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THE SCOOP | Michael Tilson Thomas Replaced With David Robertson For Upcoming TSO Performance

By Anya Wassenberg on November 3, 2023

L-R: Maestro David Robertson; Musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Photos courtesy of the TSO)
L-R: Maestro David Robertson; Musicians of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Photos courtesy of the TSO)

American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will be unable to join the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for the Mahler concerts scheduled for November 22, 24 and 25. He will be replaced by David Robertson, and the title of the programme has been modified to simply Mahler’s Fifth.

The 78-year-old Tilson Thomas has been advised by physicians to reduce his travel schedule. Tilson Thomas has been living with a diagnosis of glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, since the summer of 2021.

Conductor, pianist and composer Michael Tilson Thomas is Artistic Director Laureate of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. This year’s concerts have been acknowledged, sadly, to be among his last, and many were looking forward to the opportunity to see him again.

In order to provide more space between his concert engagements, he has withdrawn from his appearance in Toronto, as well as his upcoming concert at Kennedy Center.

Maestro David Robertson

Grammy Award-winning American conductor David Robertson served as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2014 to 2019, and the California native held the position of music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2005 until 2018.

As a protégé of Pierre Boulez, early in his career, he became the first American music director of the Paris-based Ensemble Intercontemporain. He was later named Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, and toured the US with the ensemble. He was named the principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2005.

Along with his work as a conductor, he’s known as a visionary and thinker, and he has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School since 2018.

Ken-David Masur will be replacing Michael Tilson Thomas in his scheduled upcoming appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Tickets are available for the Toronto concerts [HERE]. Ticketholders can exchange tickets online, or contact Patron Services with any questions.

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