Celebrity Series of Boston Presents:

San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin soloist

Sunday, March 24, 2019 5pm — Symphony Hall 

San Francisco Symphony high-res photo | Christian Tetzlaff high-res photo
San Francisco Symphony video preview 

(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present the San Francisco Symphony with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and violin soloist Christian Tetzlaff on Sunday, March 24, 2019, at 5pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. 

The acclaimed San Francisco Symphony return for their eighth Celebrity Series appearance, their final under the baton of visionary music director Michael Tilson Thomas, who has announced his retirement in 2020. The program features “an artist who considers the ordinary unacceptable” (New York Times), the brilliant German violinist Christian Tetzlaff – who has more recently dazzled audiences in recital and chamber performances – in his first Series performance in more than 25 years as an orchestral soloist.

Tickets start at $57 and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at Symphony Hall’s Hall Box Office, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA.

This performance marks the San Francisco Symphony’s eighth concert with the Celebrity Series; they made their debut in 1947 and were seen most recently in 2014 under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas with violin soloist Gil Shaham. This will be Michael Tilson Thomas’ fifth performance with the Celebrity Series; he made his debut in 1979 with the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra. This performance will be the sixth Celebrity Series performance for Christian Tetzlaff; he made his debut in 1991 with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Yo-Yo Ma under the baton of Michael Gielen. 

MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, “Eroica”

Runtime: approximately 100 minutes with intermission

This performance is generously sponsored by Foley & Lardner, LLP, with additional support provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. This concert is made possible in part by support from the LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Endowment & Innovation Funds with generous leadership support from Eleanor & Frank Pao and Susan & Michael Thonis.

About the San Francisco Symphony 

In the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco’s civic leaders set about creating a permanent orchestra in the music-loving city. In December 1911, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) gave its first concerts, rekindling the city’s cultural life. It delighted audiences with a kaleidoscopic mix of classics and new music.

The orchestra grew in stature and acclaim under a succession of distinguished music directors. Henry Hadley was followed by Alfred Hertz, who had led the American premieres of Parsifal, Salome, and Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera. Then came Basil Cameron, Issay Dobrowen, the legendary Pierre Monteux, who had introduced the world to Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps and Petrushka,  Enrique Jordá, Josef Krips, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, and Herbert Blomstedt, who continues to serve as Conductor Laureate. Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) became Music Director in 1995. Under his leadership, the orchestra has reached new artistic heights and new audiences. Read more about the Symphony.

Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) is currently the longest-tenured music director at any major American orchestra, celebrating his 24th season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS). MTT assumed his post as the SFS’s 11th Music Director in September 1995, consolidating a strong relationship with the Orchestra that began two decades earlier with his SFS debut at age 29, leading the Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. MTT and the Orchestra have been praised for innovative programming, enhancing the orchestral concert experience with multimedia and creative staging, showcasing the works of American composers, and attracting new audiences to orchestral music, both at home at Davies Symphony Hall and through the Orchestra’s extensive media projects.

Tilson Thomas’s many honors include the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US government, presented by President Barack Obama in 2010. He has also been recognized with Columbia University’s Ditson Award for services to American Music and the President’s Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was named 1995 Conductor of the Year by Musical America. Tilson Thomas was a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist from 2003-2005. In 2006 he was recognized with Gramophone’s Artist of the Year award, and in 2015 he was named to the magazine’s Hall of Fame. In 2006 he was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres of France. Visit his website.

Christian Tetzlaff has been one of the most sought-after violinists and most exciting musicians on the classical music scene for many years. “The greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard,” wrote Tim Ashley (The Guardian, May 2015) of his interpretation of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Daniel Harding.

Concerts with Christian Tetzlaff often turn into an existential experience for both the interpreter and the audience; suddenly old familiar works appear in a completely new light. In addition, he frequently turns his attention to forgotten masterpieces such as Joseph Joachim’s Violin Concerto which he successfully championed, and he also attempts to bring important new works into the repertoire such as Jörg Widmann’s Violin Concerto, which he premiered in 2013. He has an unusually extensive repertoire and performs approximately 100 concerts every year.

Christian Tetzlaff is regularly invited to be the Artist in Residence with orchestras and at events in order to be able to present his musical interpretations over a longer period of time, which has been the case with the Berliner Philharmoniker, at Wigmore Hall in London and at Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall New York with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In the 2018/2019 season he will be the Artist in Residence of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dresdner Philharmonie at the same time.

Christian Tetzlaff plays a violin made by the German violin maker Peter Greiner and teaches regularly at the Kronberg Academy. Visit his website.

About Celebrity Series of Boston  

Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 80-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

From orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series has been bringing great artists to Boston’s major concert halls for eight decades. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experience, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods–everywhere.


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