Hailing from a variety of cultural disciplines, this remarkable group of eight artists, thinkers, and doers join Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony to forge extraordinary performances that break conventional rules and create unique and powerful experiences.

2022-23 Season Performances

Nicholas Britell

Composer and Pianist

Three-time Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning composer, pianist, and producer Nicholas Britell is known for his critically-acclaimed scores, including those for Adam McKay’s 2021 Don’t Look Up, Barry Jenkins’s 2018 If Beale Street Could Talk, and the 2017 Academy Award Best Picture winner, Moonlight. Mr. Britell received Academy Award nominations for those three films as well as BAFTA and Critics Choice nominations for Don’t Look Up and If Beale Street Could Talk. He received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations as well as the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Original Score (Dramatic Feature) for Moonlight. The year prior, he wrote the score for Adam McKay’s The Big Short, which marked the start of his collaboration with the Academy Award winning writer-director-producer. Mr. Britell has the distinction of winning Film Composer of the Year, Television Composer of the Year, Discovery of the Year, as well as winning Best Original Song Written for a Film at the World Soundtrack Awards all within the past five years. His recent and upcoming film projects include the score for Benjamin Millepied’s directorial debut, Carmen, and for Barry Jenkins’s The Lion King for Walt Disney Pictures.

Mr. Britell is also the mastermind behind some of television’s most beloved scores, notably the Succession main title. Other television scores he has composed include his Emmy-nominated score for Barry Jenkins’s The Underground Railroad and the score for HBO’s Winning Time, which he co-composed with Grammy-winning artist Robert Glasper. His score for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars series Andor premiered in September on Disney+.

In addition to his work as a San Francisco Symphony Collaborative Partner, Mr. Britell is a Steinway Artist and a creative associate of the Juilliard School.

Julia Bullock

Classical Singer and Curator

Julia Bullock is an American classical singer who combines versatile artistry with a probing intellect and commanding stage presence, and has headlined productions and concerts at preeminent arts institutions around the world. An innovative curator in high demand from a diverse group of organizations, her notable positions have included Collaborative Partner and 2019–20 artist in residence at the San Francisco Symphony, 2020–22 artist in residence of London’s Guildhall School, and 2018–19 artist in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One of Musical America’s 2021 “Artists of the Year,” Ms. Bullock’s opera debuts include San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West; Santa Fe Opera in Doctor Atomic; Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Dutch National Opera in The Rake’s Progress; the English National Opera, Teatro Real and Bolshoi Theatre in the title role of The Indian Queen; and Dutch National Opera, Bregenzer Festspiele, and Park Avenue Armory in the premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Upload. In concert, she has collaborated with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Her recital highlights include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, Kennedy Center, Wigmore Hall, Mostly Mozart Festival, and Ojai Music Festival.

Her growing discography features Grammy-nominated accounts of West Side Story and Doctor Atomic, and she released her debut solo album on Nonesuch in 2022. Ms. Bullock also appears on the soundtrack of Amazon Prime Video’s 2021 The Underground Railroad composed by Nicholas Britell. Committed to integrating community activism with her musical life, Ms. Bullock is also a prominent voice for social consciousness and change.

Claire Chase

Flutist, Educator, and Creator of New and Experimental Music

Flutist Claire Chase is a musician, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. Passionately dedicated to the creation of new ecosystems for the music of our time, she has given the world premieres of hundreds of new works, and in 2013 launched the 24-year commissioning project Density 2036. Now in its 10th year, Density 2036 reimagines the solo flute literature over a quarter century through commissions, performances, recordings, education, and an accessible archive at

Ms. Chase co-founded the International Contemporary Ensemble in 2001, was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012, and in 2017 was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize from Lincoln Center. She is currently a Collaborative Partner at the San Francisco Symphony, professor of the practice at Harvard University’s Department of Music, and a creative associate at the Juilliard School. She is the Debs Creative Chair at Carnegie Hall for the 2022–23 season.

Bryce Dessner 

Composer and Guitarist

Bryce Dessner has won Grammy Awards as a classical composer and as a founding member, guitarist, arranger, and co-principal songwriter of the band The National. He is regularly commissioned to write for the world’s leading ensembles, from Orchestre de Paris to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and is a high-profile presence in film composition, with credits including The Revenant, for which he was Grammy and Golden Globe nominated; Fernando Mereilles’s The Two Popes; Mike Mill’s C’mon C’mon; and Bardo by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Mr. Dessner collaborates with some of today’s most creative and respected artists, including Philip Glass, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Paul Simon, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Sufjan Stevens, Fernando Mereilles, Thom Yorke, Bon Iver, Nico Muhly, and Steve Reich. Dessner’s orchestrations can be heard on albums of Paul Simon, Bon Iver, and Taylor Swift.

In addition to his role as a Collaborative Partner with the San Francisco Symphony, Mr. Dessner is currently artist in residence at London’s Southbank Centre and with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Major works include Concerto for Two Pianos premiered by Katia and Marielle Labèque, London Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded for Deutsche Grammophon; a Violin Concerto premiered Pekka Kuusisto; a Trombone Concerto for Jorgen van Rijen; Voy a Dormir for mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and Orchestra of Saint Luke’s and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Skrik Trio for Steve Reich and Carnegie Hall; the ballet No Tomorrow co-written with Ragnar Kjartansson; Wires for Ensemble Intercontemporain; The Forest for large cello ensemble, Gautier Capuçon and Fondation Louis Vuitton; and Triptych (Eyes for One on Another), a major theatre piece integrating the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe and premiered by Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Dessner’s recordings include El Chan; St. Carolyn by the Sea (both Deutsche Grammophon); Aheym, commissioned by Kronos Quartet; Tenebre, an album of his works for string orchestra recorded by Germany’s Ensemble Resonanz and which won a 2019 Opus Klassik award and a Diapason d’Or; When we are inhuman with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Eighth Blackbird (2019) and Impermanence (2021) with the Australian String Quartet.

Pekka Kuusisto

Violinist, Musical Director, and Artistic Trailblazer

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is artistic director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and principal guest conductor and artistic co-director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in the 2023–24 season. He is also a collaborative partner of the San Francisco Symphony, artistic partner with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and “artistic best friend” of the Bremen German Chamber Philharmonic.

An advocate of contemporary music, he recently premiered Bryce Dessner’s Violin Concerto with HR Sinfonieorchester, and later performed it with the San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonia, and Orchestre de Paris. He also premiered Thomas Adès’s Märchentänze with the Finnish Radio Symphony and later performed it with Barcelona Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, and Danish Radio Symphony. He recently premiered works by Sauli Zinovjev, Daníel Bjarnason, Anders Hillborg, Philip Venables, and Andrea Tarrodi.

As a soloist, Mr. Kuusisto debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic in the 2022–23 season; returns to the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Philharmonia, and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony; and is in residence at the Basel Symphony. As a conductor, highlights include the Helsinki Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Philharmonia, Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Bremen German Chamber Philharmonic.

Mr. Kuusisto’s recordings include Nico Muhly’s violin concerto, Shrink, for Pentatone; Thomas Adès’s Violin Concerto for Deutsche Grammophon; and Anders Hillborg’s Bach Materia and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 4 for BIS. He plays the Antonio Stradivari Golden Period “Scotta” violin, generously loaned by a patron through Tarisio.

Nico Muhly

Composer and Multifaceted Collaborator

Nico Muhly writes orchestral music, works for the stage, music for film, choral music, chamber music, and sacred music. He has received commissions from the San Francisco Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, Tallis Scholars, King’s College, St John’s College, and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he is composer in residence. He is a collaborative partner at the San Francisco Symphony and has been featured at the Barbican and the Philharmonie de Paris as composer, performer, and curator. An avid collaborator, he has worked with choreographers Benjamin Millepied at the Paris Opéra Ballet, Bobbi Jene Smith at the Juilliard School, Justin Peck and Kyle Abraham at New York City Ballet, and with Sufjan Stevens, The National, Teitur, Anohni, James Blake, and Paul Simon. His work for screen includes scores for The Reader (2008), Kill Your Darlings (2013), Howards End (2017), and Pachinko (2022).

Among his concertos are works for violin (Shrink, for Pekka Kuusisto), organ (Register, for James McVinnie), viola (for Nadia Sirota), two pianos (In Certain Circles, for Katia and Marielle Labèque), and his vocal collaborators include Iestyn Davies, Renée Fleming, and Nicholas Phan. He has collaborated with visual artists Maira Kalman and Oliver Beer, created site-specific pieces for London’s National Gallery and the Art Institute of Chicago, and written articles for the Guardian, New York Times, and London Review of Books. Recordings of his works have been released by Decca and Nonesuch, and he is part of the artist-run record label Bedroom Community, which released his first two albums, Speaks Volumes (2006) and Mothertongue (2008).

Carol Reiley

Artificial Intelligence Entrepreneur and Roboticist

Carol Reiley is an entrepreneur, computer scientist, and artificial intelligence roboticist. She is currently CEO of a healthcare startup and founded with Hilary Hahn. She is also a Collaborative Partner of the San Francisco Symphony, tech advisory council member for Harman Kardon, a World Economics Forum Young Global Leader, and a brand ambassador for Guerlain Cosmetics.

A pioneer in teleoperated and autonomous robot systems in applications such as surgery, space exploration, disaster rescue, and self-driving cars, Ms. Reiley previously worked at Intuitive Surgical, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric. She co-founded, invested, and was president of, where she raised more than $77 million. She also founded Tinkerbelle Labs for low-cost healthcare, as well as Squishybotz for educational robotics. Her children’s book on growth mindset has sold more than 20,000 copies.

Ms. Reiley was previously an instructor at Johns Hopkins University and led a robot outreach event for more than 1,000 low-income students in the Washington–Baltimore area. The first female engineer on the cover of MAKE magazine, she was the youngest member on the IEEE Robotics and Engineering Board. She has been recognized by Forbes, Inc Magazine, and Quartz’s Most Powerful Founders lists in artificial intelligence; served as an advocate for underrepresented groups in technology; and spoken out about bias in AI. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Wired.

esperanza spalding

Jazz Bassist, Vocalist, and Undefinable Artist

esperanza spalding (also known as irma nejando, or, i.e.) is a being who has grown to recognize love in the abstract and aspirational, and is now fully dedicated to learning how she can serve and embody actualized love through honor for and receptivity to, fellow humans, teachers, and practitioners of various regenerative arts.

bass, piano, composition, performance, voice and lyrics are tools and disciplines she is engaged in deeply to cultivate her own channel for transmitting care and beauty through vibration/sound/presence.

she has written an Opera with Wayne Shorter, it premiered in Fall 2021 // she is currently developing a mockumentary in collaboration with brontë velez and San Francisco Symphony // researching liberation technologies in jazz and black dance // and continuing a lifelong collaboration with practitioners in various fields relating to music, healing and cognition to develop music with enhanced therapeutic potential.

she is presently paid by Harvard University to co-create and learn with students enrolled there, working on developing creative practices that serve the restoration of people and land.

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