Tonight, live on KDFC and streaming on our website, we’ll have the season opening gala concert by the San Francisco Symphony, honoring Michael Tilson Thomas, beginning his 25th and final season as Music Director, and his husband, Joshua Robison. The broadcast will begin just after 8 pm, hosted by Rik and Dianne from Davies Symphony Hall.
There’s more about the gala at the San Francisco Symphony website.
The music on the program is celebratory, with a rousing Glinka overture; American works by Aaron Copland, and an arrangement by Gordon Getty; the musical portion of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra; and with the Symphony Chorus and soloists, the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Also celebrated will be Joshua Robison, who has been a vital part of the life and career of Thomas for over 40 years, as his manager and life partner. They met in the mid-1950s, while playing in a junior high school orchestra, and re-met several years later, spending more than half their lives together before marrying in 2014. There will be tributes and special guests along with the music. The 25 year tenure of MTT leading the orchestra is far and away the longest of all of its 11 Music Directors since 1911, and he’s continued to bring national attention to the ensemble and the relationship he has with the players. His final season will be bookended with big symphonies by Mahler, one of the composers he’s delved deeply into with the musicians. Next week, it will be the Sixth Symphony, which was the recording that launched the SFS Media label about 15 years ago, and right out of the gate won a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. But before that, he’ll help open the new venue, the Chase Center, with a joint concert of the Symphony and the band Metallica.