Michael Tilson Thomas
Michael Tilson Thomas | Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

Michael Tilson Thomas, who three months ago had surgery at UCSF Medical Center to remove a brain tumor, is scheduled to return to leading orchestras in a few weeks, according to his website.

During his recovery, he had to cancel engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra for The Kennedy Center’s 50th anniversary, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony.

MTT in 1993
MTT in 1993, when he was music director designate of the SF Symphony | Credit: Terrence McCarthy/San Francisco Symphony

When he resumes activity, MTT will first lead the New York Philharmonic (Nov. 4–7) and then return to San Francisco (Nov. 12–14), where he is music director laureate, following a 25-year tenure with the SF Symphony. The schedule means flying to New York within a week from now for rehearsals.

Because of the pandemic, MTT’s last appearance in Davies Hall was in 2019, and the planned big exit season was canceled. His return program with the SF Symphony will include Mozart’s Three German Dances, K.605; his own Notturno, featuring flutist Demarre McGill; and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1

His first public appearance after surgery was on Oct. 10 by recorded video from his SF Bay Area home to his New World Symphony in Miami, at that orchestra’s first live concert in 19 months. “He said that he hoped to return in January and extolled the talents of the evening’s substitute conductor Christian Reif and mezzo-soprano soloist Sasha Cooke.”

MTT has also been active on social media, congratulating Teddy Abrams, his protégé from the age of 11, on his “Conductor of the Year” honor from Musical America on Oct. 21.

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