Nearly 70, New World and San Francisco Symphony’s Michael Tilson Thomas keeps looking to the future

November 13, 2014 6:43 PM

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Nearly 70, New World and San Francisco Symphony’s Michael Tilson Thomas keeps looking to the future

Nearly 41 years ago, a lanky 29-year-old stepped onto the stage of the War Memorial Opera House and gave the downbeat for his debut performance with the San Francisco Symphony. The program was Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 with soloist John Browning and — significantly — Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 9.

In a San Francisco Examiner review headlined “A very remarkable young conductor,” Alexander Fried wrote that early on in the evening, the young maestro seemed “wonderfully talented and promising” while with the final movement of the Mahler, he stood forth as a maturely [sic] masterly conductor.” Wri...

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