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Michael Tilson Thomas Appointed Distinguished Professor of Music at the San Francisco Conservatory

In celebration of the conductor and composer's artistic achievements, SFCM's allied record label PENTATONE will release a box set collection of 18 MTT compositions

In the year of Michael Tilson Thomas' 80th birthday, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) has welcomed him as the institution's Distinguished Professor of Music.

Tilson Thomas has had a long relationship with the school, including mentoring and coaching SFCM students, delivering SFCM’s Centennial Convocation in 2017, and receiving an honorary doctorate of music. In this new role, Tilson Thomas will work individually with students, participate in readings with the SFCM orchestra, and conduct masterclasses.

“I’m so looking forward to expanding my work with the next generation of musicians and to building connections with the faculty and staff at the SFCM and Pentatone to realize our many common musical ideals," he said.

“Michael is a singular visionary who stands alone in his transformative impact on music," said SFCM President David H. Stull, "He is unmatched in craft, imagination, and sheer genius as a creator and performer, but his work and leadership on behalf of education may well transcend his legacy of exceptional achievement as an artist. We are honored and inspired to have him with us.”

In addition to this appointment, it was announced today that PENTATONE will honor Tilson Thomas’ lifetime of contributions as a composer by releasing a deluxe collection of CDs and digital recordings of MTT’s compositions. Titled Grace: The Music of Michael Tilson Thomas, the collection will be released in Fall 2024.

The project comprises 18 works — including premiere recordings and remastered archival performances from the San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony. All recorded in Dolby Atmos spatial audio, the collection will be available to stream on all platforms and will be accompanied by a new website featuring critical editions of his compositions.

Featured in the collection are San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Bay Brass, and renowned artists and longtime artistic collaborators Ian Bousfield, Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, Sasha Cooke, Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, Isabel Leonard, Audra McDonald, Ryan McKinny, Edwin Outwater, Pat Posey, Paula Robison, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Vroman, and John Wilson.

Proceeds from the project benefit the Brain Tumor Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), as per Tilson Thomas' request in recognition of the care that he is receiving for glioblastoma.

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