Happy Birthday to San Francisco Symphony Director Michael Tilson Thomas! Watch Some of MTT’s Best Clips

Happy 73rd to Michael Tilson Thomas! Though MTT may be leaving the SFS soon, he also leaves a long legacy behind in his 25-year tenure as musical director.

To celebrate his birthday, watch a few of MTT’s greatest hits, starting with his delightful TED Talk above, an epic overview of music and emotion, written notation, and the transformative power of music.

Then watch:

MTT conducts Stravinsky’s Right of Spring

Harken back to 2000, when Tilson Thomas conducted the SFS in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, as well as a few encores, one of which was the “Infernal Dance” from The Firebird.


SFS performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

“From its stormy opening to the towering fourth movement, Beethoven’s final and perhaps greatest symphony is also one of the most universally loved.”

Playing in the SoundBox

An intro to MTT’s experimental music and arts performance space, the SoundBox. (Read Strings‘ Stephanie Powell’s experience of the SoundBox here.)

MTT and SFS perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Experience one of Tchaikovsky’s masterpieces. Then, if you’re curious, learn about the events and influences that defined Tchaikovsky at the SFS, in his own words.

MTT’s mentorship of pianist Yuja Wang

PBS Newshour and KQED did a piece on MTT and pianist Yuja Wang in 2015. Here Jeffrey Brown talks with the 28-year-old Chinese virtuoso and MTT about their collaboration.

Have your own favorites? Share ’em in the comments!