MTT returns to lead New World Symphony in 2018

Jan 11, 2018

For his first performances with the New World Symphony in 2018, Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas leads the orchestra in a varied series of programs.

On February 3, MTT and the New World Symphony present their annual New Work concert, featuring the world premiere of a new piece by MTT and a new play with music by Wall (a NWS commission). The performance also spotlights the world premiere of a revised Miami in Movements by Hearne and Kane (also a NWS commission).

The New World Symphony’s annual gala, this year celebrating the organization’s 30th anniversary season, is held on February 10.

On February 17 & 18, MTT conducts the orchestra in Debussy’s Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra with Leif Ove Andsnes in a program also comprising Xenakis’s Shaar and Stravinsky’s The Firebird.

MTT returns to conduct the New World Symphony in May.

Photo: Claudia Uribe

San Francisco Symphony in the New Year

Dec 14, 2017

This January, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas appears for his first performances of 2018 with the San Francisco Symphony.

At Davies Symphony Hall on January 11, 12 & 13, MTT leads the orchestra with Emanuel Ax in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 and Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto in a concert also comprising Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and R. Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.

MTT conducts the orchestra in a concert version of Bernstein’s comic operetta Candide, celebrating the Bernstein centenary, on January 18, 19, 20 & 21.

Michael Tilson Thomas inducted into California Hall of Fame

Nov 16, 2017

Michael Tilson Thomas joins an esteemed group in the California Hall of Fame, which celebrates individuals who embody the state’s spirit of innovation. This honor is bestowed by the Office of the Governor in partnership with the California Museum, and audiences can tune in to a live broadcast of the ceremony of December 5.

As part of the California Hall of Fame 11th class, MTT is inducted with entertainer Lucille Ball, bioscientist Susan Desmond-Hellmann, artist/activist Mabel McKay, atmospheric chemist Mario J. Molina, quarterback Jim Plunkett, poet Gary Snyder, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and vintner Warren Winiarski.

“These Californians represent the dynamic spirit and imagination that is the hallmark of the Golden State,” says Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “Their exceptional skill and craft enrich our culture and inspire us all.”

Individuals are selected for achievements and contributions in areas such as science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, the arts, literature, technology, activism and politics. Inductees and family members of posthumous inductees are presented with “Spirit of California” medals by the Governor and First Lady in an official state ceremony held at the California Museum on December 5, 2017. Their lives and legacies will be commemorated in an artifact exhibition opening on December 6 at the California Museum.


New release: MTT & San Francisco Symphony perform complete Schumann Symphonies

Nov 9, 2017

Available now, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony release a new recording of the complete Schumann Symphonies on SFS Media.

“Like so much classical music, Schumann’s is a preserve for endangered emotions,” says MTT. “He’s talking about wistfulness, whimsy, ardency, longing, setting off recklessly in conflicting directions, losing your way, or just mulling things over… Schumann moves between many sound worlds in these symphonies. Some sections are truly massive and proclamatory. Other parts are soloistic or chamber-like.”

Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall over the course of the 2015/16 season, the album spotlights Schumann’s orchestral masterpieces and will be available as a double-disc SACD and for streaming and download.

“My approach to Schumann—and to the whole standard repertoire—is to vary the number of musicians playing at any given time,” MTT continues. “According to the musical situation, the orchestra might morph from a large ensemble to a chamber orchestra, and vice versa … We approached these symphonies from the point of view of Schumann’s piano music, with all its color, unusual effects and voicings. And I wanted these symphonies to sound as though they were being played on the piano, with free and spontaneous turns of phrase and color, and with the music’s wonderful sense of breathing—the way people breathe, sometimes deeply, sometimes with little emotional gasps…I hope these performances suggest a different way of thinking about this repertoire, especially as it prioritizes the tender, simple, and vulnerable side of the music. Although the music is very personal, it feels universal. Schumann’s symphonies are about all of us.”

You can discover the album today

“…live performances of the Schumann symphonies of extraordinary robustness, lyricism and interpretive depth … There are surprises and revelations in abundance, from the combination of elegance and urgency in Thomas’ reading of the First Symphony to the big sweeping gestures and expressive clarity of the Fourth.” –Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

At 75, MTT will conclude 25-year tenure as San Francisco Symphony Music Director in 2019/20 season

Oct 31, 2017

Michael Tilson Thomas has announced that he will conclude his distinguished tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony in June 2020, marking 25 years with the organization.

Following the 2019/20 season, MTT will assume the title of Music Director Laureate, continuing to conduct the orchestra for at least four weeks each season and working with the organization on special projects. Ahead of his 25th anniversary season as Music Director, the coming years will feature new recording projects, festivals, commissioning of new works, staged productions, a two-week tour of the US in 2018/19, and a three-week European tour in 2019/20.

“Looking back over these decades,” says MTT, “I am filled with gratitude for the extraordinary artistic partnership I have had with the members of the Orchestra and for the warm and generous style of music making we have shared with all of our audiences. Having been a Music Director of an orchestra for most of my adult life and as I approach my 75th birthday, I feel this is an appropriate moment to set aside some of my administrative responsibilities and begin a new period of creative possibilities. Fortunately my new and unique relationship as Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony will allow me to continue to work with my esteemed colleagues for years to come on projects close to my heart.”

Read more at The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle

MTT leads San Francisco Symphony with Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Oct 31, 2017

Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas takes the podium at Davies Symphony Hall for an open rehearsal and three performances with the San Francisco Symphony and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

As part of Bernstein centenary celebrations, MTT leads the composer/conductor’s The Age of Anxiety, Symphony No. 2 in a program also comprising Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben. An open rehearsal is held on November 2, with performances on November 2, 3 & 5.

Project 305 celebrates diversity of Miami & power of music

Oct 13, 2017

New World Symphony co-founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas joins the orchestra this October for the culmination of Project 305. A nearly yearlong exploration, Project 305 asked residents of Miami-Dade County to submit soundbytes from around the city. Miami in Movements, the work created by composer Ted Hearne and filmmaker Jonathan David Kane from over 1,000 crowd submissions, is premiered by MTT and the NWS on October 21.

Project 305 celebrates the Miami community and the power of music to bring people together. The evening will include performances by Miami-based musical groups including Picadillo, the Barry Bucaneiros, and the gospel choir of Miami Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Audiences can attend the free concert at New World Center, watch live at New World Center’s WALLCAST®, and tune in on Facebook Live. A virtual reality experience, available on-site and on your personal electronic device, will showcase Miami’s diverse neighborhoods, transporting participants to different parts of the county.

Project 305 is a collaboration of the New World Symphony, Knight Foundation, MIT Media Lab, and Miami-Dade County.

MTT & New World Symphony open 2017/18 academic season

Sep 18, 2017

This October, Co-Founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas reunites with the New World Symphony to open their 2017/18 academic season in Miami Beach, FL.

MTT and the NWS take the stage at New World Center with Yuja Wang for the opening concerts on October 14 and 15. Yuja joins the orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 5, and the orchestra plays Rimsky-Korsakov’s Cappriccio espagnol plus Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet.

On October 27, MTT conducts Schubert’s Overture to Rosamunde, Webern’s Five Movements, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, “Italian.”

MTT and the orchestra join cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violist Jonathan Vinocour for Strauss’s Don Quixote on October 28 in a concert also comprising the music of Schubert and Mendelssohn.

Discover the New World Symphony’s academic season

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