SAN FRANCISCO, June 8, 2012 - The San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas have won an Award for Adventurous Programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for their 2011-12 Centennial Season programming. The awards were announced today in Dallas at the League of American Orchestras’ annual conference.
The Symphony was recognized with the Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming for its 2011-12 Centennial season, which included a two-week American Mavericks Festival in San Francisco, performing the world premieres of SFS-commissioned new works by composers John Adams, Mason Bates, Meredith Monk, and Morton Subotnick, followed by a two-week U.S. tour. The festival also included performances of music by Charles Ives, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, and Morton Feldman.
The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) and Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera were also recognized with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, receiving the Award for American Programming on Foreign Tours. The SFSYO and Cabrera embark on tour to Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg June 23-July 6, where they will perform John Adams’s Shaker Loops as well as Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and other works. The SFSYO was one of only three U.S. youth orchestras recognized for adventurous programming, and this is its first ASCAP Award.
ASCAP and the League of American Orchestras present the Awards for Adventurous Programming each year to orchestras of all sizes for programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in contemporary music. The SFS has won 18 ASCAP Awards, including the 2011-12 Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming and the Youth Orchestra’s Award for American Programming on Foreign Tours. This year’s awards mark the sixteenth time the SFS has been recognized in the area of contemporary music programming. Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS last won the Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2008-09 season. They were recognized by ASCAP for programming contemporary music in the 2006-2007 season, and won the First Place Award for Programming of Contemporary Music for the 2004-2005 season. The SFS also was awarded the 2002 Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming. In 2001 and 1997, the SFS won the John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to American Music. ASCAP also recognized the SFS education and media programs with the 2004 Leonard Bernstein Award for Educational Programming and the 2004 Deems Taylor Broadcast Award for the Keeping Score television pilot, The Making of a Performance: Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.
About the San Francisco Symphony
Founded in 1911, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) celebrates its Centennial Season in 2011-12 and is widely considered to be among the country’s most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions. The Orchestra’s distinguished history is marked by artistic excellence, innovative programming, broad educational initiatives, and acclaimed recordings and media projects. Now in their seventeenth season together, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS have formed a musical partnership hailed for its revitalization of the classical music experience. The SFS performs and presents more than 220 concerts annually for an audience of 600,000 in its home of Davies Symphony Hall and through an active national and international touring program. Some of the most important conductors of our time have been guests on the San Francisco Symphony podium, among them Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, and Mstislav Rostropovich. The list of composers who have led the Orchestra is a who’s who of twentieth-century music, including Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, Paul Hindemith, Aaron Copland, and John Adams. In 2001, the San Francisco Symphony gave the world premiere of Henry Brant’s Ice Field, which later won that year’s Pulitzer Prize for Music. In 1979, the appointment of John Adams as New Music Advisor became a model for a composer-in-residence program, since adopted by major orchestras across the country. The Orchestra has been recognized internationally as a leader in the use of multimedia, television, technology, and the web to make classical music available to as many people as possible through its Keeping Score composer documentaries and concert films, educational websites and recordings. The first orchestra to feature national symphonic radio broadcasts in 1926, the SFS remains in the forefront of electronic media with endeavors such as the Grammy Award-winning Mahler recording cycle for the Orchestra’s own SFS Media label, the Peabody Award-winning American Mavericks and The MTT Files radio series, and the DVD releases of their Carnegie Hall season opening performances of music from Bernstein’s West Side Story and the Orchestra’s 100th anniversary Centennial Season opening concert. The Orchestra’s continued, century-long commitment to music education is reflected in acclaimed programs including Keeping Score, Adventures in Music, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Music for Families, and www.sfskids.org. For additional information, please visit www.sfsymphony.org.
About the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
Founded in 1981, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) is recognized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. SFSYO’s purpose is to provide a tuition-free orchestral experience of pre-professional caliber to young musicians from the greater Bay Area. The SFSYO rehearses and performs in Davies Symphony Hall under the direction of Wattis Foundation Music Director Donato Cabrera. In addition to working with San Francisco Symphony musicians in sectional coachings each week, SFSYO members have the opportunity to meet and work with SF Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and many of the world-class artists that appear with the San Francisco Symphony each season. In June-July 2012, the SFSYO will embark on its ninth international tour, returning to Europe for the eighth time.
Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 430,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com
League of American Orchestras
The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 850 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit www.americanorchestras.org to learn more.
Emirates is the Official Airline of the San Francisco Symphony.
William Hill® Estate Winery is the Official Wine of the San Francisco Symphony.
SF Chronicle/SFGate.com is the Official Media Partner of the San Francisco Symphony.
Lisa Jaehnig / Shuman Associates
SFS Public Relations