“Stunning and moving.”—San Francisco Classical Voice

Our Mission

Bard Music West seeks to deeply connect people with composers of the past 100 years. By creating immersive and playful experiences that reveal the relationship between composers and our world, it encourages us to reflect, embrace each others' diverse perspectives, and approach life with wonder.

“Bard Music West…is one of the most exciting new developments on the Bay Area music scene in a long while. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
—SF Civic Center Blog

What We Do

Founded in 2016 by pianist Allegra Chapman and cellist Laura Gaynon, Bard Music West presents immersive and playful concert experiences that reveal the relationship between 20th-century and contemporary composers and our world. Every concert of Bard Music West is designed to inspire a deep connection to the composer and their work. Bard Music West is an independently-operated branch of the critically acclaimed Bard Music Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Now in its third season, Bard Music West’s central offering is an annual festival that delves into the life, work, and inspirations of one composer from the past 100 years, creating an immersion into the composer’s world. Concerts, talks, and related events range across time, genre, and artistic media as they follow the boundary-defying work and inspirations of each composer. Bard Music West has presented more than sixty world-class artists from the Bay Area and beyond in two festivals exploring the worlds of György Ligeti (2017) and Henry Cowell (2018). The 2019 festival explores the world of Grażyna Bacewicz.

Bard Music West Plays is Bard Music West’s pop-up chamber music series. The Plays series launched in 2019 with “Games and Revolutions,” a program exploring the music and influences of emerging composers Danny Clay and Gabriella Smith. Co-curated by the composers and presented in intimate, informal venues, the series offered a window into the minds of the composers and a chance for the audience to get to know both composers and performers.



“Part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit”
The New York Times

Bard Music West is a new generation of the Bard Music Festival. Founded in 1990, the annual Bard Music Festival presents a series of thematic programs that explore the music, life, and times of a featured composer. Performances, informal talks, special events, and a book of essays, all designed to appeal to a broad audience, serve to place the work of the composer in historical, cultural, and social context. The Festival is committed to bringing to life rarely heard works, investigating the influences of popular and folk music on classical compositions, and broadening and diversifying the audience for classical music.