SF Symphony Celebrates Centennial Season with American Mavericks Fest


In their 2011-12 Centennial Season Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) will break new ground with a far-reaching month-long American Mavericks Festival of music by pioneers of the American sound at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco March 8-18; on a national tour to Ann Arbor, Chicago and Carnegie Hall through March 30; and with educational partnerships, experiential learning and a host of new media tools to engage audiences in this music. The Festival explores the music of path-breaking composers such as Charles Ives, John Cage, Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, Morton Feldman, Lukas Foss, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Carl Ruggles, David Del Tredici, and Edgard Varèse and builds on their visionary spirit with four world-premiere SFS commissions from John Adams, Mason Bates, Meredith Monk, and Morton Subotnick. The music of the American Mavericks Festival will feature soloists Emanuel Ax, Mason Bates, Jeremy Denk, Kiera Duffy, Paul Jacobs, Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman, as well as Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, Newband, PARTCH, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, University of Michigan Chamber Choir, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. The American Mavericks Festival expands upon the iconic presentation of music that drew the world’s attention to Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco with the first American Mavericks Festival led by MTT in 2000.

MTT and the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony and guest soloists will perform American Mavericks Festival repertoire in both orchestral and small ensemble settings and explore the repertoire in unique partnerships with educational institutions Mills College, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, and New York area universities and conservatories. Throughout the month-long Festival the San Francisco Symphony and its American Mavericks partners will deepen listeners’ experiences by holding master classes, educational events, pre- and post-concert activities, and by offering online resources on the comprehensive AmericanMavericks.org website, a clearinghouse for materials about the music and the Maverick composers.

Throughout the month of March, WQXR, the country’s most listened-to classical music station, will present an ambitious, multimedia-rich, interactive companion programming to deepen the experience of the live performances across the country. Q2 Music, WQXR’s New York-based online station devoted to new music, will become the digital hub for an in-depth exploration of what it means to be an American Maverick. The site will feature a wide array of musical offerings, including musical offerings, archival interviews, guest curators and a special video webcast of a live event with MTT to be at the station’s innovative performance venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

Michael Tilson Thomas, acclaimed for championing American composers, defines a Maverick composer as someone “…pushing boundaries and exploring new sounds, either made by traditional instruments, by introducing entirely new instruments, or by using the vocabulary of electronics or sounds generated through computer technology… it’s young thinking.” He continued: “Even though some of them may be a hundred years old, these works are still challenging and thought-provoking today and really shake up your whole conception of things. In many ways, Mavericks have a provocative, confrontational, and amusing attitude about music. Their music contains great poetry, but it also contains a two-fisted assault on your senses, and also a sense of humor. And what many of these composers have in common is their association with California, with the San Francisco Bay Area: Cage, Harrison, Cowell, John Adams, Mason Bates, all spent very important parts of their lives in San Francisco or are from here. San Francisco has always been known for its independent, left of center spirit. What better way to mark the San Francisco Symphony’s centennial season than to celebrate that creative pioneering spirit that defines this community and this Orchestra.”


On March 8 and 9 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco the American Mavericks Festival opens with music by composers who laid the groundwork for a new American sound. Charles Ives (1874-1954) is represented by his visionary Concord Symphony—a stunning orchestration by Henry Brant of the epic Concord Sonata, homage to the Transcendentalists who inspired Ives. Of the work, MTT said, “It is a tour-de-force of orchestral playing, filled with big, heartbreaking and inspiring moments which make you realize how much Ives had his pulse on the essential qualities of being an American.” Concord Symphony will also feature on concert programs in Chicago (March 21), Ann Arbor (March 24) and Carnegie Hall (March 28). MTT and the SFS’ 2011 recording of Concord Symphony is currently available from SFS Media. Aaron Copland’s Orchestral Variations—aggressive, hard-edged, and urban—and Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion, a riveting and thrilling work that fuses sounds both rich and brilliant, open the program. Harrison’s 1972 concerto utilizes a variety of percussion instruments from glockenspiel, vibraphone, celesta, and tube chimes to oxygen tanks and wood drums built by Harrison’s partner William Colvig. The solo organ part requires Henry Cowell-style “tone clusters” played with the palm of the hand and wooden slabs. MTT calls the work “a sonic spectacular… overwhelming!” This concerto will also be performed in Ann Arbor (March 22) and Carnegie Hall (March 29). Of Aaron Copland’s 1957 Orchestral Variations, based upon the piano variations he wrote in 1930, which opens these concerts, the composer shared, “The Variations filled a special niche as the first of my works where I felt very sure of myself... The work has been called dissonant, moody, nervous, bare, stark, lonely, concise and austere. But I was utterly convinced about it, and I was not going to be upset by early unfavorable reactions.” Orchestral Variations will also be performed in Ann Arbor (March 22).

The concerts of March 10 and 14 in San Francisco feature three great voices of our time: Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman, who, with MTT and members of the Orchestra, bring selections from John Cage’s evocative and playful Song Books to life. Director Yuval Sharon contributes his eclectic, imaginative staging expertise to this music theater performance. Cage published his 89 Song Books in three volumes in 1970: two sets of Solos for Voice and a third titled Instructions containing tables and other materials for performance of some of the pieces. The collection explores a very wide variety of notation systems and some are not notated at all: the text is given using different fonts and font sizes for different words, or sometimes changing in mid-sentence. Certain solos consist only of instructions to the performer, of what he or she should do and how, although these instructions may be rather open to interpretation. For example, “Perform a disciplined action” may be an instruction, and according to Cage it does not mean “Do whatever you want,” but rather a request to discipline oneself and/or free oneself of one’s likes and dislikes. Many of the texts are from Henry David Thoreau's journals and Volume 3 contains a photograph of Thoreau as material for one of the solos. Other authors whose texts Cage used in the work include Norman O. Brown, Marcel Duchamp, Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan.

MTT on the American Mavericks performances of selections from Song Books: “It’s a real adventure… It’s a special opportunity to hear Cage Song Books done by such an inspired group of artists. It will be produced with lighting and projections that have come out of Cage’s own drawings and paintings as well as images suggested by the texts. A lot of care and attention is going into this so that we can make the really interesting choices Cage challenges us to make.” Selections from Song Books will also be presented, with these singers, in Ann Arbor (March 23) and Carnegie Hall in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at the opening concert, March 27.

Lukas Foss’ 1967 Phorion for orchestra, electric piano, organ and guitar opens the March 10 and 14 concerts in San Francisco. The work is based on the Bach Violin Partita in E major, with performers playing silently until the conductor signals when they should become audible, then silent again, creating a “crazy quilt” of bits and pieces of the Bach. In Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto, soloist Jeremy Denk will tap into the far-flung imagination of Cowell’s signature “tone clusters” played with the forearms. MTT on Cowell’s Piano Concerto: “The piece is fun, swashbuckling, and outrageous, and it takes a very special spirit such as Jeremy Denk to really put this over with the fervor with which it was meant to be played. We’ve been having a lot of fun with it and I think audiences will too.” Jeremy Denk will also perform the Cowell Piano Concerto in Ann Arbor (March 22). The program closes with MTT and the SFS’s performances of Carl Ruggles’ massive, craggy orchestral Sun-treader from 1926-30. MTT on the composer: “Carl Ruggles was a true Maverick composer. He was Ives’ best friend, and he lived in seclusion in a tiny New England town most of his life. He spent his 90-some years writing only about seven or eight pieces. But these pieces proclaim his identity from the very first notes. It’s a big romantic, haunting, ecstatic sort of language, dealing with very serious things: with mournfulness and with the power of anger, and with the ability of these things to transform themselves into complex and dizzying patterns which then evolve, dissolve, into haunting music…. Sun-treader has always been a central piece for me in my life and it’s not every orchestra that can play this. It’s a huge test for the brass, but also the strings. It’s swirling and rangy and has to be played in the same way that Götterdämmerung or a major Strauss tone poem needs to be played.” Sun-treader will also be performed in Ann Arbor (March 24) and at Carnegie Hall (March 28). Both the Cowell and Ruggles works will be recorded for future release on the Orchestra’s own SFS Media label.

MTT and the SFS perform the world premieres of two SFS-commissioned works by Bay Area composers on March 15, 16 and 17 in San Francisco John Adams’ Absolute Jest, a SFS and Carnegie Hall co-commission, was written for the Orchestra’s Centennial season. The work is based on fragments of scherzos from Beethoven’s String Quartets and features the St. Lawrence String Quartet. “The inspiration for Absolute Jest was a local one,” Adams said. “It came from our own MTT, and his performance of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella. In this piece I heard how one composer could take material and the vitality of another composer and weave it into his own musical style and musical language… I have always been a fan of the late Beethoven string quartets. I took fragments of these scherzos and wove them together into what I think will probably be the world’s longest scherzo – a 25-minute-long high-energy scherzo.” Absolute Jest will also be premiered on tour in Chicago (March 21), Ann Arbor (March 23) and at Carnegie Hall (March 27).

Mason Bates, this season’s San Francisco Symphony Project San Francisco composer, has created a new work for the American Mavericks Festival scored for organ, electronica and chorus, Mass Transmission. “Combining ethereal choral sonorities, shimmering electronic textures, and virtuosic organ figuration, Mass Transmission tells the true story of distant loved ones brought together by the earliest long-distance radio transmissions,” Bates said. Featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York City at Carnegie Hall and the University of Michigan Chamber Choir in Ann Arbor with Bates himself on electronics, soprano Laura Claycomb and organist Paul Jacobs, Mass Transmission will be performed in Ann Arbor on March 22 and have its New York premiere in Zankel Hall on March 29. As part of his Project San Francisco composer residency Bates will contribute to educational events both in person and online and on Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 pm at Davies Symphony Hall, organist Isabelle Demers will perform Bates’ Digital Loom for organ and electronica in recital. On March 15-17, pianist Emanuel Ax is featured in Morton Feldman’s experimental Piano and Orchestra which he will also perform in Ann Arbor (March 24) and at Carnegie Hall (March 28). The program concludes with Varèse’s thrilling Amériques also featured on the opening night program at Carnegie Hall on March 27. Following the concert on Friday, March 16 Mason Bates will reappear in the nightclub atmosphere of Davies After Hours in the second tier lobby of Davies Symphony Hall in the form of his alter-ego, DJ Masonic, joined by friends David Arend on bass, Aaron Kahn on trumpet and Gloria Justen on electric violin.

On March 11 and 18 in San Francisco, MTT and musicians of the SFS are featured in two chamber programs, each centered around the world premiere of an SFS commission. On March 11 Morton Subotnick’s Jacob’s Room: Monodrama (2012), a chamber opera, will feature vocalist Joan La Barbara with keyboard and strings. This work will also be performed in chamber concerts in Ann Arbor (March 25) and Zankel Hall on March 30. The March 11 program also features solo piano music of Henry Cowell performed by Jeremy Denk. In San Francisco the band PARTCH will perform music of Harry Partch using his original instruments or replicas of those instruments in just intonation. Their selections start with his Sextets from Castor and Pollux. “It begins with the encounter of Zeus, the male swan, with the beautiful Leda, and ends with the hatching of the fertilized eggs - first Castor, then Pollux,” Partch explained. “From the moment of insemination, each egg uses exactly 234 beats in cracking. All of the right heavenly houses are in conjunction, and misfortune is impossible. Pairs of instruments tell the story in characteristic ways.” The program continues with San Francisco, which Partch described as “a setting of the cries of two newsboys on a foggy night in the twenties;” The Letter, which he said was “a Great Depression message from a hobo friend;” By the Rivers of Babylon, the setting of a psalm as Partch heard it intoned by a rabbi in San Francisco; and Barstow, “eight hitchhiker inscriptions from a highway railing at Barstow, California.” Newband will perform their own selections of Partch’s music in Zankel Hall on March 30. Partch’s works are followed by Terry Riley’s G Song for String Quartet performed by members of the Orchestra. On March 18 in San Francisco Meredith Monk premieres a new SFS-commissioned work to the stage, performed by Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble with musicians of the SFS. This new work will also be performed in Ann Arbor (March 25) and Zankel Hall (March 30). Also on the March 18 program in San Francisco is Steve Reich’s 1973 Music for Pieces of Wood performed on 5 pairs of tuned claves (March 30 at Zankel Hall) and MTT conducting David Del Tredici’s 1966 settings of two James Joyce poems, Syzygy, with soprano Kiera Duffy as soloist. Lukas Foss’ Echoi completes the program, featuring clarinet, percussion, violin, and cello in four movements using controlled improvisation. Its creation was influenced by the composer’s work with the Improvisation Chamber Ensemble in Los Angeles. Echoi will also be performed in Ann Arbor (March 25) and Zankel Hall (March 30).

CHICAGO: MTT and the SFS will perform March 21 at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, presented by the CSO’s Symphony Center Presents: Visiting Orchestras series. The concert program includes Cowell, Adams and Ives.

ANN ARBOR: On March 22, 23, and 24, the Orchestra performs all three American Mavericks orchestral programs at Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. An American Mavericks chamber music performance is scheduled for March 25. The four-day residency includes master classes by SFS musicians, student events, pre- and post-concert activities, and academic collaborations with university music students and faculty.
Carnegie Hall and the San Francisco Symphony co-present an American Mavericks celebration in New York culminating in four concerts by Tilson Thomas and the Orchestra (two orchestral concerts and two chamber music concerts) March 27-30, 2012. Repertoire includes four New York premieres: John Adams’ Absolute Jest with the St. Lawrence String Quartet; Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission, with Bates performing on electronica joined by Paul Jacobs on organ with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City; and the new SFS-commissioned work by Meredith Monk and Jacob’s Room: Monodrama (2012) by Morton Subotnick. Monk and soloists Joan La Barbara and Jessye Norman join the Orchestra to sing selections from John Cage’s Song Books. Organist Paul Jacobs is soloist in Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra. In addition, the Orchestra performs Morton Feldman’s Piano and Orchestra with Emanuel Ax, and Charles Ives’ A Concord Symphony, arranged by Henry Brant, and works by Henry Cowell, Edgard Varèse, Carl Ruggles, Lukas Foss, David Del Tredici, Harry Partch, and Steve Reich. Prior to the four SFS programs a variety of musicians and ensembles perform a series of free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts in community venues throughout the city as part of American Mavericks in New York. Artists featured in neighborhood concerts include Alarm Will Sound, violinist Jennifer Koh, pianist Lisa Moore, and the JACK Quartet with special guest Steve Mackey. Also, So Percussion and guests perform a tribute to John Cage in Zankel Hall. Mavericks-related activities and performances surrounding the Carnegie Hall performances will also take place at other leading New York City cultural institutions, including the Anthology Film Archives, The New York Public Library, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Kitchen, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and WQXR/Q2. Additional details for Carnegie Hall American Mavericks performances and events will be announced by Carnegie Hall in mid-January. See Carnegie Hall's website for a full schedule of events.

John Adams CD Release March 13: In celebration of the American Mavericks, MTT and the SFS will release a hybrid SACD recording of John Adams’ Harmonielehre and Short Ride in a Fast Machine. The two will be released on one disc on March 13, and will be available by exclusive pre-release from the iTunes store and from the Symphony store in Davies Symphony Hall on the composer’s birthday, February 15. Harmonielehre was recorded live during concerts held at Davies Symphony Hall December 8-11, 2010 during John Adams’ Project San Francisco composer residency. Short Ride in a Fast Machine was recorded at the San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial Season Opening Gala on September 7, 2011. The SFS commissioned and performed the world premiere of Harmonielehre in March 1985 and MTT commissioned Short Ride in a Fast Machine for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1986.

SFS Media Maverick Recordings: Highlighting their commitment to the music of pioneering American composers, MTT and the SFS will record three works over the course of the Festival for future release on their SFS Media label: Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra featuring Paul Jacobs, Carl Ruggles’ Sun-treader, and Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto with Jeremy Denk. Future release dates will be announced. In February 2011 SFS Media released a recording of Ives’ Concord Symphony as arranged by Henry Brant; it was named by NPR as one of the top 5 self-produced orchestra releases in 2011. This work will be performed again during the American Mavericks Festival on March 8 and 9 in San Francisco, March 21 in Chicago, March 24 in Ann Arbor and March 28 at Carnegie Hall.

WQXR/Q2 MUSIC: Throughout the month of March, WQXR, the country’s most listened-to classical music station, will become the broadcast hub for the American Mavericks by presenting an ambitious, multimedia-rich, interactive companion to the performances taking place across the country. Q2 Music, WQXR’s New York-based online station devoted to new music from living composers, will become the digital venue for an in-depth exploration of what it means to be an American Maverick. Wqxr.org will feature a wide array of musical offerings, including a special live event with MTT.

On March 26 at 7pm ET, Q2 Music will present “American Mavericks: Music and Conversation with Michael Tilson Thomas” via live video webcast from WQXR’s performance venue, The Greene Space. WQXR’s David Garland and Nadia Sirota will host an evening with MTT, with featured guests John Adams and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The event will be broadcast live on 105.9 FM in New York and on wqxr.org, while a video webcast will stream on thegreenespace.org.

Q2 Music’s month-long programming will also include pieces by American Maverick composers, with introductions to their works by composers Steve Reich, David Del Tredici, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Angelica Negron, Phil Kline, Missy Mazzoli and Ingram Marshall; interviews from the WQXR and WNYC archives with iconic Maverick composers such as John Cage, Lukas Foss, Terry Riley and Meredith Monk; insights about the music from MTT; and curated playlists from prominent composers and musicians outside the standard Western Classical tradition.

Programming will be hosted by guest hosts including Mary Rowell, former ETHEL String Quartet violinist, and Joel Sachs, conductor of The New Juilliard Ensemble; Professor of Music History, Chamber Music, and New Music Performance at The Juilliard School; and biographer of Henry Cowell. Specialty shows with American Mavericks guests, American Mavericks videos, and videos from MTT will be hosted on the WQXR/Q2 Music site as well.

The Listening Room: An online resource for in-depth listening guides to selected works from the Festival with interactive music streaming. Three-minute compilations of excerpts from Carl Ruggles’ Sun-treader, Varèse’ Amériques, Ives’ Concord Symphony, Harrison’s Organ Concerto and Cowell’s Piano Concerto posted to SoundCloud will allow listeners to share comments about the music at any point along the audio track as it plays. These online materials will be utilized by all the American Mavericks presenters and educational partners to help listeners engage more deeply with the repertoire through online and in-person discussion.

American Mavericks website: At americanmavericks.org visitors will find in depth explorations of all featured composers, original video and audio features with composers and performers, a wide variety of multi-media resources and a pdf edition of the complete book about the 2000 American Mavericks Festival, American Mavericks: Musical Visionaries, Pioneers, Iconoclasts by Susan Key and Larry Rothe. A limited number of the print versions of the book in soft and hard cover are available from the SF Symphony Store at Davies Symphony Hall and from the e-store at sfsymphony.org/store. Fans of the American Mavericks Festival are invited to follow Festival activity on Twitter by using the hashtag #AmMavs and Twitter accounts @mtilsonthomas and @sfsymphony.

Break The Rules Student Challenge: Students are invited to participate in challenges designed by Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Symphony and academic partners including Mills College, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Michigan, and New York area universities and conservatories. The challenges involve offering creative responses to selected American Mavericks compositions. Creations may be submitted as audio, video, photography or descriptive prose. Information about the submission process will be posted to the AmericanMavericks.org site February 1 and student work will be featured in the multimedia section of American Mavericks website beginning in March.

Podcasts: Free audio program notes about Charles Ives’ A Concord Symphony, Edgard Varèse’ Amériques and Cowell’s Piano Concerto will be downloadable from sfsymphony.org/podcasts and from the iTunes store.


In addition to the programs on stage, the festival offers a variety of events to enhance the festival experience and engage audiences in the music of the American Mavericks.

Meet the Maverick: Charles Ives in Words and Music: A pre-concert program for all ticketholders begins at 6:30 pm on March 8 and 9 with actor David Prather and pianist Peter Grunberg highlighting Ives as a composer, a writer, and a true American eccentric. The program will weave together musical passages from the Concord Sonata with literary passages from Ives’ book Essays Before a Sonata illuminating both the musical material and the expressive intention behind this radical work.

Inside Mavericks: a participatory pre-concert event held at 6:30 pm before the concerts on March 10 and 14 in which audience members will learn to sing tone clusters and contemplate their own approach to performing selections from Cage’s Song Books in addition to a lecture and demonstration from Walden School faculty.

Off the Podium: Following the concert on March 10 ticketholders are invited to an informal Q&A session with pianist Jeremy Denk and stage director Yuval Sharon from the stage of Davies Symphony Hall.

Davies After Hours: On Friday, March 16 following the American Mavericks performance of Mason Bates’ new SFS commission, Mass Transmission, the composer will return to the nightclub atmosphere of the Second Tier lobby as DJ Masonic and spin electronic tracks and beats with friends David Arend on upright bass, Aaron Kahn on trumpet and Gloria Justen on electric violin.
Mavericks Exhibit: An exhibit featuring materials about the composers and works in the American Mavericks Festival will be on display in the Davies Symphony Hall Lobby in March.

American Orchestra Forum: On Saturday, March 17 from 1:30-4:30 pm at Davies Symphony Hall MTT, John Adams and Mason Bates are featured guests at the American Orchestra Forum, a season-long, nationwide dialogue on the 21st century American orchestra, in conjunction with the visits of six other major American orchestras during the SFS’ Centennial 2011-12 season. The keynote address on March 17 will be given by Michael Tilson Thomas in conversation with Brent Assink, Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony. Other sessions that afternoon will include San Francisco Symphony Project San Francisco Composer Mason Bates in conversation with composer John Adams, as moderated by Mark Clague, Professor of Music from the University of Michigan. Margo Drakos, cellist and chief operating officer of InstantEncore, will be in conversation with Ed Sanders Group Marketing Manager, Creative Lab at Google, moderated by Steven Winn, journalist and author. Among the topics to be explored on March 17 will be how orchestras balance tradition and innovation, how the changing technology has shaped how artists think about music, how classically trained musicians and composers straddle genres, and what some of the unique contributions of the Bay Area to musical creativity have been. Sessions are blogged live and videotaped for later streaming at symphonyforum.org. Beginning in January 2012, podcasts developed from these free, live events and behind-the-scenes discussions will be posted. The American Orchestra Forum can be followed on Twitter via @AmOrchForum. This event is free to the public but registration at symphonyforum.org is recommended.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music American Mavericks Classes: Starting on February 7 and continuing each Tuesday evening throughout the month from 6:30-7:00 pm, the SFCM offers a class focusing on music to be performed at American Mavericks concerts. Each class includes close listening of selected works. Special guests SFS Principal Percussionist Jack van Geem, pianist Peter Grunberg, and composer Charles Amirkhanian will offer inside perspectives. Call (415) 503-6229 or visit the Conservatory’s Adult Extension Programs class description page for information.

American Mavericks Lecture at Jewish Community Center: Leading up to the Festival musicologist and frequent SFS pre-concert lecturer Susan Key will explore the way musical innovation in the 20th and 21st centuries has been shaped and inspired by the visual arts. Her talk “Sight and Sound: Maverick Composers and the Visual Arts” takes place at the Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street, in San Francisco on Friday, January 20 from 1:00-2:00 pm. It is free and open to the public.

A special Mavericks Pass buys entrance to any or all Mavericks concerts for $100 and includes two bonus items: a hybrid SACD copy of the new SFS recording of John Adams’s Harmonielehre and Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Copland and the American Sound, a Keeping Score DVD in which MTT and SFS musicians pay tribute to an American musical icon. Mavericks Passes are available by calling (415) 864-6000 or visiting the Box Office at Davies Symphony Hall and are not available online

Each Mavericks Pass is good for one ticket to the concerts held at Davies Symphony Hall on March 8, 9, 10 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Patrons will be asked to present their Mavericks Passes at the Box Office to redeem them, or to have the Pass available when they call to redeem by phone. The Mavericks Pass is redeemable for any seat in the house, subject to availability. Loge and Side Box seats will not be offered for the Mavericks Pass. Seats can be claimed only by calling the Box Office or in person at Davies Symphony Hall, not online. The suggested redemption time for Mavericks Passes is 24 hours in advance of each concert.

ABOUT Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas celebrates his 17th season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony during the Orchestra’s 2011-12 Centennial Season. In his inaugural season as Music Director in 1995, Tilson Thomas included an American work on nearly every one of his San Francisco Symphony programs, and ended the season with An American Festival, a groundbreaking two-week celebration of American music. In 2000, Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony presented a landmark 12-concert American Mavericks Festival, a celebration of America’s maverick musical heritage of the 20th century. Also noted for his work as a composer, MTT has given world premieres of many of his works with the San Francisco Symphony. Michael Tilson Thomas’s recordings with the San Francisco Symphony have won numerous international awards, including 11 Grammys. Committed to reaching new audiences and increasing access to orchestral music, MTT and the SFS created the acclaimed national Keeping Score PBS television series and multimedia project. He is founder and artistic director of America’s Orchestral Academy, the New World Symphony in Miami, and he has led both YouTube Symphony Orchestra programs in Carnegie Hall and Sydney, Australia.

Founded in 1911, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) celebrates its Centennial Season in 2011-12 and is widely considered to be among the country’s most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions. Under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, the SFS performs and presents more than 220 concerts annually for an audience of nearly 600,000 in its home of Davies Symphony Hall and through an active national and international touring program. Since its inception and founding as an orchestra “for the people,” the SFS has played a leading role in the musical life of its community, offering one of the most comprehensive music education and community programs of any orchestra in the world. The San Francisco Symphony maintains a wide-ranging series of educational programs serving over 75,000 children in the Bay Area and millions of children and families around the globe, including comprehensive music education for students K-12, concerts for families and young people, its own Youth Orchestra and the innovative children’s website SFSKids.org. Since it became the first orchestra to have its concerts broadcast over the airwaves in 1935, the SFS reaches millions more around the world with its music through its Keeping Score multimedia projects, syndicated television and radio broadcasts, websites, and recordings on its own label, SFS Media.

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