San Francisco Symphony

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About San Francisco Symphony

Since composer Henry Hadley conducted its first concerts in 1911, the San Francisco Symphony has evolved into an increasingly precise ensemble and one of the country’s pre-eminent outlets for American orchestral experimentation. Josef Krips brought a no-nonsense respect for the German and Austrian repertoire during his 1963-70 tenure as music director, raising its standard for the more flamboyant Seiji Ozawa, who ramped up the SFS’ visual appeal with stage productions and modern ballets. Ozawa successor Edo de Waart arrived in 1977 and led the first performances at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, where the SFS has resided since 1980. Michael Tilson Thomas, a rare openly gay conductor of a major orchestra, transformed it into an innovative force upon his arrival in 1995. His American Mavericks series attracted enthusiastic younger audiences, and the SFS’ 1999 collaboration with Metallica, S&M, sold more than five million copies. Thomas’ championing of American composers like John Adams continued with his 2018 successor, Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Apple-campaign star immediately recruited forward-thinking composers Nico Muhly and Esperanza Spalding to join his symphonic ensemble.

San Francisco, United States of America

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