Presenting Quality Classical Music Free to the Public
Noontime Concerts is a 501 (c) (3) charitable educational institution dedicated to providing an accessible means for the public to experience, enjoy, learn about, and appreciate the presentation of high-quality classical music performances for free through a program structure that supports promising local and international artists.
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 30th 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 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.
Celebrating 30 Years! A Message from Board President, Gordon Surface
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Noontime Concerts, and in special recognition of our 30th anniversary in San Francisco, I want to take this opportunity to express our great appreciation and gratitude for the many friends and supporters of Noontime Concerts. Noontime Concerts is a San Francisco tradition whose roots go back to London during WW II when the galleries, museums, and theaters were closed to avoid mass casualties, and Dame Myra Hess began providing a space for Londoners from all walks of life where they might enjoy a free concert of beautiful music during those troubling times.
We at Noontime believe there is still the same need for communication with beauty. Our desire is to enrich the cultural life of San Francisco by providing a weekly refuge for the live experience of classical music. We are proud to be associated with the traditions and missions of the original Dame Myra Hess Concerts. Noontime Concerts is now a part of an international network of churches, museums, and other venues offering a welcome midday respite amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Providing fifty free concerts each year is no simple task. It requires the ongoing hard work and dedication of our Executive Director, Robin Wirthlin, the vision of our board and the Artistic Advisory Committee, the expertise of those who make the performance spaces ready, the generosity of historic Old Saint Mary’s clergy and staff, the talents of our visiting musicians, the promise of our emerging artists and of course, the support of our audience members, various grants, the many contributing individuals and corporations, and the desire on the part of our community to provide a weekly cultural oasis. Without this ongoing visionary, moral and financial support we would cease to exist.
We look forward with enthusiasm and delight in continuing this tradition, and with your ongoing support and financial gifts we know that our mission of providing weekly programs that reflect the diversity of musical talent, from established and internationally renowned artists to emerging talent, will continue to live, thrive and grow, touching many more lives with the joy and inspiration of musical interludes.
There are so many individuals and organizations to thank for our success and to do so here and now would take time away from today’s special concert. Please know that we recognize those individuals and corporations on our website, and express our sincere thanks and gratitude for their support.
Again, thank you all for your patronage, for your love of beauty and music, and for your enthusiastic support of Noontime Concerts San Francisco. May the holiday season bring you peace and a sense of joy for the beauty and love around us.