MTT with James Brown during a taping of The MTT Files, 2006




In year thirteen, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony still have the capacity to surprise. Building on the global success of the SFS Media Mahler cycle and Keeping Score, MTT turns to radio for his next revolution in musical storytelling, The MTT Files. MTT and the Orchestra broaden their international profile still further with a tour of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals.

A Radio Revolution: The MTT Files  

Just as MTT and the San Francisco Symphony explore new territory in the world of television and the internet with Keeping Score, the Symphony-produced The MTT Files capitalizes on MTT’s genius for connecting with audiences through the format of radio. This eight-part series features deep dives into some of MTT’s favorite composers and artists, including Stravinsky, Copland, Heifetz, and…James Brown. A longtime fan of the Godfather of Soul, MTT and Brown talk shop in a memorable episode that helps propel the Symphony towards its second Peabody Award in 2007.

Michael Tilson Thomas

Land of Hope and Glory: The BBC Proms and more

Flexing its muscles as a truly international orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony begins its 2007–08 season with a trip across the pond for MTT-led dates at the famed BBC Proms in London, and the summer music festivals of Edinburgh, Lucerne, Berlin, and Frankfurt (Rheingau). For an American orchestra to headline a Proms date is no mean feat and MTT and the Symphony make the most of it: the concert is filmed for a Keeping Score episode on Shostakovich, and is broadcast live on BBC television and radio. In addition to star turns by violinist Julia Fischer, soprano Deborah Voigt, and pianist Yefim Bronfman, the tour features some MTT specialties: works by Ives, John Adams, Ruth Crawford Seeger, and Copland.

MTT in rehearsal with Julia Fischer at the Lucerne Festival, 2007
SF Symphony Executive Director Brent Assink and MTT, 2007 European Festivals Tour
MTT backstage with Concertmaster Alexander Barantschik

George Hall, The Guardian (UK), September 4, 2007

Renée Fleming performs at the SF Symphony’s 2007 Opening Gala concert
MTT conducts the SF Symphony

Amos Yang (Assistant Principal Cello)
Russ deLuna (Oboe/English horn)
Carey Bell (Principal Clarinet)
Katie Kadarauch (Assistant Principal Viola)

Ragnar Bohlin (San Francisco Symphony Chorus Director)

Xenakis: À l’Île de Gorée (US premiere)


2007–08 Tours

The August-September 2007 European Festival Tour saw performances with soprano Deborah Voigt, violinist Julia Fischer, and pianist Yefim Bronfman.

Edinburgh, Scotland, Usher Hall


London, England, Royal Albert Hall


Hannover, Germany, Congresszentrum 

Berlin, Germany, Philharmonie 


Cologne, Germany, Philharmonie 

Düsseldorf, Germany, Tonhalle 

Frankfurt, Germany, Alte Oper 


Lucerne, Switzerland, Kultur und Kongresszentrum


Soprano Deborah Voigt and violinist Gil Shaham were featured on the March 2008 National Tour.

New York, NY, Carnegie Hall

New Brunswick, NJ, State Theatre Regional Arts Center 

Ann Arbor, MI, Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan

Deborah Voigt, MTT, and the SF Symphony at Carnegie Hall

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.

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