SF September 21, 2023
A night like no other. The conductor of the San Francisco Symphony for over thirty years said goodbye in his last performance to the audience which greeted him with a standing reception of respect. MTT as we call him has been the symbol of class and steady fast quality of performance and classical programs at the symphony. There was never a misstep of notes or tempo yet one wonders how much love for music it took in his ill condition to support the most demanding Ludwig Van Beethoven Symphony 9 in D minor, Opus 125 written in 1824.
This Symphony was performed by Michael Tilson Thomas during his very first concert debut at the SF Symphony, and now he ended his career with the very same performance to bookend his presence at SF Symphony on a strong note he wished to deliver to his unwavering patrons.
The San Sanfrancisco Symphony Chorus has skin penetrating sound that revived all withing us.
The “Ode to Joy” performed by Angel Blue angelic soprano supported by Tamara Mumford mezzo-soprano, blissful mans voice of Ben Bliss and deep baritone touching the hearts of Dashon Burton ended the unforgettable evening with Michael Tison Thomas as conductor.
The standing ovations filled with gratitude were a testament to the years given to the music at the San Franciso Symphony by MTT. People cried as the era of MYY was coming to a close that evening and they had to say goodbye to him. Never again will he be seen by his supporters and admirers in this setting.
The patrons and audience that came to see MTT for his last performance had a wonderful appreciation for the music that withstood test time and as Tilson said he always looked for ways to make it fresh and it was. The conducting of tempos and emotion of the notes was always full of intent felt by all.
To the surprise of all the Mayor of San Francisco London Breed came to say farewell to MTT and inform him the following week Grove Street will be renamed to MTT WAY in his honour! The always light-hearted Michael asked if that meant no more parking tickets for him? but no answer was offered!
Truly endearing moment for MTT to have a mark left for years to come with the naming of the street leading to the entrance he used every day coming to the SF Symphony during his tenure as conductor.
He is already missed and we all wish him a golden time in retirement and recovery from his illness.
San Francisco has you in the heart of it.