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Michael Tilson Thomas To Step Down As Conductor

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  • Michael Tilson Thomas To Step Down As Conductor

    The conductor, who helped spur American classical music’s westward expansion, will step down as the orchestra’s music director in 2020, when he will be 75.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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  • #2
    Wow, big news for SF. I started going to the SF Symphony 50 years ago, when I was a first year grad student at Berkeley, in 1967-8. The MD then was the venerable Austrian conductor Josef Krips. I saw a young Seiji Ozawa guest conduct and impress both the audience and the orchestra. He succeeded Krips in 1970, but soon after attracted the attention of the BSO and, although he did double duty in the mid 70's as MD for both orchestras, he left and was replaced by Edo deWaart. Herbert Blomstedt was next, and he still guest conducts a couple of weeks a year. Krips, Ozawa, and deWaart all had tenures of 7-8 years, and Blomstedt 10 years. But MTT has really reshaped the orchestra, with I would guess well over half of the members having been appointed during his 22 year tenure (25 years when he retires). We know quite a few of the symphony members, many who play in my wife's chamber music series at UCSF. The oldest members were hired by Ozawa in the '70's and many of the old timers have been talking about retiring. If they do in the next couple of years, we will have even more MTT named new players.

    Certainly, the SFS has become one of the top US orchestras during his tenure, a major accomplishment. I don't hear a bad word about him from the orchestra members. The subscribers only complain that he doesn't conduct enough during a season, and we often see him in May or June conducting the LSO on our annual London sojourn. Other than Bernstein, MTT's mentor, and Alan Gilbert, I don't know off hand of any major US orchestra who has had a US born conductor (although I read that Blomstedt was born in MA, growing up in Sweden, and Maazel was born in France though raised in the US ). Certainly, Europe has been the source of the vast majority of conductors of US orchestras.

    Larry
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    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      Nezet-Seguin was born in Montreal. Almost America. 😄

  • #3
    too bad - really like his efforts.....he was a protege of Bernstein.

    Comment


    • #4
      Hard to believe he led the SFS for so long. Seems like just yesterday that he took the baton. Big shoes to fill.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -cj 40th Anniversary ART300 monoblock amplifiers
      -cj GAT preamplifier Series 2 preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Allnic cables, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, MG Audio, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #5
        I remember when he first filled in as assistant conductor for the BSO, and was hailed as the "next young hotshot." It's sobering to realize that said young hotshot is soon to be 75. What happened to all of us?

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