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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

San Francisco Symphony

Thursday, October 4, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Michael Tilson Thomas by Spencer Lowell, Leonidas Kavakos by Marco Borggreve
Michael Tilson Thomas had a lifelong relationship with Stravinsky, dating back to performing in Stravinsky's presence during Tilson Thomas's student days in Los Angeles. This all-Stravinsky program promises spectacular orchestral colors, rhythmic vitality, unique melodies, and plenty of excitement. Stravinsky’s ballet Pétrouchka is a thrilling masterpiece where Russian folk tunes enliven brilliant musical tableaux, while the savage rhythms, earthy melodies, and drama of Le sacre du printemps make it a cornerstone of 20th-century music. Another side of Stravinsky shines in his witty Violin Concerto, a four-movement dazzler where pungent harmonies, beautiful song-like passages, and jazzy syncopated rhythms challenge the soloist and captivate the listener.

Part of: Perspectives: Michael Tilson Thomas, Russian Nights, and Great American Orchestras

San Francisco Symphony is also performing October 3

Michael Tilson Thomas is also performing October 3, March 5, March 6, May 1, and May 2.

Leonidas Kavakos is also performing February 6 and March 3.


San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director and Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin


Pétrouchka (1947 version)
Violin Concerto
Le sacre du printemps

Pre-Concert Talk

Pre-concert talk at 7 PM with Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean, The Juilliard School.
Learn more

Michael Tilson Thomas: 2018–2019 Perspectives Artist

Have you heard?

Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto 

Stravinsky was reluctant to commence work on a violin concerto because of his lack of experience with the instrument. Composer Paul Hindemith wisely suggested Stravinsky’s unfamiliarity was actually an asset that freed him to pursue new ideas. He did just that in this witty work by opening each of the concerto’s four movements with the same pungent chord, accenting it with unexpected harmonies, assigning tricky fingerings for the soloist, and balancing beautiful song-like passages with jazzy syncopated rhythms.

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