San Francisco Symphony’s collaborative-partners team, continuing to transform orchestra

Posted on: October 19, 2021

“When Esa-Pekka Salonen was appointed in 2018 as the San Francisco Symphony’s next music director, one of the first things he announced was a plan for a team of artists and thinkers to help him brainstorm innovative new ideas,” writes Joshua Kosman in Wednesday’s (10/13) San Francisco Chronicle. “Three years and an ongoing pandemic later, the reimagining of the Symphony is still a work in progress…. ‘The vagueness is prescribed,’ said guitarist and composer Bryce Dessner, one of the …. Collaborative Partners,” along with Esperanza Spalding, Claire Chase, Pekka Kuusisto, Julia Bullock, Nicholas Britell, Carol Reiley, and Nico Muhly. “The objective is clear … to figure out how a symphony orchestra might transform itself—musically, culturally and in its civic and societal relations—to suit the 21st century.… ‘When we started out, we had no road map for how to do things, but we did have the model of an artist in residence. So we started there,’ said Matthew Spivey, the orchestra’s longtime artistic administrator who now serves as interim CEO. “ ‘What the pandemic did was to throw a wrench into that machine. When you can’t do the things you expect to do, it creates space to think.’ ”