The 2023-24 Season is Here!
Beyond his great musicianship—he is the most important American classical musician since Leonard Bernstein-—what makes Michael Tilson Thomas special is the uniqueness of his personality. In David Geffen Hall Thursday night, as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, it was that personality that came through above all else. That’s no slight to his musicianship, which was multifaceted and excellent. There were only two works on the program, Schubert’s Symphony in C Major, the “Great,” as the finale and the New York premiere of Tilson Thomas’ own Meditations on Rilke in the first half. Everything was well played and sung—mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and bass-baritone Dashon Burton were vocal soloists in Rilke—but the highpoint, the most powerful emotional moments, were the conductor’s conversations with the audience.