San Francisco Symphony Names New Director

By Megan Westberg


Michael Tilson Thomas will be exiting the San Francisco Symphony in September 2020 after a 25-year tenure as music director. It’s been announced that he will be succeeded by Esa-Pekka Salonen, former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and current principal conductor and artistic advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, where he’ll be stepping down in 2021. “The San Francisco Symphony is an ensemble and an organization at the top of their game, renowned for their interpretations of masterpieces and unafraid to treat new works the same way,” Salonen said in a statement. “They have had the powerhouse combination of Michael’s exacting musicality and freedom of spirit for 25 years: a legacy I’m privileged to inherit.”