MTT conducts Mahler's Fifth Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas launches his 18th season as Music Director in signature style—pairing a new find from a composer with Bay Area roots, Samuel Adams, with a Mahler treasure. “What is the public to make of this . . . foaming, roaring, raging sea of sound?” wondered Mahler, who wished he could postpone the fifth symphony's premiere until after his death when the world would be ready to embrace it. Its gorgeous Adagietto is a love note in a bottle on that storm-tossed sea.


Michael Tilson Thomas


Samuel Adams


San Francisco Symphony



Symphony No. 5

All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.

Concert length is approximately 2 hours.


Episode 9. The MTT Era

Watch a Video

Listen to a Radio Program

Michael Steinberg discusses Mahler's Symphony No. 5

Michael Tilson Thomas talks about his approach to Mahler

Read an Article

S.F. Symphony gives epic reading of Mahler's 2nd
"There aren't many musical sure bets these days as sure as a Mahler symphony from Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony." Read the full review at

Sam Adams' 'Drift' to get West Coast premiere
"It's about stability and moving away from stability," says the composer. That could have something to do with place - after he'd begun, Adams saw the piece had something to do with leaving his home in the West and looking at it from afar - "or with moving to and from emotional and harmonic stability. I would hope you could take this idea of drift and providence and apply it to any aspect of life." Read the full interview at


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  1. Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 8:00pm

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  2. Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 8:00pm

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  3. Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 2:00pm

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