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Tilson Thomas, Michael

Tilson Thomas, Michael

Born in 1944


Inducted in 2004

Michael Tilson Thomas. nicknamed MTT by friends, was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1944. His mother is a middle school teacher, his father, a Broadway stage manager. Michael is the grandson of noted Yiddish theater stars Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky. Thomas took his basic musical training with Ingolf Dahl and the music department at the University of Southern California. Later, as a student under Friedlinde Wagner, Thomas was Assistant Conductor at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1969 Michael Tilson Thomas made his conducting debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and after several years in very high level conducting posts, he is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Tilson Thomas is a particular champion of American works——the complete symphonies of Charles Ives, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music, and all the music of Aaron Copland. His own compositions include From the Diary of Anne Frank, Poems of Emily Dickinson, and Urban Legend. In April 2005, Thomas conducted the Carnegie Hall premiere of Remembrances of Thomashefsky’s Yiddish Theater. National Public Radio carried the event as a featured story. He is founder of the New World Symphony Orchestra, a special training ground for young musicians.