The Sweet Music of the Season – San Francisco Opera & Symphony

San Francisco natives will have no shortage of must see events and programming this opera and symphony season. San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera’s 2011-2012 season lineups are both programs filled with must see events.

This season marks a very special anniversary – San Francisco Symphony is celebrating its 100th season with 11-months of events and concerts. The American Mavericks Festival makes a reappearance next year with four world premieres by notable names like John Adams, Meredith Monk, Mason Bates, Morton Subotnick, joined by soloists Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax, Paul Jacobs, Jeremy Denk, Joan La Barbara, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the SF Symphony Chorus. The American Mavericks series will make stops in New York, Ann Arbor and Chicago.

 The symphony season opened with a weeklong calendar of events, including the opening gala with Lang Lang and Itzhak Perlman.

Beloved Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas will lead an eclectic mix of works from the symphony’s first year, including Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Debussy’s Le martyre de Saint Sébastien and Stravinsky’s Petrushka, in celebration of the symphony’s milestone season. MTT, as he is affectionately referred to by San Francisco residents and symphony aficionados alike, is also leading the United States premiere of a new piece by Sofia Gubaidulina, in celebration of another major milestone – Gubaidulina’s 80th birthday. He will also conduct Thomas Adès and Tal Rosner’s new piece Polaris, complete with video projections.

This season also marks a rather innovative collaboration between San Francisco Symphony and several other notable musical groups – Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra, proving once again that there is power in numbers.

This season will also be graced with performances by Joshua Bell and Mason Bates, who will participate in Project San Francisco, the symphony’s artist and composer residency program. Former music directors Herbert Blomstedt and Edo de Waart will also return to the podium to conduct.

And there’s no shortage of parties either. The symphony season opened with a weeklong calendar of events, including the opening gala with Lang Lang and Itzhak Perlman. An All-San Francisco Community Concert and even a free outdoor “Birthday Bash” concert with Lang Lang at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza was slated in honor of the centennial. Like the many others that came before it, this season will also provide support for musical programs in San Francisco schools.

This season is also marked by a large community presence, including a book, documentary and new virtual experiences. For more information on the symphony’s centennial season, visit