Review: MTT opens 25th season as San Francisco Symphony’s music director

Posted on: September 9, 2019

“ ‘We started out together having a great time,’ Michael Tilson Thomas said to a packed Davies Symphony Hall, ‘and 25 years later, we’re still having a great time,’ ” writes Joshua Kosman in Friday’s (9/6) San Francisco Chronicle. “On Wednesday, Sept. 4 …  Thomas began his final season as the orchestra’s music director … It was the kind of fizzy exaltation you always hope for from a season opener…. The Symphony’s brass and timpani players opened the evening with Jean-Joseph Mouret’s ‘Rondeau,’ better known … as the theme music from ‘Masterpiece Theater’ and did it with extraordinary flair and grandeur.… Thomas was feted by a parade of luminaries from the worlds of politics … and sports…. The evening’s musical components were deft and well-chosen, from the enthusiastic hustle of Glinka’s ‘Ruslan and Ludmila’ Overture to a trio of American folk songs, arranged by Copland and Gordon Getty and sung by bass-baritone Ryan McKinny with the men of director Ragnar Bohlin’s Symphony Chorus. The big close was the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the ‘Ode to Joy’ [which] felt like the perfect soundtrack for the final season opener of this exhilarating 25-year musical journey.”

Posted September 9, 2019