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Michael Tilson Thomas Pays Surprise Visit to SFCM Orchestra

Thomas is Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra.

October 14, 2022 by Alex Heigl

Michael Tilson Thomas paid a surprise visit to a rehearsal of the SFCM Orchestra Thursday, treating students to a first-hand experience with an iconic conductor.

The Orchestra, under the leadership of Edwin Outwater and student conductor David Baker, was rehearsing for its Oct. 22 concert, which will feature the premiere of Highsmith Competition winner Lukáš Janata's piece Catch. Baker, meanwhile, will be conducting the program's second piece, Gabriel Fauré's Pelléas et Mélisande, op.80: Suite.

Michael Tilson Thomas with David Baker.

Michael Tilson Thomas with David Baker.

"I had the pleasure of meeting MTT briefly last year at a San Francisco Symphony rehearsal, so I was extremely honored and thrilled when I found out that he wanted to see me conduct," Baker said. "He approaches and talks about our craft with so much ease, which is so inspiring to me and the orchestra. The passionate energy he brings to a room is contagious, and I can’t thank him enough for taking the time to share that with us."

SFCM Music Director Edwin Outwater wrote on Instagram, "It was so moving to see [Tilson Thomas] sharing his extraordinary approach to making music. It’s such a huge influence on me and so many others. I’m so proud of how deeply and musically the SFCM orchestra responded to him. Thank you, Michael."

Learn more about the SFCM Orchestra's Oct. 22 concert here and learn about studying conducting at SFCM.