05. December 2018 · Comments Off on From NY Times · Categories: Announcements, Conductors, News, San Francisco Symphony

An article that makes me feel like my complete surprise was not unwarranted. It also makes me even more excited about the appointment.

Go here to read it.

05. December 2018 · Comments Off on I Didn’t See This Coming · Categories: Announcements, Conductors, Press Releases, San Francisco Symphony


(photo from the SFS site main page)

SAN FRANCISCO, December 5, 2018 — San Francisco Symphony President Sakurako Fisher and Chief Executive Officer Mark C. Hanson today announced that Esa-Pekka Salonen will become the Orchestra’s next Music Director, beginning in September 2020. As the San Francisco Symphony’s 12th Music Director in its 107-year history, Salonen will succeed Michael Tilson Thomas, who concludes his 25-year tenure as Music Director in July 2020. One of the most influential and creative forces in music, Salonen has, through his many high-profile conducting roles, work as a leading composer, and as an advocate for accessibility and diverse musical voices, shaped a unique vision for the present and future of the symphony orchestra.

As my husband said, “Quite a catch.”

03. December 2018 · Comments Off on Who Will It Be? · Categories: Conductors, Ramble, San Francisco Symphony

I’ve read that on Wednesday, late afternoon, the San Francisco Symphony will announce who will fill MTT’s shoes. I haven’t a clue who is on the shortlist. I do know some names of conductors who have recently been there and I suppose it might well be one of them.

Here are some of the guest conductors I saw or found on the SFS site from recent concerts: Semyon Bychkov, Stéphane Denève, Daniel Harding, Pablo Heras-Casado, Jakub Hrusa, Manfred Honeck, Christian M?celaru, Susanna Mälkki, David Robertson, François-Xavier Roth, Krzysztof Urbanski, Osmo Vänskä, Simone Young, and Jaap van Zweden.

Obviously some of those couldn’t be in the running due to their current positions, some, I would think, have never been in the running, and I am certain some other names could be added. But maybe someone on the above list …? I was impressed with Heras-Casado, Mälkki, and Urbanski when we attended concerts.

But what do I know?

Nothing until tomorrow around 5:45 PM!

09. June 2018 · Comments Off on Simon Rattle Interview on his time with the Berlin Philharmonic · Categories: Conductors, Interviews

This is a bit of an abbreviated interview, according to the article, and is a translation. It’s quite interesting to read: the implication is that the orchestra could be a bit of a challenge sometimes!

It’s like an absolutely gigantic string quartet, with all the arguments and verbal violence and frustrations of a string quartet. And to really learn something – they take about as long as a string quartet. But then when it’s learned, then it is really there.

Women on the podium are not my cup of tea. It’s a question of what one is used to. I grew up in a different world,” the conducting maestro says.

Unfortunately I can see this quote but to read the entire article I have to pay a fee and I’m not interested in subscribing to The Telegraph. Perhaps it would come across differently if I could see the whole quote? Or not.

UPDATE: I found more of the quote here:

Hmm, well. Well I don’t want to give offence,” said Jansons, “and I am not against it, that would be very wrong. I understand the world has changed, and there is now no profession that can be confined to this or that gender. It’s a question of what one is used to. I grew up in a different world, and for me seeing a woman on the podium… well, let’s just say it’s not my cup of tea.

I do take “offence” and I suggest that he adjust his thinking.

SECOND UPDATE:
A sort of apology:

“In a recent interview with the British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’, a quote from me was published which has provoked considerable attention in the media. I would like to respond to this with the following statement:

I come from a generation in which the conducting profession was almost exclusively reserved to men. Even today, many more men than women pursue conducting professionally. But it was undiplomatic, unnecessary and counterproductive for me to point out that I’m not yet accustomed to seeing women on the conducting platform. Every one of my female colleagues and every young woman wishing to become a conductor can be assured of my support, for we all work in pursuit of a common goal: to excite people for the art form we love so dearly – music.”

31. October 2017 · Comments Off on MTT To Step Down · Categories: Announcements, Conductors, News

Michael Tilson Thomas will step down as music director of the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 2019-20 season, marking the end of the longest and arguably most significant chapter in the orchestra’s 106-year history.

Since taking up the position of music director in 1995, Thomas has overseen a remarkable transformation that has vaulted the San Francisco Symphony to a central position among the top orchestras of the United States and given it a distinctive profile on the international stage.

The move, announced to the orchestra on Tuesday, Oct. 31, is scheduled to coincide with both the end of Thomas’ 25th season at the organization’s helm and his 75th birthday in December 2019. He will remain with the Symphony in the newly created post of music director laureate, conducting at least four weeks each year and undertaking a variety of special programming projects.

“I guess part of my decision was just a matter of thinking in round numbers,” Thomas said in a phone interview. “I’ve been very pleased to see the development of the music making in the orchestra, and particularly the amazing quality of the new members coming in. So I’m taking this step with a lot of confidence in my colleagues, and a sense of satisfaction at the direction of this journey we’ve taken together.

“But in the big picture of my personal life, I’m looking forward to having less responsibility, and more time to devote to other projects — even ones not necessarily having to do with music.”

RTWT

03. October 2017 · Comments Off on Seattle Symphony Named Their New Music Director · Categories: Announcements, Conductors

… and it is Thomas Dausgaard. He begins in the 2019-2020 season.

27. December 2016 · Comments Off on Zubin Mehta Retiring … in 2019 · Categories: Conductors, Retiring

Conductor Zubin Mehta to retire after 50 years with IPO

80-year old orchestral music director to hang up his baton at the Israel Philharmonic in 2019
BY DAVID SEDLEY December 26, 2016, 9:12 pm

Zubin Mehta, who has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for the past 47 years,
announced Monday that he plans to retire in October 2019.

The Indian-born musical director, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, made the
announcement at a special gathering of the orchestra’s musicians. At the same time, he sketched out
his time with the IPO, from his first day on the job in 1969 until the present.

Mehta joined the Philharmonic as its music adviser, later becoming its music director in 1977. In 1981
the orchestra appointed him Music Director for Life.

Mehta was born in Bombay in 1936, which is also the year that the IPO was founded as the Palestine
Orchestra. His father, Mehli Mehta, was the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra.

Fifty years! That’s a pretty good run, I think.

RTWT

18. May 2016 · Comments Off on Luisotti Leaving · Categories: Announcements, Conductors, Opera, San Francisco Opera · Tags: , ,

San Francisco Opera Music Director Nicola Luisotti today announced that he will step down from his position at the end of his current contract, which expires on July 31, 2018. Mr. Luisotti, age 55, will continue to serve as San Francisco Opera music director through the 2017–18 Season. Today’s announcement was made in the War Memorial Opera House theater before the full company of staff, musicians, chorus, dancers and crew.

RTWT

08. March 2016 · Comments Off on … AND no reeds to make! · Categories: Conductors, Read Online

A world-renowned oboist, Gordon Hunt has developed an active conducting career, having led orchestras in Sweden, Denmark and South Africa, among others. On Saturday, he will conduct Redlands Symphony Orchestra at Memorial Chapel on the University of Redlands campus as the third of three candidates to audition to replace conductor Jon Robertson.
“Conducting is a very complete way of making music,” Hunt said in a recent interview. “In many ways, it is the deepest way to make music. It gives the complete palette of colors at one’s disposal. With only one instrument, the player is very limited.”
Hunt serves as principal oboist of the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra of London and London Chamber Orchestra and appears regularly as soloist with international ensembles.
“After years of making music on the oboe, conducting is a liberation,” Hunt said. “It means not having to make music myself, but rather in a different mode. The orchestra is not an extension of myself, it’s completely different. As a conductor, I’m not making a sound, I’m not feeling that physical sensation one feels when playing an instrument. So, without the physical contact with the sound, I must find other ways to experience the sound the musicians are making.”

RTWT