About

Welcome from Executive and Artistic Director Doris Fukawa

I am delighted to welcome you to the programs and offerings of Crowden Music Center!

When violinist Anne Crowden founded the Crowden School in 1983, she called it her “Grand Experiment.” She was entering unknown territory, and she certainly never imagined that her dreams of a supportive educational environment for musical children would develop into a thriving, established Bay Area cultural institution. Anne succeeded because of the quality of her vision and musical standards, and the force of her personality. Like Anne herself, Crowden inspires unusual dedication and passion.

Today, Crowden serves 11,500 individuals annually as a place to explore, to learn, to rehearse, to perform, and to listen to music. Anne’s unique stamp—the commitment to musical excellence, the intimate family atmosphere, the particular passion for chamber and new music, the deep experience of interdisciplinary and creative learning—still combine into that tangible Crowden magic.

We believe that music is an inherent part of being human, and we believe in the power of music to change lives—indeed, to change everything.

I invite you to join our community!

Our Mission

Crowden combines music and education to nurture, develop, and inspire students of all ages, and provides essential support to the musical life of the community.

Crowden Music Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, tax I.D. number 94-2863366.

A Berkeley Gem on a Landmark Campus

  • September 1983: Anne Crowden and Piero Mancini open the Crowden School in the basement of Berkeley’s University Christian Church
  • March 16, 1987: the historic Jefferson School building, designed by architect Henry Higby Gutterson, is designated a Landmark by the City of Berkeley
  • 1998: Crowden moves into the Jefferson School building
  • April 27, 2008: Berkeley Historical Society includes Crowden in its exhibit, “Berkeley Firsts.”
  • March 25, 2014: The City of Berkeley declares The Crowden School Day

Crowden Serves 11,500 People Each Year

The Crowden School for Grades 4–8

The first of its kind in the nation, Crowden’s coeducational day school for grades four to eight provides a distinguished education with chamber music at its core. Learn more

Music Instruction for All Ages

Each year, Crowden serves more than 1,400 students aged three into adulthood with private lessons, group classes, chamber ensembles, and summer camps. Learn more

John Adams Young Composers Program

A launching pad for artistic expression grounded in disciplined work, expert individual guidance, and real-world experience. Students are mentored by a diverse faculty of professional composers who are gifted teachers, and a rich network of professional musicians and ensembles. Learn more

Concerts and Events

Bay Area audiences treasure Crowden’s engaging and affordable programming for the general public. Crowden produces over 60 public concerts each year. Children attend Crowden concerts free of charge. Learn more

Community Outreach

Crowden provides access to music education through our public school outreach program, and exposes thousands of Bay Area children and adults to classical music through our own Community Music Day and participation in major community street festivals. Learn more

Facility Use

Crowden’s performance and rehearsal facilities serve as essential resources for local music teachers and organizations, including the San Francisco Girls Chorus, East Bay Music Together, Pacific Edge Voices, and more. Learn more

Artistic Support

The Crowden School has attracted the support of an impressive array of musicians of international and national renown, including the following:

John Adams ▪ The Alexander String Quartet ▪ Emanuel Ax ▪ Yuri Bashmet ▪ Ragnar Bohlin ▪ Cavani Quartet ▪ George Cleve ▪ Nora Chastain ▪ Jeremy Cohen ▪ The Francisco Trio ▪ Philip Glass ▪ Bonnie Hampton ▪ Colin Hampton ▪ Lou Harrison ▪ Emanuel Hurwitz ▪ Sharon Isbin ▪ Gary Karr ▪ Kronos Quartet ▪ Yo-Yo Ma ▪ Sharon Mann ▪ Bobby McFerrin ▪ Yehudi Menuhin ▪ Midori ▪ Emil Miland ▪ Michael Morgan ▪ Johannes Moser ▪ Sir Simon Rattle ▪ Lawrence Rosenthal ▪ Donald Runnicles ▪ Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg ▪ Gil Shaham ▪ Marcus Shelby ▪ St. Lawrence String Quartet ▪ Michael Tilson Thomas ▪ Laszlo Varga ▪ Frederica von Stade ▪ Zvi Zeitlin Trio

Media Gallery: Guest Artists at the Crowden School

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