For the first round of subscription concerts following the opening of the 2016–17 season, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) will lead the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in a program consisting entirely of three symphonies. At the center of the program will be Jean Sibelius’ Opus 52 (third) symphony in C major. It will be flanked by two significant symphonies from the “First Viennese School.” The program will open with Joseph Haydn’s Hoboken I/69 (“Laudon”) symphony in C major and conclude with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 67 (fifth) symphony in C minor. The Sibelius symphony offers up some of the composer’s richest sonorities with all the good nature of major-key rhetoric. The Haydn symphony is also optimistic, composed after Haydn’s so-called Sturm und Drang period. Beethoven’s Opus 67, on the other hand, has become an almost iconic reflection on the Sturm und Drang movement that had such an impact on eighteenth-century German literature.
This concert will be given four performances, all at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, Thursday, September 15, Friday, September 16, and Saturday, September 17. There will be an Inside Music talk given by Elizabeth Seitz that will begin at 7 p.m., which will be free to all ticket holders. Doors open for this talk at 6:45 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $169. They may be purchased online through the event page for this program on the SFS Web site, by calling 415-864-6000, or by visiting the Box Office in Davies Symphony Hall, whose entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. Finally, the event page also includes a hyperlink for listening to a free podcast about the Sibelius symphony hosted by KDFC’s Rik Malone. There are also links for sound clips from both the Sibelius and Beethoven symphonies.
In addition there will be a new “Discovery Concert” in which MTT will take listeners on an in-depth exploration of Beethoven’s Opus 67. This event will include musical examples, video, and a full performance of the symphony. The musical examples will be provided by both SFS and members of the SFS Chorus, Ragnar Bohlin Director.
This special event will take place only once, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 18. Ticket prices will range from $35 to $155. They may be purchased through a separate event page or by visiting or calling the Box Office. That event page also includes a podcast about the symphony and sound clips.