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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Announce 2018–19 Season

March 5, 2018

Public Relations
San Francisco Symphony
(415) 503-5474




  • Two-week Stravinsky Festival with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, anchored by Stravinsky’s three ballets written for Diaghilev’s revolutionary Ballets Russes—The Firebird, Petrushka, and Le Sacre du printemps
  • Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with performances of Michael Tilson Thomas’ From the Diary of Anne Frank and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9  
  • Semi-staged performances of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde (Noah’s Flood) in a new production directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer and involving a variety of community youth organizations, and acclaimed James Bonas and Grégoire Pont production of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells), conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Newly commissioned works by Steven Mackey, Andrew Norman, Kevin Puts, and Steve Reich
  • Partnership with the Asia Society’s COAL+ICE exhibition for climate change awareness including theatrical performances of Castiglioni’s Inverno in-ver with enhanced lighting and video; and Copland’s Appalachian Spring, preceded by newly commissioned work for spoken voice and video projection
  • San Francisco Symphony performances led by international guest conductors including Jane Glover, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Daniel Harding, Manfred Honeck, Fabio Luisi, Christian Măcelaru, François-Xavier Roth, Krzysztof Urbański, and Jaap van Zweden
  • Carnegie Hall’s 2018–19 season-opening concerts by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony presented as a part of MTT’s 2018–19 Carnegie Hall Perspectives series
  • Eight-city tour of the United States by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas in his final National tour as music director
  • New release of Berlioz’s choral symphony Roméo et Juliette by MTT and the SFS on the Orchestra’s Grammy Award-winning in-house record label SFS Media
  • Fifth season of eclectic and immersive SoundBox performances curated by MTT, SFS musicians, and guests
  • SFS Opening Night Gala featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, and MTT conducting the SFS in Gershwin’s An American in Paris and Cuban Overture
  • Celebrated soloists including Hélène Grimaud, Leonidas Kavakos, Itzhak Perlman, András Schiff, and Yuja Wang
  • Remarkable young guest artists including pianist Cédric Tiberghien, violinist Vilde Frang, cellists Oliver Herbert and Johannes Moser, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and baritone Davóne Tines
  • SFS Film Series, including 25th anniversary celebrations of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • San Francisco Symphony free, community, and heritage events that provide varied opportunities for engagement to the diverse Bay Area population
  • Comprehensive range of San Francisco Symphony education programs and interactive learning experiences that serve every SF public elementary student grades 1–5 and support every SF public middle and high school band and orchestra program
  • European tour by the Symphony’s prestigious, tuition-free Youth Orchestra in summer 2019
  • Great Performers Series including the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev and the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Semyon Bychkov; recitals by Evgeny Kissin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Hilary Hahn; and a joint recital by Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—March 5, 2018—The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) today announced plans for the 2018–19 season—the penultimate year of MTT’s distinguished tenure as music director. The Orchestra’s 107th season reflects the foundation of the San Francisco Symphony’s unparalleled partnership with Michael Tilson Thomas: Signature interpretations of symphonic masterworks; the connection of orchestral music to social issues; a commitment to new music and the American sound; and innovative, engrossing concert experiences. The season comprises presentations of the finest musicians in the world and remarkable young talent, exceptional recordings of core and unusual repertoire, and tours and media projects that bring the SFS across the globe. In his 24th season as Music Director, Michael Tilson Thomas leads the SFS in 16 weeks of programs in San Francisco and around the country. Throughout the 2018–19 season, the Symphony provides diverse opportunities for musical engagement through equitable education programs and meaningful community partnerships.

 “Over the past 23 seasons, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have earned the reputation as one of music’s most dynamic and forward-looking artistic partnerships,” said Symphony Executive Director Mark C. Hanson. “The coming season reflects the strengths of what they have built together: creative programs, exciting commissions by longtime collaborators and new voices, unique staging of beloved works, far reaching education and media projects, and rich musical experiences that reach audiences in new and inspiring ways. We cannot wait to share it with our appreciative, adventurous, and enthusiastic audiences, and with the vibrant Bay Area community that supports us.”

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