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San Francisco Names Street After Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

By Sara Schabas on November 13, 2023

Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The city of San Francisco will honour the San Francisco Symphony’s former music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, by naming a street after him.

What’s Up: The mayor of San Francisco, London N. Breed, has announced that a central street in the city will honour conductor and former music director of the San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT). The block of Grove Street between Franklin Avenue and Van Ness Avenue where Davies Symphony Hall is situated will hang a sign marking MTT Way.  

Refresher: The American pianist, conductor and composer Michael Tilson Thomas served as the San Francisco Symphony’s 11th music director for 25 years. His tenure as music director of the ensemble led to 11 Grammy Award-winning recordings and the establishment of cutting-edge performances and concert formats as part of his SoundBox program. His name is now considered synonymous with the institution.

Digging Deeper: Michael Tilson Thomas, now 78, was diagnosed two years ago with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain cancer. While he still conducts, in his last performance with the SFS he appeared visibly weakened. The street named for MTT demonstrates the conductor’s lasting imprint on classical music in San Francisco, ensuring his legacy will be honoured in years to come.

Sara Schabas
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