Haute 100 San Francisco Update: Michael Tilson Thomas

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Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami,New YorkLos Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Michael Tilson Thomas encourages youths to find love with music.

Michael Tilson Thomas

Category: Thinkers

Company: San Francisco Symphony

Industry: Music

What Made Him Haute: Thomas is music director of the San Francisco Symphony, founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony and principle guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Starting in 2004, Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have embarked on a multi-tiered media project known as Keeping Score, which was designed to make classical music more accessible to a new, and youthful, audience.

What Makes Him Haute: Having embarked on such a project as Keeping Score along with the San Francisco Symphony, it is evident that Thomas’ agenda includes helping youths fall in love with music. But his passion and commitment don’t end at such a project, as we found out last month. Teddy Abrams, a 23-year-old fellow conductor of Thomas’ New World Symphony in Miami, stated recently that he got a huge nudge toward this direction from Thomas himself.

After receiving a letter from a 9 year old Teddy Abrams, Michael Tilson Thomas felt the need to respond personally, using the letter to encourage Abrams to listen to 20th century composers. The time he took to personally respond to the letter apparently had huge effect on the young boy, inspiring the young music lover to pursue his interest in music. What has resulted is his admission into a composer’s position in Thomas’ New World Symphony, which opened with a new season in October. Teddy Abrams is extremely grateful, stating, “[Michael] always found time for me. I didn’t realize how generous he was.”

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