October 2, 2020

MTT’s American Masters documentary premieres Oct. 23

On Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:00 ET, PBS’s award-winning American Masters series presents the nationwide premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is, a documentary that chronicles MTT’s life and career, from his childhood in California to his ascension to the world stage and leadership roles with the New World and San Francisco symphonies. For viewing options, check your local listings, American Masters or the PBS Video app

The documentary sheds light on formative experiences in MTT’s musical life—the central influence of his father, his first time hearing the music of James Brown, his early clashes with classical music orthodoxy—all of which shaped his personality, artistry and goals along his path to becoming one of America’s most important musical figures.

The film, which first debuted at the Miami Film Festival in March, highlights NWS throughout the documentary through concert and rehearsal footage, archival materials and footage of MTT's day-to-day life while in Miami. The film also features interviews with MTT and NWS alumni, and commentary from world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, with whom MTT collaborated in designing the New World Center.

Also included are original interviews with classical music luminaries, including composer Steve Reich; Los Angeles Philharmonic CEO Chad Smith; pianist Ralph Grierson; Boston Symphony Orchestra CEO Mark Volpe; San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman; the BBC’s former head of music and arts Humphrey Burton; Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, and Joshua Robison, MTT’s husband and partner.

In addition to Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is, PBS will premiere Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony: S&M2, featuring MTT with the iconic heavy metal band, on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 9:00 PM ET. Check your local listings for more details.

Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is
PBS American Masters
Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:00 PM Eastern
For viewing options, check your local listings, American Masters or the PBS Video app

Michael Tilson Thomas: Where Now Is
is a production of SIMON + FILM in association with THIRTEEN’s American Masters for WNET. Susan Froemke and Kirk Simon directed the program. Mina Farbood and Sarah Arison are executive producers. Produced by Catherine Mulry. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters. Original production funding provided by the Leslie and Roslyn Goldstein Foundation.

Support for American Masters is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family Foundation, Seton J. Melvin, Judith and Burton Resnick, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.

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Posted in: Alumni, Fellows, MTT, New World Center

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