MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

San Francisco Symphony’s 2019-20 Season

Here it is: Michael Tilson Thomas’s farewell season with the San Francisco Symphony has just been announced.

MTT concludes his quarter-century tenure with the orchestra with a season that features a notably more diverse lineup of contemporary composers than has been the case with his usual programming. The season will include commissions and world premieres of works by John Adams, Julia Wolfe, MTT, Ghiannon Giddens, Mason Bates, Camille Norment, Adam Schoenberg, Pamela Z, and Aaron Zigman. There will also be first SFS performances of music by Tania León, Allison Loggins-Hull, Wynton Marsalis, Jessie Montgomery, Steven Stucky, and MTT. All of this is folded into a programmatic theme called “celebrating the American Sound.” MTT’s beloved Mavericks will also be heard from again: Copland, Ives, Ruggles …

Also exciting is the announcement of season-long artist residencies by soprano Julia Bullock, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter (which include not only at SFS concerts but events such as recitals, SoundBox shows, and community initiatives).

Of course there will be Mahler: MTT will conduct the ultra-bleak Sixth, Des Knaben Wunderhorn (with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny), and — as the grand finale to the MTT era, leading us upward: the Faustian Eighth.

Oh, and did you forget it’s the “Beethoven Year”? Which means, for SFS, the Second, Fifth, and Seventh Symphonies and the Second Piano Concerto and the Violin Concerto, plus some all-Beethoven recitals (Yefim Bronfman, Igor Levit, and Anne-Sophie Mutter).

And Esa-Pekka Salonen will give a foretaste of his upcoming directorship over two weeks of concerts.

Complete press release here.

Filed under: programming, San Francisco Symphony

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