Skip to main content
 
MTT leads Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, 2018

2017–18

BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS

Explore More MTT25 Highlights

Michael Tilson Thomas’ twenty-third season is colored by the bittersweet announcement, in October 2017, that he will conclude his tenure as San Francisco Symphony Music Director in June 2020. The milestone will mark both his 75th birthday and his 25th year leading the Symphony. The 2017-18 season is no valedictory tour, however, as MTT and the Symphony embark on an ambitious season-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s birth centennial and present a probing staged production of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Listen to curated live recordings from our archives, available for streaming
on our website for the first time

TODAY’S PICK

Copland’s Third Symphony, an SFS Media release recorded in March 2018

Bernstein at 100

For longtime San Francisco Symphony watchers, the music of Leonard Bernstein has served as a kind of touchstone in the Michael Tilson Thomas years. When 2017-18 rolls around, all eyes turn to San Francisco as MTT and the Symphony celebrate Bernstein’s birth centennial in a series of concerts that showcase the breadth and depth of the composer’s musical genius. The season-long tribute reaches a high point with concert performances of Bernstein’s satirical comic operetta Candide in January 2018. The Bernstein 100 celebration is captured for posterity in an SFS Media recording of Bernstein’s song cycle Arias and Barcarolles—which MTT and Bernstein premiered in 1988 in New York City—featuring mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny. It’s a dazzlingly diverse tribute to an American original.

Pre-concert talk with MTT, Nina Bernstein, and Humphrey Burton
Michael Tilson Thomas
Ryan McKinny, Isabel Leonard, Nina Bernstein, and MTT
Jamie Bernstein
Candide

All Hail: Boris Godunov

For more than twenty seasons, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have explored how concert hall and theater can merge, how extra-musical means can illuminate musical meaning. Audiences anticipate the Symphony’s season-capping staged productions of operatic masterpieces and American musicals, and radical theatrical interpretations of concert works. June 2018 brings Mussorgsky’s potent political drama Boris Godunov to Davies Symphony Hall in a production conceived by MTT, stage-directed by James Darrah, and featuring a cadre of leading Russian singers led by Stanislav Trofimov in the title role. Shakespearean in scope and humanity, this ambitious opera is rife with conflicted heroes, power struggles, and betrayal.

Michael Tilson Thomas

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 15, 2018
Britton Day and MTT perform at SoundBox
Yo-Yo Ma, 2017 Opening Night Gala
Prisca Geeslin and MTT, 2017 Gala

MUSICIAN APPOINTMENTS
James Button
(Associate Principal Oboe)
Matthew Gray
(Assistant Librarian)
Daniel Hawkins
(Horn)
Daniel Smith 
(Associate Principal Bass)

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
Mark C. Hanson
(Chief Executive Officer)

PREMIERES
Wuorinen: Sudden Changes
(World premiere, San Francisco Symphony co-commission)

Recordings

2017–18 Tour

Violinist Gil Shaham joined the San Francisco Symphony for the March 2018 California Tour.

Los Angeles, CA, Walt Disney Hall
Santa Barbara, CA, Granada Theatre
Costa Mesa, CA, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert 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.