SF Symphony Opening Night 2019

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY KICKS OFF OPENING WEEK FESTIVITIES WITH OPENING NIGHT GALA ON SEPTEMBER 4, CELEBRATING MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS’ 25TH AND FINAL SEASON AS MUSIC DIRECTOR Proceeds from the Opening Night Gala benefit the San Francisco Symphony’s myriad artistic, education, and community programs Concert is preceded by a complimentary sparkling wine reception in Davies Symphony Hall and concludes with an indoor-outdoor After-Party, open to all ticketholders OPENING WEEK CONTINUES WITH ALL SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT ON SEPTEMBER 5 AND TWO PERFORMANCES WITH METALLICA OPENING SAN FRANCISCO’S NEW CHASE CENTER, SEPTEMBER 6 and 8 SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) kick off their 25th season together with the Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, September 4.

The Opening Night Gala honours Michael Tilson Thomas, celebrating the launch of his final season as Music Director of the SFS, and his husband Joshua Robison. The concert program includes Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila, Britten’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell, and the majestic Finale from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9: Ode, “To Joy” with soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, bass-baritone Ryan McKinny, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus under the direction of Ragnar Bohlin. Ryan McKinny joins the SF Symphony and Chorus in performances of Copland’s “The Dodger” and “Golden Willow Tree” from Old American Songs, and the SFS Chorus is featured in Gordon Getty’s Shenandoah.

Guests can also expect multimedia elements, including lighting design by Luke Kritzeck, and many surprises throughout the evening. The Gala concert will be broadcast live on Classical KDFC 90.3/89.9/104.9 FM and streamed online at kdfc.com. Click here to watch a video about the San Francisco Symphony’s 2019 Opening Gala. Widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas have earned a global reputation for signature interpretations, boundary-pushing concert experiences, and award-winning recordings and media projects.

The SFS presents more than 215 concerts and reaches an audience of nearly 500,000 annually in its home of Davies Symphony Hall, through its multifaceted education and community programs, and through national and international tours. Proceeds from the Opening Night Gala benefit the San Francisco Symphony’s myriad artistic, education, and community programs. Opening Night celebrations begin prior to the concert with a complimentary sparkling wine reception at 7 pm in the Davies Symphony Hall lobby, free to all ticketholders. The evening’s celebrations continue following the concert with an indoor-outdoor After-Party in the Tented Pavilion and on Grove Street, featuring two stages of live music entertainment by Conjunto Karabali, and others to be announced.

A complimentary array of the city’s best culinary delicacies and drinks will be served by popular San Francisco establishments, including Alexander’s Steakhouse, CALA, Corridor Restaurant, Monsieur Benjamin, Judy’s Breadsticks, Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, Tratto SF, Anton SV Pâtisserie, It’s It Ice Cream Company, Dobb’s Ferry, Presidio Social Club, Le Soleil, and more. Wine for the After-Party is generously provided by Casillero del Diablo. Each year, preceding the Opening Night Gala concert, the SF Symphony hosts four separate formal dinners, all beginning at 6 pm, with cocktail receptions beginning at 5 pm. The Patrons’ Dinner takes place in the Tented Pavilion next to Davies Symphony Hall and is preceded by a 5 pm cocktail reception in the Davies Hall lobby. The Wattis Room Dinner offers an elegant and intimate experience that shares the 5 pm cocktail reception with the Patrons’ Dinner. The Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner take place at City Hall and begin with a joint cocktail reception in the South Light Court at 5 pm.

The Symphony Supper takes place in City Hall’s magnificent Rotunda at 6 pm. The Symphonix Dinner Party, hosted by the Symphony’s young professionals group, takes place in the North Light Court. Décor for the Tented Pavilion, City Hall, Grove Street, and Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is provided by Blueprint Studios. Lighting design is provided by Got Light. All dinners are catered by McCalls Catering and Events. The 2019 Opening Night Gala is co-chaired by Nicole Lacob and Rachael Bowman, with Michael Tilson Thomas and Joshua Robison serving as Honorary Chairs. Ann Paras is Wattis Room Dinner Chair, the Symphony Supper is co-chaired by Elizabeth Allin and Emilie Lynch, and Symphonix Dinner Chairs are Annie Buckman and Annie Dreshfield. Lauren Erickson and Brianna Haag co-chair the After-Party. Opening Night Gala guest artists are underwritten by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.

Opening Gala is made possible through the generous support of Patrons’ Dinner Sponsor Kaiser Permanente, Supporting Sponsor The Koret Foundation, and Signature Education Sponsor Neiman Marcus/The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. Haute Living is the official Opening Night Gala Magazine Partner. * * * MTT LEADS ANNUAL ALL SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT ON SEPTEMBER 5, IN RECOGNITION OF LOCAL COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS 2019–20 season Opening Week festivities continue with the All San Francisco Concert on Thursday, September 5, featuring Michael Tilson Thomas leading the SF Symphony in Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, and Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. In addition, violinists Alina Ming Kobialka and Hannah Tarley—both SFS Youth Orchestra alums—perform Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo capriccioso and Ravel’s Tzigane.

The All San Francisco Concert is a special Davies Symphony Hall performance for San Francisco social service and neighbourhood organizations, in recognition and gratitude for the work these groups do to enrich the lives of and serve the citizens of San Francisco. Volunteers and employees from such organizations as La Casa de las Madres, First Exposures, the Justice & Diversity Center and others are invited to attend. Organized through the SF Symphony’s Volunteer Council and overseen by an advisory committee of local community leaders, the annual All San Francisco Concert has been underwritten by Wells Fargo for more than 30 years. The concert is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

This year’s All San Francisco Concert is co-chaired by Andrea Ceseña and Selina Weiss. The All San Francisco Concert includes the presentation of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award to honour an outstanding local community-service organization. The award is named after Ellen Magnin Newman, SF Symphony board member and founder of the All San Francisco Concert. The Ellen Magnin Newman Award is presented each year to a community-based organization that strengthens the city’s cultural fabric, serves the city’s most vulnerable families and individuals, and creates a more just and equitable society for everyone who lives here.

This year’s recipient of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award is Sunset Youth Services (SYS), a youth-development nonprofit in San Francisco that fosters long-term stability and growth for at-risk youth and families through caring relationships and supportive services. In the context of a vibrant arts-oriented youth community, SYS offers justice services, employment, family support, and dynamic youth programming––including the Digital Arts & Technology program––where young people engage in songwriting, filmmaking, and audio engineering at on-site recording studios. Alongside professional local musicians, they harness the power of music to speak their truths, growing instability and live into a brighter future. * * *

METALLICA AND THE SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY PRESENT S&M2 IN INAUGURAL CONCERTS AT SAN FRANCISCO’S NEW CHASE CENTER, CONDUCTED BY EDWIN OUTWATER WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY MTT, SEPTEMBER 6 and 8 S&M2 concerts mark 20th anniversary of Grammy Award-winning S&M San Francisco Symphony and Metallica collaboration performances and album On September 6 and 8, the San Francisco Symphony joins forces with rock band Metallica in S&M2, celebrating the opening of San Francisco’s Chase Center—the new home of the Golden State Warriors. Conducted by Edwin Outwater with a special appearance by Michael Tilson Thomas, the Chase Center inaugural event comes 20 years after the two groups first collaborated for a historic set of concerts billed as Symphony and Metallica (S&M).

The original S&M concerts were performed by Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by the late Michael Kamen in spring 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. The two-disc S&M album was released later that year, selling over 10 million copies and winning a Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy Award for its version of “The Call of Ktulu.” Filmed by director Wayne Isham, the concert film was also released on video and DVD. The S&M2 concert will feature the first live performances of these arrangements in 20 years, plus new songs and arrangements created by Bruce Coughlin. * * *

About Michael Tilson Thomas Michael Tilson Thomas assumed his post as the San Francisco Symphony’s 11th Music Director in 1995, consolidating a relationship with the Orchestra that began with his debut here in 1974. The 2019–20 season marks his 25th and final season as Music Director, celebrating the lasting and meaningful relationships MTT has built with the Orchestra and with their audiences across the Bay Area and the world. The wide-ranging programs and initiatives of MTT’s final season at the helm of the San Francisco Symphony celebrate the spirit of this extraordinary partnership with an expansive exploration of the American Sound; a creative breadth of programming where new voices stand alongside iconic masterworks, reimagined; a broadening of the traditional concert experience through staged productions and events in experimental spaces, meaningful collaborations with the world’s leading artists, and the championing of community and access to music education. To learn more about the 2019–20 season, read the Season Announcement press release.

FOR CALENDAR EDITORS: OPENING NIGHT GALA IN HONOR OF MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS and JOSHUA ROBISON Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 8 pm Michael Tilson Thomas conductor Susanna Phillips soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano mezzo-soprano Jonathan Tetelman tenor Ryan McKinny bass-baritone Luke Kritzeck lighting design San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Ragnar Bohlin director San Francisco Symphony GLINKA Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila COPLAND “The Dodger” from Old American Songs Gordon GETTY Shenandoah COPLAND “Golden Willow Tree” from Old American Songs BRITTEN Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell, Opus 34 BEETHOVEN IV. Finale: Ode, “To Joy” from Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125

Dinner guests: 5pm Cocktail Reception for Patrons’ Dinner and Wattis Room Dinner, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall Lobby 5pm Cocktail Reception for Symphony Supper and Symphonix Dinner Party, South Light Court – San Francisco City Hall 6pm Patrons’ Dinner, Tented Pavilion 6pm Wattis Room Dinner, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall 6pm Symphony Supper, Rotunda – San Francisco City Hall 6pm Symphonix Dinner Party, North Light Court – San Francisco City Hall All ticket holders: 7pm Complimentary sparkling wine reception for all concert guests, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall 8pm Gala Concert, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall 10pm After-Party for all concert guests, Tented Pavilion and Grove Street Formal dinner packages begin at $495 and include a 5pm cocktail reception, 6pm dinner, the After-Party in the Tented Pavilion and on Grove Street, and premium seating for the concert.

Dinner packages are available by contacting the Volunteer Council at (415) 503-5500 or online at www.sfsymphony.org/gala. Concert tickets are $278 and $426 and include a complimentary pre-concert wine reception, as well as access to the After-Party in the Tented Pavilion. The limited number of tickets may be available and can be purchased by calling the box office at 415-864-6000, at www.sfsymphony.org/gala, or at the box office located on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.

ALL SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT, CONDUCTED BY MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 8 pm Michael Tilson Thomas conductor Alina Ming Kobialka violin Hannah Tarley violin San Francisco Symphony GLINKA Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila SAINT-SAËNS Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Opus 28 TCHAIKOVSKY Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture RAVEL Tzigane BRITTEN Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Opus 24 Tickets: $12 tickets are offered to community groups and social service organizations.

Groups that would like to be considered for next year’s concert should email allsf@sfsymphony.org. S&M2: METALLICA with the SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY at CHASE CENTER, CONDUCTED BY EDWIN OUTWATER WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS Friday, September 6 at 8 pm Sunday, September 8 at 8 pm Chase Center, San Francisco, CA Edwin Outwater conductor Michael Tilson Thomas conductor and special guest Metallica San Francisco Symphony Tickets:

A limited number of tickets for the September 6 performance may be available at chasecenter.com. Connect with the San Francisco Symphony on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram: The San Francisco Symphony receives support from over 10,000 individual donors and 150 partner institutions. The Opening Night Gala guest artists are underwritten by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem. Opening Night Gala is made possible through the generous support of Patrons’ Dinner Sponsor Kaiser Permanente, Supporting Sponsor The Koret Foundation, and Signature Education Sponsor Neiman Marcus/The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation. Opening Night Gala Event Designer is Blueprint Studios. Opening Night Gala production partners are Got Light, Hensley Event Resources, McCalls Catering and Events, and Global Gourmet Catering


Photography by Drew Altizer

On a San Francisco typical summer cool evening many have joined SF Symphony Orchestra and its guest Itzhak Perlman for a warm night of emotional music. I have arrived a tat late missing all festivities prior to the concert walking just in time for first performance of Gershwin under Michael Tilson Thomas kick off the 2018 Opening Night Gala concert with a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner.  The uplifting opening has not prepared me for the arrival of Itzhak Perlman whos spirit of resilience filled the room an warmed up all heart to greet him with a standing applause. Despite the Polio affecting his body his spirit and mind are to marvel upon. All of which became evident upon first few notes he played on his violin handed to him by one of the pupils he teaches at his program.

The concert had notes creating every emotion human may have from longing and love to fear and escape.

What a night it was and no one wanted to end it. So with final encore, we had a treat from Perlman students performed by seven violins, a piece written for two.  The signs of harmony and respect between his students are visible yielding perfect harmony of notes as they took part in one composition and shared flawlessly between themselves- two violing intended into seven!

As the night came to close, some of us headed home.  Marissa Meyer and I took the same steps before departure starting at ladies room getting ready for a long drive then off to our Ubers. Her beautiful Orange dress filled as always with sparkles – her signature for evening gowns-  flown in the wind as she approached her big comfy Van to take her home all alone. As they say, “It is lonely at the top”. Then mine arrived and I proceeded to do the same. I could hear the after party going strong and so much do is waiting the next morning was on my mind, and getting rest became the priority. I thought about how powerful women make time for arts, to listen to the music and refill the creative energy with sound and new emotions they create for them. No wonder that in the most philanthropic town the arts are flourishing. It is the understanding of the few, how important the music is to the soul that brings to this town the opportunity for all to elevate with arts to reach their lives potential. Before falling asleep, I could hear what Perlman said before starting the encore: I know what they are doing as they are my students, and so they did. I hope more hearts and souls are given and know how to receive as the exchange of Perlman and his students. That is how anything extraordinary is born.

For more details please read the press release below.

Gala 2018 Post-Concert Release (1)