MTT and San Francisco Symphony on tour in Europe


Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony
© Bill Swerbenski

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony embark on an 11-concert, eight-city European tour on 14th March.  Taking in London, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Geneva, Luxembourg, Dortmund and Birmingham, the ensemble will be joined by a group of distinguished guest artists – violinist Julia Fischer, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and the St Lawrence String Quartet.

The repertoire to be presented by Tilson Thomas and the Symphony includes a selection from their Grammy Award-winning performances featured on SFS Media, the Symphony’s in-house recording label – Mahler’s Symphony No 3, Beethoven’s Symphony No 7, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and The Alcotts movement from A Concord Symphony by Charles Ives, orchestrated by Henry Brant.


Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony
© Art Streiber

Also included is a work entitled Absolute Jest, by San Francisco Bay Area composer, John Adams, who has a long-standing relationship with the Symphony.  Absolute Jest – which will feature the St Lawrence String Quartet – was commissioned and recorded by MTT and the San Francisco Symphony, and is scheduled for release on CD in 2015.

SLSQ Photo: Marco Borggreve

The St Lawrence String Quartet
© Marco Borggreve

Violinist Julia Fischer will play the Prokofiev Violin Concerto in D major, and Sasha Cooke is the soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No 3, in which the chorus will be performed by local ensembles – the St Paul Boys Choir and Women of the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus;  Maîtrise de Paris children’s chorus and Choeur des femmes de l’Orchestre de Paris;  Pueri cantores of the Luxembourg Conservatory and Choeur symphonique de la Grande Région;  and the Vienna Boys Choir and Women of the Wienersingakademie.


Violinist Julia Fischer

In 2015, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony celebrate their 20th season together.  Recognized as one of the most inspiring and successful musical partnerships in the US, it’s also the longest active and most productive artistic partnership of any major American orchestra and its American Music Director.  It’s an association which has produced a number of national and international tours, ambitious media initiatives, and the most comprehensive music education program of any orchestra in the US.

This commitment to music education has resulted in the innovative television, radio, multimedia and website project, Keeping Score;  an award-winning children’s website, SFS Kids;  and Adventures in Music – a nationally acclaimed music education program for San Francisco schools.


Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke
© Dario Acosta

Another of the enterprising initiatives produced by this partnership is SFS Media, the Symphony’s audio and video recording label, which to date has netted eight Grammy Awards. Launched in 2001, SFS Media reflects Michael Tilson Thomas’ commitment to performing not only core classical works, but to promoting the music of maverick composers as well.

Included in the SFS Media CD catalogue is the seven-time Grammy Award-winning Mahler Recording Project – which includes all Mahler’s symphonies and works for voice, chorus and orchestra –  the SFS Beethoven Collection, and American Mavericks – a series of recordings taken at the hugely successful 2012 American Mavericks Festival .

SFS Media’s video catalogue includes the entire Keeping Score series of television programs – viewed by over six million people since its first broadcast in 2006 – as well as  A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein: Opening Night at Carnegie Hall 2008, and San Francisco Symphony at 100.


Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will appear at:


Birmingham Symphony Hall on March 14

The Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, London, on March 15 and 16

Salle Pleyel, Paris, on March 17 and 18

Victoria Hall, Geneva, on March 20

Konzerthaus, Dortmund, on March 21

Philharmonie, Luxembourg, on March 23

Smetana Hall, Prague, on March 24

Konzerthaus, Vienna, on March 25 and 26


Michael Tilson Thomas

San Francisco Symphony

Julia Fischer

Sasha Cooke

St Lawrence Quartet

SFS Media

John Adams

Keeping Score

SFS Kids

Adventures in Music

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