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San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony is among the country's leading orchestras, with a reputation for adventurous and innovative programming that highlights American composers and focuses on targeting new audiences for orchestral music. The San Francisco Musical Association, established in 1908, founded the San Francisco Symphony, which gave its first concert in 1911. Its early conductors included Henry Hadley and Alfred Hertz. After the orchestra had to cancel its 1934 season for financial reasons, the city ratified an amendment to its charter in 1935 establishing municipal funding for the orchestra. That year Pierre Monteux was named music director, and under his leadership the orchestra grew substantially in stature and reputation, making its first national tour and over 40 recordings for RCA. Some of the world's leading conductors have served the orchestra, including Enrique Jordá (1954), Josef Krips (1963), Seiji Ozawa (1970), Edo de Waart (1977), and Herbert Blomstedt (1984). In 1980, during de Waart's tenure, the orchestra moved from the War Memorial Opera House, where it had performed since 1932, into the Louise M. Davis Symphony Hall. That same year, it expanded its season to 52 weeks and inaugurated its New and Unusual Music Series, planned by composer John Adams, the orchestra's new music advisor. Since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas has served as the orchestra's music director and has brought it to a new level of prominence through its local performances, national and international tours, and many recordings and broadcasts. As of the 2014-15 season, at 20 years together, Tilson Thomas became the longest-tenured conductor of a major American orchestra to date.

The orchestra offers more than 220 concerts and other presentations annually, reaching audiences of nearly 600,000 locally and through its tours. Highlights of Tilson Thomas' tenure include a highly successful campaign to raise the orchestra's profile in San Francisco; a busy schedule of tours of U.S. cities, Europe, and Asia, including the group's first trip to China; a series of televised performances at the BBC Proms; and opening Carnegie Hall's 2008-2009 season with A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein, which was broadcast on PBS' Great Performances and released on DVD. It also presents semi-staged and multimedia productions, such as Britten's Peter Grimes, produced in the 2013-14 season. The orchestra has significantly increased its recording schedule under Tilson Thomas' leadership, and founded its own label, SFS Media. Since 2001, they have recorded all of Mahler's symphonic works, including works voice and chorus. The orchestra's discography is broadly diverse, but has focused on music of the Romantic and late-Romantic eras, and on Russian and 20th and 21st century American music. It has won 15 Grammys and numerous international recording awards.

The orchestra is committed to an ambitious program of education. In 2006, Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony launched the Keeping Score PBS television series and multimedia project, a national program designed to make classical music more accessible to people of all ages and musical backgrounds. The orchestra offers free community concerts in the Bay Area, plus professional coaching for student and amateur musicians, and its music education program, Adventures in Music, reaches all first- through fifth-grade students in the San Francisco Unified School District. ~ Stephen Eddins
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bernstein: West Side Story

Title: West Side Story, Musical
x

Track List: The John Adams Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective

Disc 1
Title: Harmonium, For Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Shaker Loops, For 7 Strings Or String Orchestra
Disc 2
Title: The Chairman Dances, Foxtrot For Orchestra
Title: Grand Pianola Music, For 3 Sopranos, 2 Pianos, Winds, Brass & Percussion
Title: Fearful Symmetries, For Orchestra
Disc 5
Title: The Death Of Klinghoffer, Opera
Disc 6
Title: Tromba Lontana, Fanfare For Orchestra
Title: Short Ride In A Fast Machine, Fanfare For Orchestra
Title: Common Tones In Simple Time For Orchestra
Title: El Dorado, For Orchestra
Disc 7
Title: Harmonielehre, For Orchestra
Title: Violin Concerto
Disc 8
Title: Chamber Symphony
Title: Hoodoo Zephyr, For Electronics
Title: Gnarly Buttons, For Clarinet & Ensemble
Disc 9
Title: I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, Songplay
Disc 10
x

Track List: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 10 In F Sharp Minor (incomplete)
Title: Symphony No. 8 In E Flat Major ("Symphony Of A Thousand")
Disc 2
x

Track List: Masterpieces In Miniature

Composer: Henry Litolff
Title: Concerto Symphonique For Piano & Orchestra No. 4 In D Minor, Op. 102
Composer: Gustav Mahler
Title: Blumine ("Flora"), For Orchestra (Discarded Movement From Symphony No. 1)
Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Title: Pavane, For Orchestra & Chorus Ad Lib In F Sharp Minor, Op. 50
Composer: Claude Debussy
Title: La Plus Que Lente, Waltz For Piano (Or Orchestra), L. 121
Composer: Franz Schubert
Title: Rosamunde, Fürstin Von Cypern, Incidental Music, D. 797 (Op. 26)
Composer: Charles Ives
Title: A Concord Symphony
Composer: Sergey Rachmaninov
Title: Vocalise, Transcription For Orchestra, Op. 34/14
Composer: Antonin Dvorák
Title: Legends (10), For Orchestra (Arr. From, B. 117), B. 122 (Op. 59)
Composer: Jean Sibelius
Title: Valse Triste, For Orchestra (From Kuolema), Op. 44/1
Composer: Frederick Delius
Title: On Hearing The First Cuckoo In Spring, Tone Poem For Orchestra (Pieces For Small Orchestra, No. 1), Rt Vi/19/1
Composer: Edvard Grieg
Title: Våren (Last Spring), Elegiac Melody For Orchestra (Or Piano) No. 2, Op. 34/2
Composer: Léo Delibes
Title: Sylvia, Suite From The Ballet
x

Track List: Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; The Firebird Suite

Title: L'oiseau De Feu (The Firebird), Ballet Suite For Orchestra
Title: Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite Of Spring), Ballet In 2 Parts For Orchestra

Comments

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betsy.hada
This artist is NOT the San Francisco Symphony. It is John Adams. But this page came up when I searched for San Francisco Symphony. You should fix that.

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