Mahler 8 with the SFS

Feb 27, 2020

This June, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony and the SFS Chorus in Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 8, the “Symphony of a Thousand.” MTT concludes his 25-year tenure with the orchestra by leading one of the largest-scale pieces in the orchestral repertoire. 

Listen to MTT and the SFS’s recording of Mahler’s Eighth here.

MTT and chorusmaster Ragnar Bohlin present this work from June 25-28, 2020. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Concerts with the New World Symphony

Jan 11, 2020

MTT joins the New World Symphony for several programs at Miami’s New World Center during the first half of 2020.

In January, he celebrates the legacy of Igor Stravinsky in two programs. The first (January 25), is called “A Stravinsky Journey” and features Variations: Aldous Huxley in Memoriam, Symphony in Three Movements, and Petrushka. MTT will be joined by Miami City Ballet and violinist James Ehnes for the second program, “Stravinsky and Balanchine: A Monumental Collaboration,” featuring Balanchine’s dances to Stravinsky’s Apollon musagète and Circus Polka.

MTT joins the orchestra again on February 14 and 15 with a program that features violinist Nicola Benedetti performing Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish.” New World Symphony Conducting Fellow Chad Goodman takes the podium for the opening piece, Liszt’s Prometheus.

On May 2 & 3, MTT leads two Shostakovich works: Symphony No. 11 and Cello Concerto No. 2, with soloist Gautier Capuçon. Conducting Fellow Chad Goodman opens the program with Glinka’s Krakoviak from A Life for the Tsar.

For more info, click here.

Michael Tilson Thomas Receives 2019 Kennedy Center Honors

Dec 9, 2019

Last weekend, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) was recognized at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors Gala for lifetime artistic achievements. 

“Michael Tilson Thomas goes far beyond keeping score,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. “He has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century.”

Fellow Honorees were R&B collective Earth, Wind & Fire, actress Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, and children’s television program Sesame Street

Tune in to the Kennedy Center Honors Gala special on CBS on Sunday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Read Anne Midgette’s profile of MTT in the Washington Post

Watch MTT’s CBS This Morning segment.

Watch the Honors Week Tribute: A Michael Tilson Thomas Journey led by Teddy Abrams on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Performances with the San Francisco Symphony in May

Oct 29, 2019

This May, Michael Tilson Thomas joins the San Francisco Symphony for performances at Davies Symphony Hall.

On May 14, 15, & 17, MTT and the orchestra perform Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. They also welcome back Yuja Wang to San Francisco, for performances of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

From May 22-24, MTT leads the SFS in concerts of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem). A major champion of Carl Ruggles, MTT also spotlights two pieces by the American composer: Angels and Sun-treader.

CELEBRATING 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF NEW YORK DEBUT

Oct 22, 2019

Today, Michael Tilson Thomas celebrates the 50th anniversary of his New York conducting debut, in which he stepped in for William Steinberg mid-concert to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Philharmonic (now Geffen) Hall.

MTT had recently won the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood and been appointed Assistant Conductor and pianist of the orchestra, so after Music Director Steinberg fell ill during the first half of the program, he said to MTT, “You! Put your suit on! You’re going to conduct!”

To hear MTT tell this story via PBS NewsHour’s “That Moment When” (4:49), click here.

The performance earned MTT international recognition and acclaim in The New York Times from then-senior music critic Harold Schonberg. Read below.

March SFS Concerts in San Francisco and Europe

Aug 29, 2019

This spring, Michael Tilson Thomas continues his final season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. MTT and the SFS perform at Davies Symphony Hall before making their way to Europe.

On March 6, MTT and the symphony spotlight the world premiere of a new work by John Adams, a co-commissioned piece by the SFS and Carnegie Hall. The evening also hears Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, which awarded MTT and the SFS the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2002.

From March 12-14, MTT leads the orchestra in performances at Davies Symphony Hall. Together, they perform the West Coast premiere of his own Lope. They are joined by Gautier Capuçon for Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto No. 2, in a program that also hears Stravinsky’s The Firebird. 

For the first of their engagements at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, MTT and the symphony spotlight Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 on March 24. The next day, they reprise Lope and The Firebird, in a program that also includes Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Daniil Trifonov.

Joining the Cleveland Orchestra this February

Aug 16, 2019

Michael Tilson Thomas reunites with the Cleveland Orchestra this February.

From February 20-22, MTT and the orchestra perform Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture and Symphonie Fantastique. The program also hears a new work by MTTwith guest singers Sasha Cooke and Dashon Burton.

For more info, click here.

Michael Tilson Thomas to receive 2019 Kennedy Center Honors

Jul 18, 2019

Michael Tilson Thomas has been selected by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as one of five Honorees who will receive the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime artistic achievements. “[MTT] has shaped American music and musical institutions for the 21st century,” says Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

“The life of an artist, or of an arts institution, has essentially two moments,” says MTT. “The first is inventing yourself which takes vision and gumption. The second is going the distance, sustaining the vision and sharing it. I was fortunate to grow up around people who did both. My family and my devoted teachers lived every day reaffirming the highest standards and ideals of the arts and of our nation. They understood that the arts really matter when they have a creative role in a living tradition. I am honored that the Kennedy Center, which is a living center of both arts and ideals, has chosen to recognize my work. I hope that I can be thought of as a representative for all American classical musicians at this remarkable event.”

Fellow recipients to be honored at the 42nd annual national celebration of the arts are R&B collective Earth, Wind & Fire, actress Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, and children’s television program Sesame Street. The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 7 at a State Department dinner, and recipients will be recognized and celebrated through performances and tributes at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors Gala on Sunday, December 8. The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on CBS for the 42nd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Sunday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

“In this class of honorees, we are witnessing a uniquely American story: one that is representative of so many cultural touchstones and musical moments that make our nation great,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “When I look at this class, I see the hopes, aspirations, and achievements not just of these honorees, but of the many generations they have influenced and continue to influence.We’re not just looking back; these honorees are urging us to look forward as well.”

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Photo courtesy of the New World Symphony (Photo by Gary T’to)

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