Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct New York Philharmonic's opening subscription program

Michael Tilson Thomas is to conduct the opening subscription program of the New York Philharmonic season, three years after the conductor announced he was being treated for a brain tumor.

The 79-year-old is to lead the orchestra in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 with Emanuel Ax and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony on Sept. 12, 13 and 15, the orchestra said Tuesday.

Tilson Thomas said in August 2021 that he had has undergone surgery for a brain tumor. He has continued to lead an active schedule but with fewer performances: Tilson Thomas led four concerts with the New York Philharmonic in March 2023. He was founder of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, and music director of the San Francisco Symphony from 1995-2020.


The philharmonic will be without a music director for two seasons. Jaap van Zweden leaves this summer after six years, and Gustavo Dudamel starts in 2026-27, after he leaves the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

FILE – Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas arrives at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors gala dinner, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Washington. Tilson Thomas, an honoree in 2019, is to conduct the opening subscription program of the New York Philharmonic season. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

Dudamel leads three weeks of subscription programs, one in March 2025 and two in May 2025 that include the world premiere of a work written and sung by Kate Soper, Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 11 and Mahler’s Seventh. He will conduct the philharmonic’s parks concerts for the first time in June 2025.

Dudamel becomes music director designate in 2025-26. He has conducted the orchestra 29 times starting with his 2007 debut.

Ken-David Masur, a son of former music director Kurt Masur, conducts a new work by Augusta Read Thomas on Sept. 19 and 21.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra music director Manfred Honeck will lead an opening gala on Sept. 24 that includes Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo.

Herbert Blomstedt, who turns 97 in July, is to conduct Schubert’s Sixth Symphony and Brahms’ Violin Concerto with Hilary Hahn from Feb. 26 through March 2.

Soprano Renée Fleming and tenor Rod Gilfry feature in Kevin Puts’ “The Brightness of Light” from May 16–18, 2025, with Juanjo Mena conducting.

Pianist Yuja Wang will be the orchestra’s artist in residence.

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