San Francisco Symphony’s longtime pianist to retire

Posted on: September 4, 2018

“Robin Sutherland, the elegant, ponytailed pianist for the San Francisco Symphony whose 45-year tenure makes him the orchestra’s senior member, is retiring at the beginning of the 2018-19 season,” writes Joshua Kosman in Friday’s (8/31) San Francisco Chronicle. “Sutherland, 67, was recruited for his position in 1973 by then-music director Seiji Ozawa after an international tour in which the young pianist—just barely out of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music—had distinguished himself in the daunting keyboard solos of Ives’ Fourth Symphony. There was no slot on the roster at the time for a permanent pianist, but Ozawa created the position for him. In the years since, Sutherland has been a mainstay of the orchestra’s performances, taking prominent roles in everything from Bach to Stravinsky. When he’s not onstage, he works closely with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanying guest soloists and auditioning musicians. A celebration of Sutherland’s career with the orchestra will be announced at a later date.”

Posted September 4, 2018