Michael Tilson Thomas celebrated his 70th birthday in 2015 with two special concerts and dinners — one with the San Francisco Symphony and another with the Queen of England. The London Symphony Orchestra, Her Majesty’s guests and the Orchestra’s Benefactors gathered at St. James’s Palace for dinner in honor of MTT on March 11th. The gala concert at Buckingham Palace featured MTT with Yuja Wang, Roman Simonovic and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Stateside on January 15th, some 350 guests in San Francisco gathered at Soundbox, a new experimental music space at Davies Symphony Hall, for MTT’s 70th birthday dinner chaired by William Fisher, Marcia Goldman and Nellie Levchin. The room was swathed in blue, MTT’s favorite color, and hundreds of calla lilies hung from the ceiling. The concert featured once-in-a-lifetime musical collaborations including a cover of the Beatles’ Birthday by Elvis Costello, Phil Lesh, Boz Scaggs, Karl Sevareid, Lars Ulrich and Drew Zingg. Five of today’s most prominent pianists, Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Marc-André Hamelin, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Yuja Wang, with MTT at the sixth piano, performed Liszt’s Hexameron for Six Pianos and Orchestra, conducted by Teddy Abrams.
Photos by Moanalani Jeffrey Photography