San Francisco Symphony

Music Director Laureate

After becoming its Music Director in 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas guided the San Francisco Symphony’s continuing transformation into one of the world's leading ensembles.

In his years as Music Director, the Symphony showcased the music of American composers, won eleven Grammy® awards – seven for its Mahler cycle – and created Keeping Score, a PBS series and multiplatform project that has made the music of Beethoven, Ives, Mahler and other masters more accessible to all.

MTT first conducted the SFS in 1974, leading Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.

During his first season, MTT included an American work on almost every program and ended the season with An American Festival, a tradition he would continue in 2000 and 2012 with American Mavericks, celebrating the country’s pioneering 20th-century musical heritage.

Since 1996, Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra made more than two dozen national and international tours together. They toured every year and performed regularly in Europe and throughout the United States, including annual visits to Carnegie Hall.

Discover MTT's recordings with the San Francisco Symphony on its own SFS Media label.

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