Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony are visiting Ann Arbor this week as part of their American Mavericks Festival, a celebration of 17 living and passed American composers ranging from Mason Bates to Charles Ives. The orchestra is giving four concerts starting this Thursday (3/22) and Sunday (3/25) and will be joined along the way by incredible soloists like Jeremy Denk, Jessye Norman, Joan La Barbara, Emmanuel Ax and others.

Ann Arbor is one of three stops in the Symphony’s centennial tour (the others being Chicago and New York), and their residency coincides with the University of Michigan’s second annual American Orchestras Summit, which features presentations by composers, musicologists and leaders in the world of American orchestras.

Sam Richards, a colleague of mine in the Michigan composition department is covering the Summit, and will be live-blogging during its presentations over the next three days. Additionally, I will live-tweet the presentations, performances and the conversations the students here have planned with Mason Bates and Jeremy Denk.

You can find Sam’s first post on the Summit here, and he also created a nifty ‘family tree’ connecting the ‘Maverick’ composers featured in this week’s upcoming concerts.

If you’re interested in reading my tweets regarding the various music and conversations I witness and participate in this week, follow me @garrt.