Seeking Bay Area composers for Intersection 2018 workshop

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s INTERSECTION workshop will be entering its 5th season in 2018.  The workshop is designed for adult amateur musicians to experience the thrill of playing new chamber music written especially for them.  We are inviting San Francisco Bay Area composers (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties) to compose for this workshop.

There is no age limit, and no cost to apply. Composers will be required to submit one original chamber music work for judging purposes.  This work will NOT be performed at the workshop.  If you are selected for the workshop, you will compose a short (3-5 minute) piece for an adult amateur chamber ensemble with instrumentation TBA depending on what instruments are in the group. Instrumentation can include strings, winds and piano.  If selected to compose for this workshop, composers will need to tailor their work to the level of the musicians in each group.

We will only accept 25 composer submissions.  Please submit only one composition per composer. When we have reached 25 submissions, the contest will be closed and announced as closed on the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble website, and further submissions will not be acknowledged.

Left Coast will select up to 6 composers to compose for the workshop.  Composers will be paid $250 for each piece composed; composers may be asked to compose two pieces for two different ensembles.

Score: Each composer must submit a legible score of professional quality. No marks identifying the composer must appear anywhere on the score.  We will not accept scores submitted electronically.

Audio: If you have one, live recordings are preferred. MIDI realizations are acceptable.  It is also acceptable to submit your work with no audio.  Your real name should not be on your audio.

Preparing your score: Label your score and audio with a pseudonym (don't use your real name on your score or audio).

Number of entries: Composers may submit ONE work.  Note that this work WILL NOT be performed at the workshop.  There is no cost to apply, materials will not be returned to you.

Send your score and materials to:

Left Coast Chamber Ensemble

c/o Phyllis Kamrin

1203 Ward Street

Berkeley, CA 94702


  • Musicians, board members, and composers already affiliated with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble may not enter the competition; likewise, their spouses, domestic partners and relatives may not enter the competition.


For more information or questions, contact Phyllis Kamrin at:

Winners will be announced in May 2017, pieces will be performed in February of 2018.

Left Coast wins 2015-16 Best of the Bay!

We are honored to receive three wins in the San Francisco Classical Voice Best of the Bay contest:

Best Chamber Ensemble of 2015–16
Best New Music Ensemble of 2015–16
Best Chamber Music Performance of 2015–16: Nikki + Left Coast

"The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble is the only group to win in three categories: Best Chamber Ensemble, Best New Music Ensemble, and (with Nikki Einfeld), best Chamber Music Performance. Clearly they are doing something right." - Paul Kotapish, SFCV

Thank you for your support!

2016-17 Season Announced

We are excited about our 2016-17 season lineup. Season tickets are on sale now.

1. A Close Correspondence

Onur Türkmen 
New Work for String Quartet and Chorus WORLD PREMIERE

Leoš Janáček
String Quartet #2 “Intimate Letters”

David Lang 
A Father’s Love for Chorus

Mark Winges 
Letters for String Quartet and Chorus WORLD PREMIERE

Itʼs a natural alliance: Volti (SFʼs premiere new music chorus) joins forces with Left Coast for a concert about correspondence. Weʼll hear Janáčekʼs "Intimate Letters" quartet and moving music by David Lang based on a soldierʼs goodbye letter. Together our ensembles present world premieres featuring letters of Janáček, Goethe, Virginia Woolf, and others.

2. Brilliant Palette

Ernest Chausson
Chanson Perpétuelle, Op. 37 for Soprano, String Quartet, and Piano

Caroline Shaw
Boris Kerner for Cello, and Percussion

George Crumb
Madrigals I for Soprano, Vibraphone, and Contrabass

Martin Matalon
Short Stories for Vibraphone

Gabriel Fauré
La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61, for Soprano, String Quintet, and Piano

Percussionist Loren Mach and soprano Nikki Einfeld have joined Left Coast! We celebrate the array of musical resources they bring to the ensemble with lush vocal music of Fauré and Chausson, the meditative Boris Kerner for cello and flower pots, by Caroline Shaw, and other music for percussion and voice.

3. House of the Beehives

David Coll

Dusan Bogdanovic
Canticles for Two Guitars

Maurice Ravel
Sonata for Violin and Cello

Melody Eötvös
House of the Beehives

Sebastian Currier
Broken Consort for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Cello, 2 Guitars

Melody Eötvösʼ vibrant House of the Beehives, inspired by the Italo Calvino story of the same name, is the winner of our 2016 Composition Contest. We present it alongside duos by Ravel, Bogdanovic, and David Coll, with Sebastian Currierʼs sextet, Broken Consorts; his music was heralded as "lyrical, colorful, firmly rooted in tradition, but absolutely new" by The Washington Post.

4. Brahms Through the Looking Glass

New Works, to be announced

Kenneth Lim
New Work for Piano Trio 

Johannes Brahms
Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8

Brahmsʼ B Major Trio, written when he was a young man and revised in his later years, is the inspiration for a new piano trio by Kenneth Lim. A new heir to the classical music tradition give us fresh perspective on an old masterpiece.

5. Francophilia

Claude Debussy
Chansons de Bilitis

Aaron Copland
selections from Songs of Emily Dickinson

Kurt Rohde
Power is Everywhere for Soprano, Flute, Cello and Piano with texts by Michel Foucault WORLD PREMIERE

Maurice Ravel
Chansons madécasses 

with other works for voice, flute, cello and piano by Henri Dutilleux, Ned Rorem and André Caplet

In this program of music for soprano, flute, cello and piano, listen and consider the question: “What defines the French sound?”

According to American composer Ned Rorem, “..the solar system is torn between two aesthetics: French and German...Blue is French. Red is German. Yes is French. No is German.” Rorem believed he and Aaron Copland belonged in the French category.

Fall 2015 Events with Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho

photo from Kaija Saariaho's website

photo from Kaija Saariaho's website

Beginning this month, Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho will be in residence at UC Berkeley, together with her husband, the French composer Jean-Baptiste Barrière. Our San Francisco Bay Area new music community will be taking full advantage. 

  • The Fall 2015 run of Saariaho events in the Bay Area (all of which she has committed to attend) begins with Berkeley Symphony on October 14, featuring Laterna Magica, the composer’s 2008 work inspired by Ingmar Bergman.

  • The following Friday, October 23Cal Performances presents the UC Berkeley Music Department’s eco ensemble performing three of her works; the centerpiece is a chamber adaptation of Saariaho’s cello concerto Notes on Light (2006), featuring her close collaborator, cellist Anssi Karttunen.

  • At the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco the following evening, October 24San Francisco Contemporary Music Players offers works for solo instruments and video by both Saariaho and Barrière, including Artistic Director Steven Schick performing the complex and polyrhythmic Six Japanese Gardens (1994), composed in memory of Toru Takemitsu.

  • The Left Coast Chamber Ensemble program “With You In Mind” concludes this two-week flurry of events: their chamber music set includes Miroirs and Sept Papillons, in Mill Valley on Sunday,October 25, and San Francisco on Monday, October 26.

  • Finally, the UC Berkeley Department of Music will host five Bloch Lectures on campus, from Monday, October 12 through Friday, November 6.

Buy 1, get 25% off the rest! All presenters of the events mentioned above have agreed to provide a 25% discount for anyone who has purchased a full-price ticket to one Saariaho concert. You’ll receive a code at checkout for any of the above events; if you’ve already purchased tickets, contact the presenter for the discount code. 

Read more at the Center for New Music.