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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony present two-week Stravinsky Festival, September 21–30 at Davies Symphony Hall

August 23, 2018

   


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / AUGUST 23, 2018

   
 (High resolution images of Michael Tilson Thomas, Stravinsky, Nicholas Phan, and Leonidas Kavakos are available for download from the San Francisco Symphony’s Online Photo Library. Photo credit L to R: Stefan Cohen, Library of Congress, Henry Dombey, Marco Borggreve)

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY PRESENT TWO-WEEK STRAVINSKY FESTIVAL, SEPTEMBER 2130 AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

September 21–23 concerts feature Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and Pers√©phone with tenor Nicholas Phan, the SF Symphony Chorus, SF Girls Chorus, Pacific Boychoir, and narrator Leslie Caron

September 27–30 concerts include Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Le Sacre du printemps, and Violin Concerto performed by Leonidas Kavakos

Festival experience includes a lobby exhibit, Inside Music lectures, Keeping Score screenings, and special pre-concert music and dance performances presented by Art Haus

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On September 21–30 at Davies Symphony Hall, Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in a two-week Stravinsky Festival, celebrating the groundbreaking music of one the most transformative composers of the 20th century and exploring the wide-reaching influence of Stravinsky’s work in shaping the future of ballet and the way we experience art today. The Festival offers an opportunity to experience Michael Tilson Thomas’ distinctive approach to the music of Stravinsky, an approach shaped by his personal relationship with the composer. MTT notes, “I am grateful to have known many composers, and to have had the experience of hearing them sing their music to me in their own voices. What Stravinsky was able to show me was a window into the mind that created the music. Through his conducting and through his voice, I was able to understand inflections and intentions that no amount of notation can express.” Watch this short video of MTT discussing the upcoming Stravinsky Festival.

The Festival begins September 21–23 with MTT conducting the SFS in Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird and his melodrama for voices, narrator, and orchestra, Pers√©phone, featuring tenor Nicholas Phan, the Pacific Boychoir, San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and French actress and dancer Leslie Caron narrating. The Firebird—an instant success upon its 1910 premiere—was Stravinsky’s breakthrough work and the first of three ballet scores he composed for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, the revolutionary ballet company which quickly became identified with the cutting edge of the European arts scene following its launch in Paris in 1909. The other two scores, Petrushka and the radical Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), are showcased in concerts on September 27–30, which also include Leonidas Kavakos performing Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto. The Violin Concerto was later adopted as a score for choreographer George Balanchine’s 1941 ballet Balustrade, continuing Stravinsky’s connection with the Ballet Russes even after Diaghilev’s death.    

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