photo cc: Jiyang Chen

photo cc: Jiyang Chen

Recognized as "an entrepreneur bringing innovation to classical music" (Forbes), Chad Goodman leads an active and diverse conducting career.

In the 2018-19 Season, Chad serves as an Assistant Conductor to the San Francisco Symphony, assisting Esa-Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck, Francois-Xavier Roth, Daniel Harding, Pablo Heras-Casado, Simone Young, and James Gaffigan. Along with his symphonic work, Chad also serves as a cover conductor for the San Francisco Ballet.

As Founder and Artistic Director of Elevate Ensemble, Chad's “curious and courageous” (San Francisco Classical Voice) vision for concert programming results in the pairing of music from Bay Area composers with underappreciated gems of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under Chad's leadership, Elevate Ensemble has established a Composer-in-Residence program, served as Ensemble-in-Residence at San Francisco State University, and commissioned fifteen works from Bay Area composers.

The newly appointed Music Director of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra in Walnut Creek, California, Chad’s debut with the orchestra in September 2018 was met with high praise.

A driving force in the new music scene, Chad has conducted the premieres of more than forty works, including more than fifteen while serving as a Conducting Fellow for the Atlantic Music Festival in Summer 2018.

From 2016 to 2018, Chad served as Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, where he was responsible for developing and conducting all education programs in addition to taking the podium on subscription concerts. He has collaborated with GRAMMY-nominated composer Mason Bates on his electronica-classical music project, Mercury Soul and has previously assisted Daniel Harding, David Robertson, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Juraj Valčuha with the San Francisco Symphony.

In addition to his performing career, Chad has discussed the future of live performance as a panelist at Meyer Sound Laboratories and taught young musicians the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to successfully navigate the world as a working musician in his workshop “You Just Earned a Music Degree. Now What?”

Chad holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from San Francisco State University. His mentors include conductors Alasdair Neale, Cyrus Ginwala, and Martin Seggelke, and trumpeters Adam Luftman, James Thompson, and Andrew Balio.

Photo cc: Guru Khalsa

Photo cc: Guru Khalsa


"Elevate offered a performance brimming with ecstasy"

"There was an overwhelming sense of danger in the way director Chad Goodman pushed the players to expressive extremes. The first half of the Schoenberg, especially, was a wild ride — aggressive Brahmsian and Mahlerian melodies from the 15 soloists overlapped in a bustling, breathless counterpoint. Yet this wasn’t some messy free-for-all — Goodman charted a clear formal trajectory, taking his time with the ascending stacks of fourths and Tristan-like pillar chords that serve as structural markers throughout the piece."

"the group [Elevate Ensemble] did manage to channel the energy of an all-out brawl into their exhilarating interpretation."

- Joe Cadagin
San Francisco Classical Voice

"Assistant conductor Chad Goodman led the work [Mason Bates' Garages of the Valley] with energy and precision, producing an impressive result in the playing."

- David Bratman
San Mateo Daily Journal

"Under the direction of Chad Goodman, harpsichordist Derek Tam and the members of Elevate...ignited their intimate performance space while shattering stereotypes about how a harpsichord should sound."

- Jessica Balik
San Francisco Classical Voice

"Goodman provided a smooth and intimate account of of the ensemble writing of both composers [Rodrigo and Respighi]."

- Stephen Smoliar
The Examiner

"Elevate Ensemble presented a successful, thrilling concert of contemporary music."

"Goodman is also a crack young conductor as demonstrated all evening."

- Michael Strickland
Civic Center Blog



Nick Vasallo - then, in oblivion... (2017)
Elevate Ensemble
Chad Goodman, Conductor

Igor Stravinsky - Octet, Movement 1
Elevate Ensemble
Chad Goodman, Conductor

Nick Vasallo - ATUM: Everything and Nothing (2016)
Elevate Ensemble
Chad Goodman, Conductor

Nancy Bloomer Deussen - The Transit of Venus (Excerpt)
Peninsula Symphony
Chad Goodman, Conductor

photo cc: Jiyang Chen

photo cc: Nicholas Corasaniti

photo cc: Guru Khalsa

photo cc: Jiyang Chen



Chad's workshops focus on subjects including:

  • Entrepreneurship in music

  • Building a music organization

  • Connecting with audiences

  • Self-promotion

Sample workshops include:

You Just Earned a Music Degree. Now What?

In this workshop, Chad reveals how students can best prepare for a successful transition from music academia into the real world. Topics addressed include: the art of self-promotion, generating new gigs (and getting called back time after time), building a thriving teaching studio, and more.

The Musical Startup: Building Your Dream Music Ensemble

In this workshop, Chad will guide participants through the process of launching their own professional music ensemble. Participants will explore topics such as: business registration, building a loyal audience, engaging programming, assembling an Advisory Board, the perks of fiscal sponsorship & 501c3 and more.

Staging the Perfect Performance

The modern musician must know how to create unique, outstanding performances. This comprehensive workshop will reveal the best methods for booking the perfect venue, efficiently scheduling rehearsals, and generating buzz through advertising so that you can share your music with a packed house.