SF Conservatory of Music Alums Give Birth to New Creative Venture

Concerned that American music has few venues to foster talent, Alumni of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music have founded a non-profit called Future Music.

Future Music or "FuMu" as it is also referred to by its founder Beckett Swede, seeks to bring together unusual combinations of creative artists, nationally and internationally. FuMu wants to encourage the exploration of bold new directions in the composition and performance of music drama.

Swede is alum of SF Conservatory of Music. He believes that the lack of proper venues to nurture new talent is a crisis in American music. At heart an opera singer which is his training, "America has extraordinary talent," he said. "But producing works and promoting talent gets too expensive."

Swede said "I loved opera but my on-going lament was the lack of audiences." Now with his training and years of experience behind him he said, "We have to make it more affordable, both to artists in training and to audiences.”

Swede was taught by long-time SFCM faculty member and music theory department chair David Garner.

Garner, himself a graduate of the conservatory has become well known throughout the Bay Area as an actor, performer, musician and composer.

Garner like Swede and many other alums of the conservatory have made San Francisco their home. While talent from all over the world abides at the conservatory, many return to San Francisco. Swede was pleased to have FuMu make its official debut on April 22, with an evening performance of original compositions by Garner.

Serving as a board member and supporter of FuMu, Dr. John Meyer opened his home to 70 people for the performance. Ruth Felt, president of San Francisco Performances, conductor Charles Ketcham, Margery Tede, the program director for the American Concert Association, and composers David Conte and Gordon Getty, were in attendance.

Lisa Delan, soprano sang the original pieces while Matt Haimovitz on cello and Kristin Pankonin on piano accompanied her. All three are graduates of the conservatory. The audience was pleased and happy to hear that FuMu has set plans to have Garners’ music made into a CD thru PentaTone Music, sometime in Nov. 2006.

Job Maarse in charge of artists.

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