César Cancino
César Cancino

Contact Me:

César Cancino 
Phone: (Mob.) +1 415.309.3195


What's New:

In 2022 West Edge Opera (Snapshots) presented the opening scene of "The Dark Horse" - an opera that I am in the process of composing.


August 2023: Musical staff for the opera "Three Feathers" with Solo Opera


August 2023: Musical Dir./Conductor of DMT Chorus in a concert of "Music Of The Americas".


July 2023: Performance with Franc D'Ambrosio in Lincoln, CA


October 2023: Musical Dir./Pianist for "Musical Cafe" (showcase of new musical works for the stage) - Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA






César Cancino


 A native to the San Francisco Bay Area, César Cancino enjoys a musically diverse career as pianist, musical director, and conductor. He graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and then studied piano with Alain Naude, a pupil of the great Dinu Lipatti. For 5 years he toured with singer/songwriter Joan Baez as her musical director and pianist. Later he spent 5 more years as the musical director/pianist for Teatro Zinzanni (a European style circus-cabaret in San Francisco). He is also a recipient of the Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle award for Outstanding Musical Director. Mr. Cancino has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Australia in such venues as Montreux Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Carnegie Hall, Int’l Music Festival of Mexico City, Atlanta Summer Pops Symphony, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He has appeared with such diverse artists as singers Rita Moreno, Liliane Montevecchi, Thelma Houston, Maria Muldaur, Mercedes Sosa; cellist Ron Leonard; and violinists Pierre d’Archambeau, Martha Caplin and Tracy Silverman. Local credits include Berkeley Rep, Silicon Valley Symphony, Cinnabar Theater, Broadway By The Bay, 42nd Street Moon, Theatreworks, Beach Blanket Babylon, Monterey County Symphony, and Musical Director/Conductor of Morrison Theatre Chorus. He was for 6 years the musical director for Palazzo, a German company that produces a variety of circus-cabaret shows in Europe.




Home: 510. 231.9097  Mobile: 415. 309.3195

cesar@cancinomusic.com  www.cancinomusic.com


Carnegie Hall    Atlanta Symphony Summer Pops  ∙  Montreux Jazz Festival    Int’l Music Festival of Mexico City  ∙  Newport Folk Festival  ∙  New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival  ∙  Beach Blanket Babylon  ∙  Old First Concerts  ∙  42nd Street Moon  ∙  Rrazz Room

Artists performed with include:

Joan Baez   Rita Moreno   Thelma Houston   Liliane Montevecchi   Mercedes Sosa   Florence Henderson   Sally Kellerman   Paula West   Maria Muldaur  ∙  cellist:  Ron Leonard   mezzo-soprano:  Janice Felty  ∙  violinists:  Pierre D’Archambeau   Tracy Silverman   Martha Caplin



    Lark Theater, “Chez Joey”, A Tribute To The Music Of Rodgers and Hart, Larkspur, CA                     Musical Director/Arranger/Pianist (2019)

    Cinnabar Theater, “Love Linda”, The Music Of Cole Porter, Petaluma, CA (2018-2019)                        Musical Director/Pianist

    Cinnabar Theater, “My Way”, Petaluma, CA (2018-2019)                                                                             Musical Director/Pianist   

          Berkeley Repertory Theatre, “Idea of Order”, Ground Floor Project, Berkeley, CA (2017)                               Musical Director/Pianist/Conductor  

          Berkeley Repertory Theatre, “Life Without Makeup”, starring Rita Moreno, Berkeley, CA                             Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger (2011)

          Palazzo - Germany, Holland, and Austria (2006 – 2012)                                                                                        Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger 

          Diablo Theatre Company, "My Way", Dean Lesher Center, Walnut Creek, CA (2012)                                       Musical Director/Pianist

          Teatro Zinzanni - San Francisco, CA (2001 – 2006)                                                                                                   Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger/Composer

          Joan Baez - Performances throughout USA, Europe, Australia, and Canada                                                      Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger (1985-1990) 

          Martinez Opera, “Il Barbiere Di Siviglia”, Martinez, CA (2012)                                                                              Musical Director/Conductor/Keyboardist

          Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle – “Outstanding Musical Director Award” (1994)

          “Bruce Vilanch and Sharon McNight” –  Rrazz Room, San Francisco, CA (2009)                                               Musical Director/Pianist

          Morrisson Theatre Chorus - Hayward, CA (1996 – Present)

Musical Director/Conductor


          Verismo Opera, "Lucia Di Lammermoor", Vallejo, CA (2012)                                                                                  Musical Director/Conductor

          Atlanta Symphony Summer Pops - Atlanta, GA (1987)                                                                                              Conductor/Pianist/Arranger

          Royal Viking Cruise Line

Musical Director/Pianist/Conductor (1993)


  • LA Opera, accompanist for Vocal Recital of music by Lanitx women composers (March 2021)
  • San Francisco Girls Chorus, Accompanist, San Francisco, CA (2020)
  • NATS, Accompanist for Competitions, SF Bay Area, CA (2016 - Present)
  • Livermore Opera, Musical Staff for "Gianni Schicchi" and "Eine Florentinische Tragodie" Livermore, CA (2020)
  • "Beautiful", Keyboard 2, National Tour,  Center For The Performing Arts, San Jose, CA (2017)
  • “Matilda”, Keyboard I, Nat’l Tour, Center For The Performing Arts, San Jose, CA (2017)
  • Symphony Silicon Valley, Center For The Performing Arts, San Jose, CA (2016)
  • Cinnabar Theater, "Most Happy Fella" (2 Piano Version), Petaluma, CA (2016)
  • Il Divo/Lea Salonga, World Tour, Paramount Theater, Oakland, CA (2014)
  • Hillside Club, Concert of Contemporary Music, Berkeley, CA (2008)
  •  “Spelling Bee”, San Francisco, CA (2006)
  • All Saints Chamber Music Series - Houston, TX  (2001)
  • Monterey County Symphony Orchestra  -  Monterey, CA  (1991-2001)
  • 20th Century Unlimited, Solo and Chamber Music  -  Santa Fe, NM  (1998-2001)
  • Yachats Music Festival - Yachats, OR  (2000/2001)



  • “Cesar Cancino has been the perfect accompanist for me.” 

—Joan Baez

  •  “It comes naturally to him… inspired to play music of quality with the best he has.”  

—Robert Commanday, Music Critic, San Francisco Chronicle

  • An outstanding performer we deserve to hear again… sparkled in the pieces by Arnold Schoenberg

—Santa Fe Reporter

  • An engaging and excellent pianist.”  

—Il Secolo XIX Genova, Italy

  •  “...a terrific three-piece combo led by Cesar Cancino....”

—Pat Craig, San Jose Mercury News

  • A vigorous performance… played with great refinement and agility.”  

—Arts Alive and Well, New Mexico


  • Sax Humana”, Arroz Records (2008)


  • Sterling Ovations”, Sterling Performances, (2007)


  • Teatro Zinzanni: The Divas”, One Reel/Teatro Zinzanni (2006)


  • Diamonds and Rust in the Bullring Live”, Joan Baez, Gold Castle Records (1988)


  • Recently”, Joan Baez, Gold Castle Records, Capitol Recording Studios, L.A., CA (1987)


  •  “Christmas by the Bay”, Sterling Performances (2003)


  • Coro Hispano de San Francisco/Conjunto Nuevo Mundo — Multiple CDs  (1996-2000)


  •  “El Mundo Se Va Acabar”, Mono Blanco y Stone Lips, Urtext Digital Classics  (1997)



  • H.A.R.D., Instructor, Music Theory (Online Class), Bay Area, CA (2021)
  • East Bay Center For The Arts, Richmond, CA (2017 - Present)
  • H.A.R.D., Instructor, Chorus Class, Hayward, CA (1996 – 2020)
  • Mercy High School, Faculty, Choir and Musical Theater, San Francisco, CA (1996-2001)
  • San Francisco Community Music Center, Faculty, Piano and Music Theory (1977-1987)



  • Undergraduate studies at San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1972 – 1977)
  • Piano with Alain Naudé, pupil of Dinu Lipatti and Nadia Boulanger



  • Vocal Coaching (Musical Theatre, Opera, and other styles)
  • Notation and Arranging (Sibelius 7)




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