Oct 3, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO, CA— Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) returns to Davies Symphony Hall on October 19, 21–22, 2023, to conduct the San Francisco Symphony in Ludwig van Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9. The Ninth Symphony is not only Beethoven’s final complete symphony but also one of his most well-known works. The piece’s fourth movement includes adapted text from “Ode to Joy,” a poem by Friedrich Schiller, and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” melody has become a popular humanist anthem.
Olly Wilson's Shango Memory will no longer be performed on this program. Due to his ongoing health issues, Michael Tilson Thomas will be focusing his energies on conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Tilson Thomas knew the late Wilson well and led the San Francisco Symphony premiere of this work in 1997. He regrets missing the opportunity to share this piece at this time and looks forward to programming it again in the near future.
MTT and the Orchestra are joined by soprano Angel Blue, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, tenor Ben Bliss, and bass Dashon Burton Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Blue and Burton make their Orchestral Series debuts on this program. The performances also feature the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, directed by Chorus Director Jenny Wong, who recently joined the San Francisco Symphony’s conducting staff in her new role.
These performances of Beethoven’s Ninth are also a celebration of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus’s 50th anniversary. The 152-member Chorus, which was formed in 1973 at the request of Music Director Seiji Ozawa, made its debut in November of that year, performing with Ozawa in Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Schoenberg’s Modern Psalm. Explore a timeline of the San Francisco Symphony’s 50 years.
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Michael Tilson Thomas