San Francisco Symphony book ties orchestra to city

Posted on: August 31, 2011

In Tuesday’s (8/30) San Jose Mercury News (California), Georgia Rowe writes, “The San Francisco Symphony launches its 100th season this month, and along with a full calendar of galas, concerts and family events, the organization under music director Michael Tilson Thomas is marking the anniversary with the release of a splendid new book by Larry Rothe. ‘Music for a City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony’ (Chronicle Books, $45, 272 pages) covers the symphony’s history from its formative years in the wake of the 1906 earthquake to its current role as one of the country’s premier cultural institutions. It’s a gorgeous volume, but this is much more than a coffee-table book. The symphony’s history is San Francisco history, and Rothe, the symphony’s publications editor and co-author of the 2006 essay collection ‘For the Love of Music,’ combines a scholar’s point of view with an aficionado’s passion. … Arranged chronologically, each chapter is devoted to a music director, beginning with the symphony’s first, Henry Hadley, who conducted the orchestra’s inaugural performance Dec. 8, 1911, at the Cort Theatre. … The final section is devoted to Michael Tilson Thomas, who … brought a new kind of glamour to the symphony, ushering it into the digital age in ways its founders never could have imagined.”

Posted August 31, 2011