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Michael Tilson Thomas

12 Podcast Episodes

Latest 6 Nov 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Ep. 81: Michael Tilson Thomas

Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk

“We are so lucky in music that we can look back to someone like Beethoven or Monteverdi or Josquin des Prez and understand through their music many different qualities of how people imagined themselves to be, how they imagined life to be. Despite the fact that we’re having this lovely conversation, the acronym of my life has become AFWAP— 'as few words as possible.' That is my new ideal that I hope to realize a bit more fully until…I’m outta here." Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) is here, one of the most celebrated American musicians of the past half century. In this wide-ranging look into the thinking of this fascinating figure, MTT and Daniel discuss everything from the very fundamentals of music -- "sad" chords and "happy" chords, how harmony is like flavor such as when one adds one drop of sesame oil to a soup -- to MTT's work with such legendary figures as Jascha Heifetz, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Far from being a standard interview, here MTT and Daniel take a deep dive into Mozart, the ever-elusive Wunderkind that can be so difficult for players to grasp. MTT also expresses his love for working with young, promising musicians, and how after all these years in music, patterns, in all sorts of ways, become more evident. As he says at the end, "music keeps your spirit alive in a very wonderful way." With MTT seated at his keyboard, we are treated to unexpected musical examples as he illustrates the power of a turn of phrase. Support Talking Beats with Daniel Lelchuk on Patreon. You will contribute to continued presentation of substantive interviews with the world's most compelling people. We believe that providing a platform for individual expression, free thought, and a diverse array of views is more important now than ever.  Conductor, composer, and educator Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. In June 2020, he completed a remarkable 25-year tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, becoming the Orchestra’s first Music Director Laureate.His television credits include the New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts and Keeping Score on PBS-TV, which he and the San Francisco Symphony launched in 2004. His compositions include From the Diary of Anne Frank and Meditations on Rilke, both recorded with the SF Symphony and released on SFS Media in June 2020; Shówa/Shoáh; settings of poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman; Island Music; Notturno; and Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind. Tilson Thomas is a 2019 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, was Musical America’s Musician and Conductor of the Year, and was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was inducted in the California Hall of Fame, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama. Tilson Thomas was named an Officier in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in June 2020, recognizing his continued contributions to global culture and the vast impact of his 25 years as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. For more information, visit michaeltilsonthomas.com.

1hr 4mins

16 Feb 2021

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Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas on music and mentoring amid a pandemic

PBS NewsHour - Art Beat

A symphony requires all musicians playing their parts in harmony, but the pandemic makes that delicate choreography all the more challenging. Jeffrey Brown talks to maestro Michael Tilson Thomas about that and passing the baton to a younger generation as part of our arts and culture series, "CANVAS." PBS NewsHour is supported by - https://www.pbs.org/newshour/about/funders


1 Feb 2021

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Les Beethoven de Michael Tilson Thomas

Le van Beethoven

durée : 00:58:44 - Les Beethoven de Michael Tilson-Thomas - par : Aurélie Moreau - "Surprendre les gens, les secouer un peu. Pour résumer, voilà mon travail !". Vous serez secoué par le chef d'orchestre américain Michael Tilson Thomas que nous écoutons dans Tchaïkovski, Beethoven, Debussy et Gershwin. - réalisé par : Louise Loubrieu


2 Nov 2020

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Charles Ives : An American journey, par Michael Tilson Thomas

Disques de légende

durée : 00:16:00 - Disques de légende du lundi 02 novembre 2020 - En 1999, le chef d'orchestre américain Michael Tilson Thomas enregistre le disque "Charles Ives, an American journey", avec le Chœur et l'Orchestre symphonique de San Francisco, dont il avait pris la direction quatre ans plus tôt.


2 Nov 2020

Most Popular

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Michael Tilson Thomas On The Thrills And Challenges Of Conducting An Orchestra

Fresh Air archive



23 May 2020

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'I wanted get my fingers into the clay and be able to shape it, form it and play with it': Michael Tilson Thomas on Brahms

In Tune Highlights

Picks from across the week, including Michael Tilson Thomas and Joseph Calleja.


13 Jun 2017

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Michael Tilson Thomas marks 20 years as San Francisco Symphony Music Director: a Gramophone Milestones Podcast

The Gramophone podcast

Michael Tilson Thomas marks 20 years as as San Francisco Symphony Music Director: a Gramophone Milestones Podcast, with James Jolly


3 Mar 2014

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Michael Tilson Thomas

Art Works Podcast

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas discusses his dual career as conductor and educator. [30:49]

2 Feb 2013

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2012.07.21: Michael Tilson Thomas in conversation with Eric Karpeles

Exploring Nature, Culture and Inner Life

Michael Tilson Thomasin conversation with Eric KarpelesThe New School at Commonweal is very pleased to present this conversation between San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and Commonweal Board Member Eric Karpeles. Informal and wide-ranging, the conversation will be accessible to music-lovers of all degrees, and in keeping with Commonweal’s ongoing commitment to exploring the role of healing and the arts.Michael Tilson ThomasJust recently becoming the longest-reigning conductor in the San Francsico Symphony’s 100 year history, Michael repeatedly leads performances of intensely powerful music-making in programs full of emotional depth and staggering clarity. The orchestra is playing with virtuosic ebullience these days and the term “golden era” has been increasingly used to describe the institution’s current state of being. Thomas works from an encyclopedic breadth of musical history which helps listeners make connections and understand the context of a piece to great effect. A tireless educator, Thomas created a series of fascinating musical portraits of composers known as “Keeping Score” which air on PBS. In terms of impact, the orchestral academy Thomas created, New World Symphony, has been very significant to the artistic, personal, and professional development of outstanding young instrumentalists since 1987. Thomas is also the principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, a composer, and a concert pianist.Find out more about The New School at tns.commonweal.org.

1hr 11mins

21 Jul 2012

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Music and emotion through time | Michael Tilson Thomas

TED Talks Music

In this epic overview, Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.


7 May 2012