Following tonight's gala, the orchestra and MTT depart for a five-day European tour running from September 13-17. They will perform Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand" (No. 8) in Luxembourg's new Salle de Concerts Grande-Duchesse Jos_phine-Charlotte and at the Lucerne Festival and will give two other concerts in Lucerne as well.
MTT and the orchestra return to San Francisco for a free outdoor concert in Yerba Buena Gardens on September 22; the regular season at Davies Symphony Hall resumes on September 27 with Brahms's Fourth Symphony and Lukas Foss's Time Cycle.
The 2006-07 season includes the world premieres of two SFSO commissions: Kevin Volans's Piano Concerto, with Marc-Andr_ Hamelin as soloist, and Robin Holloway's Fourth Concerto for Orchestra. Contemporary music figures prominently throughout the season, with thirteen works by living composers, including Osvaldo Golijov, Henri Dutilleux, Steve Reich and Thomas Ads. MTT will also lead the SFSO in several works new to the orchestra, including Schoenberg's Cabaret Songs, Koechlin's Les Bandar-log, and Takemitsu's Fantasma Cantos. One other, surprising SFSO premiere will be Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 3 ("Polish"), which will be conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
A major highlight of the season will be John Adams conducting the US premiere of his one-act opera A Flowering Tree, a SFSO co-commission with Lincoln Center, London's Barbican Centre and the Berlin Philharmonic. Directed by Peter Sellars, who also wrote the libretto, the opera is based on a 2,000-year-old South Indian folk tale about young people coming of age. A Flowering Tree will receive its world premiere at Sellars's New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna in November.
The SFSO's Mahler symphonies recording project will be expanded to include the composer's song cycles. Concert performances to be recorded for release on the SFS Media label will include the Fourth and Seventh Symphonies and songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn with baritone Thomas Hampson.
MTT will continue his survey of Stravinsky's music this season, conducting the Symphony of Psalms, the Symphony in Three Movements, Symphonies of Wind Instruments, the Violin Concerto and the seldom-performed Apollon musagte.
In May 2007, following the SFSO's annual appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall, the orchestra will give two concerts each at the Vienna Festwochen and the Prague Spring International Music Festival.
Conductors making their SFS debuts include Carlos Kalmar, music director of the Oregon Symphony, and Austrian conductor Hans Graf, music director of the Houston Symphony; returning conductors include Roberto Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Kurt Masur, Ingo Metzmacher, Osmo V‹nsk‹ and David Robertson. Among the season's visiting soloists are violinists Joshua Bell, Midori and Hilary Hahn; pianists Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yundi Li, Stephen Hough and Radu Lupu; mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and bass Willard White.
Information on and tickets for San Francisco Symphony performances are available at www.sfsymphony.org.