Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) presents

Michael Tilson Thomas: monumental

In connection with his OSM residency, illustrious American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas offers a staggeringly moving program. Grieg’s Two Elegiac Melodies, a work of passion and poetry, carries us to that flagship of the concerto repertoire, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no. 3. This alternately scathing, lyrical, meditative, and explosive masterpiece is a welcome challenge for 21-year-old Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev. To close this monumental program, a summit of majesty and grandeur: Schubert’s Symphony no. 9.

Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. Born in Los Angeles, he is the third generation of his family to pursue an artistic career. His grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were founding members of the Yiddish Theater in America; his father, Ted Thomas, was a producer at the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in film and television; and his mother, Roberta Thomas, was the head of research for Columbia Pictures.

Mr. Tilson Thomas began his formal studies at the University of Southern California, where he studied piano with John Crown and conducting and composition with Ingolf Dahl. At age nineteen he was named Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. During this same period, he was the pianist and conductor in master classes of Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz and worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles’ Monday Evening Concerts.

In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, Mr. Tilson Thomas was appointed Assistant Conductor and pianist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That year he also made his New York debut with the BSO and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1974. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971 to 1979 and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985. In 1987, he co-founded and became Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, a position he still holds. That same year, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and served in that role until 1995, when he became Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. He is Conductor Laureate of the LSO and became Music Director Laureate of the SFS in June 2020, when he concluded his 25-year directorship of the orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with orchestras worldwide, including the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.

Mr. Tilson Thomas’s tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony was a period of significant growth and heightened international recognition for the orchestra. In addition to his continued exploration of the standard repertoire with the SFS, he led the orchestra in championing and cultivating relationships with today’s leading composers, generating awareness and appreciation of American Maverick composers of the 20th century and enriching the concert experience through semi-staged performances. He also led the orchestra in numerous summer festivals and tours of Europe, the United States and Asia. As SFS Music Director Laureate, he continues to lead the orchestra in four weeks of concerts each season, as well as in special projects.

As Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Tilson Thomas led the orchestra on regular tours in Europe, the United States and Japan, as well as to the Salzburg Festival. In London, he and the orchestra have mounted major festivals focusing on the music of Steve Reich, George Gershwin, Johannes Brahms, Toru Takemitsu, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the School of St. Petersburg, Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler. As Conductor Laureate of the LSO, he continues to lead the orchestra in concerts in London and on tour. His 70th birthday was celebrated by the orchestra with a concert he conducted at Buckingham Palace before the Queen of England.

Michael Tilson Thomas is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was Musical America’s Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, was Gramophone magazine’s Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Nightline and PBS’s American Masters. He has been awarded the National Medal of Arts, was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. During the 2021–22 season, Mr. Tilson Thomas honors the Kennedy Center by curating and hosting its 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, which opens the Center’s 50th Anniversary season.

Grieg, 2 Elegiac Melodies, op. 34 : II, “Våren” [Last Spring] (5 min.)
Prokofiev, Piano Concerto no. 3 in C major, op. 26 (27 min.)

Schubert, Symphony no. 9 in C major, D. 944, “The Great” (48 min.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 2:30pm

To purchase your tickets visit: www.placedesarts.com