Michael Tilson Thomas Embarks on New Educational Partnerships
Throughout his career, Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) has maintained a deep commitment to fostering musical excellence and innovation among the next generation of classical musicians, and this summer he embarks on three new educational partnerships to further that mission.
In July and August, MTT leads Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) in the launch of his second Perspectives series, conducting the orchestra at Carnegie Hall (July 19) and leading it on tour in Asia (July 24 - August 3). To reach the younger musicians of the NYO2 program, which will be under way simultaneously, MTT's New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy (NWS), which he co-founded and leads as Artistic Director, partners with Carnegie Hall for NYO2, both in New York and at the New World Center in Miami. MTT, Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), also launches a new educational partnership between the orchestra and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where he participates in a special panel discussion (July 12) that explores the project.
Carnegie Hall's NYO-USA comprises young orchestral musicians (ages 16-19) from across the country. MTT will first work with the orchestra in Purchase, NY, where the musicians spend three weeks engaged in rehearsals, workshops, and social / recreational activities. He then conducts NYO-USA at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.and subsequently leads the orchestra on a five-city Asian tour, including NYO-USA's debut performances in Taipei, Seoul, and Daejeon. Featuring the same program as the Carnegie Hall concert, the tour comprises performances at the Taipei National Concert Hall (July 24), Shanghai Symphony Hall (July 27), National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing; July 29; webcast), Lotte Hall (Seoul; August 1), and Daejeon Culture & Arts (Daejeon, South Korea; August 3).
At Carnegie Hall and on tour in Asia, MTT conducts NYO-USA in Sibelius's Symphony No. 2, Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F Major featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and the world premiere of Ted Hearne's Brass Tacks, a Carnegie Hall commission.
MTT has been a champion of Ted Hearne's music and has programmed it with both NWS and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS).
In 2015, Mr. Hearne's Dispatches, co-commissioned by NWS and SFS, was premiered by NWS under the baton of Christian Reif, a former NWS Conducting Fellow who is now Resident Conductor at SFS and Music Director of the SFS Youth Orchestra.
During the 2016-17 NWS season, Mr. Hearne was commissioned to compose the music for a crowdsourced, multimedia symphony, titled Miami in Movements, as part of NWS' Project 305 initiative. MTT conducted the premiere at the New World Center in an October 2017 WALLCAST® concert. He led the orchestra in a second performance as part of NWS' February 2018 New Work event.
While in Purchase with NYO-USA, MTT will be joined by Fellows from the New World Symphony as part of its partnership with Carnegie Hall for NYO2. Having just concluded its 30th anniversary season, NWS was co-founded by MTT to prepare graduates of music programs for leadership roles in professional orchestras and ensembles. NWS Fellows are conducted and mentored by MTT each year and follow a curriculum at NWS that emphasizes musical excellence, leadership, and outreach and education in the community. They will coach the NYO2 musicians (ages 14-17) in New York and at the New World Center in Miami, where the NYO2 musicians will be in residence for six days. Through this NWS partnership with Carnegie Hall, MTT aims to broaden the reach and impact of NWS' educational innovations to an even younger generation of musicians around the nation.
MTT will conduct NWS at Carnegie Hall during the 2018-19 season as part of Perspectives-Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage) and Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. (Zankel Hall).
In addition to working with Carnegie Hall and NWS on the East Coast this summer, MTT will be in Santa Barbara for the launch of a new educational partnership between the Music Academy of the West and London Symphony Orchestra. This annual program, in which Academy Fellows will be mentored by LSO musicians and conductors, will be led by LSO Conductor Laureate MTT in the U.S. and LSO Music Director Sir Simon Rattle in London.
MTT explores the project in a special panel discussion at the Academy on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m., in which he will be joined by LSO Managing Director Kathryn McDowell, Music Academy of the West President and CEO Scott Reed, and LSO Principal Clarinet Andrew Marriner. Also as part of the launch, six LSO guest artists will be in residence at the Academy this summer.
Starting in 2019, MTT will be in residence in Santa Barbara each summer as Signature Festival Conductor of the partnership, joined by principal players from each section of the LSO. Together, they will teach and mentor Academy Fellows-young instrumentalists (ages 18-34) from around the world and of all backgrounds who attend the Academy on full scholarships. Twelve of the 95 Fellows will then be selected via audition to travel to London the following winter for ten days of intensive training with the LSO and Mr. Rattle. As with MTT's work at the New World Symphony and this summer with Carnegie Hall, this project reflects his commitment to the musicians of tomorrow.
MTT's summer highlights a wide range of the activities and initiatives for which he is best known, including not only his work as an educator, but also as a composer, champion of contemporary music, advocate for American Maverick composers, and innovator in the concert hall, including through the use of video, lighting, and dance, among other art forms. Additional summer performances are as follows:
The MET Orchestra - Tuesday, June 5 at 8:00 p.m. - Carnegie Hall
In addition to conducting Mahler's Symphony No. 4, MTT brings the music of American Maverick composer Carl Ruggles to The MET Orchestra for the first time in what is also MTT's first performance with the ensemble.
MTT conducts the orchestral version of Ruggles's Evocations, originally composed for piano. The piece is featured on MTT's 1980 recording of the composer's complete works with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
SFS Music Director MTT returns to Davies Hall for symphony, concerto, and opera performances with the orchestra.
MTT conducts Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov in a semi-staged production on June 14, 15, and 17. This production brings the composer's original orchestration to life by incorporating video projections, costumes, scenery, and lighting design.
Back-to-back Sibelius symphonies-Nos. 6 and 7-are featured on the June 21-24program, which also includes Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Daniil Trifonov.
Mahler's Symphony No. 3, featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, is conducted by MTT on June 28, 29, and 30. From 2001 to 2010, he led SFS in a Mahler recording cycle that garnered seven Grammy Awards. The 2003 recording of Symphony No. 3 won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album, Diapason d'Or, and was Editor's Choice in Gramophone.
MTT will conduct SFS at Carnegie Hall during the 2018-19 season as part of Perspectives-Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (Carnegie Hall's Opening Night Gala; Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage) and Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage).
Tanglewood - Sunday, August 12 at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 25 at 8:00 p.m.
At Tanglewood, MTT is both a featured conductor and composer, leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra on August 12 in Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and his own composition Agnegram, which was written in 1998 to celebrate the 90th birthday of SFS patron and friend Agnes Albert and which he premiered with SFS the same year.
MTT also joins many illustrious colleagues-from fellow conductors to leading soloists (full list here and below)-in paying tribute to Leonard Bernstein at the Festival's Bernstein Centennial Celebration on the composer's birthday, August 25.
Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to conducting the world's leading orchestras, MTT is also noted for his work as a composer and a producer of multimedia projects that are dedicated to music education and the reimagination of the concert experience. He has won eleven Grammys for his recordings, is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, is a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. For more information, visit michaeltilsonthomas.com.
Photo credit: Spencer Lowell