This Week in Classical Music 11/05/17

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MTT retires as MD in SF; 

Opera News Announces Honorees. 

It’s This Week in Classical Music, an Update on what’s happening in the classical music world—I’m Randy Kinkel.

Michael Tilson Thomas will step down as music director of the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 2019-20 season--The move, announced to the orchestra last week, coincides with both the end of His 25th season at the helm and his 75th birthday. He will remain with the Symphony in the newly created post of music director laureate, conducting four weeks each year and undertaking a variety of special projects.

Thomas has made a big impact on the orchestra itself and improved its position and reputation in the world. He expanded the Symphony’s repertoire to include an emphasis on music by American and contemporary composers.

He also brought the Symphony of the city by the bay to a wider global audience through touring and broadcasting. He has championed music education and outreach with the multimedia project “Keeping Score,” and left behind a wealth of wonderful recordings including the Symphony’s landmark set of the complete Mahler symphonies.

“I’m taking this step with a lot of confidence in my colleagues, and a sense of satisfaction at the direction of this journey we’ve taken together…I’m looking forward to having less responsibility, and more time to devote to other projects— even ones not necessarily having to do with music.” He said.


Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll has announced the recipients of the 13th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards.


This year’s honorees—conductor William Christie, mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cossotto, tenor Vittorio Grigolo, soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, and soprano Sonya Yoncheva — will be celebrated at a black-tie gala celebration on April 22nd, 2018 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Driscoll said, “We are grateful for the impact that these five phenomenal men and women have left on the opera world, and we are proud to honor them.”  


On the night of the gala, the honorees will be saluted in song by Stephanie Blythe, the American mezzo-soprano who received her own OPERA NEWS Award in 2008.  Proceeds from the gala and its live and silent auction will benefit the education programs of The Metropolitan Opera Guild.


If you feel like attending, tickets are still available, from 800 to 12,000 dollars.


For More on these and other items and events go to the website,; be listening each week at this time for another update, find us on facebook and follow us on twitter. join us every weekday at noon for the Most Wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 classical hits.  I’m Randy Kinkel, for “This Week in Classical Music” on 89-five KBACH, KBAQ Phoenix and HD, a service of rio salado college and Arizona state university.