Michael Tilson Thomas on life, the San Francisco Symphony and Beethoven

Mar 21, 2019

Washington Post
Interview by Anne Midgette

“…the question is, so at this particular point in your life, what is the best way of presenting the message of the piece? There are lots of different ways that this music can be done. There’s a way that each person finds to do it that seems authentic to them.” –MTT

Ives’ ‘Holidays’ at the L.A. Phil, but not those holidays

Dec 9, 2018

LA Times
By Mark Swed

“…in a glorious performance, Tilson Thomas incomparably embodied the good cheer and wonder of the season by going beyond specific holidays. Ives’ four separate pieces, written in the first decade of the 20th century, evoked the holidays as the composer remembered them in his New England childhood and in a manner, sentimental yet startlingly pioneering, that remains stylistically flummoxing even a century later.”


Michael Tilson Thomas brings his ‘Playthings’ to the L.A. Phil, and they’re not what you think

Dec 2, 2018

LA Times
By Mark Swed

“…A belting baritone sax, a psychedelic electric guitar, the recorded sound of a cash register, flamboyant percussion, Brueggergosman’s singing — sultry, joyous or gloomy — all provide just the right reactions to Sandburg, word for word, sentiment for sentiment, prophecy for prophecy.”


New World Symphony soars with Ax’s Beethoven, MTT’s Sibelius

Nov 6, 2018

South Florida Classical Review
By Lawrence Budmen

“…Ax, Tilson Thomas and the New World fellows provided a textbook example of perfect collaboration. Soloist, conductor and players seemed to breath the music together.”

MTT Takes a Deep Dive Into Stravinsky’s Musical Legacy

Sep 18, 2018

San Francisco Classical Voice
By Lou Fancher

“‘The chance to see someone, to watch somebody at work when they’re not conscious of somebody watching them, you see things,’ says San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. ‘I was often up at Stravinsky’s house for rehearsals. I don’t know how it affects how I feel about and conduct the music, but I know it’s important.'”

Thomas and SF Symphony draw all the pieces together for a splendid Mahler Third

Jun 29, 2018

The San Francisco Chronicle
By Joshua Kosman

“The joy of this performance was hearing Thomas and the orchestra snap each piece smartly into place, while committing themselves fully to each phase of the unveiling…”

MTT, New World close season with a sumptuous, searing Mahler Ninth

May 6, 2018

South Florida Classical Review
By David Fleshler

“Playing in all sections was virtually flawless, in a symphony that’s full of exposed passages for horns, flutes, trumpets and other instruments. Mahler’s distinctive orchestration, with its muted trumpets and horns, violins going high up the lowest string, and other techniques by a master symphonist, came off with all its characteristic force and color.”

MTT takes Mahler to a new level in San Francisco Symphony tour

Mar 28, 2018

LA Times
By Mark Swed

“One of the hallmarks of Tilson Thomas’ nearly quarter century with this orchestra is the way he has fostered his players’ individuality. At its best, as in this performance of Mahler’s Fifth, that is what makes otherwise resonant strings, robust brass, elegant winds and feisty percussion sound like what the Bay Area is supposed to sound like — bohemian, tolerant, unconventional, multicultural and artistically embracing…”

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