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Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy; Music Director Laureate 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. 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, 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.
Mr. Tilson Thomas is a two-time Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist, curating and conducting series at the hall from 2003 to 2005 and from 2018 to 2019. In the most recent series, he led Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America both at the hall and on tour in Asia, opened the Carnegie Hall season over two evenings with the San Francisco Symphony, conducted two programs with the Vienna Philharmonic and finished with a pair of concerts leading the New World Symphony.
A winner of eleven Grammy Awards, Mr. Tilson Thomas appears on more than 120 recordings. His discography includes The Mahler Project, a collection of the composer’s complete symphonies and works for voice and orchestra performed with the San Francisco Symphony, in addition to pioneering recordings of music by Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. His recordings span repertoire from Bach and Beethoven to Debussy and Stravinsky, and from Sarah Vaughan to Metallica.
His television work includes a series with the London Symphony Orchestra for BBC Television, broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts from 1971 to 1977 and numerous productions on PBS’s Great Performances. With the San Francisco Symphony, he created a multi-tiered media project, Keeping Score, which includes a television series, web sites, and radio programs. He received a Peabody Award for his SFS Media radio series The MTT Files.
Mr. Tilson Thomas’s compositions are published by G. Schirmer. In 1991, he 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 his work From the Diary of Anne Frank, which was 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 Shówa/Shoáh, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. His vocal music includes settings of poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, which were premiered by Thomas Hampson and Renée Fleming, respectively. In 2016, Yuja Wang premiered his piano piece You Come Here Often?.
Mr. Tilson Thomas' song cycle Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind, a setting of Carl Sandburg’s poem, was premiered in 2016 by the New World Symphony, with Measha Brueggergosman as soloist. In 2019 the piece was recorded for Medici.tv at the New World Center and given its New York premiere as part of Mr. Tilson Thomas’s second Carnegie Hall Perspectives series. His first Perspectives series also featured performances of his own compositions, including Island Music for four marimbas and percussion; Notturno for solo flute and strings, featuring soloist Paula Robison; and new settings of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. In 2020, he led the San Francisco Symphony in the world premiere of his six-part song cycle Meditations on Rilke, and he subsequently conducted the work at the Cleveland Orchestra. Additional compositions include Street Song for brass instruments; Agnegram, an overture for orchestra; and Urban Legend, a concerto for contrabassoon that was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony. In June 2020, SFS Media released an album of works composed by Mr. Tilson Thomas, featuring live concert recordings of From the Diary of Anne Frank, narrated by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and Meditations on Rilke, sung by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny.
Mr. 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. He has been awarded the National Medal of Arts, has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
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.
Chad Goodman serves as the Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony and as an Assistant Conductor to the San Francisco Symphony. With a flair for inventive programming and a bold presence on stage and in the community, he has been praised for "bringing innovation to classical music" (Forbes).
Mr. Goodman designs and presents programs which reimagine how orchestras connect with their audiences. His 2019 education program, “SPARK: How Composers Find Inspiration,” blended captivating light design and videography with engaging audience participation to explore how a composition is created and brought to life by an orchestra. In his first season as Conducting Fellow at NWS, he conducted on nearly a dozen programs and worked closely with Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas, sharing the podium with him on three programs.
Since 2018, Mr. Goodman 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 ambitious 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 and commissioned 15 works from Bay Area composers.
Elevate collaborated with photographers, videographers, poets and culinary artists, bringing new music and vibrant multi-genre experiences to unique venues such as yoga studios, historic Victorian homes and art studio warehouses.
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 for the Atlantic Music Festival, a rehearsal and cover conductor for the San Francisco Ballet, and has collaborated with composer Mason Bates on his electronica-classical music project, Mercury Soul.
In addition to his performing career, Mr. Goodman has discussed the future of live performance as a panelist at Meyer Sound Laboratories and 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.