Founder & Artistic Director Laureate: New World Symphony Music Director Laureate: San Francisco Symphony Conductor Laureate: London Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas is the Founder and Artistic Director Laureate of the New World Symphony Orchestra, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra.
He has won eleven Grammys for his recordings, is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts (the highest honour for artistic excellence in the United States), which was presented to him by President Barack Obama, and is an Officer in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. For his lifetime artistic achievements, he was selected to receive the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors.
As a guest conductor, he works with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Wiener Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra.
Mr. Tilson Thomas’s compositions are published by G. Schirmer. In 1991, he and the New World Symphony were presented in a series of benefit concerts for UNICEF in the United States, featuring Audrey Hepburn as narrator of his work From the Diary of Anne Frank, which was commissioned by UNICEF. In August 1995, he led the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in the premiere of his composition Shówa/Shoáh, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. His vocal music includes settings of poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, which were premiered by Thomas Hampson and Renée Fleming, respectively. In 2016, Yuja Wang premiered his piano piece You Come Here Often?
Mr. Tilson Thomas co-founded the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, a postgraduate orchestral academy dedicated to preparing young musicians of diverse backgrounds for leadership roles in classical music. The New World Symphony has long been at the forefront of developments in the arts and in education. Since 2011, the campus of the New World Symphony has been the technologically advanced Frank Gehry–designed New World Center.