New World Symphony Launches New Streaming Series

Apr 22, 2020

In response to the cancellation of its spring concert season, the New World Symphony has mined its archives to create a robust online slate of performances and conversations. One highlight of these offerings is the NSW Archive+ series, which offers past NWS recordings paired with brand new commentary and behind-the-scenes insights from Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, NWS fellows, alumni, guest artists, and visiting faculty. Another highlight is the New World Symphony’s unique online archive, MUSAIC, which allows users to explore and engage with NWS performances, masterclasses, tutorials, and town halls. New World Symphony has also partnered with Medici TV and IDAGIO to curate a series of online performances. 

To access all of this content and more, visit

Keeping Score Now Available for Free Streaming

Apr 22, 2020

The San Francisco Symphony has released all episodes of its landmark television series Keeping Score for free streaming on the orchestra’s YouTube channel. Previously available for purchase on DVD or BluRay, the Symphony released batches of episodes every Wednesday between March 19 and April 11 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Launched in 2004, Keeping Score was designed to make classical music accessible to people of all ages and from all musical backgrounds. “Creating Keeping Score remains one of the most exciting journeys the San Francisco Symphony and I have taken together,” said MTT. Comprised of nine one-hour documentaries, Keeping Score details the lives of eight major composers from around the world, and explores the motivations and influences behind their most canonic works. Each episode is accompanied by a one-hour concert program performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Of the decision to release them all now, SFS CEO Mark C. Hanson explained that, “There is no better time to make this remarkable series available to all without barriers.”

Tune in to stream Keeping Score now.

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.


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.

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