Michael Tilson Thomas on mentoring young professional musicians during the pandemic

Posted on: February 4, 2021

“A symphony requires all musicians playing their parts in harmony, but the pandemic makes that delicate choreography all the more challenging,” reports Jeffrey Brown in Monday’s (2/1) PBS News Hour. “Michael Tilson Thomas talks about that and passing the baton to a younger generation…. Tilson Thomas was ending a 25-year run as conductor and music director of the San Francisco Symphony, when the COVID shutdown began… ‘It was a shock, kind of numbing’ … says Thomas…. [He] is using his time to lean into his craft, as musician, composer and mentor [to musicians in] Miami’s New World Symphony… ‘All the plans that they had, the auditions they were set to take, the new positions they were about to begin, the most creative time of their lives had to stop,’ says Thomas. ‘So, they had to … think, how can I reinvent myself? … All the young people I’m working with have a real commitment to sharing their music and their vision with people younger than they are, and … have taken on the role as a teacher in a very expanded way.” Included are discussions and mentoring with New World Fellows Chelsea Sharpe (violin), Stephanie Block (viola), and Corbin Castro (French horn).