Tilson Thomas on orchestras’ roles in education

Posted on: July 22, 2010

In Thursday’s (7/22) Wall Street Journal, Yukari Iwatani Kane writes, “Since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas has led the San Francisco Symphony as its music director. Under him, the symphony has brought in new audiences with innovative programming that mixes modern works, including his own, with fresh explorations of more familiar pieces … Known for his commitment to music education, Mr. Thomas has expanded the symphony’s educational program to include new initiatives like the multimedia project ‘Keeping Score,’ which tries to make classical music more accessible by providing the back stories behind the music and the musicians performing it.’ On the orchestra’s role in music education, Tilson Thomas says, ‘A lot of my first musical experiences were in instrument classes and orchestras and ensembles in my junior high school and high school. It was a very important experience for me. To the extent that those kinds of programs can be restored to the schools, I think it should be done. But I’m also quite realistic under the current economic conditions about how much that will happen. I think much of this will have to happen in after-school programs. Organizations like symphonies and opera companies will have a real stake in the future of music and need to be actively involved.”

Posted July 22, 2010