The San Francisco Symphony Launches American Orchestra Forum Sunday October 23, 2011

First of three live events presented as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial Season

The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will host the first event in its new American Orchestra Forum series this Sunday with a public forum titled “Talking About Community” from 2PM to 5PM at Davies Symphony Hall. Full schedule follows.

This event is the first of three such public discussions hosted by the San Francisco Symphony that instigate a season-long, nationwide dialogue on the 21st century American orchestra, in conjunction with the visits of six other major American orchestras during its Centennial 2011-12 season.

San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert are the keynote speakers for two future free events during the season. The San Francisco Symphony has also launched an American Orchestra Forum website at, as a hub for the ongoing conversation. Over the course of the year, the website will host blogs, video interviews, transcripts, and podcasts to help stimulate conversation about the state of American orchestras among global audiences. The events in San Francisco will be live blogged.

Gustavo Dudamel’s keynote conversation Sunday, October 23, “Talking About Community,” kicks off a two-concert residency of the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Davies Symphony Hall October 23 and 24. Michael Tilson Thomas and Assink open a discussion of creativity on Saturday, March 17, 2012 , in conjunction with San Francisco Symphony’s month-long American Mavericks festival of adventurous American music. Alan Gilbert initiates a discussion on the role of live music in a world of changing audience habits Sunday, May 13, and leads the New York Philharmonic for two concerts May 13 and 14. Composers John Adams and Mason Bates take part in a conversation and discussion following the MTT keynote during the American Mavericks festival event March 17.

Other participants in the forums include SF Symphony musicians; leaders in the classical music field, including the League of American Orchestras; scholars from Stanford University and the University of Chicago , as well as those in private enterprise, including executives from Silicon Valley technology firms and Major League Baseball. San Francisco-based cultural critic and journalist Steven Winn and University of Michigan musicologist Mark Clague will co-moderate the forums and host the podcasts.


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