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MTT and the SF Symphony at the 9/11 Commemorative Concert, Yerba Buena Gardens, 2002

2002–03

A Season Somehow Typical

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In his eighth season as Music Director, MTT and the San Francisco Symphony are seemingly everywhere: Yerba Buena Gardens, for a free 9/11 commemorative concert featuring the Rev. Cecil Williams narrating Copland’s Lincoln Portrait; at the Grammys, taking home the award for Best Orchestral Performance for the SFS Media recording of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony; on tour in the US and Europe; and, of course, at Davies Symphony Hall, presenting semi-staged performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, among many other highlights. 

Innocence Undone 

The two-week Innocence Undone: Wagner, Weill, and the Weimar Years festival (June 2003) traces a path from innocence to decadence, from German Romanticism to Modernism. The docket is tantalizingly wide-ranging: semi-staged concert performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (pictured at left and below), with eminent Wagnerians Mark Delavan and Jane Eaglen in the lead roles; an exploration of the Berlin cabaret scene with German chanteuse Ute Lemper; and an intriguing program of works by Toch, Schoenberg, Wagner, and Hindemith. The Flying Dutchman proves that the San Francisco Symphony can hang with the best opera orchestras while also stretching the concept of what a semi-staged production can be. This also marks the first of many Symphony endeavors made possible through the generous support of The Barbro and Bernard Osher Staged Production Fund.

Michael Tilson Thomas
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 13, 2003
MTT accepts the Grammy for the SF Symphony’s Mahler Symphony No. 6 recording, 2003
Joshua Bell, Rev. Cecil Williams, and MTT at the 9/11 Commemorative Concert

PREMIERES

Michael Tilson Thomas: Urban Legend (World premiere)  

Michael Tilson Thomas: Poems of Emily Dickinson 
(First performances of complete version) 

John Adams: My Father Knew Charles Ives 
(World premiere, San Francisco Symphony commission) 

Ravel (arr. Volkert): Sonata for Violin and Cello 
(World premiere, San Francisco Symphony commission) 

MUSICIAN APPOINTMENTS

Jeffrey Anderson (tuba) 

John Chisolm (violin) 

Yun Chu (violin) 

James Lee Wyatt III (percussion) 

Recordings

American Tour

The SF Symphony’s October 2002 East Coast Tour featured mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, Women of the Westminster Choir, and the American Boychoir. 

New YorkNYCarnegie Hall 

Greenvale, NY, Tilles Center 

Washington DCKennedy Center 



European Tour

Violinist Hilary Hahn and soprano Barbara Bonney were featured soloists in the SF Symphony’s May 2003 European Tour.

Dublin, Ireland, National Concert Hall 

London, England, Barbican Centre 

Brighton, England, The Dome 

Brussels, Belgium, Palais des Beaux-Arts 

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Concertgebouw 

Düsseldorf, Germany, Tonhalle 

Cologne, Germany, Philharmonie 

Vienna, Austria, Konzerthaus 

Prague, Czech Republic, Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum 

Paris, France, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées 

Tune in to KDFC at 3pm daily for “MTT Time”—special concert broadcasts from each year of MTT’s historic tenure, featuring commentary from MTT himself.