Call for Concert Proposals

SFEMS 2021–22 Season


UPDATED August 17, 2020: Because of the pandemic, SFEMS will issue a request for proposals for the 2021–22 main stage concert series at a later date.

The information below from the 2020–21 season call for proposals is intended to provide a template for guidance.


Concert Proposal Submission Form (CLOSED)

SFEMS will present a minimum of five concerts during the next concert season from October through May. The presentations will be by both local and non-local ensembles. All concert proposals will be evaluated along the same standards of artistic quality. SFEMS welcomes all proposals that could be of interest to our audiences. We are seeking a diversity of instruments, periods, as well as size of performance group. All concert proposals will be viewed through the lens of creating a compelling concert season.

Proposals should be sent electronically to the Concert Committee, in the care of Committee Chair Bill Stewart, using the online Concert Proposal Submission Form. The deadline for receiving concert proposals for the 2019–20 season was 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, November 1, 2019.

Proposals should include a detailed description of the concert, plus audio samples. The proposal must include a list of instruments to be used, including date of manufacture, style, original instrument after which modeled and name of maker.

Each ensemble must represent that all performers named in the proposal have agreed to participate and must give one person the authority to conclude arrangements with SFEMS.

Local Ensembles:

For the purposes of concert proposals, local ensembles are based within 180 miles of San Francisco and may have no more than one-third of the individual artists, rounding down, based outside of this geographical ambit.

Artists’ fees for local ensembles will be $1,250.00 per performer, up to a total of $6,250.00 for the group. An additional travel stipend may be negotiated for non-local artists performing with local ensembles.

Non-Local Ensembles:

Artists’ fees by non-local ensembles will be negotiated along similar guidelines as local ensembles, taking into consideration the additional expenses of travel and housing.


General Guidelines

  1. While maintaining the highest artistic standards, SFEMS aims to emphasize Bay Area artists and ensembles in its annual concert series, while showcasing national and international artists as well in the interest of diversity and audience appeal.
  2. SFEMS seeks to present a concert series that reflects the broad diversity of early music in Western tradition, performed with due attention to historical performance practice and representing a broad range of historical periods, c. 1000-1850 CE.
  3. The primary criterion for selection to appear on a SFEMS concert series is artistic quality.
  4. Subject to the primary criterion of artistic quality, an effort is made to distribute performance opportunities and to avoid excessive frequency of appearance of any ensemble or individual artist. Ensembles that or will have performed on the concert series within the preceding three (3) concert seasons will not be eligible for consideration.
  5. Proposals must be accompanied by an audition recording that substantially represents the personnel who are proposed to appear on the series.
  6. Concert committee members, selected by the President of the Board of Directors and drawn from the SFEMS board and membership, are encouraged to maintain the confidentiality of their participation. 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.
  7. Concert Committee discussions and deliberations are to be kept confidential.
  8. All questions regarding concert selection decisions will be referred to the chair of the Concert Committee, who may, at their discretion, provide the inquirer with decision rationale.
  9. The Concert Committee will present a slate of proposed concerts to SFEMS Board of the Directors for approval. The Executive Director is charged with negotiating and executing contracts for the SFEMS, with due attention given to logistical and financial considerations.
  10. If necessary, the Concert Committee will meet again to propose alternate selections if logistical or financial considerations make a selection impractical. Any such changes are subject to Board review.