Carnegie Hall Opens with Michael Tilson Thomas Leading The San Francisco Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas

Carnegie Hall launches its 2018–2019 season on Wednesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. with a festive Opening Night Gala concert by the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, with a program to include Gershwin’s Cuban Overture and An American in Paris as well as Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1. Tilson Thomas and the orchestra will be joined on this celebratory occasion by renowned vocalists Renée Fleming and Audra McDonald offering vocal selections by Gershwin, Rodgers, Villa-Lobos, Stephen Sondheim, and others.

The Opening Night performance will be heard by listeners around the world, kicking off the eighth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series with a live radio broadcast on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and online at wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. Produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and co-hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon and Clemency Burton-Hill, select Carnegie Hall Live broadcasts featured throughout the season include special digital access to the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other.

The San Francisco Symphony returns to Carnegie Hall the following night, Thursday, October 4 at 8:00 p.m. with Tilson Thomas leading an all-Stravinsky program including Pétrouchka (1947 version), Le sacre du printemps, and his Violin Concerto in D Major featuring Leonidas Kavakos. The performances are part of Michael Tilson Thomas’s seven-concert Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall this season.

The gala concert benefits Carnegie Hall’s artistic and education programs and includes a dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street following the concert. For more information about Opening Night, please visit the Carnegie Hall website.

Audra McDonald; Renée Fleming

Audra McDonald; Renée Fleming

The San Francisco Symphony is widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the US. The orchestra was established by a group of San Francisco citizens, music-lovers, and musicians in the wake of the 1906 earthquake and played its first concert on December 8, 1911. Almost immediately, it revitalized the city’s cultural life. The San Francisco Symphony has grown in stature and acclaim under a succession of distinguished music directors: American composer Henry Hadley, Alfred Hertz (who led the American premieres of ParsifalSalome, and Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera), Basil Cameron, Issay Dobrowen, the legendary Pierre Monteux (who introduced the world to Le sacre du printemps and Petrushka), Enrique Jordá, Josef Krips, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt (now Conductor Laureate), and current Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. The San Francisco Symphony presents more than 220 concerts annually and reaches an audience of nearly 600,000 in its home of Davies Symphony Hall, through its multifaceted education and community programs, and on national and international tours.

Since Tilson Thomas assumed his post as the SFS’s eleventh Music Director in September 1995, he and the San Francisco Symphony have formed a musical partnership hailed as one of the most inspiring and successful in the country. His tenure with the Orchestra has been praised for outstanding musicianship, innovative programming, highlighting the works of American composers, and bringing new audiences to classical music. In addition, the Orchestra has been recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in music education and digital technology to make classical music available worldwide to as many people as possible.