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Student-Run Hot Air Festival Takes off Again at SFCM

Part of the Conservatory's Professional Development curriculum, the student-led festival provides a ground-up view of how to produce a concert and features more than 10 new works on March 3, 2024.

February 26, 2024 by Mark Taylor

The Hot Air Festival once again touches down at SFCM March 3 with its multi-venue, day-long celebration of contemporary and expansive classical music. 

In partnership with SFCM’s Professional Development team, the student-led festival will return for its annual event where it will celebrate the premiere of several new musical works as well as contemporary and classical music from the last 50 years. 

"This year the Hot Air Music Festival will feature premiere performances of 10 works and compositions from more than a dozen US-based young composers," said Lena Goldstein, who is co-director of the event. The two performances, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., will take place in the Barbro Osher Recital Hall inside SFCM's Bowes Center and will feature vocalists, solo instruments, duos, and string quartets. "We are so thrilled to work with composers and performers to bring their music to life," Goldstein added. 

Lena Goldstein

Lena Goldstein

In addition to the two concert events on March 3, the Hot Air Festival will include a coffee round table with members of the festival team and SFCM's Professional Development team on how to run a music festival at 12 p.m. There will also be a discussion panel at 4 p.m featuring performers and collaborators discussing the process of composing a new musical work. 

The Hot Air Music Festival aims to strengthen the new music community in the Bay Area with an emphasis on premiering new works and showcasing multimedia collaborations. Originally founded in 2010 with a desire to celebrate and promote new music, it has continued this mission through its international open call for scores, providing a spotlight for many young composers and collaborative musicians at SFCM and beyond.

More recently the Hot Air Festival has been included in the Professional Development curriculum, allowing for expanded performance opportunities while also teaching students the inner workings of musical production. "Our students are eager to create impactful concert experiences, and we are thrilled to help provide them this opportunity, giving them the tools to carry out their production visions to fruition," Professional Development Chair Kristen Klehr said.

Guests are asked to reserve seats for these free concerts held March 3rd, 2024 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Learn more about SFCM's Professional Development offerings.