Area, so long as that member is central to the organization.)
SFEMS welcomes all proposals that could interest its audiences. It primarily
presents music from the Middle Ages through 1800, performed on period
Proposals should be sent to the Concert Committee, SFEMS, P.O. Box
27495, San Francisco, CA 94127-0495, by October 15, 2012. The Concert
Committee has stressed that the submission deadline of October
15 will be strictly observed in order to facilitate early season planning.
Questions about procedures and deadlines should be directed to the
Concert Committee at 510-528-1725 or at
Selection decisions will be made in late October, 2012, and ensembles
chosen will be notified by mid-November.
Local ensembles will be selected though the procedures described
in detail below. Unlike most concert presenters around the
world, SFEMS goes to great lengths to give all local ensembles a fair
and equal opportunity to play. An anonymous and impartial Audition
Panel recommends local groups to the Concert Committee based
solely on the quality of the performances submitted. The Committee selects
local groups from those recommended by the Audition Panel.
Local ensembles may submit proposals that include out-of-town or foreign
guest artists. (Please be advised that SFEMS cannot help non-U.S. citizens
obtain visas to perform in the U.S.)
Proposals must include a CD of unedited music and a written description
of the programs and performers proposed. The CD should include
not fewer than 15 and no more than 30 minutes of material. Only one CD
may be submitted by each ensemble. The audio tracks on the CD should fairly represent
the proposed performers. The CD should be labeled with the name of the
ensemble, and the music contained and performers included on the disc
should be listed on the CD liner/case. The best material should be placed
at the beginning of the CD. In the case of long works, excerpts may be included.
Commercially produced recordings will not be considered. Edited
performances may not be considered. The proposal must also include a
detailed list of instruments to be used, including date of manufacture,
style, original instrument after which modeled, and name of maker.
CDs will be returned only if expressly requested and a suitable
self-addressed, postage pre-paid mailing envelope is provided or
arrangements are made for pick up in person.
Each ensemble must represent that all performers named in its proposals
have agreed to participate and must give one person authority to conclude arrangements
Compensation for local groups will consist of a 45/55 split rather
than a fixed fee. Compensation for out-of-town artists will be
limited to half of the total cost.
Proposals by non-local ensembles will be considered separately
from the above process by the Concert Committee. Such ensembles
should submit their proposals to SFEMS as soon as possible, and no
later than October 15, 2012. There is no required format for submissions
by non-local ensembles. Please be advised that SFEMS cannot
help non-U.S. citizens obtain visas to perform in the U.S.
GENERAL GUIDELINES (SFEMS POLICY)
- SFEMS emphasizes Bay Area artists and ensembles in its annual concert
series. Several non-local presentations are normally included in
the series in the interest of diversity and audience appeal, and Bay Area
artists may include local and non-local guest artists in their proposals.
- SFEMS seeks to present a concert series that reflects the broad diversity
of early music, including vocal and instrumental repertoire from all
eras of western music before 1800, played, as appropriate, on period
- The primary criterion for selection to appear on a SFEMS concert series
is quality, within the context of historically-informed performance.
- Subject to the primary criterion of quality, an effort is made to distribute
performance opportunities and to avoid excessive frequency of
- Proposals must be accompanied by an audition recording that substantially
represents the personnel who are proposed to appear on
- Selection is impartial. Submissions are evaluated in a blind audition
without identification of the performers.
- Audition panelists serve anonymously and are encouraged to maintain
the confidentiality of their participation. No panelist may serve more
than two years consecutively.
- Audition panelists are experts in the field. They are chosen from a list
of individuals nominated for their awareness of the field, diversity of
expertise, impartiality, and absence of potential conflicts of interest.
- Curatorship of SFEMS concert presentations is the responsibility of the
entire Board of Directors.
- The SFEMS Board Concert Committee may delegate tasks to non-Committee
members, SFEMS staff, or other individuals, except where specifically
excluded in the following procedures.
- All questions regarding concert selection decisions are referred to the
chair of the Concert Committee, who may, at her/his discretion, provide
the inquirer with decision rationale.
- The following procedures apply to all major concert series presented
by SFEMS, including the annual concert series and the Berkeley Festival
PROCEDURES (SFEMS POLICY)
- The concert selection process begins with the SFEMS Concert Committeefs
publication of a request for local proposals in the Early Music News
and other appropriate media.
- The Concert Committee presents for approval by the SFEMS Board of
Directors a proposed list of at least twenty nominees for the Audition
- The Concert Committee chair selects five individuals from the approved
list of Audition Panel nominees, confirms their availability, and
arranges for them to meet under her/his chairmanship to hear all submissions.
The chair does not have a vote in the evaluation of submissions.
This entire step is strictly confidential and may not be delegated.
- The Concert Committee convenes in executive session, reviews the
Audition Panel assessments as well as availability of non-local presentations,
and assembles the proposed concert series. In the selection of
local groups the assessments of the Audition Panel will dominate, but
the Concert Committee is empowered to override the assessments in
order to ensure, among other things, diversity of era, repertoire, and
instrumentation; audience appeal; and financial viability. The minutes
of the executive session are strictly confidential. This step may not be
- The Concert Committee presents the proposed series to the Board of
Directors for approval.
- If necessary, the Concert Committee meets again in executive session
to make changes in the series if for scheduling or other reasons the series
as originally planned is not practical. Any such changes are subject
to Board review.
Last updated 09/12/2012.