SFBC Biography

The internationally-acclaimed and Grammy award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) was founded in 1948 and has been led since 1996 by Artistic Director, Ian Robertson, who also serves as Chorus Director for the San Francisco Opera. With more than 200 boys in its programs the SFBC is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018. Since its founding, the Chorus has grown into a distinguished educational and performance organization having appeared over the years in over 135 productions with the San Francisco Opera, frequently as soloists. Many other collaborations include appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Midsummer Mozart, the American Boychoir, the Copenhagen Boys Choir, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the San Francisco Young Women’s Choral Project, Sonos Bell Ringers and the Purple Silk Orchestra.
San Francisco Classical Voice has hailed the Chorus as "...an educational organization as well as a respected artistic entity." Recent reviews of tour performances stated the Chorus sang with “memorable clarity…and secure flexibility and eloquent lyricism." The San Francisco Chronicle has referred to the Chorus as "Exemplary." The SFBC was chosen to record ballet music with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and appears each year with the San Francisco Symphony’s Deck the Hall holiday performances. and recently joined with KPIX-TV in a much praised video feature celebrating each other's 70th anniversary.
In its many civic engagements, including the 2009 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC, the Chorus has sung nearly every year in SF City Hall while for four decades San Francisco Mayors have recognized the San Francisco Boys Chorus as official “Singing Ambassadors of San Francisco.” Choristers have sung for many U.S. presidents, General Colin Powell, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union as well as former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Chorus has also been featured at the White House Christmas Tree Lighting.
The Chorus has toured extensively nationally and internationally, singing in concert halls and cathedrals on four continents. Among many famous venues, the Chorus has sung in Shanghai Concert Hall in China, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, England, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Hong Kong Cathedral, the Glinka Capella in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Danish National Cathedral in Copenhagen, Chartres and Notre Dame Cathedrals in France, the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, St Margaret’s Westminster, England, Costa Rica National Cathedral, St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, Washington National Cathedral in DC, St Thomas Church and St. Bart’s Church in New York City, Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary, Tokyo City Hall in Japan. In the Bay Area the chorus has performed in San Francisco at Calvary Presbyterian Church, Grace Cathedral, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, St Ignatius Church and Oakland's Cathedral of Christ the Light and St. John's Presbyterian Church.
Among its Bay Area community events, the Chorus has performed the national anthem and other songs for the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Athletics, the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco Marathon, and the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary celebration. For many years, PBS has broadcast SFBC’s holiday concert in California television markets.
Chorus recordings include We’re on our Way (2002), Moving On (2005), It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009), Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat (2010), Fauré Requiem and Messager (2010), San Francisco Boys Chorus Sings Live (2012) Sing for the Holidays (2013) and A Feast of Song (2014).