March 17 Concert Includes New York Premiere of Music by John Adams, Cellist Gautier Capuçon Playing Saint-Saëns, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird
March 18 Performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony to be Heard by Listeners Everywhere via Carnegie Hall Live Broadcast and Digital Series
This March, acclaimed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San Francisco Symphony in his final Carnegie Hall concerts as the orchestra’s music director.
The orchestra’s program on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m. includes the New York premiere of John Adams’s I Still Dance (co-commissioned by San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall as part of the Hall’s 125 Commissions Project) as well as Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Gautier Capuçon and Stravinsky’s The Firebird. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Tilson Thomas has championed the work of groundbreaking American composers including John Adams, whose relationship with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) spans nearly four decades. Mr. Adams’s new work, which opens the program, is dedicated to Mr. Tilson Thomas and his husband, Joshua Robison.
The following evening–Wednesday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m.–features a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s recording of this work was the first to be released on the orchestra’s in-house SFS Media label and was recognized with a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, the first of seven Grammys to be received for their complete recordings of Mahler’s symphonies. This March 18 concert will be heard by listeners everywhere as part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr.
Mr. Tilson Thomas made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1969. He has since performed more than 100 times at the Hall, curating two extended Carnegie Hall Perspectives series. He last led the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall in October 2018, when the orchestra opened the Hall’s 2018-2019 season.
Mr. Tilson Thomas concludes his tenure as SFS Music Director in June 2020 with performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Upon concluding the final concert, he becomes the orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate.
Michael Tilson Thomas assumed his post as the San Francisco Symphony’s 11th Music Director in 1995, consolidating a relationship with the orchestra that began with his debut in 1974. Since then, he and the orchestra have formed a musical partnership hailed as one of the most inspiring and successful in the country. His tenure has been praised for outstanding musicianship, innovative programming, highlighting the works of American composers, and bringing new audiences to classical music. In addition, the orchestra has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music education and pioneer in using digital technology to widen the reach of classical music.
A Los Angeles native, Mr. Tilson Thomas studied with John Crown and Ingolf Dahl at the University of Southern California, becoming Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra at nineteen. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Copland at the famed Monday Evening Concerts and was pianist and conductor for the Piatigorsky and Heifetz master classes. In 1969, Mr. Tilson Thomas was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ten days later, he came to international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg mid-concert at Lincoln Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut days later replacing Mr. Steinberg leading the BSO. He went on to become the BSO’s Principal Guest Conductor, and he has also served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, and as a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With the London Symphony Orchestra, he has served as Principal Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor; he is currently Conductor Laureate. He is Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, which he co-founded in 1987. The NWS has helped launch the careers of more than 1,200 alumni worldwide, including more than 15 members of the SFS.Continue reading