Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT)
I am a great admirer of Michael Tilson Thomas, because I see him as the “complete musician”. He is a pianist, a composer, and an excellent conductor.
Mr. Thomas has huge repertoire as a conductor. He’s an expert on the music of Gustav Mahler. And he knows a whole lot about the music of Mahler’s contemporaries, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, and the other composers from the “Vienna school”.
When it comes to American music, Mr. Thomas is an authority, as well. He knew Aaron Copland, and there’s no greater conductor of Copland’s music today than MTT. They met for the first time, when MTT was 18 years old, and a student in Los Angeles.
As a classical conductor, he has led the San Francisco Symphony now for the past 16 years. And many world-class soloists have appeared with the symphony under his direction.
I also see Mr. Thomas as an educator and as a teacher; not since Leonard Bernstein have we seen a musician with MTT’s abilities to explain music to his audiences.
If you have Spotify, check out the playlist I’ve created for your enjoyment, where you can listen to the following selections by Mr. Thomas:
• Tchaikovsky: Violin concerto, with Joshua Bell, violin
• Mozart: concerto for Flute and Harp
• Aaron Copland:
1. On First meeting Copland at age 18
3. Clarinet Concerto, with Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
• Samuel Barber: adagio for Strings
Tags: Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony, Copland