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Historical Performance

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Historical Performance

Collegiate Apply / Request Information

Getting to the root of it all.

 a student playing a historical instrument in the concert hall

Historical Performance at SFCM offers Bachelor’s in harpsichord and Master's music degrees in harpsichord, baroque violin, baroque viola, baroque cello, viola da gamba, as well as a one-year Historical Performance professional studies certificate (PSC) in keyboard, baroque strings, historical plucked strings, and voice. 

We seek to stimulate a vivid dialogue between students, faculty, guest artists, and audiences about the important place of historical performance in music making today. 

Studying Historical Performance at SFCM is about finding your voice. Opportunities to study historical performance and perform instruments from the seventeenth century to the present (as part of our extensive collection) are open to all SFCM students, and our Baroque Ensemble performs regularly throughout the year.

Our guiding principle is the belief that when we emulate the original performance styles of music from the time of its creation, we may hope to inspire the original energy of the music to emerge in a new, exciting context. Our goal is not to study performance practice as an academic exercise but to create contemporary performances that are relevant to contemporary audiences, vibrant, and provocative.

 

Faculty

Exclusive instruction.

Instruments and Disciplines

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a harpsichord student and his hands from above

Harpsichord

Study harpsichord in San Francisco.

Degrees and Programs
Harpsichord Bachelor of Music Harpsichord Master of Music Historical Keyboards Professional Studies Certificate
Learn more about Harpsichord

Baroque Violin

Getting to the root of it all.

Degrees and Programs
Baroque Violin Master of Music Baroque Violin Professional Studies Certificate
Learn more about Baroque Violin

Baroque Viola

Getting to the root of it all.

Degrees and Programs
Baroque Viola Master of Music Baroque Viola Professional Studies Certificate
Learn more about Baroque Viola
SFCM Opera performance

Industry Alliances to Support Students and Artists

In recent years, SFCM acquired two leading artist management companies and an iconic record label to reimagine how elements of the music industry can better integrate to advance the human experience through music. For students, that means more opportunities to interact with touring artists and industry experts–including professional development workshops, side-by-side performances, and enhanced masterclasses.

SFCM student on terrace

Visiting Campus

We look forward to your visit! Contact the Office of Admissions to take a tour of our facilities. You can also contact the historical performance faculty directly to arrange a consultative lesson.

SFCM Students working in a classroom

Audit a Class

We've saved a seat for you. During your visit to SFCM, sit in on a class or two and see what it's like to be a student at the Conservatory.

SFCM ensemble

Ensembles

Historical performance opportunities are always available to students. SFCM’s Baroque Ensemble and various chamber groups showcase our wealth of historical instrumentalists.

Financial Aid and Affordability

At SFCM, we understand that college is a substantial investment. We're here to help, and we're committed to working with you to achieve the education you desire. 99% of our students receive financial aid at an average rate of 57% tuition discount.

Life on Campus

Learn about safe and secure, all-suite on-campus housing, where 24/7 practice rooms are just the beginning.

Performances

We put on more than 500 performances a year, including student recitals, masterclasses, and side-by-sides with exciting guest artists—most of them free to the public. Check out one today.

Newsroom

Get the inside scoop on everything going on at SFCM with stories of SFCM's students, alumni, faculty and leadership.

Alliances

SFCM leads an alliance across the music industry consisting of artist management companies Opus 3 Artists and Askonas Holt and recording label Pentatone. Together, their work creates opportunities for students, artists, presenters, and audiences to develop and experience new ideas.