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San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas announce new concerts and program changes for 2013-14 season in Davies Symphony Hall

June 18, 2013

Public Relations
San Francisco Symphony
(415) 503-5474

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / June 18, 2013     


New concerts announced with Thomas Adès, John Williams, Natalie Cole, and Natalie Dessay, performances of Mahler Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven Symphony No. 7

Holiday season includes new Christmas Matinee concerts, White Christmas film with live orchestra, ‘Twas the Night concerts, Dianne Reeves, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ozomatli, Colors of Christmas, Mariachi Sol de México® de Jose Hernandez, Chris Botti, Handel’s Messiah, Deck the Hall children’s concerts, and New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 18, 2013) Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony announced a variety of new concerts and program additions today for the 2013-14 season, including performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in September and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in January during the Beethoven-Bates Festival. Composer Thomas Adès will perform with members of the Orchestra during the Mendelssohn-Adès Festival, in a new chamber music program featuring two of his own compositions. Also announced are several new concerts for the 2013-14 season, including film composer John Williams conducting the Orchestra in movie music in September, a November performance by R&B balladeer Natalie Cole with the SFS, a March recital with French soprano Natalie Dessay, and the full schedule of 2013 holiday concerts, as well as complete 2013-14 chamber music programs. Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season are available now at, including the Compose Your Own series of three or more concerts. Tickets to individual concerts go on sale on Monday, July 22 at 8 a.m. at the box office and 10 a.m. online and by phone. Tickets are available at, 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall box office on Grove Street between Franklin Street and Van Ness Avenue. The Orchestra’s 2013-14 season opens Tuesday, September 3, when Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra perform in the annual Opening Gala, joined by soprano Audra McDonald in a program of Gershwin and George Antheil.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in Davies Symphony Hall and on tour in Carnegie Hall in November 2013. MTT and the Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, both in Davies Symphony Hall during the Beethoven-Bates Festival and on their three-week March 2014 European tour. The Beethoven-Bates Festival spotlights composer Mason Bates, whose work will be recorded during the 2013-14 Festival and again in the 2014-15 season, when the Orchestra has rescheduled performances of his The B-Sides (an SFS co-commission).  

The week of February 27-March 2, the Orchestra performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (rescheduled from the week of September 18-21). Gil Shaham, initially scheduled to perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 that week, will play the work June 12-15, during MTT and the Orchestra’s season-long Benjamin Britten Celebration, in honor of the composer’s birth centenary. Violinist Janine Jansen’s performances with the Orchestra have been postponed until the 2014-15 season.   

The Orchestra also announced the artists and programs for its 2013 holiday concerts, including two December concerts with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and the Orchestra; vocalist Dianne Reeves in a program of holiday songs and standards; two screenings of the film White Christmas, with live orchestra; performances by Mariachi Sol de México® de Jose Hernandez and Ozomatli; Preservation Hall Jazz Band in A Creole Christmas; vocalists Peabo Bryson, CeCe Winans, Melissa Manchester, and Ruben Studdard in three Colors of Christmas concerts; three performances of Handel’s Messiah with the SF Symphony Chorus and Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin; Deck the Hall children’s concerts, and, new this year, Christmas Matinee concerts. The popular ‘Twas the Night concerts return with members of the Symphony and Chorus, soprano Lisa Vroman, and organist Robert Huw Morgan. The SFS Youth Orchestra performs Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with narrator John Lithgow, and the year ends with the annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, with Michael Francis conducting the Orchestra. All holiday concerts are on sale now.

Artists and programs have also been announced for the chamber music concerts at Davies Symphony Hall and at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and the 2013-14 schedule has been published for the Orchestra’s new season of Community of Music Makers Play Out, Davies! and Sing Out, Davies! amateur musicmaking workshops.

Other highlights of the San Francisco Symphony’s fall concert season, in addition to the September 3 Opening Gala and the performances with MTT and the Orchestra of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, include:

  • The West Coast premiere of New Voices project composer Zosha Di Castri’s Lineage and Yefim Bronfman in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in September, with MTT conducting;
  • Emanuel Ax performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in September, on a program with Copland, Debussy, and Mahler, with MTT leading the Orchestra;
  • Pablo Heras-Casado leading the Orchestra and SFS Chorus during the October Mendelssohn-Adès Festival concerts, with violinist Leila Josefowicz;
  • Pianist András Schiff performs the complete Bach Partitas and Goldberg Variations, plus Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, in two October recitals, a highlight of the SFS’s season-long focus on J.S. Bach’s music;
  • In October, pianist Yuja Wang performs Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Chopin in recital;
  • Martin Helmchen with conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Orchestra in October, performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor;
  • Conductor Edwin Outwater leading the Orchestra in Ligeti, Dvořák, and Lutoslawski, with Simon Trpčeski in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3; and
  • A Halloween week of Alfred Hitchcock films, including the first-ever screenings with live orchestra of the film Vertigo, and Psycho, also with live orchestra.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra are marking the centenary of the birth of British composer Benjamin Britten, with four weeks of concerts. The centerpiece of the festival is a complete, semi-staged, enhanced concert performance in June 2014 of Britten’s Peter Grimes. During the composer’s centennial birthday week in November 2013, Semyon Bychkov leads the Orchestra in Britten’s War Requiem.

For more information, please contact the San Francisco Symphony Public Relations Department at or (415) 503-5474, or visit the website at


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The San Francisco Symphony receives support from over 10,000 individual donors and 150 partner institutions. We are especially grateful to the following major funders of our 2013-14 season:

Second Century Partners


Inaugural Partner

Wells Fargo

Official Partners

Emirates Airlines

Official Airline

William Hill Estate Winery

Official Wine

Major Corporate Partners

Bank of America

Franklin Templeton Investments

HSBC Premier

Jones Day




Morrison & Foerster LLP

Public Funding

San Francisco Arts Commission

Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund

National Endowment for the Arts


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