February 25, 1995 |
Not counting the Ojai Festival of 1994, it's been more than six years since Michael Tilson Thomas last conducted here, the city of his birth and scene of his early conducting triumphs. The occasion for his return, Thursday night at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, was a gala 40th-anniversary concert by the Debut Orchestra of the Young Musicians Foundation, an ensemble Tilson Thomas led during the late 1960s.
March 7, 2000 |
It's been some 15 years since Los Angeles has been able to take Michael Tilson Thomas for granted. And in that time, since his days in the 1980s as principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, there has been the miracle of MTT.
March 14, 1989 |
On the podium, a lively imagination and an analytic intelligence have long served Michael Tilson Thomas well. But they brought him glory Sunday night, when he returned to Southern California in his latest orchestral post, that of principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
January 23, 2005 |
Inside a huge orange and purple polka-dot tent, Tom Goldman, president of the San Francisco Symphony, climbed to a stage and urged a crowd of 400 elegantly dressed people to quiet down at their tables. "Ladies and gentlemen," he announced. "MTT." A curtain rose and Michael Tilson Thomas strode onto the stage, flanked by a chorus line of Brazilian dancers wearing more feathers than anything else. Tilson Thomas bowed, then pretended to conduct the dinner guests as they sang, "Happy birthday, MTT."
December 13, 2005 |
In his list of works, Stravinsky's short fairy-tale opera, "The Nightingale" ("Le Rossignol"), follows almost directly on the heels of his great string of early Russian ballets. With "The Firebird," "Petrushka" and "The Rite of Spring" already to his credit, "The Nightingale" had the potential to be Stravinsky's "Nutcracker," one of his most popular works. Instead, this operatic evocation of a songbird in ancient China is the composer's ugly duckling, seldom performed and little recorded.
June 14, 1999 |
The point of the century, it becomes clear as we end it, is no point. No single voice stands for any endeavor, any field of thought, any art. There are simply too many of us. Still Igor Stravinsky does cast, it has also become clear by now, the longest shadow on 20th century classical music. So Michael Tilson Thomas has made the obvious choice, this century-ending year, for the annual June festival he has hosted in his four seasons as music director of the San Francisco Symphony.
June 18, 1996 |
The Deadheads returned to Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday. And they returned, this time, on the promise of actually hearing the surviving members of the Grateful Dead. On Friday and Saturday nights, the Deadheads in attendance had been the talk of the opening of the San Francisco Symphony's American Festival, since the band itself, which appeared in John Cage's "Renga," was a practically inaudible part of a vast sonic mix.
May 2, 2003 |
John Adams is inescapable these days. "On the Transmigration of Souls," which opened the New York Philharmonic season in September, has just won the Pulitzer Prize and is the first artistic work commemorating Sept. 11 that is likely to last. The Los Angeles Philharmonic recently staged the oratorio "El Nino" and took it to New York as the highlight of Lincoln Center's current Adams festival.
June 7, 1994 |
The delirious festival in the rustic sun ended in a blaze of Stravinsky. Before the grand finale on Sunday, however, Michael Tilson Thomas, the maestro in residence, repaid a few artistic debts. In the process, he reminded the adoring throng that little musical things can mean a lot. Not incidentally, he also offered a sampling of his own skill as a composer--modest, as it turned out. The diary continues. * Sunday at 11 a.m.