Performance Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 8 PM

Cancelled: San Francisco Symphony

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
This concert by the San Francisco Symphony has been cancelled due to the orchestra's current work stoppage. This concert will not be rescheduled.

Patrons who purchased tickets for this performance with a credit card will receive automatic refunds. Those who purchased tickets with cash can return them to the Carnegie Hall Box Office to receive their refund. Ticket holders with any questions should contact CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Yuja Wang
astonishes audiences wherever she appears. She was “a goddess” in Philadelphia (The Philadelphia Inquirer), and displayed “chutzpah and raw talent” in our nation’s capital (The Washington Post). The New York Times raved that she “seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder, and interpretive nuance.” See what has people buzzing when Wang performs Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • San Francisco Symphony
    Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director and Conductor
  • Yuja Wang, Piano
  • Samuel Carl Adams, Electronics


  • SAMUEL CARL ADAMS Drift and Providence (NY Premiere)
  • BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
  • BRAHMS Symphony No. 1


  • San Francisco Symphony

    The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) gave its first concerts in December 1911. Its music directors have included Henry Hadley, Alfred Hertz, Basil Cameron, Issay Dobrowen, Pierre Monteux, Enrique Jordá, Josef Krips, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, Herbert Blomstedt, and, since 1995, Michael Tilson Thomas. The SFS has won such recording awards as France's Grand Prix du Disque, Britain's Gramophone Award, and the Grammy in the US. For RCA Red Seal, Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS have recorded music from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, two Copland collections, a Gershwin collection, Stravinsky ballets (Le sacre du printemps, The Firebird, and Perséphone), and Charles Ives: An American Journey. Their recordings have won 15 Grammys, seven of those for their cycle of Mahler symphonies, available on the Symphony's own label, SFS Media. Some of the most important conductors of the past and recent years have been guests on the SFS podium, among them Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, and Sir Georg Solti, and the list of composers who have led the orchestra includes Stravinsky, Ravel, Copland, and John Adams. The SFS Youth Orchestra, founded in 1980, has become known around the world, as has the SFS Chorus, heard on recordings and on the soundtracks of such films as Amadeus and The Godfather Part III. For two decades, the SFS Adventures in Music program has brought music to every child in grades 1-5 in San Francisco's public schools. SFS radio broadcasts, the first in the US to feature symphonic music when they began in 1926, today carry the orchestra's concerts across the country. In a multimedia program designed to make classical music accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, the SFS has launched Keeping Score on PBS, DVD, radio, and at the website San Francisco Symphony recordings are available at, as is a history of the SFS, Music for a City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony.

    Michael Tilson Thomas

    Michael Tilson Thomas first conducted the San Francisco Symphony in 1974 and has been music director since 1995. A Los Angeles native, he studied with John Crown and Ingolf Dahl at the University of Southern California, becoming music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra at 19 and working with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen, and Copland at the famed Monday Evening Concerts. He was pianist and conductor for Piatigorsky and Heifetz master classes and, as a student of Friedelind Wagner, an assistant conductor at Bayreuth. In 1969, Mr. Tilson Thomas won the Koussevitzky Prize and was appointed assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ten days later, he came to international recognition, replacing Music Director William Steinberg in mid-concert at Lincoln Center. He went on to become the BSO's associate conductor, then principal guest conductor. He has also served as director of the Ojai Festival, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and principal conductor of the Great Woods Festival. He became principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1988, and now serves as principal guest conductor. For a decade he served as co-artistic director of Japan's Pacific Music Festival, which he and Leonard Bernstein inaugurated in 1990, and he continues as artistic director of the New World Symphony, which he founded in 1988. Mr. Tilson Thomas's recordings have won numerous international awards, and his recorded repertory reflects interests arising from work as conductor, composer, and pianist. His television credits include the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts, and in 2004 he and the SFS launched Keeping Score on PBS. His compositions include From the Diary of Anne Frank, Shówa/Shoáh (commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing), Poems of Emily Dickinson, Urban Legend, Island Music, and Notturno. He is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres of France, was selected as Gramophone's 2005 Artist of the Year, was named one of America's Best Leaders by US News & World Report, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2010 was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.


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  • Yuja Wang

    Born in Beijing in 1987, Yuja Wang began studying piano at age six and gave early public performances in China, Australia, and Germany. She studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with Ling Yuan and Zhou Guangren, won the Aspen Music Festival's concerto competition at age 15, received the 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award, graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2008, and was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2010. Ms. Wang made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2006. Since her 2005 debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Pinchas Zukerman, she has performed with orchestras all over the world. In April 2009, she was featured as a soloist at Carnegie Hall in the first-ever concert of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting. She has given recitals and chamber music performances in major cities throughout North America and abroad. Ms. Wang records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Her debut recording, Sonatas & Etudes-which includes works by Chopin, Scriabin, Liszt, and Ligeti-was released in 2009, and her second recording, Transformation, was released in the spring of 2010. She is also featured in a recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Her most recent recording, Fantasia, includes solo works by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Chopin, and others. She was named Gramophone's 2009 Young Artist of the Year.


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Brahms's Symphony No. 1 (Un poco Allegretto e grazioso)
New York Philharmonic | Leonard Bernstein, Conductor

At a Glance

SAMUEL CARL ADAMS  Drift and Providence

The son of composer John Adams and photographer Deborah O'Grady, Samuel Carl Adams grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and currently lives in Brooklyn, where he composed Drift and Providence. The work addresses the contrasts between the West Coast and what can be discovered by moving away: The titles of its five movements suggest not only places in San Francisco, but archetypal departures and arrivals.

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58

Although Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto dates from the height of his "heroic" middle period, it is an unusually intimate expression. Beethoven's first three piano concertos make something striking of the first solo entrance, but here, in this most gently spoken and poetic of his concertos, Beethoven begins with the piano alone-a move without precedent.

JOHANNES BRAHMS  Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

"You can't have any idea what it's like always to hear such a giant marching behind you," said Brahms about writing a symphony after Beethoven had revolutionized the form. He took 20 years to complete his First, the dramatic opening of which boldly announces the torrent of emotions-and melodies-finally released.

Program Notes
Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Concertos Plus, and German Masters.