San Francisco Symphony’s kicks off its centennial season with three-day celebration

Sep 2, 2011

The San Francisco Symphony opens its 2011-12 season with a special gala concert on September 7 at Davies Symphony Hall led by Michael Tilson Thomas, kicking off his 17th season as Music Director as well as the orchestra’s centennial season. When it was founded in 1911, the San Francisco Symphony was the first orchestra to be based on the West Coast of the United States. The opening night program, titled “Fanfare for a New Century,” opens with Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid ballet suite and is followed by Liszt’s First Piano Concerto, with superstar Chinese virtuoso Lang Lang as the soloist. On the second half of the program, legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman joins MTT and the orchestra to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, and the concert concludes with Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. For those not able to be there in person, the concert will also be broadcast on PBS-TV’s Great Performances.

Continuing their celebration of the orchestra’s centennial season, the next night MTT and the San Francsico Symphony present a free concert in Civic Center Plaza as a thank you to the city for 100 years of support. Repertoire for this September 8 performance includes MTT’s Fanfare, Rachmaninoff’sRhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (again with Lang Lang as soloist), Ravel’s Boléro, and John Adams’sMeister Eckhardt and Quackie from Harmonielehre. Rounding out the three-day celebratory bash, the SFS returns to Davies Symphony Hall on September 9 for a special free concert for workers from more than 100 social service and non-profit organizations that serve San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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