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Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony perform Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique March 6-9 at Davies Symphony Hall

February 7, 2014


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / February 7, 2014


Concerts feature Julia Fischer in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto in advance of European tour together

SAN FRANCISCO, February 7 – Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS)  in four concerts featuring Julia Fischer in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, at Davies Symphony Hall, March 6-9. Following the performances, Fischer joins MTT and the Orchestra in Vienna, Prague, and Dortmund, Germany as part of an eleven-concert tour across Europe, March 14-26. Other tour repertoire includes Mahler’s 3rd Symphony with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, performed in San Francisco February 27 – March 2, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, The Alcotts movement from A Concord Symphony by Charles Ives orchestrated by Henry Brant, and John Adams’ Absolute Jest.

Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique relates an “episode in the life of an artist,” that artist being the love-obsessed composer himself. The SFS has made the work the subject of a documentary in their award winning PBS series Keeping Score. Says MTT in the episode: “Composed in Paris in 1830, it set the mark for what a romantic symphony should be. With its overwhelming emotions and unabashed melodrama, it pours straight from the heart and soul of its composer.” Watch the full episode online here.

German violinist Julia Fischer has been a returning guest of the San Francisco Symphony since 2001. She was named “Artist of the Year” at The Gramophone Awards in 2007 and “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2009 MIDEM Classical Awards. Fischer opened the 2013-14 season with a tour of her native Germany with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. As Artist-in-Residence at the Dresdner Philharmonie this season she performs the Brahms Violin Concerto with chief conductor Michael Sanderling and tours Asia with the orchestra. In 2013, she appeared in recitals in major European venues including Musikverein Wien, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and at the Berlin Philharmonie. The tour program featured repertoire from her new CD on the Decca label: Pablo Sarasate’s works for violin and piano op. 20-24 and 26-29. Concerts with the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker under the baton of Andrey Boreyko and with the Leipziger Gewandhausorchester under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach saw Fischer perform the rarely programmed Schumann Violin Concerto. In the United States, she also performs with the Cleveland Orchestra under music director Franz Welser-Möst.

Calendar editors, please note:


Thursday, March 6 at 2 pm
Friday, March 7 at 8 pm
Saturday, March 8 at 8 pm
Sunday, March 9 at 2 pm

Michael Tilson Thomas conductor
Julia Fischer violin
San Francisco Symphony

Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Opus 19
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, Opus 14

Audio Program Notes: Listen to a free podcast about Symphonie fantastique hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone. All podcasts are archived, and can be downloaded or streamed from and from the iTunes store.

Pre-Concert Talk: Peter Grunberg will give an “Inside Music” talk from the stage one hour prior to each concert. Free to all concert ticket holders; doors open 15 minutes before.

Broadcast / Archived Stream: A broadcast of these performances will air Tuesday, March 18 at 8 pm on Classical KDFC 90.3 San Francisco, 104.9 San Jose, 89.9 Napa, and where it will be available for on-demand streaming for 21 days following the broadcast.

Tickets: $15-$161. Available at, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.

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The San Francisco Symphony receives support from over 10,000 individual donors and 150 partner institutions.

These concerts are made possible through the generosity of KPMG.

Julia Fischer's appearance is supported by the Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Guest Artists.

Emirates is the Official Airline of the San Francisco Symphony.

William Hill® Estate Winery is the Official Wine of the San Francisco Symphony.

San Francisco Chronicle / is the Official Media Partner of the San Francisco Symphony.


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