The first season with Esa-Pekka Salonen as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony has just been announced, and he’s made collaboration a very important part of the plan. The eight “collaborative partners” who he’s brought on will play an important role in the upcoming season.
There’s more information about the season at the San Francisco Symphony website.
When the announcement was made that Salonen would take the baton from Michael Tilson Thomas after this season, Salonen said, “When I look back at the so-called achievements, there’s nothing I did alone. Nothing. The things I’m proudest of have always been collaborations…What I would like to have is a group of talented people whose work I admire, whom I like, who can bring ideas and energy into the mix that I wouldn’t be able to produce myself alone.” And those talented people (composers Nicholas Britell, Bryce Dessner, and Nico Muhly; soprano Julia Bullock, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, flutist Claire Chase, bassist Esperanza Spalding, and robot scientist Carol Reiley) bring with them a broad and diverse set of musical influences. The season will begin with a festival that they curate, and in which they’ll perform, and four of them will curate Soundbox performances. There are also festivals exploring Greek mythology (‘Myths and Mortals’ in March) and music of the Weimar Republic (‘On the Precipice’ at the end of the season). There are new works featured, including a concerto by Bryce Dessner, which will be played by Kuusisto, and a SFS co-commission by Julia Wolfe called Her Story, celebrating the centennial of Women’s Suffrage. Michael Tilson Thomas will return for several concerts, with Mahler’s first and Shostakovich’s 15th symphonies, as well as a performance of the Missa Solemnis of Beethoven. There are visiting orchestras and soloists aplenty, and the return of the film series – and in October, to help celebrate the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven, over one weekend, Rudolph Buchbinder will conduct and solo in all 5 of his concertos, as well as play an extended Diabelli Variations concert.