Fulfilling the vision of internationally renowned vocalist Alexandra Ivanoff, Noontime Concerts has remained a treasured Bay Area landmark, presenting hundreds of classical concerts performed by outstanding local and international musicians each Tuesday afternoon in the heart of San Francisco. Founded at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, the series is now in its 28th year, and is recognized as a valued local institution that continues to fulfill its mission to enrich the community and cultural life of the Bay Area.
Noontime Concerts’ second Executive Director, James Rittell, carried the tradition and remained an ardent advocate for the series for the next decade and a half, curating concert presentations that have touched the hearts and lives of concert-goers throughout the Bay Area.
Noontime Concerts are not ticketed, but suggested donations are solicited to ensure all can enjoy performances regardless of ability to pay. Low-cost, live musical performances are offered at a time convenient for downtown workers, visitors to San Francisco, students, shoppers, and music lovers in general. Currently, Noontime Concerts are presented weekly on Tuesdays at 12:30 in historic Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral.
The series is a descendant of the original concert series developed by Dame Myra Hess. Noontime Concerts™ is part of an international network of churches, museums, and other venues offering a welcome midday respite amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Noontime’s home at Old St. Mary’s provides an environment in many cases very consistent with the venues for which many classical compositions were originally written.
At its completion in 1853, Old St. Mary’s was both the first cathedral and the tallest building in the new state of California. Restored after San Francisco’s devastating earthquake and fire of 1906, it was rededicated 1909. The historic cathedral remains an important San Francisco landmark and a beautiful and serene setting for concerts.