Michael Tilson Thomas

Biography

Born: Dec 21, 1944; USA  
Michael Tilson Thomas is among the most famous American-born conductors, with a bright, extroverted personality and a wide-ranging repertoire that has allowed him to take a place at the forefront of experimenation with the form and content of symphonic concerts. His grandparents were Boris and Bessie Thomaschevsky, founders of New York's Yiddish Theater, and his father Ted Thomas was an avid amateur pianist and worked in films and Read more television.
Tilson Thomas attended the University of Southern California. where his composition and conducting teacher was Ingolf Dahl. At the age of 19 he was named music director of the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, and was selected as accompanist for master classes by Jascha Heifetz and Gregor Piatigorsky. In 1969 he won the Koussevitzky Prize at the Tanglewood festival in Massachusetts, which carried with it an appointment as assistant conductor of the festival's parent, the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
On October 22, 1969, he was called to replace William Steinberg in a Carnegie Hall concert at the last minute, repeating the circumstances of Leonard Bernstein's sensational emergency debut 26 years earlier. The results were nearly identical: Tilson Thomas was catapulted into the top ranks of American conductors. In 1970 he was appointed associate conductor of the BSO. He has served as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, (1971-1979), principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1981-1985), principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (1988-1995), and was appointed music director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1995.
He is the founder of the Florida-based New World Symphony Orchestra, which comprises a group of young and promising professional symphonic musicians. Membership in that ensemble is now considered a desirable first step in an orchestral career. Tilson Thomas remains its music director and has recorded notable CDs with the group, including a highly popular Villa-Lobos compilation.
Also a composer, Tilson Thomas wrote From the Diary of Anne Frank on commission from UNICEF in 1990 (actress Audrey Hepburn was the narrator at the premiere). The work has been performed in several countries and languages. He has also written Showa/Shoáh for the city of Hiroshima's memorial services on the fiftieth anniversary of its nuclear bombing. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 156 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • 1.
    Strauss, Mahler - Masterworks / Haenchen, Sanderling, Tilson Thomas, Leinsdorf
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5133 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Kurt Sanderling,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Bernstein: West Side Story / Thomas, San Francisco
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 59 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Alexandra Silber,  Cheyenne Jackson,  Jessica Vosk,  Kevin Vortmann
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
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  • 3.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Tilson Thomas, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 802166 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Cantata On The Death Of Emperor Joseph Ii; Symphony No. 2
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 58 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Tamara Mumford,  Sally Matthews,  Barry Banks,  Andrew Foster-Williams
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
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  • 6.
    Ives: Three Places in New England; Sibelius, Wagner / Michael Tilson Thomas
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5111 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives,  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Stravinsky: Rite of Spring / Thomas, San Francisco Symphony [Blu-ray]
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 66 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Silverman: Elephant Steps - A Fearful Radio Show / Michael Tilson Thomas
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 49319 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanley Silverman
    Performer:  Maeretha Stewart,  Patricia Price,  June Higginbotham,  Patti Austin  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
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  • 9.
    Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (10 Reference Recordings)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546174 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Igor Stravinsky,  Pierre Monteux,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 55 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    10 Classic Albums / Mischa Maisky [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001801402 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Pavel Gililov,  Daria Hovora,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    American Mavericks / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 56 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Cowell,  Lou Harrison,  Edgard Varèse
    Performer:  Jeremy Denk,  Paul Jacobs
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 1, Sonata Op 28 / De Laroccha
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61676 Release Date: 07/06/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Leonore Overture No 3 / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 54 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    San Francisco Symphony At 100
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 52 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    San Francisco Symphony At 100 [blu-ray]
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 57 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    The Claude Debussy Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 193179 Release Date: 05/01/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Gervase de Peyer,  Ann Murray,  Nathalie Stutzmann,  Leslie Caron  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Pierre Boulez,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Knussen: Symphonies No 2 & 3, Ophelia Dances,Trumpets / Tilson Thomas, Barry, Hirst, Collins
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oliver Knussen
    Performer:  Michael Collins,  Ian Mitchell,  Dward Pillinger,  Linda Hirst  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Oliver Knussen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Sinfonietta
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  • 19.
    The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
    Label: Other Minds Records   Catalog: 1020 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Ruggles
    Performer:  Judith Blegen,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Beverly Morgan,  John Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
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  • 20.
    Adams: Harmonielehre, Short Ride In A Fast Machine / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 53 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Adams
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3 / Thomas, DeYoung, Pacific Boychoir, San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 60045 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Michelle DeYoung
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
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  • 22.
    Mahler: Symphony No 1 / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 60043 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    The Mahler Project / Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Michelle DeYoung,  Alexander Barantschik  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
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  • 24.
    Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Ein Heldenleben / Tilson Thomas, London Symphony
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5031 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris, The Man I Love / Tilson Thomas, Kostelantz
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64349 Release Date: 06/27/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  George Gershwin,  Harold Jones,  Sarah Vaughan,  George Gaffney  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Morton Gould,  Andre Kostelanetz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Jazz Band,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Biography

Born: Dec 21, 1944; USA  
Michael Tilson Thomas is among the most famous American-born conductors, with a bright, extroverted personality and a wide-ranging repertoire that has allowed him to take a place at the forefront of experimenation with the form and content of symphonic concerts. His grandparents were Boris and Bessie Thomaschevsky, founders of New York's Yiddish Theater, and his father Ted Thomas was an avid amateur pianist and worked in films and Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Elephant Drone; Elephants
Elephant Heartbeats
Don't You Believe?; My Ears
All Shook Up
Read My Palms; My Hands Are Inside the Wall; Gavotte
Read My Palm; Watch Me Move; I'm No Closer; Look At My Hands
Stop Seeing Reinhardt
Entr'Acte; Watch Me Put My Right Foot
I Am No Longer Beautiful; Beautiful As Is
We Sit in the Window
Gypsy Tango; Shoot Them
You're on the Radio; Radio Waves
Dreaming of Reinhardt
Midnight Sun
Photograph Song
Madrigals
Vaudeville Chase; Stirring Soup; A Strange Thing
Finale
Andante misterioso - Fantastico -
Allegro con fuoco -
Molto tranquillo
I. Parting at Morning
II. Son of Mine
III. A Clear Midnight
I. Largo
II. Andante con Fantasia
III. Moderato appassionato
IV. Adagio sostenuto
I. Largo
II. Andante con fantasia
III. Moderato appassionato
IV. Adagio sostenuto
Prélude
Tableau 1: Le magasin de jouets
Tableau 2: Le champ de bataille
Tableau 3: La bergerie à vendre
Tableau 4: Après fortune faite
Epilogue
1. Final de 1er Cuadro
3. Comparsa Lucumi
4. Comparsa de la Culebra
5. Final de la Obra
1. Danza del Tambor
2. Motivos de Danzas
3. Danza Lucumi
1. Las tradbajadores agrícolas
2. Danza del trigo
3. Los peones de hacienda
4. Danza final (Malambo)
Suite No. 4 in G Major for Orchestra, Op. 61 "Mozartiana": I. Gigue (Allegro) KV 574 for piano
II. Menuet. Moderato
III. Preghiera
IV. Thème et variations. Allegro giusto
Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58: I. Lento lugubre - Moderato con moto; Andante
II. Vivace con spirito
III. Andante con moto
IV. Allegro con fuoco
Suite No. 2 in C Major for Orchestra, Op. 53: I. Jeu de sons. Andantino un poco rubato - Allegro molto vivace
II. Valse. Moderato. Tempo di valse
III. Scherzo burlesque. Vivace, con spirito
IV. Reves d'enfant. Andante molto sostenuto
V. Danse baroque. Vivacissimo - Prestissimo
Suite No. 3 in G Major, Op. 55: I. Elégie. Andante molto cantabile
II. Valse mélancolique. Allegro moderato
III. Scherzo. Molto vivace
IV. Tema con variazioni. Andante con moto
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.1 Nature, the gentlest mother
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.2 There came a wind like a bugle
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.3 The world feels dusty
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.4 Heart, we will forget him
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.5 Dear March, come in!
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.6 Sleep is supposed to be
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.7 Going to Heaven!
8 Poems of Emily Dickinson: No.8 The Chariot
O Fortuna
Fortune plango vulnera
Veris leta facies
Omnia Sol temperat
Ecce gratum
Tanz
Floret silva
Chramer, gip die varwe mir
Reie
Swaz hie gat umbe - Chume, chum geselle min - Swaz hie gat umbe
Were diu werlt alle min
Estuans interius
Olim lacus colueram
Ego sum abbas
In taberna quando sumus
Amor volat undique
Dies, nox et omnia
Stetit puella
Circa mea pectora
Si puer cum puellula
Veni, veni, venias
In trutina
Tempus est iocundum
Dulcissime
Ave formosissima
O Fortuna
Allegro non troppo
Menuet
Finale
Rodeo: Buckaroo Holiday
Corral Nocturne
Saturday Night Waltz
Hoe-Down
Rêveries-Passions
Un bal
Scène aux champs
Marche au supplice
Song d'une nuit du sabbat
Allegro
Adagio
Allegro agitato
I. Nuages. Modéré - Un peu animé
II. Fêtes. Animé et très rythmé
III. Sirènes. Modérément animé
Allegro moderato
Adagio sostenuto
Allegro scherzando
Prélude
Tableau 1: Le magasin de jouets
Tableau 2: Le champ de bataille
Tableau 3: La bergerie à vendre
Tableau 4: Après fortune faite
Epilogue
La Mer: I. De l'aube à midi sur la mer
II. Jeux de vagues
III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer
The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common
Putnam's Camp
The Housatonic at Stockbridge
Anthem
Dark Caprice
Intrigue
Puffe
Eating Greens: Part I: Religion, Food, Art: (Lethargical) Reformation
Part I: Religion, Food, Art: Waffling (sic)
Part I: Religion, Food, Art: Whim And Rigor (Homage to Henri Matisse)
Part II: Loose Ends: The Title Is Almost Is Long As The Piece Itself
Part II: Loose Ends: Ouija (wee-gee) Baby
Part III: Five Chords: Bread and Wine
Part III: Five Chords: Drunk Monk (Homage to Thelonious Monk)
Ives: 3 Places In New England - 1. The "St. Gaudens" In Boston Common (Col. Shaw And His Colored Regiment)
Ives: 3 Places In New England - 2. Putnam's Camp, Redding, Connecticut
Ives: 3 Places In New England - 3. From "The Housatonic At Stockbridge" By Robert Underwood Johnson
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 1.Quarter note= 69 Poco accelerando (bar/Takt/mesure 1)
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 2. Tempo eighth note = 126 (bar 51a)
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 3. Lento (bar 119)
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 4. A tempo (bar 138a)
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 5. Quarter note = 69 Poco accelerando (bar 169)
Ruggles: Sun-treader - 6. Serene, but with great expression (bar 191)
Piston: Symphony No.2 - 1. Moderato
Piston: Symphony No.2 - 2. Adagio
Piston: Symphony No.2 - 3. Allegro
Andante sostenuto
Molto moderato; Allegro assai
Corral Nocturne
Saturday Night Waltz
Hoe-Down
Fanfare for the Common Man
Fanfare for the Common Man
1. Allegro tranquillo
2. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto
3. Scherzo (Allegro scherzando giocoso)
4. Finale (Andante lugubre - Allegro maestoso)
1. Gigues
1. Par les rues et par les chemins
2. Les parfums de la nuit
3. Le matin d'un jour de fête
3. Rondes de printemps