ESA-PEKKA SALONEN’S TENURE AS SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY MUSIC DIRECTOR CULMINATES IN JUNE 2025 FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF HIS FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT Following the 2024–25 season, Salonen will maintain an ongoing partnership with the San Francisco Symphony through regular guest conducting appearances and collaborations
DETAILS OF THE 2024–25 SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY SEASON In his fifth and final season as Music Director, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Orchestra in 12 programs, including an Opening Gala performance with Lang Lang; SF Symphony’s annual All San Francisco Concert; a continued exploration of Stravinsky’s works; performances of major compositions by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Sibelius, Strauss, Verdi, and more; and three world premiere performances Salonen conducts the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in his final program as Music Director, June 12–14, 2025 2024–25 season features five world premieres of San Francisco Symphony-commissioned works by composers John Adams, Nico Muhly, Xavier Muzik, Gabriella Smith, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Chorus Director Jenny Wong join with the San Francisco Symphony for five major choral works this season Four programs conducted by Salonen and returning guest conductors Marin Alsop, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Thomas Wilkins feature distinct programmatic arcs 2024–25 season features four conductors and 14 soloists making their Orchestral Series debuts, as well as anticipated return performances from classical music luminaries Great Performers Series, SoundBox, Shenson Spotlight Series, and Film SeriesGreat Performers Series features Emanuel Ax, Seong-Jin Cho, Sheku Kanneh-Mason & Isata Kanneh-Mason, Evgeny Kissin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Jean-Yves Thibaudet & Michael Feinstein, Yuja Wang & Víkingur Ólafsson, Joshua Bell and Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Itzhak Perlman and friends; and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra SoundBox programs curated by Andy Akiho and Courtney Bryan Shenson Spotlight Series features pianist Martin James Bartlett, double bassist Xavier Foley, violinist Tessa Lark, and pianist Tony Siqi Yun Film Series features live-to-picture performances of AmadeusCocoThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, PsychoTitanicTop Gun: Maverick, and Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki  Standard and Compose Your Own Subscriptions available now; single tickets go on sale July 20, 2024
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—As the San Francisco Symphony shares details of the 2024–25 season, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Symphony announce today that Salonen’s tenure as Music Director will culminate in June 2025 following the completion of his five-year contract. Salonen will maintain an ongoing partnership with the San Francisco Symphony through regular guest conducting appearances and collaborations following the conclusion of the upcoming season.  “Over his time as Music Director, Esa-Pekka has brought with him a palpable spirit of collaboration and adventure to the San Francisco Symphony that has inspired our musicians, staff, board, and audiences to think more expansively about the possibilities of the orchestral experience,” said San Francisco Symphony CEO Matthew Spivey. “As the San Francisco Symphony weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and re-emerged into live performances, Esa-Pekka took on this role with a sense of possibility, forging a creative path forward with innovative digital projects, distinct concert experiences, and countless fruitful partnerships with artists across a wide spectrum of disciplines. His work with the Orchestra has made a lasting impact on this organization and I’m excited for the season to come and invigorated for our partnership moving forward. Esa-Pekka is an unparalleled artist and visionary and I am deeply grateful for what his creative leadership has brought to the San Francisco Symphony. Even as we turn the page, I look forward to where the next chapter might take us.”  “Esa-Pekka’s time as Music Director has been artistically rewarding and exciting for our whole organization, and though this moment is bittersweet, I’m looking forward to experiencing his creativity and artistry through his final programs in this role during the 2024–25 season,” said San Francisco Symphony Board Chair Priscilla Geeslin. “Even more so, I look forward to seeing our relationship with Esa-Pekka grow in new ways after his tenure concludes through the types of one-of-a-kind projects we’ve enjoyed during his time here. This has been an exciting era for the Symphony and we’re so grateful for Esa-Pekka’s thoughtful leadership and collaborative approach.”  Esa-Pekka Salonen was announced as the San Francisco Symphony’s 12th Music Director in 2018 alongside the appointment of eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of disciplines—Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. Salonen began his tenure as Music Director in fall 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. With the Orchestra, he brought audiences numerous innovative online projects including Throughline—From Hall to Home, Stravinsky: The Soldier’s Tale, and SoundBox programs released via streaming service SFSymphony+, and a digital performance of three works by György Ligeti with imagery generated by Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with visual artist Refik Anadol. In May 2021, when COVID-19 restrictions were loosened, he conducted his first live, in-person performances as Music Director at Davies Symphony Hall as well as at Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheater. In the 2021–22 season, the SF Symphony launched Salonen’s first complete performing season with a celebratory opening week of performances highlighted by the San Francisco Symphony’s Reopening Night Gala featuring esperanza spalding and the San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company Alonzo King LINES Ballet, which was later broadcast on Great Performances on PBS.   Since becoming Music Director, Salonen has conducted world premieres of works by Samuel Adams, Fang Man, Anders Hillborg, Jens Ibsen, Magnus Lindberg, Jesper Nordin, and Trevor Weston, as well as United States premieres of works by Bryce Dessner, Hannah Kendall, and Daniel Kidane. Salonen’s tenure has been marked by deep partnerships and continued collaborations with luminaries from across classical music, dance, theater, visual art, and more, including staging Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex, Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater, and Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartung with acclaimed director Peter Sellars; collaborations with choreographer Alonzo King and LINES Ballet for performances of Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia Suite and Maurice Ravel’s Ma Mere l’Oye; a two-week residency by pianist Igor Levit, highlighted by performances of Busoni’s Piano Concerto; a multisensory production of Alexander Scriabin’s Prometheus, The Poem of Fire devised with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Cartier in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent; and memorable performances with an array of world-class guest artists.   In 2023, Salonen led the San Francisco Symphony in a European tour featuring extended residencies at the Philharmonie de Paris in France and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, including the Orchestra’s first international SoundBox concerts. Alongside Gustavo Dudamel and Rafael Payare, Salonen spearheaded the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, a two-week statewide initiative that brought together more than 100 musical organizations to perform more than 180 works written in the last five years. In March 2024 he will lead the San Francisco Symphony on a tour of Southern California, including performances in Costa Mesa, Palm Desert, and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.   Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony have released numerous live concert recordings together, including Béla Bartók’s complete piano concertos performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard on the PENTATONE label. In March 2023, the San Francisco Symphony announced its partnership with Apple Music Classical with the release of new spatial audio recordings of György Ligeti’s Clocks and Clouds, Lux Aeterna, and Ramifications. Additional SFS Media releases on Apple Music Classical have included Anders Hillborg’s Kongsgaard Variations, Elizabeth Ogonek’s Sleep & Unremembrance, Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome, Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5, and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Lux Aeterna and The Rite of Spring were nominated for 2024 Grammy® Awards. 
Highlights of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s final season as Music DirectorIn his final season as SF Symphony Music Director, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Orchestra in 12 programs bookended by two massive, showstopping works: Verdi’s Requiem (September 19–21) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection (June 12–14). Throughout the season, Salonen conducts world premieres of works by Nico Muhly, Xavier Muzik, and Gabriella Smith, as well as the first San Francisco Symphony performances of his own Cello Concerto and Magnus Lindberg’s Chorale; continues his exploration with the Orchestra of the works of Igor Stravinsky; welcomes familiar guest artists and up-and-coming talent; and leads the Orchestra in interpretations of some of the most significant works in the symphonic repertoire from Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Mahler, Sibelius, Strauss, and Verdi, among others.   Season opening performances  Verdi’s Requiem opens 2024–25 Orchestral Series  Salonen, the San Francisco Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus open the 2024–25 Orchestral Series September 19–21 with Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, a dramatic and deeply-felt setting of the Catholic funeral mass. These performances—the Orchestra’s first since 2011—feature soprano Leah Hawkins, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Mario Chang, and bass Eric Owens.  Opening Gala with Lang Lang Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony celebrate the start of the 2024–25 season with the Opening Gala on September 25 featuring superstar pianist Lang Lang performing Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2. The Gala program also includes Saint-Saëns’ The Carnival of the Animals, featuring Lang Lang and his wife, pianist Gina Alice, as well as selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Patrons can reserve a VIP sponsorship which includes an exclusive preconcert cocktail reception and postconcert seated dinner experience. Proceeds from the event benefit the Symphony’s education and community programs. For more information on Gala Packages, please email gala@sfsymphony.org.  All San Francisco Concert The annual All San Francisco Concert, which will be announced later this year, is now in its 44th year and honors local social service and neighborhood organizations who work to make the Bay Area a more just and equitable place. A special San Francisco Symphony program is offered at a subsidized ticket price of $12 for employees of Bay Area nonprofits, social services, and grassroots organizations. Previous concert attendees include community members, volunteers, and employees from a broad range of local organizations. Founded by native San Franciscan, veteran philanthropist, patron of the arts, and San Francisco Symphony Life Governor Ellen Magnin Newman, and led by an advisory committee of nonprofit and community leaders, the All San Francisco Concert is an important pillar of the San Francisco Symphony’s ongoing work to make the Symphony an accessible, welcoming space for all Bay Area residents, regardless of income. In honor of its founder, the All San Francisco Concert also includes the presentation of the Ellen Magnin Newman Award, which includes a grant, in recognition of an outstanding community-based arts organization that serves those most in need. Local organizations interested in receiving an invitation to the concert are encouraged to email allsf@sfsymphony.org.  Fall collaborations & Orchestral Series debuts Following the Opening Gala, Salonen is joined by pianist Alexandre Tharaud in his Orchestral Series debut September 27–28, performing the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Baroque-inspired Piano Concerto (a San Francisco Symphony commission). “The concerto is lightly haunted by the ghost of Rameau in the first movement in an explicitly harmonic way, and then the second and third movements take as their jumping-off point Rameau’s titles, indicating a focus on technical aspects of music-making (Les Triolets), everyday life (Les Tricotets), and more abstract, character pieces (L’indiscrette),” said Muhly. The program features three additional works that draw inspiration from an earlier time: Paul Hindemith’s raucous Ragtime (Well-Tempered), based on a theme of J.S. Bach; Edward Elgar’s transcription of Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537; and Hindemith’s Symphony Mathis der Maler, based on the life of 16th-century artist Matthias Grünewald.   October 4-6, violinist Sayaka Shoji makes her Orchestral Series debut with Salonen and the SF Symphony October 4-6, performing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Salonen also conducts Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.  October 18–20, Rainer Eudeikis, SF Symphony Principal Cello and Philip S. Boone Chair, makes his Orchestral Series debut as soloist with the Orchestra, performing Salonen’s own Cello Concerto. Salonen explained that the Cello Concerto, which he wrote for Yo-Yo Ma, was born “when I decided to spend a few months researching for new kinds of textures without a concrete plan how to use them.” Salonen opens the program with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, and closes with Claude Debussy’s La Mer, an evocative meditation on the sea.   Three programs highlighting Stravinsky Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Orchestra continue their exploration of the works of Igor Stravinsky with three programs in February and May 2025. February 13–16, Salonen and the Orchestra are joined by pianist Yuja Wang for three Stravinsky works for piano and orchestra: Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, and Movements for Piano and Orchestra. Interspersed with the Stravinsky works throughout the program are the three movements of Claude Debussy’s Images pour orchestre, highlighting the overlapping sound worlds of the two composers.   The following week, February 21–23, Salonen and the Orchestra revisit Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, which they previously performed in 2022. Their live-concert recording of that performance earned Salonen and the Orchestra their first Grammy nomination together for “Best Orchestral Performance” for the 2024 Grammy® Awards. Also on the program is Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Daniil Trifonov, and the world premiere of a new work by Xavier Muzik, winner of the 2023 Emerging Black Composers Project Michael Morgan Prize. “With this work, I aim to explore personal anxieties by examining my relationship to the manufactured world around me,” said Muzik. “I see my ‘self’ reflected in the artificial structures here in Los Angeles, my home, alive with hubris—stoic monuments exemplifying dominion over nature and time. Yet, as these monuments inevitably fade and crack, so do my personal mythologies thus revealing their inane fallibility. I seek to confront the transient natures of both the external world and my internal narratives to challenge my perspective and find meaning beyond the facade of permanence.”  On May 23–25 Salonen conducts Stravinsky’s complete The Firebird, a groundbreaking ballet based on Russian folk tales. He also leads the Orchestra in its first performances of Chorale by his close friend and collaborator Magnus Lindberg, as well as Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust as soloist.   Salonen’s tenure as Music Director culminates with final four weeks of the 2024–25 seasonThe San Francisco Symphony’s 2024–25 season concludes with four weeks of programs led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, May 23–June 14, marking the end of his tenure as Music Director.   May 23–25, Salonen conducts the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Magnus Lindberg’s Chorale—a short, six-minute work based on J.S. Bach’s chorale “Est ist genug.” Isabelle Faust joins Salonen for Alban Berg’s evocative Violin Concerto, and Salonen completes the program with Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird.   Salonen conducts an all-Beethoven program May 29–30 & June 1, featuring violinist Hilary Hahn in the composer’s Violin Concerto, one of the most frequently performed violin concertos in the repertoire. Also on the program is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, which Robert Schumann, referring to its place between the groundbreaking Third and Fifth symphonies, called “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants.” Salonen, Hahn, and the San Francisco Symphony perform this program at UC Davis’ Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on May 31.    The following week, June 6–8, Salonen conducts the San Francisco Symphony in the world premiere of a new work by composer Gabriella Smith, whose work invites listeners to find joy in climate action. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the San Francisco Symphony musicians and Esa-Pekka Salonen again,” said Smith. “The music I’m writing is connected to my experiences working on ecosystem restorations as part of a global movement rewilding the world.” The program also features Jean Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7, the composer’s final symphony, as well as two of Richard Strauss’s tone poems—Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.  Salonen’s tenure as Music Director culminates June 12–14 as he conducts the San Francisco Symphony, Chorus, and vocal soloists—including mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke—in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, a realization of the composer’s views on universal themes of life, death, and resurrection.  Further details on the 2024–25 season  Programs highlighted by new commissions and world premiere performances The San Francisco Symphony’s 2024–25 Orchestral Series features 18 works new to the Orchestra, including five world premieres and 13 works receiving their first San Francisco Symphony performances.  World premieres  This season, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts three world premieres: Nico Muhly’s Baroque-inspired piano concerto featuring pianist Alexandre Tharaud in his Orchestral Series debut, September 27–28; a new work by Gabriella Smith, June 6–8; and a new composition from Emerging Black Composers Project winner Xavier Muzik, February 21–23.  John Adams’ new piano concerto, After the Fall, receives its world premiere by pianist Víkingur Ólafsson with conductor David Robertson and the Orchestra, January 16 & 18–19. This marks the ninth work that the San Francisco Symphony has commissioned from Adams, who has collaborated closely with the Orchestra for more than 45 years. “Vikingur has a special affinity for my music,” said John Adams. “After the Fall was written with his extraordinary gifts in mind. He is one of the great Bach pianists of our time, so it’s no surprise that a ‘presence’ of Bach prevails in parts of this new concerto.”  Finally, on May 15–17, cellist Johannes Moser joins the Orchestra and conductor Dalia Stasevska for Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s new cello concerto.  First San Francisco Symphony performances The San Francisco Symphony will perform 13 additional works for the first time this season, including Thomas Adès’ Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face; Hector Berlioz’s Le roi Lear Overture; Dai Fujikura’s Entwine; Gabriel Kahane’s Talent & Phoenix, Magnus Lindberg’s Chorale; Missy Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (For Orbiting Spheres); Gabriela Montero’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Latin; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Schon lacht der holde Frühling” and “Venga la morte…Non temer, amato bene”; Gabriela Ortiz’s Antrópolis; Kaija Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto; and William Grant Still’s Wood Notes.  Major choral works The 2024–25 season features the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and Chorus Director Jenny Wong in five iconic choral works highlighted throughout the season. September 19–21, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Orchestra, SF Symphony Chorus, and soloists Leah Hawkins, Karen Cargill, Mario Chang, and Eric Owens in Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, a dramatic setting of the Catholic funeral mass that the composer wrote in memory of Alessandro Manzoni.   Kazuki Yamada (Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Artistic and Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo) is joined by the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, baritone Michael Sumuel, and soprano Liv Redpath November 15–17 for Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, a contemplative and consolatory setting of the Mass for the Dead. Yamada conducts the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Dai Fujikura’s Entwine followed by Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, featuring Hélène Grimaud, on the first half of the program.  December 6-7, Stephen Stubbs (Founding Artistic Director of Pacific MusicWorks and Artistic Co-Director of Boston Early Music Festival) makes his Orchestral Series debut conducting the Symphony’s annual holiday performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, featuring the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and a cast of vocal soloists including soprano Amanda Forsythe, countertenor John Holiday, and baritone Douglas Williams, all in their Orchestral Series debuts.  David Robertson (Creative Partner of the Utah Symphony and Opera) conducts the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, soprano Susanna Phillips, tenor Arnold Livingston Geis, and baritone Will Liverman in Carl Orff’s Carmina burana, one of the most recognizable choral works in the repertoire. Geis and Liverman make their Orchestral Series debuts in these performances. The program also features the world premiere of John Adams’ piano concerto After the Fall, featuring pianist Víkingur Ólafsson.  Finally, June 12–14, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and vocal soloists—including mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke—in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, for the final concerts in his tenure as Music Director.   The Chorus also performs on three film series programs next season: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki, composed and conducted by Joe Hisaishi; Amadeus, with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos; and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, composed by Howard Shore.  Unique programmatic arcs Four Orchestral Series concerts explore unique programmatic arcs this season, beginning September 27–28 with the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Baroque-inspired Piano Concerto (a San Francisco Symphony commission), conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and featuring pianist Alexandre Tharaud. The program features three additional works that draw inspiration from the past and present: Paul Hindemith’s raucous Ragtime (Well-Tempered), based on a theme of J.S. Bach; Edward Elgar’s transcription of Bach’s Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537; and Hindemith’s Symphony Mathis der Maler, based on the life of 16th-century artist Matthias Grünewald.  On October 25–26, Thomas Wilkins returns to the SF Symphony after his Orchestral Series debut in the 2022–23 season. Wilkins conducts a program centered on mid-20th-century American music, beginning with the Suite from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Pianist Michelle Cann then joins Wilkins in her Orchestral Series debut, performing George Gershwin’s iconic jazz concerto Rhapsody in Blue, which marked its centennial in 2024. The program also features William Grant Still’s Wood Notes—an orchestral suite inspired by poems by Joseph Mitchell Pilcher that meditate on the natural beauty of the American South—and the Catfish Row Suite from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.   April 10–12, Marin Alsop conducts the San Francisco Symphony in a program exploring the crosscurrents and musical traditions of the United States, Venezuela, and Mexico. The program opens with the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz’s Antrópolis, inspired by the sounds of Mexico’s legendary dance halls and nightclubs. Venezuelan pianist Gabriella Montero then joins Alsop for her own Piano Concerto No. 1, Latin. The second half of the program highlights three works by distinctly American composers: Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man; Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, which was modeled after Copland’s work; and Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1.  Giancarlo Guerrero returns May 2–3 to conduct a program centered on the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Gabriel Kahane’s Talent & Phoenix, referencing the Almeda Fire, which tore through Talent, Phoenix, and Medford, Oregon, on September 8, 2020. The new song cycle explores how memory is remade and community is rebuilt following a catastrophic wildfire in an effort to better understand how we can come together to meet the challenges of a rapidly shifting planet. Guerrero also conducts Kaija Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis and Ottorino Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome, two of his three tone poems inspired by scenes from his country’s capital.  San Francisco Symphony Conducting Debuts and Returning Conductors The San Francisco Symphony’s 2024–25 season features a dynamic lineup of international guest conductors bringing fresh and unique perspectives to the podium.  Four conductors make their Orchestral Series debuts this season:  Nicholas Collon (Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony and Founder and Principal Conductor of the Aurora Orchestra) conducts a program featuring Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Conrad Tao as soloist; Thomas Adès’s Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations (November 7–9)  Mark Elder (Music Director of the Hallé and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra) conducts Hector Berlioz’s Overture to Les frances-juges and Le roi Lear Overture, Claude Debussy’s Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un faune, Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine (January 24–25) Stephen Stubbs (Founding Artistic Director of Pacific MusicWorks and Artistic Co-Director of Boston Early Music Festival) conducts George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, featuring the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and a cast of vocal soloists including soprano Amanda Forsythe, countertenor John Holiday, and baritone Douglas Williams, all in their Orchestral Series debuts (December 6–7) Kazuki Yamada (Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Artistic and Music Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo) conducts Dai Fujikura’s Entwine; Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with Hélène Grimaud; and Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, featuring the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, baritone Michael Sumuel, and soprano Liv Redpath (November 15–17)  Returning guest conductors include:   Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, conducting Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 (January 30–February 1) Marin Alsop (Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony, and Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra), conducting works of Gabriela Ortiz, Aaron Copland, Joan Tower, Samuel Barber, and Gabriela Montero’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Latin, featuring Montero as soloist (April 10–12) Elim Chan (Principal Conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra), conducting Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique and selections from Swan Lake (March 13–15) James Gaffigan (General Music Director of Komische Oper Berlin and Music Director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía), conducting Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with Ray Chen as soloist, as well as Missy Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) and Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 (January 9–11) Giancarlo Guerrero (Music Director of the Nashville Symphony), who conducts the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Gabriel Kahane’s Talent & Phoenix, Kaija Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis, and Ottorino Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome (May 2–3) Paavo Järvi (Chief Conductor of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and Founder and Artistic Director of the Estonian Festival Orchestra), who is joined by pianist Kirill Gerstein for Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on a program also including Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 (February 6–7 & 9) Bernard Labadie (Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Music Director of La Chapelle de Québec), who is joined by soprano Lucy Crowe for a program of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (November 21–23) David Robertson (Creative Partner of the Utah Symphony and Opera), conducting the Orchestra in the world premiere of John Adams’ piano concerto After the Fall with Víkingur Ólafsson as soloist; the program also includes Carl Orff’s Carmina burana featuring the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and a cast of vocal soloists (January 16 & 18–19) Dalia Stasevska (Chief Conductor of Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra), who conducts Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Cello Concerto featuring Johannes Moser (May 15–17) Robin Ticciati (Music Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera), conducting Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring Francesco Piemontesi, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 (February 28–March 2) Juraj Valčuha (Music Director of the Houston Symphony), who conducts Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham (March 27 & 29–30) Thomas Wilkins (Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of Education and Community Engagement of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) conducts an all-American program featuring George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Michelle Cann, Catfish Row Suite from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and William Grant Still’s Wood Notes (October 25–26)  Guest Artists Perform with the San Francisco Symphony Guest artists making their San Francisco Symphony Orchestral Series debuts include sopranos Lucy Crowe, Amanda Forsythe, Leah Hawkins, and Liv Redpath; mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill; countertenor John Holiday; tenor Arnold Livingston Geis; baritones Will Liverman and Douglas Williams; pianists Michelle Cann, Francesco Piemontesi, and Alexandre Tharaud; and violinist Sayaka Shoji. Rainer Eudeikis, San Francisco Symphony Principal Cello and Philip S. Boone Chair, also makes his Orchestral Series debut as soloist, giving the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto.  Returning instrumental soloists include violinists Ray Chen, Isabelle Faust, Hilary Hahn, and Gil Shaham; pianists Kirill Gerstein, Hélène Grimaud, Gabriela Montero, Víkingur Ólafsson, Conrad Tao, Daniil Trifonov, and Yuja Wang; and cellist Johannes Moser. Vocalists returning to perform with the San Francisco Symphony include tenor Mario Chang, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, bass Eric Owens, soprano Susanna Phillips, and baritone Michael Sumuel.  SoundBox  The San Francisco Symphony’s groundbreaking SoundBox series returns for an eleventh season with programs curated by composer and pianist Courtney Bryan (January 31 & February 1) and composer and percussionist Andy Akiho (April 11 & 12), featuring performances by guest artists and members of the San Francisco Symphony, accompanied by unique video projections and lighting design. Launched in 2014 as an experimental, late-night concert series for culturally curious audiences, SoundBox is known for continuously pushing the envelope with adventurous programming, innovative design, and multimedia elements. SoundBox performances take place in a warehouse-like rehearsal space adjacent to Davies Symphony Hall, enhanced by a Meyer Constellation Sound System, which can alter the space’s acoustics to accommodate a variety of musical styles and ensembles, providing ultimate versatility.  Lead support for SoundBox is provided by the Barbro and Bernard Osher SoundBox Fund.  Great Performers Series and Shenson Spotlight Series The 2024–25 Great Performers Series includes an orchestral presentation with Academy of St Martin in the Fields led by violinist Joshua Bell; a recital featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, with guest appearances by pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, along with the Juilliard String Quartet; as well as an orchestral presentation with the Israel Philharmonic led by Lahav Shani. Soloists presented in the series include violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with pianist Lambert Orkis; pianists Emanuel Ax, Seong-Jin Cho, and Evgeny Kissin; and duo recitals by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, and pianists Vikingur Ólafsson and Yuja Wang. Pianists Michael Feinstein and Jean-Yves Thibaudet perform their innovative program Two Pianos: Who Could Ask for Anything More?, exploring the musical world of George Gershwin, with the San Francisco Symphony.   The San Francisco Symphony’s Shenson Spotlight Series, now in its fourth season, features ascendant artists in their Davies Symphony Hall debuts. Soloists presented in this series include pianist Martin James Bartlett; double bassist Xavier Foley, joined by pianist Kelly Lin; violinist Tessa Lark, joined by pianist Amy Yang; and pianist Tony Siqi Yun.  Films with Live Orchestra 2024–25 film programs feature the San Francisco Symphony performing live accompaniment to iconic films as they are projected on a large screen above the stage. This year, the Film Series begins with Joe Hisaishi Symphonic Concert: Music from the Studio Ghibli Films of Hayao Miyazaki, a program conducted by composer Joe Hisaishi on September 5–8. The series continues with Miloš Forman’s Amadeus, featuring music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, November 29–30; James Cameron’s Titanic, featuring music by James Horner conducted by Sarah Hicks, April 4–5; and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, featuring music by Howard Shore, May 8–10. Additional film performances in the 2024–25 season include Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, featuring music by Bernard Herrmann, conducted by Scott Terrell, October 31; Lee Unkrich’s Coco, featuring music by Michael Giacchino, conducted by Conner Gray Covington, November 1; and Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick, featuring music by Harold Faltermeyer, Lady Gaga, and Hans Zimmer, conducted by Ben Palmer, November 26.  Signature Events Día de los Muertos Celebration  On November 2, the San Francisco Symphony presents its 17th annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration, featuring a concert program of traditional and contemporary Latin American music conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto, preceded by a festive array of family-friendly activities and altars designed by local artists and organizations. Curated by Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, these installations aim to commemorate the Day of the Dead and explore what Mexican and Latino communities believe is a malleable barrier between life and the afterlife. Beginning in mid-October, altars and artwork will appear in and around Davies Symphony Hall, available to peruse before or after any Symphony concert. Patrons can also purchase a ¡Fiesta! VIP fundraising package that includes premium seating at the concert, as well as a postconcert reception and seated dinner, with proceeds benefiting the Symphony’s education and community programs.  Deck the Hall Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the San Francisco Symphony’s Resident Conductor of Engagement and Education, conducts the annual Deck the Hall matinee concerts on December 8. Deck the Hall is the Symphony’s annual holiday children’s concert and celebration featuring a lively array of musical performances from Symphony musicians and special guests. The concert ends with a holiday singalong complete with costumed characters. To make the experience even more memorable, guests can purchase a VIP package that includes premium concert seating, a preconcert VIP celebration, and other perks. Proceeds from this event support Deck the Hall Community Day, which takes place on December 9 and invites 3,500 children from public programs to this holiday concert free of charge, providing many of them with their first opportunity to visit a concert hall and hear a live orchestral performance. Proceeds provide additional support for the Symphony’s many artistic, education, and community programs.  Lunar New Year Celebration  On February 8, the San Francisco Symphony celebrates the Year of the Snake with the 25th annual Lunar New Year Concert. The performance highlights vibrant Asian traditions through Eastern and Western repertoire and multimedia presentations. Patrons can also purchase an elevated Lunar New Year experience, which includes special festivities, a preconcert reception, and celebratory banquet dinner. Proceeds from Lunar New Year benefit the Symphony’s artistic, education, and community programs.  Music for Families, Teen Night, and San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra  The San Francisco Symphony provides unique opportunities for children, families, and young adults to engage with classical music through programs like the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and Music for Families.  Music for Families The Music for Families series is designed to bring children together with their families to engage with classical music through interactive themed performances. In 2024–25, Thomas Wilkins, Artistic Advisor of Education and Community Engagement at the Boston Symphony, conducts a concert on October 26, and the SF Symphony’s Resident Conductor of Engagement and Education Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducts a concert on January 18.  Teen Night Designed for teenagers 13 and up, Teen Night features an eclectic program of music centered alongside interactive elements like games and trivia, plus prizes. In 2024–25, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser leads the San Francisco Symphony in the fourth annual Teen Night on March 22.  San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra opens its season on November 24, followed by its annual holiday performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf on December 15. Additional Youth Orchestra performances will take place March 9 and May 18. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra provides a tuition-free, pre-professional orchestral training experience to talented young musicians from the greater Bay Area, with weekly rehearsals led by its music director. Youth Orchestra members benefit from weekly coachings by San Francisco Symphony musicians and enjoy the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and conductors performing with the San Francisco Symphony.  On Sale Dates Subscription packages for the San Francisco Symphony’s 2024–25 season go on sale Thursday, March 14 at 10:00am PT and can be purchased online at www.sfsymphony.org/subscribe or by phone at 415.864.6000.  For a limited time, patrons have the option to get 1 additional Orchestral Series concert free when buying a Davies Symphony Hall 4-concert or more subscription package; 4 additional Orchestral Series concerts free when buying an 8-concert or more package; 6 additional Orchestral Series concerts free when buying a 12-concert or more package; or 8 additional Orchestral Series concerts, an additional seat upgrade, and 2 complimentary beverage vouchers when subscribing to 18 or more concerts. Offer applies to all Fixed or CYO subscriptions totaling 4 or more concerts. Add-ons and special events do not count towards the total. Offer expires on April 19, 2024.  Single tickets for individual 2024–25 concerts will go on sale July 20, 2024.