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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony announce 2017-18 season

March 6, 2017

Public Relations Department                                                                    
San Francisco Symphony
(415) 503-5474                                                         

  • Click here to view the 2017-18 Press Kit, including Calendar, Season at a Glance, and select artist photos




  • Season-long celebration of American icon Leonard Bernstein’s birth centennial with MTT and the SFS, including performances from his vast orchestral, vocal, and musical theater catalog—highlights include full concert production of Candide; all-Bernstein celebration with MTT including Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, Chichester Psalms, Arias and Barcarolles, and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; The Age of Anxiety, Symphony No. 2; West Side Story film with live orchestra; and Divertimento and Serenade
  • MTT conducts epic Russian opera Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky in a semi-staged production starring Stanislav Trofimov in the title role
  • MTT leads programs exploring American maverick composer Charles Ives’s Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4; performances will be recorded for future release on SFS Media
  • Opening Night Gala features renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns, as well as music by Leonard Bernstein, and Ravel’s Boléro
  • Orchestra’s Grammy award-winning in-house record label SFS Media releases two-CD box set of Schumann’s complete symphonic cycle, conducted by MTT and recorded live in 2015–16
  • MTT leads world premiere of SFS commission by former SFS Composer-in-Residence Charles Wuorinen, celebrating his 80th birthday
  • SF Symphony first performances include contemporary works by Andrew Norman, Brett Dean, Guillaume Connesson, and Esa-Pekka Salonen; and rarely performed works by Dvořák, Mozart, Taneyev, and Stenhammar
  • Jakub Hrůša, Edward Gardner, and Daniel Harding make their SFS conducting debuts
  • Visiting conductors Krysztof Urbański, Susanna Mälkki, Semyon Bychkov, Osmo Vänskä, and Herbert Blomstedt lead music from their home countries; Juraj Valčuha, Pablo Heras-Casado, Stéphane Denève, and David Robertson conduct first SFS performances of contemporary works; and Charles Dutoit traces Ravel’s 1928 tour of the United States
  • Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov presents season-long residency including a solo recital, duo recital with Sergei Babayan, and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with MTT and the SFS
  • Orchestra’s West Coast tour includes performances in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Costa Mesa with violinist Gil Shaham in March 2018
  • SoundBox enters fourth season of bringing immersive concert experiences to new audiences in a unique performance space—eclectic programs curated by Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony musicians, and other guest composers and artists continue to break new ground
  • San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra celebrates 35th anniversary, providing world class pre-professional music instruction to young musicians tuition free
  • SF Symphony’s groundbreaking Adventures in Music program celebrates 30 years of bringing music education to every elementary school in the San Francisco Unified School District, now serving every 1–5 child in San Francisco public schools
  • 2017–18 season welcomes distinguished ensembles and soloists from around the world, including the Royal and Israel philharmonic orchestras, Bach Collegium Japan, and Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields; pianists Yuja Wang, Yefim Bronfman, and András Schiff; violinist Christian Tetzlaff; and an extraordinary collaborative performance by violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Martha Argerich

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—March 6, 2017—Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) today announced plans for the 2017–18 season, comprising more than 200 concerts in eleven months presented at Davies Symphony Hall. The Orchestra’s 106th season is highlighted by musical touchstones that are trademarks of MTT’s artistic vision for the Orchestra. In MTT’s 23rd season as Music Director, the San Francisco Symphony explores the adventurous American sound; creates unique concert experiences through staging, multimedia elements, and immersive settings; champions the creation and performance of new music; brings distinct perspectives and pairings to core symphonic repertoire; captures live performances for release as reference recordings; and celebrates the longevity and meaningful impact of the San Francisco Symphony’s commitment to music education.

MTT leads a season featuring celebrations of the centennial of multifaceted composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein’s birth; an exploration of American music prominently featuring Ives’s Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4, which will be recorded live; a new semi-staged production of Mussorgsky’s epic political opera Boris Godunov; the fourth season of experimental SoundBox programs; first SFS performances of contemporary and less familiar works, including a commission and world premiere by American composer Charles Wuorinen; the release of highly anticipated complete cycle of Schumann’s symphonies on in-house record label SFS Media; the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking Adventures in Music program.

[To download the full PDF version of this press release, click the link at the top]

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