Tilson Thomas heads into 20th season at San Francisco Symphony

Posted on: September 2, 2014

In Sunday’s (8/31) San Jose Mercury News (California), Richard Scheinin writes, “Among the world’s leading conductors, few others enjoy such a long and fruitful relationship with a great orchestra. That fact isn’t lost on” San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “ ‘I think it’s kind of special that, after 20 years, we can be enjoying these qualities of one another,’ he said.… Tilson Thomas’ multimedia treatments of classic works by Debussy, Bartók, Britten and others … have become an exciting staple of recent seasons at Davies. Outside the concert hall, he has wide-ranging tastes.… In the early ’70s, the conductor spent a week on the road with [singer James] Brown, in whose music he hears ‘the fierce excitement of being alive.’ … For his 20th season, Tilson Thomas will return to his first season’s emphasis on American composers, both old (Charles Ives, Aaron Copland) and new (Mason Bates, Adams).… He will conduct a multimedia production of [Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis] in June 2015, incorporating actors, dancers, stage sets and visual projections…. The new treatment should help clarify Beethoven’s music for the audience, he said, while allowing the San Francisco Symphony ‘to really go after it with the ferocity which he for sure desires.’ ”

Posted September 2, 2014

Pictured: Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. Photo by Bill Swerbenski