Preview | San Francisco Symphony at 100 - About the Concert

San Francisco Symphony at 100, the San Francisco Symphony’s Centennial Season opening night gala, conducted by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, will air on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances, Friday, March 30 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

In September, the San Francisco Symphony and Tilson Thomas launched its milestone Centennial with a celebratory gala concert dubbed “Fanfare for a New Century” at Davies Symphony Hall.

The two-hour broadcast is hosted by best-selling Bay Area author Amy Tan and features Tilson Thomas conducting the Orchestra and two of the leading artists of our time: legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor and the dynamic pianist Lang Lang performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major.

The concert opens with Aaron Copland’s vivid portrayal of American prairie life, the Billy the Kid Ballet Suite and concludes with Britten’s orchestral showpiece The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra of which the San Francisco Chronicle said: “…as Thomas led his colleagues, section by section and soloist by soloist… the listener could only marvel at the level of individual excellence and communal artistry on display.”

Capping off the concert is an encore of Bay Area composer John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine featuring animated images of San Francisco projected throughout Davies Symphony Hall.

Woven into the concert footage, San Francisco Symphony at 100 includes historical documentary features narrated by Tan highlighting the Orchestra’s early beginnings, its rich history of touring and its commitment to young people and innovations in media.

On April 1st, San Francisco Symphony at 100 will also be released on DVD and Blu-ray with additional bonus historical features (though will not feature Lang Lang’s concert performance.)

San Francisco Symphony at 100 is a production of San Francisco Symphony and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.

Major funding for the telecast is provided by Nan Tucker McEvoy and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Great Performances is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Vivian Milstein, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Filomen M. Di’Agostino Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, public television viewers, and PBS.

San Francisco Symphony at 100 is directed by Gary Halvorson. Executive Producer: John Kieser. Producer: Michael Bronson. The History Vignettes are produced by Janette Gitler. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.