Invitation for Concert Proposals
2014-15 SFEMS Season
The San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS) has established a new model for
selecting performing artists for our concert series. We will no longer hold blind
auditions of local artists. Instead, all proposals will be considered with the goal
of creating a compelling concert season with diversity of instruments, periods,
SFEMS will present six concert events (each repeated in three venues) during
its next concert series, from October 2014 through April 2015. The presentations
will be by both local and non-local ensembles and all will be invited. SFEMS
welcomes all proposals that could interest its audiences. It primarily presents
music from the Middle Ages through 1800, performed on period instruments.
All concert proposals will be considered through the lens of creating a compelling
SFEMS is now requesting proposals from individuals and ensembles interested in
appearing on the 2014-15 annual SFEMS concert series.
Proposals should be sent to the Concert Committee, SFEMS, P.O. Box 27495,
CA 94127-0495, by October 15 2013.
Committee has stressed that the submission deadline of October
15 will be strictly observed in order to facilitate early season planning.
Questions about procedures and deadlines should be directed to the
Concert Committee at 510-528-1725 or at
Selection decisions will be made in late October 2013, and ensembles chosen will be
notified by mid-November.
SFEMS goes to great lengths to give all local ensembles a fair and equal
opportunity to play. Local ensembles may submit proposals that include out-of-town
or foreign guest artists. (Please be advised that SFEMS cannot help non-U.S.
citizens obtain visas to perform in the U.S.)
Proposals must include a detailed description of each concert and may include CDs
or links to audio and video material. The proposal must include a list of instruments
to be used, including date of manufacture, style, original instrument after which
modeled, and name of maker.
CDs will be returned only if expressly requested and a suitable self-addressed,
postage pre-paid mailing envelope is provided or arrangements are made for pick up
Each ensemble must represent that all performers named in its proposals have
agreed to participate and must give one person the authority to conclude
arrangements with SFEMS.
Local ensembles (Artists) will have the option of (1.) sharing a 45% (SFEMS)/55%
(Artist) split of ticket revenue. Travel expenses (if any) will be covered by the
Artists share of the revenue. Alternatively, Artists will have the option of (2.)
receiving a fixed fee of $1100.00 per performer up to a maximum of $5,500 for the
ensemble as a whole. Reimbursement of travel expenses (if any) will be half of
the total cost. The choice of compensation options must be made at the time the
offer is made.
Proposals by non-local ensembles will be considered at the same time as local
groups. Such ensembles should submit their proposals to SFEMS as soon as possible,
and no later than October 15, 2013. There is no required format for submissions.
Please be advised that SFEMS cannot help non-U.S. citizens obtain visas to perform
in the U.S.
Non- Local ensembles (Artists) will have the option of (1.) sharing a
45% (SFEMS)/55% (Artist) split of ticket revenue. Travel expenses (if any) will be
covered by the Artists share of the revenue. Alternatively, Artists will have the
option of (2.) receiving a fixed fee of $1,100 per performer up to a maximum of
$5,500 for the ensemble as a whole in addition to a travel per-diem of $500
per performer up to a maximum of $2500. Reimbursement of additional travel expenses
will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
GENERAL GUIDELINES (SFEMS POLICY)
SFEMS emphasizes Bay Area artists and ensembles in its annual concert series and selects
artists both local and non-local in the interest of creating a unique and cohesive
concert series with diversity and audience appeal.
SFEMS seeks to present a concert series that reflects the broad diversity of early
music, including vocal and instrumental repertoire from all eras of western music
before 1800, played, as appropriate, on period instruments.
The primary criterion for selection to appear on a SFEMS concert series is quality,
within the context of historically-informed performance.
Subject to the primary criterion of quality, an effort is made to distribute
performance opportunities and to avoid excessive frequency of appearance.
Proposals must be accompanied by an audition recording that substantially represents
the personnel who are proposed to appear on the series.
Curatorship of SFEMS concert presentations is the responsibility of the entire Board
The SFEMS Board Concert Committee may delegate tasks to non-Committee members, SFEMS
staff, or other individuals, except where specifically excluded in the procedures
All questions regarding concert selection decisions are referred to the chair of the
Concert Committee, who may, at her/his discretion, provide the inquirer with
- The following procedures apply to all major concert series presented by SFEMS,
including the annual concert series and the Berkeley Festival series.
PROCEDURES (SFEMS POLICY)
The concert selection process begins with the SFEMS Concert Committee's publication
of a request for proposals in the Early Music News and other appropriate media.
After the proposals are received, the concert committee chair reviews the proposals
from local and non-local artists and prepares the material for presentation to the
The Concert Committee convenes in executive session, reviews the proposals and
assembles the proposed concert series. The Concert Committee is empowered to ensure,
among other things, diversity of era, repertoire, and instrumentation, audience
appeal, and financial viability. The minutes of the executive session are strictly
confidential. This step may not be delegated.
The Concert Committee presents the proposed series to the Board of Directors for
- If necessary, the Concert Committee meets again in executive session to make
changes in the series if for scheduling or other reasons the series as originally
planned is not practical. Any such changes are subject to Board review.
Last updated 09/10/2013.