Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the San Francisco Symphony in two programs, January 9-18, 2020


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January 9–12 concerts feature the world premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke performed by Artist-in-Residence mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny; selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn ; Berlioz’s Overture to Benvenuto Cellini ; and Ravel’s La Valse

On January 16–18, MTT leads the Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of SFS-commissioned Fountain of Youth by Julia Wolfe; Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll ; Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring pianist Emanuel Ax

SAN FRANCISCO, CA— Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) leads the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in two multi-faceted programs this January at Davies Symphony Hall.
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On January 9–12 , Artist-in-Residence mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny are featured in the world premiere performances of Michael Tilson Thomas’  song cycle  Meditations on Rilke , a musical setting of lyric poems by German modernist Rainer Maria Rilke, alongside selections from Mahler’s setting of German folk poems  Des Knaben Wunderhorn . Tilson Thomas comments on his new composition: “These Meditations on Rilke are reflections of the many moods the poems suggest. The motives and harmonies of these pieces have been with me for years, decades. This approach to music as a kind of lifelong journal, or confessional companion, was what my father, and as I now have learned, my grandfather, and even my great grandfather, experienced. Meditations on Rilke is based on motives that recur, recombine, and morph differently in each song.” Rounding out the program, MTT conducts the SFS in Berlioz’s Overture to Benvenuto Cellini and Ravel’s captivating La Valse.
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On January 16–18 , MTT leads the SFS in the West Coast premiere of  Fountain of Youth , a n SFS Co-commission by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Julia Wolfe —famed for her melding of folk, rock, and classical idioms . The work was first performed in April, 2019 by the New World Symphony in Miami, with MTT conducting. The concerts also feature world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax kicking off the Symphony’s Beethoven250 celebrations with performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 . Well known as a Beethoven virtuoso, Emanuel Ax is featured on two SFS Media recordings with MTT and the SFS— Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 , released in 2015, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 , released in 2011. The program concludes with Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Berg’s spellbinding Three Pieces for Orchestra —recorded and released on the SFS Media label in 2017. Click here to learn more about the Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra recording.
All concerts take place at Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.
Tickets are available at sfsymphony.org , 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.
Pre-Order Food and Drinks:  Concertgoers may pre-order food and beverages by calling 415-252-1937 or emailing Global Gourmet Catering staff at davieshallpreorder@ggcatering.com before the performance to place an order.

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