Michael Tilson Thomas : About

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Michael Tilson Thomas celebrates his 17th season as music director of the San Francisco Symphony during the orchestra’s 2011-12 Centennial Season. He and the orchestra have been praised by critics for innovative programming and for bringing the works of American composers to the fore.

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.

From March 8-30, 2012, on Q2 Music, Tilson Thomas offers insights and anecdotes about the featured line-up of composers for the San Francisco Symphony’s current run of American Maverick concerts in San Francisco, Chicago, Ann Arbor and New York City. Featured composers include John Adams, Mason Bates, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, David Del Tredici, Morton Feldman, Lukas Foss, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives, Meredith Monk, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Carl Ruggles, Morton Subotnick and Edgard Varèse.

Tilson Thomas’s many honors include the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. government, presented by President Barack Obama in February 2010.

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