San Francisco Symphony 2009-2010 Season & Mahler Festival

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS’ 2009-10 PROGRAMS

Michael Tilson Thomas’ Fifteenth Anniversary Season Opens September 9 in a Gala Concert with Lang Lang and Concludes with Berlioz’s Large Scale Choral Masterpiece Roméo et Juliette

The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas (pictured) open the 2009-10 season on Wednesday, September 9 at Davies Symphony Hall with a special Opening Gala concert featuring pianist Lang Lang performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The festive gala program also includes three waltzes: Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, Ravel’s La Valse and Richard Rodgers’ Waltz from Carousel.

Highlights of MTT’s fifteenth season include:
  • Beginning September 16, MTT leads the Orchestra in a three-week Mahler Festival, portions of which will be recorded for the SFS’ Grammy Award-winning Mahler recording cycle and filmed for its Keeping Score television series on PBS. Soloists for the Mahler Festival include mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and baritone Thomas Hampson.
  • MTT conducts the world premiere of a new SFS-commissioned work by Russian composer Victor Kissine, whose work he has championed at the SFS.
  • MTT leads the Orchestra in six SFS first performances, including Schubert/Webern’s German Dances; Webern’s Symphony; Ives’ A Concord Symphony (arranged by Henry Brant); Litolff’s Scherzo from Concerto Symphonique No. 4; Stravinsky’s Threni (on Lamentations of Jeremiah), with the SFS Chorus, and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9.
  • MTT conducts performances of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and The Rite of Spring, Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette, Berg’s Lulu Suite, and the first SFS performances of Robin Holloway’s Clarissa Sequence since 1998.
  • MTT performs as pianist in three concert weeks this season, in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, with pianist Yuja Wang in Poulenc’s Sonata for Piano Four Hands, and during the Mahler Festival, in Mahler’s Piano Quartet.
  • Other major works of the standard repertoire MTT will conduct include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, Little Russian; Bizet’s Symphony in C major and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Rhenish.

2009 MAHLER FESTIVAL

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony open the 2009-10 season with a three-week September festival devoted to the music of Gustav Mahler. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham performs Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, to be recorded live for SFS Media’s Grammy-winning Mahler recording cycle in a concert that also features Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Baritone Thomas Hampson joins MTT and the SFS for Mahler: Origins and Legacies, a unique discovery concert that explores Mahler’s early works and influences. Featured works include Mahler’s Piano Quartet (with MTT on piano), selections from Symphonies 2, 3 and 7, Mahler’s early songs for voice and piano, and the Scherzo from Austrian composer Hans Rott’s Symphony in E major. Those works and the Orchestra’s performances of Symphony No. 5 will be filmed for future use in the SFS’ Keeping Score national PBS television series. Hampson also performs Songs of a Wayfarer (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen), which will be recorded for later release on SFS Media. Scelsi’s Hymnos will also be performed during the festival.

Coinciding with the Mahler Festival, the Orchestra will release its recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand (recorded at Davies Symphony Hall in November 2008) and the Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished Symphony No. 10 on SFS Media. Additionally, in March 2010, MTT and the SFS will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, with soloists soprano Laura Claycomb and mezzo-soprano Katarina Karnéus and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.

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