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Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony; and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to these posts, he maintains an active presence guest conducting with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Tilson Thomas is the third generation of his family to follow 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 in the Mercury Theater Company in New York before moving to Los Angeles where he worked in films and television. 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 19 he was named Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra. He worked with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles’ Monday Evening Concerts. During this same period he was the pianist and conductor for Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz.
In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. That year he also made his New York debut with the Boston Symphony and gained international recognition after replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert. He was later appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra where he remained 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. His guest conducting includes appearances with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.
His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as his pioneering work with the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. He also recorded the complete orchestral works of Gustav Mahler with the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Tilson Thomas’ television work includes a series with the London Symphony Orchestra for BBC Television, the television broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts from 1971 to 1977 and numerous productions on PBS’ Great Performances. Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony produced a multi-tiered media project, Keeping Score, which includes a television series, web sites, radio programs and programs in schools.
In 1990 Mr. Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the United States, featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of From the Diary of Anne Frank, composed by Mr. Tilson Thomas and commissioned by UNICEF. This piece has since been translated and performed in many languages worldwide. In August 1995 he led the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in the premiere of his composition Showa/Shoah, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Thomas Hampson premiered his settings of poetry by Walt Whitman, Renée Fleming premiered his settings of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and the San Francisco Symphony premiered his concerto for contrabassoon entitled Urban Legend. As a Carnegie Hall Perspectives Artist from 2003 to 2005, he had an evening devoted to his own compositions which included Island Music for four marimbas and percussion, Notturno for solo flute and strings and a new setting of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. Other compositions include Street Song for brass instruments and Agnegram, an overture for orchestra.
Among his many honors and awards, Mr. Tilson Thomas is a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, was Musical America’s Musician of the Year and Conductor of the Year, Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year and has been profiled on CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Nightline. He has won 11 Grammy Awards for his recordings. In 2008 he received the Peabody Award for his radio series for SFS Media, The MTT Files. In 2010 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government.
Gautier Capuçon is a true 21st century ambassador for the cello. Performing each season with many of the world's foremost conductors and instrumentalists, he is also founder and leader of the 'Classe d'Excellence de Violoncelle'at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris based in the new Auditorium designed by Frank Gehry. Acclaimed internationally for his expressive musicianship, exuberant virtuosity, and for the deep sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello, Capuçon is this season's Artist in Residence with Orquesta de Valencia.
The 2018/19 season sees Capuçon premiere a new concerto for cello and piano (Dubugnon Eros Athanatos) with the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet a piece written for the duo with symphony orchestras of West Australia, Antwerp, WDR and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Elsewhere, he performs as soloist with, amongst others: the philharmonic orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, Munich and the Czech Republic; the symphony orchestras of Chicago, NHK and Sydney; Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Orchestre de Paris. As a chamber musician, he performs with Lisa Batiashvili and Jean-Yves Thibaudet on an extensive piano trio European tour, as well as appearing with recital partners Frank Braley, Gabriela Montero, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Yuja Wang in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Hall, Aix en Provence and the Musikverein.
Throughout his career, Capuçon has developed a number of long-standing relationships. Each season he is invited by many of the world's leading orchestras, including the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, Vienna, Los Angeles and New York, and the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco and London. He regularly works with conductors such as Lionel Bringuier, Semyon Bychkov, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Valery Gergiev, Andris Nelsons, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; and collaborates with contemporary composers including Lera Auerbach, Karol Beffa, Esteban Benzecry, Nicola Campogrande, Qigang Chen, Jérôme Ducros, Henry Dutilleux, Thierry Escaich, Philippe Manoury, Bruno Mantovani, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wolfgang Rihm, and Jörg Widmann. As a chamber musician, he performs annually in the major halls and festivals with partners such as Nicholas Angelich, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Lisa Batiashvili, Frank Braley, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Menahem Pressler, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Artemis and Ébène quartets.
Recording exclusively for Erato (Warner Classics), Capuçon has won multiple awards and holds an extensive discography. His latest album Intuition was released in 2018 and recorded with the Paris Chamber Orchestra/Douglas Boyd and Jérôme Ducros. Earlier recordings include concertos by Shostakovich (Mariinsky Orchestra/Valery Gergiev) and Saint-Saëns (Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France/Lionel Bringuier), the complete Beethoven Sonatas with Frank Braley, and Schubert's String Quintet with the Ébène Quartet. Capuçon's next album a disk of Schumann works with Bernard Haitink, Martha Argerich and Renaud Capuçon will be released in January 2019. Elsewhere, he appears on screen and online in programmes such as The Artist Academy, Prodiges, and Now Hear This, and in 2013 Deutsche Grammophon released a DVD featuring Capuçon as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Gustavo Dudamel in a live performance of Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1.
Born in Chambéry, Capuçon began playing the cello at the age of five with Augustin Lefèbvre. He studied in Paris with Philippe Muller and Annie Cochet-Zakine, and later with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna. He received several international prizes, including the First Great Prize of the André Navarra International Competition in Toulouse (France).
Gautier Capuçon is represented worldwide by HarrisonParrott Ltd.
Recognized as "an entrepreneur bringing innovation to classical music" (Forbes), Chad Goodman leads an active and diverse conducting career.
The Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony, Mr. Goodman will work closely with Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and take the podium on 13 programs during the 2019-20 Season. Since 2018 he has served as an Assistant Conductor to the San Francisco Symphony, assisting Esa-Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck, Daniel Harding, Pablo Heras-Casado, Simone Young and James Gaffigan, among others.
As Founder and Artistic Director of Elevate Ensemble, Mr. Goodman’s “courageous” and “ambitious” (San Francisco Classical Voice) vision for concert programming resulted in the pairing of music from Bay Area composers with underappreciated gems of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under his leadership, Elevate Ensemble established a Composer-in-Residence program, served as Ensemble-in-Residence at San Francisco State University, and commissioned 15 works from Bay Area composers.
Mr. Goodman has previously served as Music Director of the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Symphony. He has been a Conducting Fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival, a cover conductor for the San Francisco Ballet and has collaborated with composer Mason Bates on his electronica-classical music project, Mercury Soul.
A driving force in the new music scene, Mr. Goodman has conducted the premieres of more than 50 works. In addition to his performing career, he has taught young musicians the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to successfully navigate the world as a working musician in his workshop “You Just Earned a Music Degree. Now What?”
Mr. Goodman holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a master of music degree from San Francisco State University. His mentors include Michael Tilson Thomas, Alasdair Neale, Cyrus Ginwala and Martin Seggelke.