Michael Tilson Thomas leads San Francisco Symphony in all-Berlioz concerts

Michael Tilson ThomasConductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony will perform Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Les Nuits d’été, and Harold in Italy on June 23-26 in Davies Symphony Hall. Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke joins them in Les Nuits d’été, and Principal Viola Jonathan Vinocour appears as soloist in Harold in Italy.

American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke first appeared with the Orchestra in last season’s semi-staged production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, and in January 2010, performed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with MTT and the SF Symphony. She has already made waves in the opera world as Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic. Cooke is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera and is currently the Lindemann Vocal Chair of Young Concert Artists after winning first prize at the 2007 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

Appointed at the start of the 2009-10 season, Jonathan Vinocour is currently Principal Viola in the SF Symphony. He previously held the Principal Viola position with the Saint Louis Symphony. A graduate of Princeton University and the New England Conservatory of Music, Vinocour has garnered several awards throughout his music career, including First Prize in the Holland America Music Society Competition, Tanglewood Music Center’s Henri Kohn Memorial Prize, and Princeton University’s Sudler Prize in the Arts. Vinocour has served as Guest Principal Viola of the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig under SF Symphony Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt and the Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan. In January 2010, he performed the traditional Ascending Bird and George Benjamin’s Viola Viola in SF Symphony’s Project San Francisco chamber music concerts.

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