History and facts


The Grammy award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus was founded in 1948 to provide trained singers for the San Francisco Opera and quickly grew into one of the nation's most accomplished music education and choral performance entities. Since 1996 the chorus has been led by Artistic Director Ian Robertson who also serves as Chorus Director for the San Francisco Opera He has built the group to over 220 singers from 50 Bay Area cities and more than 120 schools at locations in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Rafael.


The San Francisco Boys Chorus has a long history of touring nationally and internationally. Within America, the chorus has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and many prestigious locations within the greater Bay Area of San Francisco as well as appearing at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming and in 2009, the chorus was honored to sing at the Inauguration Ceremonies for President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.


Internationally the chorus has appeared in  

  • England in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Ely Cathedral and St Margaret's, Westminster.

  • France in Chartres Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Church of La Madeleine (Paris) and Marseilles Cathedral.

Hungary in Mathias Church in Budapest.

The Czech Republic in St Stephens Church in Prague.

Austria in St Stephens in Vienna and Seckau Monastery.

Italy in Lucca Cathedral, St Mark's Basilica (Venice) and St. Peter's Basilica (Rome).

Hong Kong in St John's Cathedral.

China in Shanghai Concert Hall.

Japan in Tokyo City Hall.

Russia in the Glinka Capella (St Petersburg).

Denmark in Copenhagen Cathedral.

Costa Rica in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, Cartago,

Australia in performances at the famous Sydney Opera House and in St Andrew's Cathedral.


San Francisco Boys Chorus plays an integral role in the San Francisco Bay Area’s music community, and for the last seven years, PBS station KQED-TV has broadcast SFBC’s holiday concert. Alongside their annual spring and winter concerts, our choristers have since 1948 appeared in San Francisco Opera productions, most recently in Turandot, Carmen, Magic Flute, Tosca, and Mefistofele. Other collaborations include the Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company in San Francisco and Los Angeles, regular appearances with the San Francisco Symphony and the Midsummer Mozart Festival. The SFBC appears around town singing at Giants games, Oakland Athletics and Raiders games, and the annual Macy's Great Tree Lighting Ceremony in Union Square.


SFBC has also released a number of notable recordings over the years. These include Fauré Requiem and Messager (2010), Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat (2010), It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009), Moving On (2003), We’re On Our Way (2000), San Francisco Boys Chorus Sings Live (2012), and Sing for the Holidays (2013).