Catching up with the tireless Tilson Thomas, heading into his seventh decade

Posted on: November 18, 2014

In Sunday’s (11/16) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini profiles Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony, founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, and principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. “On Dec. 21 Mr. Thomas turns 70, though you wouldn’t guess it from seeing him, either close up or in action on the podium of the San Francisco Symphony, the ensemble he has taken to the top rank of American orchestras as the music director since 1995.… This seems a singular moment for Mr. Thomas. At the start of his career, he had his mentor Leonard Bernstein as an example of bringing an adventurous approach to directing a major American orchestra, but he did not have much company. His mission—of boldly presenting diverse repertory; of not being hemmed in by perceived boundaries between styles and eras; of championing living composers, especially Americans, and especially younger ones—had enormous impact on the scene.… For Mr. Thomas, being musically and intellectually restless is a source of creativity. But he has shown that this kind of restlessness is best nurtured in long-term relationships with orchestras, rather than a life of guest appearances on the road.”

Posted November 18, 2014