Complicated matchmaking: music directors and orchestras

Posted on: November 6, 2017

“For nearly a quarter century, Michael Tilson Thomas has offered San Francisco Symphony patrons—and observers around the world—a virtuoso display of just how much can be accomplished by an orchestral music director,” writes Joshua Kosman in Saturday’s (11/4) San Francisco Chronicle. “Now the Symphony will have to find someone to fill those shoes … after the 2019-20 season…. ‘If you look back at music director transitions from even 30 years ago, the set of considerations was much simpler,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive officer of the League of American Orchestras.… The roster of tasks facing the next San Francisco Symphony music director … includes finding new ways of making the standard repertoire speak directly to a younger and more diverse audience…. It includes embracing a broader range of contemporary music…. The new music director will also have to be adept at all sorts of outreach.” As for chemistry, says Matthew Spivey, the San Francisco Symphony’s director of artistic planning, “I’ve seen appointments grow out of a long relationship, and I’ve seen it be love at first sight…. But that spark is a surprisingly tangible thing…. The orchestra feels it, the person on the podium feels it, and the audience feels it.”

Posted November 6, 2017

Pictured: Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony