Tomorrow, the symphony kicks it off with a gala, celebrating three anniversaries: Michael Tilson Thomas's, aka MTT, 10th anniversary at the baton, Shostakovich's 100th birthday next year, and the 25th anniversary for Davies Symphony Hall. Yo-Yo Ma at the cello would be our second best choice to perform Shostakovich's first cello concerto for tomorrow's performance. The first choice of course would be Mstislav Rostropovich, the soloist for whom the concerto was written. Well, guess what? He will be on deck later this season, conducting more Shostakovich in March, this time two symphonies and two concerti, for violin and for piano.
The whole symphony program promises to be amazing. MTT and the SF Symphony will continue their critically acclaimed recordings of Mahler's symphonies, with the 5th later this month. Kurt Masur, Itzahk Perlman, Vladimir Ashkenazy are some of the living legends who will visit Davies. Young and coming performers like Midori or Joshua Bell on violin, Lang-Lang on piano, will dazzle everyone. Other outstanding performers not to miss: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Richard Goode, the Labeque sisters. Each concert program is carefully designed to mix some more classical stuff with some more challeging music. Come for Beethoven's 5th Symphony (you know, pom-pom-pom-pom) and discover Hindemith's piano concerto for the left hand. So that everyone at Davies would have a great time. We know we will.