Free summer music in and around San Francisco 

The availability of $10 standing-room tickets to San Francisco Opera’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” reminds those who feel they can’t afford classical music that where there is a yearning, there is a path. The Bay Area is ripe with free musical events — even in summer, when the main supplier, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, is not in session. Here are a few options:

Noontime Concerts

The venerable Noontime Concerts ­ at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, 660 California St., S.F., at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays are free, but an optional $5 donation is requested. Visit Upcoming events include:
Tuesday: Eusebius Duo (violinist Monika Gruber and pianist Hillary Nordwell) performing Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata and Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, K. 301.
- July 5: Members of the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra, led by George Cleve, in a program of music by Mozart.
- July 12: Pianist Hilda Huang plays Bach.

American Guild of Organists convention

The gathering of musicians features a series of free events at various locations. Visit publicevents.html for details.
n July 2: Regional competition for young organists. [9 a.m. to 5 p.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 1755 Clay St., S.F.]
- July 3: Convention opening service. [7:15 p.m., Temple Emanu-El, 2 Lake St., S.F.]
- July 5: Recital by winner of young organists’ competition. [10:30 a.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church]
- July 6: Chant vespers with organist Samuel Soria. [3 p.m., Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough St., S.F.]
- July 6: Recital by organist Amy Johansen. [8 p.m., Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F.]

Symphony in the Park

Conducted by Michael Francis and featuring pianist Valentina Lisitsa, the San Francisco Symphony gives a concert. Visit for details.
- July 10: Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain,” Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 are on the program. [2 p.m., Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

BBC Proms

The very best of free live music all summer long is as close as your computer. Attend it live if you’re in London or listen to it online everywhere: The BBC Proms, the biggest and best of music festivals, runs from July 15 to Sept. 10, offering more than 70 concerts in the 140-year-old Royal Albert Hall. Visit

About The Author

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben is a writer and columnist for SF Classical Voice; he has worked as writer and editor with the NY Herald-Tribune, TIME Inc., UPI, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, San Jose Mercury News, Post Newspaper Group, and wrote documentation for various technology companies.
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