Michael Tilson Thomas withdraws from all engagements Jun 17-Sep 3


Michael Tilson Thomas announced today that he is withdrawing from all engagements beginning June 17 until September 3 in order to undergo a cardiac procedure. The operation, which will take place in Cleveland, is scheduled to follow four performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 with the San Francisco Symphony on June 13-16.

“I deeply regret missing concerts and projects that I have been greatly anticipating,” said Mr. Tilson Thomas. “On the advice of my doctors, I need to undergo this procedure at this time in continuation of treatment for a heart condition I have managed for many years. I expect to make a full recovery in time to return to the San Francisco Symphony for the opening of my 25th season as Music Director.”

Previously scheduled engagements from which Mr. Tilson Thomas is withdrawing are performances with the San Francisco Symphony and appearances at the Music Academy of the West, including concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra.

At Music Academy of the West, performances with the London Symphony Orchestra will instead be conducted by Daniel Harding, Music Director of Orchestre de Paris and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO from 2007-2017. Programs will remain as originally scheduled:

Sat, July 13, 7:30 pm / Granada Theatre
London Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Harding conductor
James Ehnes violin

BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto
BARTÓK Concerto for Orchestra

Sun, July 14, 7 pm / Santa Barbara Bowl
London Symphony Orchestra and Academy Festival Orchestra
Daniel Harding conductor

BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4

The Academy Chamber Orchestra concert on July 20 will be conducted by Thomas Adès, a regular visitor to Music Academy of the West, where he is a former guest conductor and artist. A creative partner of the LSO, Mr. Adès has appeared with the orchestra regularly since 2006. His orchestral work Asyla was one of those conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in the latter’s inaugural concert as Music Director of the LSO in September 2017.

The program on Saturday, July 20, at 7:30 pm at the Lobero Theatre is as follows:

Academy Chamber Orchestra
Thomas Adès conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano
Sun-Ly Pierce mezzo-soprano
Ryan Hurley tenor
Samuel Kidd baritone

THOMAS ADÈS The Origin of the Harp
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G

Music Academy of the West sends warmest wishes to Michael Tilson Thomas for a complete recovery, and looks forward to welcoming him back to Santa Barbara where he will conduct at the Summer School and Festival in 2020 and 2021.


Kate Oberjat

Director of Marketing and Communications Music Academy of the West


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