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Press Releases

International Pride Orchestra to Perform Inaugural Concert in San Francisco

May 25, 2023 | By Michael Roest

This first performance of the all LGBTQ orchestra will include the world premiere of Jimmy López Bellido’s "Loud” and will take place June 22 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music ahead of SF's Pride Celebration. 

Peaches Christ & Breanna Sinclairé

Peaches Christ, host: Photo by David Ayllon, Breanna Sinclairé, soprano: Photo by Spencer Aldworth Brown

SAN FRANCISCO, California - The groundbreaking International Pride Orchestra (IPO) is announcing its first-ever performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall on June 22 at 7:30 pm.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, the non-profit IPO brings together LGBTQ musicians from around the world to present concerts, celebrate community, and raise funds for LGBTQ causes. Drawing applicants from over 30 states in the US and musicians from as far as New Zealand and Peru, this year’s group will consist of a diverse mix of professional and community musicians, music educators, and talented members of queer ensembles nationwide.

Describing the mission behind the orchestra, IPO founder and director Michael Roest said: “We know that not everyone has access to an LGBTQ ensemble or community. We created the International Pride Orchestra to ensure that no matter where one is in this world, there is an orchestra for them.”

Roest, while outlining the IPO's vision for its impact on the community, added: “What is unique about this orchestra is its philanthropic mission to raise funds and awareness for vital programs serving the LGBTQ community. This year, we are pleased to raise funds to support LYRIC, one of the first and largest LGBTQQ youth centers in the United States,” Roest added.

The June 22 performance will include host drag legend Peaches Christ, as well as soprano and SFCM alum Breanna Sinclairé. The concert will also feature a world premiere of Loud by renowned composer Jimmy López Bellido, which has been jointly commissioned by the IPO, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Seattle Youth Symphony.

Jimmy López Bellido; Photo by Ashkan

López Bellido said of his new work “Loud alludes to our community’s exuberant demeanor, humor, and fashion—but that’s not all there is to us. Loud are also our protests, which have shaped us throughout the decades, bringing forth our resilience and conviction whenever faced with bigotry and intolerance. This piece celebrates our diversity by reminding us of our struggles, and by reassuring us that, in the end, light will shine brightly upon those who are on the right side of history. Let us be proud and loud. Together.”  

Roest will be one of three conductors leading the IPO in this inaugural concert. He will be joined by Robert Moody, music director of The Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Arizona MusicFest, and Christine Brandes, who has appeared as a conductor with West Edge Opera, the Virginia Symphony, and will make her conducting debut at the Seattle Opera in the 23/24 season. In addition to López Bellido’s world premiere, the inaugural concert will also feature works by Leonard Bernstein, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Mary D. Watkins.

Robert Moody, conductor - Christine Brandes, conductor: Photo by Henry Dombey

The performance is a culmination of a week of rehearsals, mixers and social events that will lead up to San Francisco's pride weekend, allowing musicians from all over the globe to celebrate Pride in the city. 

This year, the IPO is proud to support LYRIC—one of the first and largest LGBTQQ youth centers in the United States. Tickets to this historic event are $25, guests are also invited to make an additional donation to LYRIC. Starting in 2023, a different city will be chosen each year to host an IPO concert, establishing new partnerships with LGBTQ organizations. These concerts will serve as a platform for patrons and musicians to give and support the LGBTQ community. 



Founded in 2022, the International Pride Orchestra is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings together LGBTQ musicians from around the world to present concerts, celebrate community, and raise funds for LGBTQ causes.

??The International Pride Orchestra unites music making with global advocacy. We are a volunteer orchestra with a charitable mission to raise awareness and funds for local, national, and international LGBTQ programs. Each year, a new city will be selected to host an IPO concert. Each concert partners with an LGBTQ organization to provide an outlet for patrons and musicians to give. This year, the International Pride Orchestra is proud to support LYRIC—one of the first and largest LGBTQQ youth centers in the United States.




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