Saturday, December 08, 2007

Special message for Anonomann

Michael Tilson Thomas is, was, a childhood friend of a different Meredith friend of mine.
I lie awake nights dreaming how to exploit the 2 degree separation.

He is doing such a good job in San Francisco that maybe he could work wonders here.
Of course SSO's troubles are largely my own wishful thinking.



Blogger butch said...

And so rise up Anonomann, from somewhere in those German fields, and respond to the Savant clarion call. SSO is dying of root rot, and several kinds of classical cancer.

Michael Tilson Thomas (b. December 21, 1944), aka MTT, is an American conductor, pianist, composer, and director of the San Francisco Symphony.

Thomas was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Broadway stage manager Ted Thomas, and the grandson of noted Yiddish theater stars Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky. His mother, Roberta Thomas, was a middle school history teacher.

Thomas studied at the University of Southern California under Ingolf Dahl among others. As a student of Friedlinde Wagner, Thomas was a Musical Assistant and Assistant Conductor at the Bayreuth Festival.

Professional career
In 1969 Thomas made his conducting debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, replacing an unwell William Steinberg in mid-concert. He stayed with the Boston ensemble as an assistant conductor until 1974. He was music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1971 to 1979.[1] During much of the time from 1971 to 1977, he also conducted the series of Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. From 1981 to 1985 he was principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Thomas founded the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida in 1987, a premier orchestral academy for gifted young musicians whose stated mission is “ prepare highly-gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world.”[2] Thomas remains involved, currently serving as the academy's artistic director. From 1988 to 1995 he was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, becoming principal guest conductor thereafter. In 1995 he became music director of the San Francisco Symphony.

Thomas has conducted a wide variety of music, and is a particular champion of modern American works, recording the complete symphonies of Charles Ives and the premiere recording of Steve Reich's The Desert Music (1984). Reich's composition The Four Sections (1987), was actually commissioned for the San Francisco Symphony and dedicated to Thomas.[3][4] The piece premiered with Thomas in San Francisco and was later recorded for Nonesuch with the London Symphony Orchestra. He is also renowned for his interpretation of the works of Gustav Mahler, and since the death of Leonard Bernstein he is considered the world's premier interpreter of the works of Aaron Copland.

A sampling of Thomas's own compositions include From the Diary of Anne Frank (1990),[5] Shówa/Shoáh (1995),[6] memorializing the fiftieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima; Poems of Emily Dickinson (2002);[7] and Urban Legend (2002).[8]

Thomas' 1976 recording of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Columbia Jazz Band featured not only the original 1924 jazz band arrangement (as opposed to the more popular symphony orchestra arrangement, written in 1942), but also featured piano "played" by the late composer, via a piano roll made by Gershwin himself in 1925.

Thomas hosts the Keeping Score television series, three one-hour documentary-style episodes and two live-concert programs which began airing nationally on PBS stations in early November 2006. They have been compared to Leonard Bernstein’s Young People's Concerts which aired in the 1960s.[9]

In April 2005 he conducted the Carnegie Hall premiere of Remembrances of Thomashefsky's Yiddish Theater.[10]

Responding to an interviewer regarding Thomas's choice of favourite composers:

“ You can't have Bach, Mozart and
Beethoven as your favorite composers:
They simply define what music is! ”
— Michael Tilson Thomas

SSO does need to get their shit together, and then of course there is the extra chore of being able to life it.


2:54 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Of course what I meant to say was that after SSO gets their train load of manure together that they still have the "lift" it; and I guess then if they do that, they will be actually able to "life" it.

Have you heard the MTT composition from 2002, inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson? That is rather artful and in your case ironic, enit?


5:55 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Nice picture!

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane!!
Thanks for the "Special message for Anonomann"!!!
Herzlichen Dank,
P.S. Why not send a couple of compositions to M.T. Thomas with a note about your Meredith connection? " Nothing ventured, nothing gained" I always say. The most you'd be "out" would be the postage (much cheaper than domestic mail in Germany!!).

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Glenn!
Thanks for more interesting info!!
It's unlikely, however, that anyone not threatened with being fired in San Francisco would leave there to become Music Director of the SSO. My candidate is the GMD in Bremen, Germany, Lawrence Renes, a Dutchman, who was (unusually) invited to conduct two concert series in Seattle (either in 07-08 or 06-07 I was in Germany then), but I heard him earlier in Seattle (and in Bremen), and a couple of SSO musician acquaintances told me the Seattle musicians are very positive about him.
I really wonder how Friedelind was able to help M.T. Thomas in Bayreuth! Friedelind was/is a bad name in Bayreuth (especially with Wolfgang Wagner), as she abandoned her Nazi-loving family back in the late 30s to (under Toscanini's patronage) to move to the USA and stayed in the US until we liberated her homeland from Hitler.
She was an outcast in Bayreuth and with her family for the rest of her life. I'd be VERY interested in what information you have that Friedelind was able to help M.T. Thomas in Bayreuth.
Thanks in advance,

1:52 AM  

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